A man in Lusaka shows off his Barack Obama placard
A man in Lusaka shows off his Barack Obama placard

By Mingeli Palata I remember being at the 2008 Miss.
NIPA function at Smugglers in Ridgeway, hosting a couple of American friends from California talking about Barack Obama and the US election.

Through out the world, the 2008 elections of Barack Obama and John Mccain brought American politics in a whole different light. For the first time in history, a black was this close to becoming the most powerful man on earth.

Think about it, the man went against all odds and truly changed the course of history and every black man, Obama’s election was an endorsement on the Black race. It meant recognition that Black people are able to do it and in no other place than a place best known for committing the worst known atrocities to the black race.

Besides which if you have read Obama’s books, he introduces his political philosophy that of compromise, appreciating and working with difference.You will grasp why Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton and others who opposed his Presidential bid all in his cabinet, including why he has a habit of putting arm around George Bush when ever the two meet.

For many Zambians, Obama is the best President they would never have. Imagine having all those Obama attributes in a Zambian man or woman running for the highest office in the mother land? How about that? Let me tell you how? It would mean having a Presidential candidate who believe in tolerance; accommodating opposing views, a President who believes that simply having views different from his makes you an enemy- Michael Sata playing golf with Rupiah Banda kind of thing, how about that for a change?

For once dear Zambian, we wouldn’t have anything like Southern province voting in the same fashion or a Presidential candidate telling people to vote for him because he or she comes from the same province as them. No tribalism- one Zambia and truly one Nation. We would have a President whose economic policies are only influenced by the voters and not those who funded his or her election, so no funny salary increments when the teachers are not paid. I like your smile.

If Obama was a Zambian then the dignity and relevance that UTH and other public health institutions would be restored and all rich people would not be rushing to Morningside Clinic in South Africa every time they had a heart attack or their CD4 count went low. Its all because Obama would make it a point that the money spend on buying party chitenge materials and buying cadres chibuku is channeled to buying drugs for the clinic in Kalinglinga and the chalk for the students in chamboli. Come guys, isn’t that the change we need?

Maybe the economy would be regulated to the benefit of everybody, tax exemptions for companies that create a lot of jobs for Zambians and more funds for the emerging small scale business persons.
Hey stop dreaming, like I said, Obama is the best Zambian President we will never have!

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62 COMMENTS

    • I know what you mean but poverty of the mind is real. Just look around in Zambia , these people know what suffering is and once they have an oppotunity they want to be as rich as Bill Gates and as powerful as Hitler, SHAME ! Put people first and you will be remembered and respected like Mandela, Ghandhi, MLK and now Obama. Nomatter what we are going to say it will not help coz of poverty of the mind.

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    • Don’t count chicks before eggs hatch. How can he be the best when he has hardly been in office. It is posterity that judges today’s men, it is history that judges the present. Jomo Kenyatta, Archbishop Makarios, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela were all once incarcerated for their views and branded evil, and not to mention our own KK et al. “Do not judge before the time” the great Apostle Paul advised. Give Obama time.

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  1. Good article in that our leaders now do not have a white president as a scale goat. LOL the got us independence in the sixties to become tyrants. There are countries like Botstwana and Ghana that shine brightly.

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  2. One day, when we are not greedy. Maybe then Zambia shall rise. Only if we repent as a nation and worked harder.

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    • There are enough people within the present government that can make a difference. But they are being silenced by their boss. We have a President who will not hear %-(

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  3. Obama is a puppet for the new world order. The quicker everyone sees what the game is the better off we will be. Time is short

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    • I beg to differ. Obama is his own man. But his does have to work within some confines as white america is what it is. He has to walk a supper fine line as a black man. And yes he will.

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  4. Never say never! I am convinced the Americans never knew they would ever have a black president in their life time, but, out of conveience, it has happened. What really necessitated the choice of Obama was the poor economic performance, which was biting their pockets. John MCain did not have the capacity to reverse the situation, so, despite being a black man, they counted on Obama, which is a good thing for the entire black world, if you wish. I wish him many blessings, and a sounding success in his attempt to improve the economy of his great nation. Who knows, may be we shall have our own Obama some day!!! Only God knows when that will be. Viva Zambia.

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  5. And so where many more leaders before him. God is our true salvation. Kaunda was worse he thought he was a god on earth. Why do we fear a godly Christ fearing person ruling. The rapture can happen any day. Change is possible, one question; where did these evil black leaders in the federation come from. Look at Botswana oh!

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    • What do you mean “why do we fear a Godly Christ fearing person ruling”You born agains amaze me.Didnt you give us the thieving midget?

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    • LCC I actually agree with you. I too do not agree with how most of my born again brothers interpret things. The Bible is simple and very wisely written. We have to work hard and vote, plus we must seek our leaders to debate and answer our questions. Thanks for seeing what I have seen. Remember though God is our Judge and our father too.

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  6. Things will be better only when zambians realise that they have to take responsibility of their own affairs and not constantly crying for the govt and foreign investors to do things for them.Obama is not giving out money to the people………he’s just putting i place the needed incentives for the americans to realise themselves and that;s what’s been missing in Zed.People have no visions…………thay always just wait for politicians to come and five out brown envelopes,chibuku and other petty stuff.Remember that Zed will only be developed by Zedians!!!

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  7. Good article untill you droped this “For once dear Zambian, we wouldn’t have anything like Southern province voting in the same fashion or a Presidential candidate telling people to vote for him because he or she comes from the same province as them” Iwe Mingeli, what were you trying to insinuate here?In 2001, Southern Province voted for Mazoka-wasnt he tthe best around? in 2006/08 the province voted for HH – wasnt he the best around?? so whats wrong with that? I like your articles but on this aspect you got it wrong. You should be concerned about provinces who vote fot trash just because the candidates comes from there. Give credit where its due, SP so far has voted for bankable…

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    • Engine i think u are being emotional for nothing, u know that the young man has written a good and figurative article. All Zambian people vote for their own person unless they dont have a representative. It is against this background that maybe we should have an aspiring president who will have mixed blood eg born of luvale father but brought up by Bemba mother in the land of Eastern Province and schooled and worked in Southern province and speaks Tonga like a native now has businesses in Lusaka, how about that??

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    • I never can be emotial about this my dear chipo: My mum was tonga, father was Lozi, I was brought up by my uncle who was married to a Bemba woman – I have half bemba cousins. My uncle latter had kids with a luvale woman- I have half luvale cousins. My father later married a ngoni woman – I have brothers and sisters who are half Ngoni. When we gather as a family, there are Tongas, Lozis, Luvales, Bembas and Ngonis – How about that? Thats why am always against stereotyping others! Having said that, Imaintain that so far, SP has been voting for the better candidates…questions have to be asked about others not SP!

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  8. I think corruption is detrimental to the development of the Nation, Since Zambia has not experienced any severe conflict to cripple it’s economic, why then is the country poor. Tell your leaders how you feel about corruption. I have head of mob justice on the poor who steal fill their empty stomach, about these crazy con leaders, who are stealing to destroy the lives of the Zambian people.

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  9. I think corruption is detrimental to the development of the Nation, Since Zambia has not experienced any severe conflict to cripple it’s economic, why then is the country poor. Tell your leaders how you feel about corruption. I have head of mob justice on the poor who steal fill their empty stomach, about these crazy con leaders, who are stealing to destroy the lives of the Zambian people. USA

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  10. We wont have an Obama, certainly not. But we gonna have a Zambian who is even better than Oboma. Obama is not perfect he is just human liable to err.

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  11. 1. RACE: Since our constitution stipulates that a canditate should be an indigenous, that not even if one of the parents was born out of the country, we will never have anything close to it. Impossible!

    2. TRIBE: As long as things are as at present, each tribe or province wanting to have their own in the highest office, we will never get close to it . Impossible!

    2.COMPLEX: As long as our inferiority complex persists, always depending on investors and donors as the nations only saviour, we will never get close to it. Impossible!

    3. CORRUPTION, Greed, etc and the list goas on and on……Impossible!

    Oh lord have mercy [-o<

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    • INDIGENOUS: Interesting article in the constitution. What is the definition of indigenous? Does it mean all people that have been in Zambia for a certain time period, or just some of the people? I know for certain that some British settlers (or other Europeans) arrived in this part of the world before some African tribes made their way here (zed). If someone (through their ancestors) has been in an area since the 1800s, they deserve to have the same rights as anyone else!

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    • You are definately right, senseless. Our constitutaion does discriminate against cerrtain group of people. That’s one of the many reasons we will never progress. It’s sad that we are always quick to point fingers when it’s vise versa.

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  12. This is the most ridiculers article that I have read. First of all the attributes of Obama are not transferable and they are unique to him. The environment that obama finds in the states is so different from zambia. If he was to be presented with the zambian scenario or kenyan I don’t think he will be so admired as we do. Don’t compare apples with oranges.

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    • I beg to differ bro.This article is excellent.We certainly would not have an exact replica of Obama but attributes of a good leader are evidently seen in a number of the great leaders.

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  13. Zambia is a great country. We should keep hoping against all hope that we will have a great leader one day.

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  14. Pres O has not done anything yet for America. Let’s hope he is successful, but right now all we know is that he is a successful campaigner and speech-maker.

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  15. “For once dear Zambian, we wouldn’t have anything like Southern province voting in the same fashion or a Presidential candidate telling people to vote for him because he or she comes from the same province as them.” This just shows how ill informed about voting pattern is in Zambia.Did late Mazoka or HH get any votes in Luapula or Northern Province? This is a shallow analysis to say the least.Dont rush to post unresearched articles bululu

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    • This exactly what I was saying at post 9! Zambia’s biggest problem is that people, young and old, educated and not, have all fallen prey to politics of FEAR and HATRED. The author of this article is just such an example! out of hatred or fear, he wants to demonise Southern province and yet as you have noted, Luapula and Northen provinces have shown an even worse voting pattern. -VERDICT! THIS IS A SHALLOW, SENSILESS AND USELESS ARTICLE!

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  16. At least we have a Zambian calling a spade a spade.Excellent thoughts.All of us bloggers need not attack the author before reflecting on what has been discussed.The very fact that you are criticising him means that you have a huge problem.Apa komaila nondo…(even though I have forgotten the rest of this proverb lol)

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    • Ok.I shall start with the party cadres.For them blind loyalty means nothing to them as long as they get their cash from RB even if it will only buy them a bag of mealie meal.They don’t have any plans about how they can have their schools or hospitals improved.Such a shame

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  17. Engine B.The second truth is about picking someone o merit other than that we speak the same language.The writer has picked on southern province in this case not necessarily because that is where the problem is but because ALL of Zambians have been found guilty of this mindset at some point.Imagine what your grand parents would say if you went to them saying you want to marry outside their society?Our parents broke that barrier and we are a generation of mixed names.Not less than two thirds of zambians have crossed that line.

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    • Hola indeed, I see your point! I just thought using a particular province as an example was wrong as it gives wrong impresions.

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  18. Engine B.The third is compromise and appreciation of the fact that we are all different.What has RB done most since putting himself in office except to sack anyone who has a different opinion to his.He might as well clone himself!(Though I would never want to look like him aaargh).The greatest opponent Obama had was Hilary and what did he do with her?appoint her!This RB wants to even shut the media (post)

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    • we are on the same page…..I dont like the politics of FEAR, HATRED and SELF PRESERVATION that are prevalent in Zambia. Its fun how zambians have inter-married so much but are still tribally sensitive when it comes to politics – Strange indeed!

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  19. “For once dear Zambian, we wouldn’t have anything like Southern province voting in the same fashion or a Presidential candidate telling people to vote for him because he or she comes from the same province as them.” This is the only statement where the author just angered me. Why is it a sin for Southern Province to vote the way they do and not for Eastern or Northern Province? The voting pattern followed some inclination in all provinces, why single out Southern?? Stop this holier than thou attitude you cover yourselves into shaaa.

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    • Connie I understand your anger but if you pick out one single phrase in the article and make a conclusion out of that you wont be able to see any sense in it.

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    • no! Hola, it is this same little mixing of little errors with truth that has got us where we are. Most Zambians have been made to believe that Tongas are tribalist when the truth is that they are one of Zambia’s most accomodating tribes. The author made a mistake there and it should be condemed!…I second you Connie!

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  20. Engine B.Now I don’t even want to touch the state of our health sector because that gets on my nerves.One of these days we bloggers should petition the donor community to bar these politicians to stop going to SA for treament while my grandpa in Shangombo or nana in kwa Nabwalya can’t even have her hypertension or diabetes controlled by local management.

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  21. 1991 KK was voted out: FTJ won except in Eastern Province. I for one thought we had made it, alas then FTJ started to show true colors; he destroyed the Trade Unions-the very vehicle that brought him the presidence, he changed the constitution just to bar one man KK. Then he breached the beautiful MMD consititution to try to give himelf a 3rd term and finally bringing in Levy. Point is insecurity makes our sitting Presidents to all sorts of things. They dont want to go back to whence they came. Look at KK and FTJ- they have settled in Lusaka may be thinking they wiil go into oblivion. Bush is back at his ranch in Texas. Poverty is a power that breeds fear in these presidents. RB wont go back

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  22. Hola, I actually went through the whole article but I honestly feel that that particular phrase is a bit unfair because this dirty being smeared on one group of people actually applies to all ethnic groups in Zambia and those that are quick to point a finger at others are the worst culprits. We need to rise above this vice and look at issues meritoriously.

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    • Connie, you are right, lets face it! who is tribal? the group that votes for a candidate of Mazoka’s calibre or the group that reject him and votes for a grade 4???? Deja Vu made an intersting point, in 2001, Eastern province stuck with KK even when the whole country rejected him…no one called them tribal! Which tribe dominated FTJ’s cabinet and filled most govt positions????? did anyone cry tribal??? Lets be open about things and condemn them regardless of who the culprit is. Some of us have had enough of this holier than thou and mudy slinging at inoncent people.

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  23. MMmmmh……..let us wait and see what RB can do before 2011 since he always claims that he has only been president for that passed 90 days as he cannot see how time is running out before he puts the country in order especially with his corrupt hands and mind.

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    • wake up iwe!RB has failed,we shudnt even wait…i suggest we take things “the madagascar way” now

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  24. Its not about the looks but ability to deliver. Those people on the picture are PF suppoters at the High court.

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  25. Nice in its frank way,though but mentioning names makes other people feel bad anyway.
    I also wonder why smart and well talented bloggers criticise each other.Blogger,beloveds we are a family and any single words we produce might have any effects on others.
    Imagine one day u r asked to appear on TV and present what you do online.What would u do as bloggers?Querrel,?fight ?critisize?

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    • And exactly what is wrong with critisising each other?Why are we Zambians so namby pamby.Critisism is the halmark of creativity sir

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  26. Well Obama has made a big difference in this world because everywhere you go now the attitude towards blacks has really.People have appreciated the potential that the black or African can have or the impact a black can make.If Someone followed keenly the support Obama received from both the black and white races from the campaign time to inaugulation its amazing.I think what make someone a good leader is the vision that he has coz Obama echoes the dream that Martin Luther King had.Leadership is about service and not what you can extract from the little resources that the country has.Leadership is about service, vision, emphathy and God fearing, Zambian Obama is on the way.

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    • What is the “God-fearing” part of Obama you are referring to? His willingness to legalize more and more abortions and ignores the rights of the unborn? His desire to see homosexuals legally married and allowed to adopt children? His former pastor of 20 years who ignores the words of Jesus and spreads hate and division?

      Obama would not have been elected in Zambia with these views.

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  27. God damn it folks………..can someone at least for once try to take responsibility for the mess that Zambia is in?Why do we always have to blame others?Quite alright the politicians are to be blamed for the mess but I think the Zambian masses also should share the blame,collectively and individually.What have you personally done for Zambia??Iguess that;s the question we should be asking ourselves before we begnin pointing fingers at others.

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