By Field Ruwe

The Dragon tames the King Cobra

Some children watch dragon mascot during the Chinese Spring Festival in Lusaka
Some children watch dragon mascot during the Chinese Spring Festival in Lusaka

Candidate Michael Sata, the man who promised to decapitate the dragon was an unskilled practitioner of confidence tricks. He had won awed recognition from us for threatening to pull all Chinese investments in Zambia should he be elected.
“Zambia has been mortgaged to China!” he decried. “These Chinese are infesters, not investors.”
We applauded him. He won the election, and wasted no time in summoning the Chinese ambassador Zhou Yuxiao to State House. We called him man of action. Anxiously, we held our breaths and waited for the greatest expulsion after the Idi Amin’s 90-day ultimatum on the Indians back in 1972, for that’s what he had made us believe.

This ludicrous statement put a smile on Yuxiao and all the Chinese in Zambia and in Beijing, including the ones who sell chickens at Soweto Market

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When the State House doors opened, the dragon emerged smiling. Our fiery leader had found its intelligence overpowering and tucked his tail between his legs. That, we now learn is what happed in the office on that Monday, the day of September 26, 2011. Today our leader has eaten his own words and become a pawn on a chessboard upon which the intelligent Yuxiao is spearheading a great game for Chinese dominance in Zambia.

The Chinese ambassador -A force to reckon with

President Sata with Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao at Diayutai State Guest House in Beijing shortly before Departure to Sanya in China on April 5,2013-Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Sata with Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao

Who was the more intelligent of the two was obvious from the beginning—Zhou Yuxiao. He was not born intelligent, but like the majority of the Chinese, he worked for it. He worked hard and graduated in International Relations from the University of Beijing in 1974 with excellent academic performance. He then pursued his studies in international politics and International Relations at the University of Toronto and University of Regina in Canada. Records are there to prove the fact.

The same cannot be said about our leader. His academic background remains a mystery. No academic institution in Zambia or anywhere in the world has proudly claimed him as theirs. No former classmates have emerged to testify to his academic prowess. I therefore cannot compare his level of intelligence with that of Yuxiao’s. But I can speculate that going by his recent comments on intelligence, he feels intellectually inferior to the Chinese.

Yuxiao knew he was smarter than our leader way before their first meeting. He is a career diplomat. He has been since he left school. Between 1999 and 2003, he was stationed at the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria as Political Counsellor. The political section of the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs is a key component of China’s desire to “invest” in Africa. In Nigeria, Yuxiao’s duties were to study and understand the Nigerians (Africans) and report his findings to Beijing. Prior to that he had, as a young man, come into contact with Africans who were studying in China in the 1970s. In Canada it is possible that he shared classes with some. In both cases he felt more superior over Africans just by virtue of being non-black—even when some African students had better grades than him.

As an International Relations student he studied the Cold War—the political and military tension between the USA and its allies, and USSR and understood the CIA and KGB psychological warfare in Africa. He saw how both the USA and Russia (USSR) wooed desperate African leaders with large amounts of economic aid and kickbacks and understood that the primary motive was to control the vast energy resources of Africa.

Upon graduation, and at the height of IMF and the World Bank in Africa, he served as senior staff and Deputy Director of the Department of Asian and African Affairs and studied Africa’s response to the two lending institutions and paid particular attention to how the “carrot and stick” worked. When he got to Nigeria he saw how the dictator Sani Abacha, who had died the previous year, stripped the country of its finances and deposited billions into his personal account. Yuxiao clearly understood how corrupt and selfish the majority African presidents were. He and other Chinese political strategists concluded that to get the African leader perform any feat at the expense of his people, one must dangle the carrot. That’s all it took on that September day at State House.

“The Chinese are far more intelligent than you, so be careful,” Sata told newly-appointed ambassador to China Gertrude Kasuba Mwape.

President Sata swearing Ms Getrude kasuba Mwape as Ambasador to China
President Sata swearing Ms Getrude kasuba Mwape as Ambasador to China

When he uttered the above hurtful words, he was implying that Zambians are genetically predisposed to be less intelligent than the Chinese. This ludicrous statement put a smile on Yuxiao and all the Chinese in Zambia and in Beijing, including the ones who sell chickens at Soweto Market.

They like to hear such hogwash because they too can be as racist as they come. If only Sata had been to college he would understand how big an insult this is to those Zambians, at home and abroad, who on daily basis are fighting the intellectual inferiority myth that is still taken for granted by whites, Asians, and other non-blacks.

Now, from my understanding Gertrude Kasuba Mwape is a highly qualified psychologist. To have served as a lecturer for 18 years at the University of Zambia means she is highly intelligent, more intelligent than the ordinary Chinese and perhaps at the same level or better than Yuxiao whose known highest qualification is a Master’s Degree. But as far as Sata is concerned she is intellectually incompetent because she is black.

Such absurdity should not be perpetuated by our head of state or any political leader for that matter. We are a very intelligent people who for ages have been victims of scientific racism and are on daily basis suppressed and oppressed by the very people Sata is now glorifying. Those Zambians who have shared classes with Asians and Caucasians will testify to the fact that they are as good as them, and often better. If only Sata knew.

The astounding success of the Asians academically and economically is not because they are naturally intelligent; it is because their leaders have turned them into achievers. They have ingrained in their minds a will and resolve incomparable. Asians who not long ago faced violent, sometime lethal prejudice have turned themselves into paragons of educational success. They have taught themselves to be diligent, competitive, and have become passionate, focused and ambitious. Today they have infiltrated every aspect of Western academic institution and lifted some of the greatest ideas.

Instead of assuming all Zambians are unintelligent, and ridiculing them in public, Sata should be emulating the Chinese. He should be encouraging young Zambians to carry themselves with a “surer step and confidence” as if they were better than the Chinese. He should be telling them that they own full membership to humanity and should show the world they deserve it. He should tell them not to give up on math and the sciences, and should routinely reward academically gifted students and send them to Oxford, Harvard, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), just like the Chinese are doing.
 

He should be encouraging young Zambians to carry themselves with a “surer step and confidence


Sadly, the president would rather be presiding over a disconnected education system that fails to mold the majority of Zambians students into achievers. He is happy with an education system that does not inspire and create optimism. He refuses to accept that Zambians are just as intelligent as the Chinese, and that if they practiced those behaviors of thoroughness that are Chinese, they would enjoy the same fruits.

I am not being disrespectful when I say that this is all Greek to the president. He does not know how to build and ritualize a common, strong culture of achievement that extends to all the children of Zambia. He is not interested in working with the Zambian intelligentsia in creating an education system compatible with modern society; one that provides our children with intellectually challenging curriculums. He cannot devise a well-articulated message about the creation of an intellectually competent Zambia because he thinks all Zambians are naturally dull and therefore unredeemable. What a great shame.

Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner, historian, and author. He is a PhD candidate at George Fox University and serves as an adjunct professor (lecturer) in Boston. ©Ruwe2012
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37 COMMENTS

    • HAHAHA!! Great article Prof Ruwe!! true!!! zambains need to be enourage to a `surer step and confidence`

      wow!! so this woman Getrude Mwape is educated qualified Psychologist… with 18yrs of lecturing at UNZA under her belt!!.. that “clever than zambians“ statement was way off the mark ,,,for sure!!!!!

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    • Yaba ! Awe nomba nalunya phd iyi bapoka, twachula kuli ba Ruwe.Mwati tulepekela uno mukulo ? Ubwafya bapela amataba kubamichene.

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  1. “The same cannot be said about our leader. His academic background remains a mystery. No academic institution in Zambia or anywhere in the world has proudly claimed him as theirs. I therefore cannot compare his level of intelligence with that of Yuxiao’s. But I can speculate that going by his recent comments on intelligence, he feels intellectually inferior to the Chinese.” What is it that you try to gain from this you Ruwe ? Just because you were fortunate enough to marry an educated wife who tagged you along to go to the united states were you have now advanced your academic profile doesn’t make you omnipotent.Your personal attacks on the president are not only unwarranted but disgusting.Stop judging people based on the number of days they spent inside the classroom.

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  2. apa pena field ruwe waalasa. a lot of muppets, especially those that have not sat on a desk in a classroom, let alone those who have never known what reading and studying through the night means, will aggrandize the Chinese and think that they are more intelligent than yourself. more over if you accumulate wealth through stealing and crookedness, difficult to appreciate education as a vehicle to exhibit intelligentsia

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  3. You claim to be educated but you can’t even bother to find out the context in which Sata said those words when swearing in Getrude Kasuba ? You shouldn’t be a sensational journalist.You better find better ways of trying to reach out to your readers not this garbage.Man you suck.Smh

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    • Hold on!!
      This guy is not trying to show case that he is such educated. Anyone can do it! The problem with us Zambians we find it hard to give credit where it is due, poor reading culture to know the exact info too. The Man has articulated so well in this article, he has tried as much as he can to put his research open on the table. Brave ba Ruwe!!!!

      Personally, truth still stand, have never heard of any college or university were records for MCS exist.

      Additionally, many thought that Asians will be exported back to their lands. They have managed to tame him, cant even show good examples to instigate punishment on some using Zambians like slaves esp on construction projects

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    • @HD Loudspeaker
      well said brother… but the problem with cadres and tribalists is that they dont like the truth and reality… they love lies and unreal facts

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    • come on lusaka times why are you moderating my comments,, when am not insulting?????.. there is an insult on commment #1.. why didnt you moderated??

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    • Wait a minute..Did the president say chinese are more intelligent than US,or did he say Chinese are more intelligent than YOU.Call it splitting hairs,but I think there is a world of difference.The President was cautioning a very intelligent lady in her own right.Nothing to do with races.

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  4. I agree with the President. The Chinese are indeed smarter than us. They don’t have open ended deadlines on constitutional making process; they do not have a problem with managing the agricultural inputs and ensuring that food is always available; they do not go about firing people who are simply asking for what was promised to them; they do not go about victimizing everyone; they do not trust moribund and selfish Ministers of Justice as the holders of wisdom; they do not abdicate the duties of the Presidency to un-elected owners of private newspapers…..they are indeed smarter!

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  5. This article makes sense. Zambians wake up and speak positively about yourselves. Count your achievements if you have none then start building some. Now! One Zambia One big educated nation!

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  6. I totally agree with Ruwe. Inferiority complex is at play with Ukwa. That’s why he and his Government are obsessed with this evil of circumcising male babies in the name of hygiene. Is this how we are supposed to think in 2013? What hygiene is that when we all know that a little boy’s genitals require no maintenance beyond washing. Foreskin in male children does not fully retract before age ten. This is not a pathology, it is actually normal development.

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  7. Inferiority complex on the part of a leader is as evil as male circumcision. How can a whole Govt mislead people into thinking that foreskins are unclean and unhealthy just because an American i.d.o.t made them to think that circumcision was a way to make men more clean and to improve? Don’t people have soap and water in their homes to wash?

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    • Each time you take a bath, even before you splash your self with water, pull your skin and wash the head, do not use soap. the law of Circumcision is man’s law not
      God. if it was God’s he could have changed the fomular of creation. Ze so kodi edukated pipo finki zati ene fing amelika sezi is layiti.

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    • @ 8.1 ba Chambishi do a little research before you issue statements on certain issues. Read for yourself
      Genesis 17:10-11
      New International Version (NIV)

      10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

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  8. In the first place iwe Ruwe u could not have gone where u are if u were not less intelligent than the chines.Though not all are more intelligent than us.Yes, u are educated but not wise.When it comes to education curriculum u are wrong too.

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  9. What is Phd going to do for US. Michael the one you say has never sat on a desk. this is the man who has the number one Job. It is not a degree from the University that makes you something, it is yourself. and intelligence is not communal, it per individual. Ruwe with PHD is not intelligent, people out there do not know him. Michael who is intelligent is building universities and will employ lecturers and Chancellors. KK whom you said did only Grade 9 he built UNZA which you boast about. But where are the People with PHDs what have they done?

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  10. Pf has embarked on a serious re-defining of the curriculum,teachers,lecturers,learners and the community at large.Pf never brought the shanmbolic education u talk about.lnstead they are changing for the better. Ruwe who told u that the Presido is

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  11. not wking with intelligencias?So u dink in yo rotten head, now dat u re dere like a big fo ol 4 dat,no educated person has remained here? Wat have u achieved 4 mankind or indeed 4 Zambia?Compare with what Micheal has done 2 yours,u non entity!

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  12. I have seen so many educated who’re not intelligent and uneducated who very intelligent.Wat have u achieved u fo ol?lt is not the levels of academic attainement that matters but how u use it.Sata is far better than u nd u’ll never reach his level.

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    • You are very right Sata is by far better than phd holders. He’s one of the geniuses of this world.

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  13. Ba Ruwe nabo ever since he got his ka PHD he just wants to PHD all those without one. Suddenly he sees the importance of academic qualification. Lyonseli mwalikwi ba Field? What a slant he has put on Sata’s translation blunder!

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  14. Again Mr, Sata is right and Prof Ruwe is wrong. Put simply Mr. Sata is saying is Zambian a so stupid and dull that he could be a president now of the world’s leading producer of copper in the technology age . Thanks to the Dull Zambians in general and his stupid tribesmen in particular.

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    • And ever since you started producing copper what have you done with it? Do you manufacturer electronic gadgets with it for export and home consumption? China buys your row copper, turns it into computers, stoves, fredges, radios, alarms, components for other items, circuits, to mention a few and sells them back to you at a teeth knocking price. Now, who is intelligent?

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  15. Ruwe has no PhD. He is just a PhD candidate! Which means he can either get or not get the PhD. But “PhD candidate”‘ has never been used anywhere in the world by any serious and self-respecting human being as a title. Only intellectual midgets like Ruwe think it is a title worth using before you have even finished writing a thesis and been through a viva.

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  16. Bakamba ninshi bonse ngatwapoka ama PHd tukamba imiponto ka ? You have also ponteladi the Chinese ambassador ati his only highest qualification is a masters.Mwashupa ba Field.

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  17. IMWE MWEBALE TUKANA NOKUSOSA AMASHIWI AYABI, SHIFWAYEENI UMUSANGO UMBI UWAKUWAMISHAMO IFNTU PANTU NIMWE BENE MWASALILE UYO WINE MULETUKA. BUSHE TAMUMFWA? IMWE MUMWENE UKUTUKANA EKUSOVA. ALA ICINDIKENI TWAPAPATA.

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  18. Ruwe is another dull chap. The president’s remark was very contextual. Of course chinese are intelligent and not only that but also practical and hardworking. Even in a classroom some students are more intelligent than others it’s a fact. But the context in which it was said by Sata even an *****/idioot would understand what he meant. He meant for her to be proactive and expectant, etc. just read the post editorial comment on our embassies. That’s the truth about maybe all zambia’s foreign missions abroad. The embassy staff in most cases are so dull.

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  19. Field is making life difficult for those of us doing PHDs here in the States thats what i can gather from the bloggers’ criticism above

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    • @Slow Speed.
      Think fast you dull chap. How is Ruwe making life difficult for you? If indeed you are doing your PhD you should be concentrating on your research and dissertation. Do not include me. I am with him all the way. Ruwe is entitled to his opinion and so are those who have differing views. Zambia deserves better. By the way, he writes well, I hope you do too.

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  20. The Chinese name for Africa is called Fei Zhou. This translated into English means a Waste continent. USA is called Mei Guo. Meaning a Beautiful Continent, Europe is tranlated in Chinese as Beautiful flower. Russia before was called the Hungry country. But after protests by the Russian government, this was changed to just Russia.

    Chinese are racist especially towards dark skinned persons from the Waste Continent. They will only pretend to like you only if they have something they want or gain from you. Otherwise, you are just a Hei Gui – Black Devil

    Field Ruwe’s writing on this subject is worth pondering about…. and not insulted. There is much truth in what he has written.

    By the way, I have lived in China for more than 25 years and still living here.

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