By Aristide Bance
In an age of social media exploitation, show-off, self-assurance and assurance plus acceptance from friends and total strangers, many people can not resist the temptation to post or do something that will be captured by others and might even go viral. Many people have and continue to use social media as a platform to showcase, talents, or lack of talents, scandals, funny stuff as well as sad and not so appropriate stuff to the public to consume.
As I write this article, I am not sure what motivated our Lusaka Mayor to start piggy-backing people in the ‘SEASONAL LUSAKA FLOODS.’I have deliberately bolded and capitalised ‘SEASONAL LUSAKA FLOODS’ to convey a strong message. I can only assume a couple of things as to what motivated the Mayor.
Firstly, it may have been a poorly calculated strategy to appear as a humble mayor. This is why I think this is wrong. It is a shame for the Mayor to be doing what he is doing because he should be seeking a long lasting solution to the ‘SEASONAL LUSAKA FLOODS.’ The Mayor’s Public Relations team here miscalculated and should have advised the Mayor against this so called act of humility.
Secondly, the Mayor may have been doing this as a stunt to appear humble. Well, this may have worked with the people he assisted and the small crowd that may have appeared to witness the ‘act. ‘ For all we know, the Mayor may have gone there with his own team to record the act. Again, this is very wrong and as I mentioned earlier, he should be seeking permanent solutions to the ‘SEASONAL LUSAKA FLOODS’.
Thirdly, which I strongly suspect may also have been a motivation for this act was the insatiable nature and characteristic that has now consumed a lot of people…… assurance plus acceptance from friends and total strangers. The mayor may have thrived on the fact that his social media platforms will be abuzz with his ‘act of humility.’ This insatiable thirst for acceptance and assurance through social media has consumed the modern world. While many people have used social media for good and upliftment of their lives for example, John Legend who works alongside Teach for America, Teach for All, Harlem Village Academies, and New Profit. Legend also addresses issues in the criminal justice system that affect the poor and disadvantaged through media platforms like podcasts and social media. Another person of note, Alicia Keys who works with her organisation, Keep a Child Alive and her support for HIV/AIDS programmes. ON her social media, not only does she shed light on the organizations, but she’s also known to Instagram motivational quotes and promote work she believes in. I can go on and on but that is not within the scope of this article. Our Lusaka Mayor on the other hand decided to do what he did. What a shame. Lastly, I also suspect the mayor decided to do what he did for political mileage and public popularity. Here is the thing in life, to quote Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
The age of populist electioneering that is, to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups is what politicians should avoid. When you do that as a politician, it is easy for people to point out the populist ideas you thrived on to be in power. People are awake and in the wake of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the information highway is beyond many people’s control and that is why it is futile for those in power to seek to control that (Note to the Communications Minister who sees it as a need to respond to what every one says about her Government).
Miles Sampa should re-position himself more strategically and not use the populist approach he used, that is my advice. In fact he should be ashamed of being part of a city that always has floods year in and year out. We are crying about lack of rainfall but as soon as it rains we have other issues such as floods and water-borne diseases like cholera and for your information cholera is medieval disease with early texts from India by Sushruta Samhita in the 5th century B.C. documenting it. It is a shame that in the 21st century we are still battling cholera. Mr. Mayor, instead of piggy-backing people, my advise to you is, if you want to seek another term in office, try to work and find solutions otherwise, most of us are not fooled by your antics.