Tuesday, June 18, 2024

For the Love of Zambia


By Chainga Zulu

This year’s Independence Anniversary is commemorated under the theme: Zambia @ 58: Promoting Inclusiveness towards a Sustainable Social and Economic Recovery. However, a selected and anointed few will be invited to State functions where cakes decorated in the Green, Black, Orange and Red – bought using taxpayers’ money – will be cut and eaten live on TV so that the majority of Zambians can watch and just whet their appetites. Drooling over these cakes will be their patriotic contribution. Zambia is 58 years old. 58 years of self-rule and what do we have to show for it? In the immortal words of one famous politician: not much, not much. why? Because of our own failures to seize opportunities that are littered around our yard. And also because of the fact that we are just a single household in the global village, many of failures to realize the returns on independence are absolutely due to our neighbors’ orientation.

Can I leave for another country? Maybe yes. Maybe not. I think I’m in love with this country. Despite the dirty, dust, diseases and poverty marinated in corruption, lack of opportunities and bad politics. I am in an abusive relationship with my country and my body, emotions and socioeconomic status have plenty of scars to show for it

My seemingly irrational attachment to Zambia can be perplexing to the uninitiated. Psychiatrists have a name for this kind of behavior. They compare it to the wartime shell shock exhibited by soldiers and explained that the hostages became emotionally indebted to their abductors, and not the police, for being spared death, and dubbed the strange phenomenon “Stockholm Syndrome,” which became part of the popular lexicon in 1974.

Is there something wrong with me?

The answers are that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me and even if I had a choice of hating this country, my umbilical cord was buried here. Forever attached to this country. In the words of Eric Donaldson, this is the Land of My Birth.
We need to develop a generation of patriots who will not just work for self-aggrandizement, but also realign the country on the development path. Patriots that will work to eradicate the vices that have confounded our beautiful country for the past 58 years. Friends, being Zambians has meant always that we need to perpetually navigate varying frontiers. Marking territories of successes, living in the present known and hoping for the better unknown tomorrow.

Patriotism is important for the protection of a country’s culture and historical heritage. It is to take pride in representing one’s nation. Patriotism decides the fate of the nation and is critical building block for development and growth. Patriotism is self-reinforcing: if those who are in leadership were patriotic, they would be prioritizing Zambia and Zambians in all they do. In turn, we would all be proud to Zambian. But there is always a law of diminishing return in the application of patriotism.

Though patriotism has been eroding since 1964, it still smoulders.

Granted, we still have a lot to do to improve the lives of all Zambians. We should celebrate the progress made whilst at the same time incessantly work on the existing gaps. They are not mutually exclusive. Let us count our blessings. When the entire Southern Africa was in flames during the liberation movements, Zambia was a haven for South Africans, Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Angolans including Namibians. And in almost 31 years, we have peacefully changed presidents 7 times and allowed ourselves to be superintended on by 4 political parties.

My Zambia is a beautiful country, she is the crown jewel of the SADC and our people are free, no oppression here apart from the self-inflicted by politicians we choose to put in power. We have our valorous women who are as pretty as they are hardworking. The men with an immutable responsibility of providing protection and livelihoods. The vigilant youths who will not hum and haw to kick out any acrimonious politician from power if they are deemed to have forgotten their mandate. With minor vicissitudes, this is homogeneous from Muyombe to Shang’ombo and Livingstone to Chiengi. From the top of the Mafinga Hills at 2329m above sea level to the bottom of the Zambezi river at 329m above sea level and the Liuwa plains, from the Kobompo river to the valleys of Chama and beaches of Samfya.

For me Zambia, is like the Eagle’s hotel California: I can check out any time I like but I (think) can never leave.

Today we cherish the ones who made our independence possible. We salute those who work tirelessly to perfect the Zambian dream.

Happy 58th My Zambia. I stand and sing for you, proud and free.


  1. Zambia needs to change its primary education system away from the western model to a more Chinese model……..

    Where patronisim is taught and guarded jealousy……………

    Zambias mineral and other natural resources are being looting by foreigners with the help of Zambians……..

    Teach the next generation to be nationalistic and patriotic…………

    • You cannot be serious. You want Zambia to be like China? No wonder we have problems in our country. In case you didn’t know, check out the definition for nationalism:

      Nationalism: Identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.

  2. Enjoyed reading and thanks for taking the time. i hope many can find time appreciate contents of this article. The Patriotic Front has such a profound name that is contrary to their culture. Patriotism is like integrity, sadly not many of our leaders in private and public sector embrace and cherish integrity. Africa still underdeveloped because we have many who are in leadership to plunder the resources of our beloved continent. Each of us have a responsibility to build and develop Zambia.

  3. Words of a disappointed patriot who still remains hopeful. There’s clear acknowledgement of underachievement but also of hope that the future can be better.

  4. Well we have a hypocrite in state who shunned this important occasion now busy dividing the nation for his hunger for power

  5. At 58 Zambia is still glorifying mediocrity, bowing to the west with a begging bowl, pleading for $1.3bn which can easily raised from God given resources. Lesa takaye myelela mwema leaders both current and the past.

  6. At independence day let’s forget politicians. Let’s celebrate ourselves. We live together as one nation but in this nation we shouldn’t allow politicians to split us.
    They only divide us for their selfish interests. They want to greedily exploit Zambia’s resources leaving us begging for a living while they enjoy themselves. Politicians why are you so rich when you just talk? Politicians we are watching you

  7. At age 58 we can’t conduct credble parliamentary elections devoid of illegalities, exclusions and not intimidations.

    At 58, no industries inspire of raw materials ( minerals and farm produce)

    At 58, until we reach 100 years mark, we are still writing, breaking and rewriting our constitution.

    At 58, we still have colonial (UDI, NRG and Welensky) laws that mean nothing to modern Zambia.

    At 58, ….

  8. This is an impressive cry from a Zambian patriot. If only we can have leaders that rise above their narrow tribal inclination and serve our great nation as Zambians. Dirty and dust indeed we must overcome, at 58 we are still grappling with the issues of the knife and folk. Let’s work together as one Zambia one Nation. There is no Quarters for tribes to rule that is a recipe for our dawn fall. May the Lord bless our great nation.

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