President Hakainde Hichilema has revealed that activist and musician Chama Fumba ‘Pilato’ reluctantly accepted his appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts.
Speaking when he swore-in Mr. Fumba at State House on Tuesday, President Hichilema said he wanted to appoint Pilato into the New Dawn government earlier but the musician asked for more time.
The Head of State praised Pilato for not rushing into accepting the presidential appointment saying it was a rare trait among Zambians.
President Hichilema described Mr. Fumba as a fearless person.
He urged Mr. Fumba to focus much on reviving the art sector as he serves in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts as Permanent Secretary.
Mr. Hichilema said if harnessed properly the art industry can be a source of wealth for the country and individual artists.
“Chama Fumba, Pilato, thank you for agreeing to be PS (Permanent Secretary). Toeing around for a long time, where should Pilato go? This way? That way? That way? Huh no ba President, give me time. Very rare Zambian. Many Zambians just jump whatever you give them they just jump but he said give me time. Thank you for accepting to serve in that role. Art is your focus, leave sports. The Minister (of Sports Elvis Nkandu) is pushing well with the PS (Sports Permanent Secretary Chileshe Kangwa) currently on sports. Focus on arts, focus on talent, focus on music, and focus on film. We said there is no area that will be seen as minor. I am just coming from Washington. One, two celebrities, I don’t want to mention their name, spoke to me and said HH just to hear your words, you inspire us, American artists. I said who am I? That they become extremely wealth because of art,” Mr. Hichilema said.
“Here we think that an artist belongs to the back of the house. An artist must be in front of the house, actually ahead of most of us. That is your role sir. The talent that you have most of us saw a long time ago in our dark days and the fearlessness. I won’t say much, one time he didn’t even know we had to move him out of this country in a very awkward way. He only came to know maybe later that we played things around using our friends network just to keep him alive. Like you, let us thank God that he got us to be here. He brought us this far to be alive to serve the people of Zambia. So we wish you well,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema has asked Zambians to learn the Japanese culture of making milestones without talking too much.
He said he has been observing that the largest noise makers in Zambia are people (PF) who sank the country and have no shame at all.
“Most Zambians have already forgotten where we are coming from. Just fifteen months have forgotten where we are coming from. The people had to run across borders like him. People forget easily. I remember President Mwanawasa saying Zambians forget easily but I want to believe that your memories are still fresh that is why we must move forward and not backward. We must move forward into more civilized days. More freedoms, more opportunities. I commented about the ambassador earlier. You are going to a very strategic country. Japan is extremely strategic. The Ambassador to Zambia from Japan, we had a meeting with him and Japan gives us their support and we must build on that support. Japan is the third largest economy; people forget that, though they don’t talk too much. The Japanese have a splendid culture. They have achieved a lot though they don’t talk much. We can learn from there. Fifteen months in government I have been observing that the largest noise makers are the ones who sank this country and have no shame at all,” Mr. Hichilema said.