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Adapt or die: What’s your plan B?

Dexter Njuka
ADAPT or die! This sounds rather crude and inhuman. But that is how life always presents itself. Just like time, life is not static. Time is defined in a 24 hours circle that has day and night. And as a known fact when it is getting dark the eye’s pupil begins to grow wider so as to effectively adapt for a better vision.
There comes a time when one’s life hits rock bottom or is it when it nosedives. I am talking about when the chips are down and the stakes are high and things do not seem to make sense.  Is it not about time one adapted? Adapting is about organising yourself some survival skills. If renting a house in Lusaka is quite expensive and you work as a security man at some shop, why not migrate to the Copperbelt, Luanshya in particular, where you find a full house with a toilet and shower, three times less than what one can pay for on the same house in Matero township in Lusaka?
It is now December and rains are erratic in some parts of the country. I was telling some colleagues that instead of complaining of the delaying rains for their maize farming; why not shift to a different crop which depends less on early rainfall. I was like, why not try crops like soya beans or watermelons?
Because crying over something beyond one’s control is energy sapping and can be retrogressive.
Some peasant farmers left the Southern province and have settled in most parts of the central province as a result of some droughts they had experienced some years ago in their home land.
Also when there was repossession of land by the Zimbabwean government from white farmers, most left for other places like Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique and settled in the much underutilised land.
I have seen big parastatal companies survive the ever-changing business phenomenon. When the world went dot com, one imagined how Zampost could ever survive with its traditional letter posting business when telecommunication was detached from it and especially with the coming of internet with its email baby.
When nearly everyone feared for its demise, and like the figurative beast of Revelation chapter 13 that had come up above the sea after the healing of its deadly wounded head causing everyone to wonder, Zampost quickly picked up survival skills. It expanded its money transfer and courier services, and incorporated some more services such as transport, importation of vehicles, clearing and forwarding to its name. Zampost has seen the hardest of times but it is still here and getting stronger.
Needless to mention, the Zambia Daily Mail, in order for it to adapt and live, it had to go vigorous rebranding, redefining, market research and business expansion. More interesting pages were added, ultramodern machinery was installed, shifted from its traditional desktop publishing software to something enhanced. Saturday and Sunday Mail were repackaged into a Berliner. There was flavour added to entertainment pages that even an illiterate person would grab a page because of those graphics and photos for kitchen and wedding parties covered.
Needless to mention, Zambia Daily Mail remains the only paper that has dedicated big space on opinionated editorial for any reader who is able to write.
I was telling a friend who is having a headache of being laid off when his contract expires to adapt by taking the whole lot of his gratuity to school so that when he has gotten an education, he should not be having headaches of not being laid off.
Life is all about ups and downs. When you are down, sit, think through or re-strategise or narrow the focus. If you are a priest and on the verge of being shown the exit door, before that comes to pass, why not do a teaching methodology so you can be a priest-cum-teacher. Human survival is not about accepting things as they are and doing nothing about it. It dictates that one sits back and quickly thinks through. It is about if plan A doesn’t work out what is my plan B? Or even plan C.
Adapt or die!

The author is Chaplain for Mupapa Adventist Academy, the school managed by the Copperbelt Seventh-day Adventist Conference and is studying journalism and communication at Rusangu University.

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