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LUSAKA residents during the day of prayer and fasting at Lusaka Showgrounds yesterday. PICTURE: COLLINS PHIRI

Celebrating independence responsibly

Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
TOMORROW Zambia will be celebrating 55 years of independence. It was on October 24, 1964 that Northern Rhodesia became Zambia, the newest country on the African continent to become independent after overcoming extreme obstacles and decades of liberation struggle against its colonial master, Britain.
And from 2016, this day is much more significant because it comes shortly after the National Day of Prayer and Fasting on October 18.
As Zambians commemorate this milestone age, let us hope that young people will celebrate the day with the dignity it deserves, in a befitting manner with utmost patriotism and solidarity as reflected in the motto of One Zambia, One Nation.
October 24 should be a day to celebrate the courageous and committed freedom fighters that fought tirelessly to free Zambians from the shackles of colonialism and other injustices that were being perpetrated by colonial masters.
Young people should celebrate independence responsibly. In the past, the media has reported about the tendency by youths to indulge in all manner of irresponsible behaviour that includes drinking alcohol carelessly and excessively.
In the recent past, the commemoration of October 24 by young people has been synonymous with drunkenness, violence, promiscuity and other anti-social behaviours. Independence Day is not a free day for young people to misconduct themselves.
Young people should instead use the day to celebrate the accomplishments of freedom fighters, who were also youths during the struggle. They also need to reflect on what their contribution will be in the ongoing process of national development, instead of causing trouble or being unnecessarily mischievous.
It is equally important for parents to instil a sense of responsibility in their children from a young age. This can only be attainable when parents are actively involved in the lives of their children and they also get to know who they always interact with.
It is surprising how some children are able to leave home and indulge in activities that have the potential to permanently ruin their lives without parents being aware.
When parents or guardians know where their children are all the time, they’re in a position to protect children from getting into trouble, often through peer pressure. Some parents believe that exercising leniency and extreme freedom to their children is a sign of love; but it is the total opposite. Parents who behave in such a manner tend to contribute to destroying their children’s future in more ways than one. Every child should have an experience of tough love if they are to grow into responsible and law-abiding adults.
Remember children are our future and happy Independence eve!
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