Children's Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
YESTERDAY marked 53 years when the nation of Zambia was born. The day was commemorated under the theme, ‘Celebrating our freedom for continued peace, unity, patriotism and development’. On October 24, 1964, Zambia became the ninth state on the African continent to gain independence from the British rule.
There was so much hope and euphoria at the Independence Stadium, Lusaka, as a huge copper torch was lit on a hill overlooking the city, with thousands of people chanting ‘Kwacha’ – the dawn.
As First President Kenneth Kaunda received the instruments of independence by the Queen’s representative; he spoke of the new republic’s “task of building a nation founded on respect for all people of races, all colours and religions”.
Although numerous gains have been recorded since that warm October night as the red, black, green and orange flag was hoisted to replace the Union Jack to mark the dawn of a new era, the country seems to have lost the spirit of exercising tolerance with one another.
Due to this intolerance, most young people now cannot identify that for a very long time, Zambia was held in high esteem and referred to as an oasis of peace because of Dr Kaunda’s message of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ and that everyone was made equal in the eyes of God regardless of their beliefs or background.
It is my hope that this year’s theme of celebrating freedom for continued peace, unity, patriotism and development is what is going to drive the future of this great nation for years to come. In line with the saying, charity begins at home, this must be the challenge of all those who deal and interact with young people to instill positive feelings and thoughts in the minds of children.
Such themes must not be seen as mere rhetoric by the young but they should be the guiding principle for every family and community otherwise, everything that the founding fathers stood for when they fought for the independence the country is enjoying now will be totally lost.
If these positive messages for peace, unity, patriotism and development are not taken seriously; the country runs into a risk of losing all the gains that have been recorded. It is time young people stood up and began to refuse to be used for wrong reasons, otherwise, they will have nothing to look forward to as adults. Young people should realise that they have the power to build or to destroy our country; however, this is only possible if they make the right choices. Through their positive actions, young people can be the catalyst to Zambia reclaiming that desirable position of being referred to as an oasis of peace.
Remember, children are our future. Until next week, take care.
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