Columnists Features

Time for songs of freedom

FREEDOM fighters sing at State House during Africa Freedom Day celebrations. PICTURE: CHANDA MWENYA

TOMORROW is Independence Day, of course it is different from World Teachers Day, which some pupils in Ndola recently thought they could use to learn how to make a cake for their teachers and lace it with cannabis for whatever grievance.
Like all annual events, Independence Day comes with its own issues, certainly not to do with cakes and cannabis to settle scores.
As everyone in the hood has come to know it, the commemoration of political freedom attained in 1964 on October 24 has in the recent years been characterised by two things.
One of the things is some opposition political parties snubbing invitations to attend celebrations while the other one is freedom fighters seizing the opportunity to come together to sing songs of freedom, albeit off key.
But if you look beneath the surface, it is the same old story for both groups.
However, while the story of opposition political parties has time and again defied patriotism sentiments, the story of freedom fighters has always made the hood look forward to Independence Day.
In fact, without freedom fighters, hood-dwellers would still be buying meat, even beer, through a pigeon hole from white-owned shops.
People would not have the chance to buy the whole cow from the counter in a butchery if our forefathers did not sacrifice their lives to attain political independence from our colonial masters.
Perhaps the hood would not have managed to establish many selling points of supu ya mbuzi (goat stew) and savour the moments of good living.
I have also often wondered how sex workers in the hood would grow their business without freedom.
Of course, it would be virtually impossible for them to line up the streets of affluent areas at night for big bucks.
In fact, their trade would be confined to downtrodden areas because of lack of freedom to venture into wealthy communities.
Forget about the freedom they have of screaming their clients’ names in the hood every night.
Okay, bad example. But you get the point. Political freedom has brought a lot of change in the lives of people in the hood, which is why they have reason to look forward to commemorating Independence Day.
Political independence has also opened many doors for people, including doors to bars and taverns.
“I can buy you a crate of beer,” the liberated guzzler would say to a bunch of sex workers huddled in a corner of a bar. “I have got too much money on me.”
But it is strange how Independence Day in Zambia can divide some people, how it gives some political players the occasional thrill of boycotting the national event.
If it were up to them, some political players in the opposition would bake a cake for freedom fighters and lace it with cannabis to make the old folks sing freedom songs at State House distractively off key.
Of course, if that happened, the Green Party in Zambia would have to think twice on the prospect of forging alliances with other opposition political parties in its idea of legalising the use of marijuana.
Obviously, Green Party would not support such a weird idea to make freedom fighters sing their freedom songs off key under the influence of ganja.
But one thing is sure, the 52nd Independence Day anniversary cake won’t be laced with ganja.
The opposition, of course some, should not always snub invitations or get annoyed whenever they are invited to attend Independence Day celebrations.
Besides, the hosts of these events do not have any control whatsoever over the date of Independence Day, our freedom fighters do.
Actaully, we owe it to the freedom fighters to commemorate Independence Day. In fact, the more politicians grow older the more they should feel like they are freedom fighters and not boycotters.

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