Zambia: Exploding the myth
I boiled with anger when I read some of the responses to Regina Jere-Malanda's article, Zambia: Exploding the Myth (NA, Dec). It was a great article on my beautiful country of Zambia.
I could have written the article myself because I live in the USA and travelled to Zambia last July for eight weeks with my two teenage boys. We stayed in Lusaka at my uncle's farm, drove through Petauke and Katete.
I love my country deeply. This is the first article I had read in a long time that acknowledged many of the positive changes that our country is experiencing. I had to go and read the article again though to find out which article the likes of Dickson Jere and Obi Munalula (Letters, NA, Feb) had read.
Regina doesn't deny that we have problems in Zambia. But let's give ourselves credit where it is due.
So what, if Regina doesn't know "that doctors have refused to treat patients who can't buy their own gloves that cost only a cent?" According to Dickson Jere, Regina has no right to say anything positive about Zambia unless she lists all the suffering of the "masses".
Similarly, according to Munalula, Regina returned to her Zambian homeland as "a been-to and what drivel she spews!". This implies that she is an ignorant, arrogant nut case who doesn't know what she was seeing or experiencing.
"From under which rock has Regina Jere-Malanda crawled?" asked Munalula. I suppose the likes of Munalula will next direct their venom at me and would say I am an ignorant, naive (perhaps rich) 'been-to' who has no right to say anything positive about my beloved country.
If you are abroad and you are told that everyone in Zambia is dropping like flies because of Aids, poverty, hunger, corruption, crime, etc, you would be shocked to see 300 "Aids" orphans at the airport on your arrival (confirming your worst fears).
The Great East Road from the airport to Lusaka is smooth compared to what it was when I was last in Zambia. This is a fact.
Eating junk food is bad and unhealthy. This is a fact.
If Regina's cousin is really angry and hostile because he was called a Zambian name instead of Nixon, this is an inferiority complex from the colonial days when we, Zambians, were told that our "tribal" names were primitive, uncivilised, pagan, unChristian, shameful and bad. This is a fact.
Nixon has the right to change his name up to his death-bed. Do you know for sure, Munalula, that Regina was "preachy" to her cousin?
Regina was not denying any Zambian their right to choose names. I have changed my name proudly to a Zambian one and my wife and I gave all our children Zambian names, because we are proud of our culture.
As a people who are resilient and have a...