Magazine article New African

Readers' Letters

Magazine article New African

Readers' Letters

Article excerpt

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 sense of integrity, let's acknowledge our problems but also celebrate the improvements that we make as a nation. The hostility and personal attacks that Dickson Jere and Obi Munalula exhibit toward Regina are unnecessary and uncalled for.

Mwizenge S. Tembo

Bridgewater, Virginia USA

Any help will do

I am a disabled man in need of help here in Zimbabwe. My left arm has been amputated, but I can play music using the right hand. I use my five fingers to play the keyboard, three fingers to play the lead guitar, and two fingers to play the bass guitar. My problem is that I don't have any musical instrument, or money to record my album. I am appealing to anyone that can help me to come forward.

The musical instruments I need are: Amplifier, keyboard, bass guitar, four microphones, three tamborines and a drumkit.

I have estimated that [pounds sterling]260 will be enough to start me off.

Joseph Shavieri

643 Derere St, Old Mabvuku

Harare, Zimbabwe

From monkey to man?

I have been a regular reader of New African since September 1999 when the series on slavery began. …

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