After all the mudslinging and lying, after the TV networks have turned off the cameras and the international observers have returned to their respective countries, we’re slowly awaking to the harsh reality of the collateral damage left in the wake of this election. And it’s not loss of ties, property or lives I’m talking about, its THUG LIFE i.e. The Hate U Give Little Infants F***s Everybody as Tupac Shakur would put it.
The seeds of hate sown into our kids in this election is more alarming than ever. On so many occasions in the past few weeks and months I’ve witnessed grown-ups in the presence of their children saying things like, “my child and I can never be ruled by Tonga” or “I can never vote for Patriotic Front because it’s a Bemba party”. What precedence are we setting for our kids? If you don’t like a certain candidate or political party for whatever reason it may be at least tell your kids it’s because of unsound policies, don’t go the tribal route.
Children minds are malleable, whatever we expose them to and teach them at that age is what becomes the norm as they grow. I won’t get into the Dundumwezi-Chitulika argument and play the blame game coz we the adults have chosen not to be reasonable, we seem to be already set in our ways but please just keep the kids out of this. And for those who say tribalism has always been part of our culture, political or otherwise, well, some traditions are not worth continuing. This has to come to a stop, if not with us then our children.
We’ve been independent for 50 years yet through our voting pattern in this election we’ve basically recreated map of North Eastern and Barotseland-North Western Rhodesia map, back to where we were at the turn of the last century. We’re wondering why we not going forward when we’re still stuck in the past, facing off against each other instead of fighting poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. As Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
If you really believe that children are the future then for their sake keep the hate and poisonous talk to yourself. If people of other tribal groupings are good enough to be your friends, workmates and even your seniors at your place of work and all is well, it’s very hypocritical of you to tell the young ones that a Bemba, Tonga, Chewa or Lozi is unfit to make decisions at national level purely because they belong to a tribe you seemingly have a problem with. If you know in your heart of hearts that the hate you’re speaking isn’t true, if you can’t back up your claims with empirical evidence, why teach your kids otherwise? Set them on the right path and let them experience the world on their own terms. Don’t poison their future.
I don’t know about you but I fear for my unborn kids. I don’t want them growing up in a country divided along tribal lines a 100 years after independence.
*Picture courtesy of thebestofzambia.com