October 2014 was expected to be special for us who call Zambia our home. As a matter of fact October 2014 exceeded our anticipations!
Zambia exists as a nation (One Zambia One Nation) since the 24th October 1964. In the beginning, our region was a without borders area inhabited by various tribes, co-existing, speaking their own languages, having their own traditions and educating their children according to their morals, ethics and knowledge. When a beautiful sunny day the big foot of the Europeans – in our case, the British – stepped in, they designed borders on a map. They named that nation Rhodesia ! Today’s Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe cover the region of ex-Rhodesia. As you understand no Zambia existed before. Zambia is YOUNG at 50!
Great celebrations were organised owing to our Golden Jubilee. Everybody was excited. Artistic and of historical nature exhibitions took place. Each province organised dances, functions, music, food and endless speeches. The greatest fete went on in our new Independence Stadium in the capital, Lusaka. People queued since the previous evening. They slept outside the closed gates waiting the next morning.
During the past 50 years, the nation had five presidents: two died, two in life and the recent one unfortunately in a hospital in U.K. He was not present during the celebrations. Few days later, the nation mourned his death – counting three out of the five. However, our first President and fighter for freedom, Mr K.K. Kaunda at age 91 feels and looks great! Life peculiar, eh?
Thus, one week we celebrated, the next we mourned. Within the week following our Golden Jubilee of freedom from the British Empire, we are paradoxically governed by our Vice President whose parents are an Englishwoman and a Scotsman. According to our Constitution, presidential elections should take place within three months.
Among all those happy and sad moments, my garden had its contribution:
Since beginning of October a particular lily keeps blooming (see photo attached). It was given to me by a friend when I started planting my garden. I thought that it was just greens. I planted it around the biggest and more dominant Acacia tree that exists in the garden. I had no idea that it was a lily.
“So what?” you would say. Look at it and compare the colours to Zambian Flag! Any similarities? Aha! The green symbolises our fertile land, the mustard our superb copper produce, the black for the Zambian people and red representing the blood shed for freedom and independence.
(It might not be clear in the photo but the soil where lilies were planted is black. All colours perfectly in place!)
What a wonderful coincidence! I enjoy looking at them, taking care of them, as I desire to care and give back to Zambia.
Within those 50 years, so much achieved by this nation. I could not be less proud for this land. There is still much to be accomplished. I do trust this nation for a great future. My wish is that I could become a small brick on the pavement of excellence. Sometimes I wonder whether I have loved a person, a thing, a land or anything, more that I have loved this soil…
October is our hottest month and colourful as many others. Rainy season follows the heat. As I drive in Lusaka’s traffic, I pass time – while wait for the front car to move few inches – looking at the beautiful trees that bloom. Those ancient giants are in full purple and orange coloured flower bouquets. One can see tree branches weighted under the load of juicy fruits, fruits freely available to all. People stop and grab “one for the road”.
I love you Zambia, I love your internal and external beauty and as E. Hemingway wrote in the “Green Hills of Africa”, “Where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.”