THE HISTORY OF BAROTSELAND’S COMPLETE INEPENDENCE HAS BEEN RIFE WITH INCIDENTS OF BETRAYALS - Right from the pre-1964, through the “Zambian Golden Jubilee “era to post 2012 BNC. In this presentation, we take a look at Betrayal politically, to help us cope and find our way out, in the intensifying heat of Barotse Change!
THE BETRAYER’S ICONIC POWER VERSUS LOVE INVERSION
Betrayal, just like LOVE, is so powerful that it is one of the dominant themes in literature, movie industry and religion throughout anthropological history. This is, of course, because you cannot have betrayal if you do not have love. A character that is habitually and mostly antagonist, usually with some general form of evil driven by a desire to create chaos or enslave others to his will is feared. However, the most feared and repulsive character is the sobbing stealthy traitor, like the Barotseland “Judas Iscariots”, those debased persons twisted by their own treachery. Their names live in Hall of Infamy, in Barotseland. People who can go to extents of sourcing pieces of silver from Zambian authorities just for transient wealth and vainglory – forgetting that many have tried in the past but only to end up in demise, leaving Barotseland behind and their self-aggrandised riches to ravage by relatives. Of what use is it then to thus betray your motherland?
We have seen that those in distinguished positions have been the most vulnerable. The combination of power and their nurtured pride quickly wormed the leaven of betrayal, unfortunately, one-way into their hearts until they were willing to betray their closest friend, compatriot, leader, Barotseland citizen and even family. This love of oneself eventually diminishes any other love and leads to the most heart-breaking betrayals we have experienced and are still facing “mwa Bulozi”!
Pride is one snag at the root of traitors’ betrayal of Barotseland. Our betrayers actually put their own status and love of money above a Purely Barotzish life. They have not been simply followers of Barotse Change but are our parents, brothers, sisters, and friends who put their own self-interest over that of Barotseland’s life as a completely independent country from Zambia. So they keep receiving “30 pieces of silver” for their treachery. In the end, they will regret and weep bitterly, if not “commit suicide”; when the devil is done with them and become rejects of both countries! They are willing to lay down the life of their fellow human beings and Barotzis for the comfort of their own. This inversion of love is the very essence of betrayal; with fear, jealousy, pride, or lust for power, authority, and recognition often being the motivating factors in such betrayals. This has mostly been in exchange for economic benefits and alms received from the illegally occupying Zambian regime.
From our experience so far we can see that betrayal seriously undermines the bonds of love and trust that hold our relationships and society of Barotseland together. When trust is lost, when those we love turn against us, husband against wife, friend against friend, children against parents, BRE parents against Barotzis, compatriot against compatriot or leader against leader then we are dehumanized. That is because we will have lost the key component; the ability to love, besides rationality, that makes us an image of God who is LOVE.
BAROTSE CHANGE STRATEGIES TO COPE WITH BAROTSELAND TRAITORS
The big question is “What should our response be, then, when we are betrayed?” “How do we keep from allowing the pain to rob us of our ability to love and to trust one another?” The following is our list of some possible strategies to use in coping with betrayals, in Barotse Change:
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN BETRAYED
Barotseland is hurt because someone has purposefully put us in the line of fire and let us get netted by the enemy. We cannot ignore it anymore and it is now an open secret that the confederacy of BRE and GRE (Government Republic of Zambia Extortionists) are betraying Barotse Change! Apart from infusing us in a position of disbelief, hurt, pain and confusion they have seriously broken the trust we had in them and it is going to take time to get over it and forgive them. Therefore, acknowledging the betrayal is one virtuous step toward coping or healing from betrayal.
2. BE READY TO LAVISH FORGIVENESS
One of the best answers, I believe, is to forgive the traitors. Even if the traitor does not ask for your forgiveness, it is the greatest gift we can give ourselves because it has twofold blessings: blessing the forgiving and him that is forgiven. If we don’t show mercy and forgiveness, bitterness can take hold, and we will risk losing our capacity to love and bearings in actualising our true independence, in all terms. I realize many Barotzis reject such altruism, such sacrificial love especially after having suffered thus at the hands of the very traitors. Some even think it is a myth that no Barotse can truly love this way. But it is real and possible. If mothers and fathers sacrifice for their children, if husbands sacrifice for their wives and vice versa, if friends give up their wants, their needs, for those they love, if soldiers sacrifice for their nation, their home, and in Christianity, Christ sacrificed himself for the world, what is a traitor after all compared to all this positive self-denial and sacrificing? Remember sweeter than the sweetness of a completely independent Barotseland will be the joy of receiving confessions from Barotse Change betrayers, as we conclude Barotse Change and engage in national reconciliation and development. This is what true love looks like. “Two wrongs will not make a right”. The Zambian Christian Religion in Mathew 5: 46 quote “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” [NKJV] Therefore, we should not let pride, jealousy, and fear betray that love. If you do, like the traitors, you will ultimately be alone, and when you are alone there will be nobody left for you to love or betray but nothingness!
3. BEING CAREFUL WITH OUR WORDS
Scientific studies show that when we speak disparagingly about our traitors, someone listening to us is more likely to attribute those negative qualities to us and not the person we were complaining about – for “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. So, for example, if you are gossiping that someone is a tribalist, the people listening to you will be more likely to remember you and think you are the tribalist when they recall the conversation. Speaking kindly about yourself and others therefore, lays the groundwork for trustworthy relationships in New Barotseland. Only bear your true colours as you allow others to do the same.
4. DO NOT PERSONALISE THE BETRAYAL
Academic research on egocentrism has revealed that an average human being tends to exaggerate the importance and application of self to events more than it is actually. While at first it might be overwhelming to realize that you are not the most important player in a turn of events in Barotse Change, eventually it could feel quite liberating to know that you are not responsible for everything bad that happens after all. Know that people are motivated by a wide array of factors that have nothing to do with you as an individual. So why personalise the matter? The traitor is betraying Barotseland as a country and not you alone! And without really condoning their activities, their betrayal is one thing that will make us wholeheartedly treasure Barotseland’s complete independence. You may win betraying an individual but not a country like Barotseland; it is a hard nut to crack! Ask the old man “KK” he will bear you witness.
5. DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT OTHERS AS BETRAYERS
Believing you know other people’s motives and intentions can lead to a lot more trouble. Without actually asking the people involved, we can spin a variety of stories that have nothing to do with the actual situation, and much more to do with our own negative views of the world and the people in it. If at all possible, there is need to ask what the traitor’s intentions are and keep the communication open. If we start believing other people are out to cause us harm as a default assumption, it can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Stay focussed despite it all.
6. GET ANGRY AND CRY IF YOU MUST!
There are many emotions we go through when we find out that we have been betrayed. These range from anger to depression, hurt and wanting to avenge oneself. Probably one of the most prominent emotions we have felt as Barotzis is anger and crying. Anger and/or crying because we did not like what traitors did or are doing; anger and/or crying because we trusted them, anger and/or crying because it was uncalled for, Anger and/or crying because we have another problem to deal with in new Barotzish life, anger and/or crying because we love these people but they have done what we hate. Be angry; because it is human, necessary and will run its full course and be over. Dalai Lama once said “Generally speaking, if a human being never shows anger, then I think something is wrong. He’s not right in the brain.” It is good for the healing process, much so when seeking recovery from betrayals succumbed in Barotse Change process!
7. FIND A WAY TO ACT OUT.
Psychologists often advise us to allow relatives or friends who have undergone traumatic experiences to let them act out in whatever way they can in order to deal with the trauma they are facing effectively. To some acting out could be drinking, smoking, oversleeping, reckless behaviour, crying all the time or being mute. Though none of these things except for sleeping and crying, are good for the human body, but in some ways, acting out helps one to deal with the issues at hand. Sometimes acting out, in Barotse Change, could be as simple as staying at home for introspection, composing that liberation song or carrying out peaceful protests and the like. It could be writing a hate letter, article or email and not sending it. Or it could be hectic consultations with your Barotse Change leaders for advice accordingly.
8. SEEK HELP, DEVISE A PLAN TO LEAVE THE BETRAYER BEHIND AND MOVE FORWARD
Because we knew what we needed to do in Barotse Change and what damage required to be fixed, our 2012 BNC was the needed strategy to execute the restoration. Worldwide consultations were done to help us with it? Make a note of things that need to be done first and work at them, one step at a time. Big things take priority then the smaller ones will come at the right time. Therefore, at all costs we need to leave the betrayers behind. By magnifying or vilifying their activities we bless the traitors.
9. CONFRONT THE BETRAYING PERSON
This is one thing we have not been doing convincingly in Barotseland. Confronting the betrayer can give peace of mind because it gets it out of our chests and make the betrayer aware of how we felt or feel about what they did or are doing. We also get the opportunity to hear their side of the story. Whether or not this is feasible now is another story, but attempts should be made. In any case, confronting the traitors for our peace of mind is part of Barotse Change because they still remain our brothers and sister in need of rescue by us from their omens and depravity.
10. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THAT TOXIC SPACE OR PERSON
Ultimately, if it turns out that the traitors do not need to be in our space, we then need to detach ourselves from them socially and emotionally. We may still greet them and even engage in small talk, and business and nothing beyond this. We will be keeping our space and they should respect that because it becomes confirmed now that they hate and hurt a truly Independent Barotseland.
11. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN
This is the last stratagem and probably the hardest one because it could mean one of many things; cutting the person out of our Barotzish national life forever; ignoring the fact that it happened; living an unreasonable life of not allowing ourselves to get hurt by any betrayer; not letting ourselves get consumed by the feelings associated with betrayal; dealing with them better each time it happens.
The pain of betrayal though, is not exclusively Barotseland’s lot but a dark thread running through all of human history, as unfaithful friends and lovers break promises, reveal confidences, and sacrifice love on the altar of vainglory just as did Northern Rhodesia on Barotseland in truce-breaking the Zambia’s union treaty termed BA’64. It is an ugly depiction of human nature, when the weakest among us choose to defile God’s greatest gift (LOVE) instead of honouring it. BAROTSE CHANGE TRAITORS CHOOSE HATE OVER LOVE, PREFER HELL OVER HEAVEN, PRIORITISING INHUMANITY OVER HUMANITY, CLAIM DISLOYALTY OVER PATRIOTISM, BEG FOR DEPENDENCE OVER INDEPENDENCE AND THEY CRAVE IRRATIONALITY OVER RATIONALITY – What degeneracy! Therefore, Barotse Change submits that betrayal is an inversion of love, and perhaps its greatest perversion ever seen, especially so in Barotseland. What then should we do with a traitor? There is need to engage them fully accordingly – kakuli “Nja ya mwa hae haina lubilo!”
HOWEVER, WE SHOULD DO SO CAUTIOUSLY AND DILLIGENTLY SUCH THAT THE BETRAYERS’ ACTIVITIES DO NOT BECOME THE TALK OF THE DAY AND DISTRACT US FROM THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF BAROTSE CHANGE.
TUKONGOTE, LITUNGA NI LYETU!