I do not delight in talking of the recent Zambian presidential by-election results for the reason that Zambia as a unitary state no longer exists. However, it is worthy analyzing the outcome of the presidential results. It is worthy of note that the outcome of Zambia's presidential by-election has exposed that Zambia is indeed a divided country, contrary to the one 'Zambia one nation' slogan misinterpreted to be the uniting of 73 Zambian ethnic tribes. However, this result has not come as a surprise to most, because since Independence, Zambia has never had a president from the region that was once under Barotseland North western Rhodesia, unless anointed by a Bemba clique within the ruling party e.g the late Levy Mwanawasa. The vote has clearly being divided along the lines of the old boundaries of Barotseland North Western Rhodesia on one side and the North Eastern Rhodesia on the other, with the latter voting predominantly for the wining candidate, Edgar Lungu, in the 20th January 2015. This in itself is not the worrying issue, but what is very worrying is the backlash being received by the tribes hailing from the other side who opted to vote for the losing candidate, Hakainde Hichilema, who are now being called all sorts of unprintable words and names for not having voted for their winning candidate!
For the past 50 years, Zambia has been running a scheme to oppress and hurt Lozi nationals and ethnic tribes of North western Rhodesia. Talking to any Lozi hailing from Barotseland from all the walks of life, except those whose stomachs are fed by the PF oppressive regime, they will confess that they are genuinely hurt. The hatred for the Lozi nationals and tribes of former North western Rhodesia is rife in every sphere of life in Zambia and now it has even turned into a terminally illness without cure, hence the justifiable call of the Patriots for Barotseland independence. Lozis are not seeking attention, but respect of their inalienable right of self determination. Zambia is a Christian nation and as Christians believe, in particular, that without shedding of Jesus's blood, there could be no salvation. The blood of Jesus Christ still speaks even today. In the same vein the Barotseland activist’s blood that was shed in 2011 is speaking up to now until the reason it was shed for is accomplished, there is no turning back.
It should not be forgotten that the ‘One Zambia and One Nation’ slogan was corrupted by the Kaunda regime, contrary to a social unifying slogan as many people perceive it today, but an anthropological and sociological scheme formulated to devalue the status of the Lozis in Zambia and its results can be seen on the faces of many Lozis in Barotseland. Unfortunately, despite their education, intelligence and being predisposed to leadership, many elite Lozis of profound standing bought into the slogan for the sake of their stomachs, selfishness and greediness which has led Barotseland to its present day enslavement. It is not a hidden fact that most of the prominent Lozis that became Dr. Kaunda’s close associates became Lozi sell-outs. Even today, they will never stand for the noble cause of freeing Barotseland from the yokes of discrimination, poverty, illiteracy and disease which came as a result of bonding Barotseland to thieves. And today the hatred for the Lozis and North western Rhodesian tribes is no longer a secret, but it has been professionalized.
In Zambia today, it is neither a crime nor a sin for most of the private radio and television stations located in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, which are licensed to broadcast in English as the official language but instead, have resorted to using only two native languages, that is, Bemba and Nyanja. Even the national’s Public Broadcaster ZNBC, despite English being the official language, their DJs and TV presenters have also resorted to only using two native languages in addition to English to the displeasure of well meaning Zambians.
If the time for the Lozi people has come for them to restore their territory, why should a person who does not hail from Barotseland stop them in the first place? Zambia has no powers, whatsoever, to continue enslaving the Lozi nationals. The people are tired of discrimination, segregation, poverty, arrests and subjugation.
By Saleya Kwalombota
I submit herein my own views regarding this very dear subject that has overwhelmed our motherland since March 2012. In particular, the recent and current developments in and around Barotseland cannot be sidestepped without comment.
First and foremost I wish to reiterate that our change agenda which culminated into the 2012 BNC resolution is final and certain indeed. However, we still keep hearing and seeing dissident behaviour from those among us and purportedly with us, in our struggle for total Barotse Independence Agenda. With the upcoming presidential by-elections in Zambia it will not be surprising to see more of our people aligning themselves especially with the party that evidently is promising to take away the majority vote and form the next Zambian government, following the demise of the late president there. What is more heartbreaking is the fact that it is mostly the seasoned politicians at home choosing to play the role of Judas Iscariot. To me this means that all Barotse youth should own the total independence agenda seriously without depending much on the elderly some of whom are seeking milk and honey in the Zambian political arena.
To our leaders, I would like you to take comfort and wisdom in a quote from one scholar on management Tetenbaum (1998) who asserts that “ to be a successful manager in the 21st century……calls for a new mental model of manager, one suited to the world of chaos” (p 31). He further adds that if the manager fails in this regard they will “find themselves leading their organisations into oblivion” (Tetenbaum, 1998:31). The 21st century is well known as a chaos century in the school of management because chaos seems to be its most dominant characteristic norm.
Much has been said before in preceding articles, on the subject of Barotse change; as to why resistance to change by both individuals and organisations. I even shared with readers some of the strategies useful in overcoming resistance to change at the discretion of our leaders as follows:
- Education and communication programmes. We appreciate greatly what our media houses are doing to this effect, under the daunting circumstances they are operating in. With funds availed by all well-wishers and progressive people more will be done for the same cause.
- Participation. It is the duty of all of us to participate in whatever way possible; networking with our neighbours, praying for leadership and Barotse and other methods, including donating time, intellect, money or any other resource of worth. This is the best way I believe for one to show patriotism and not when the independence project is already delivered or realised
- Facilitation and support; for instance our interim government needs this from us all. Our own adage states that “munwana ulimunw’i a ukoni ku tuba nda” . The equivalent English idiom says “two heads are better than one”. That is why TUKONGOTE WA MWANAA NONGOLO and KOPANO KI MAATA, all familiar maxims.
- Negotiation; with whoever matters or stands in our way to ultimate freedom of independence. The Barotse Government is busy at it realizing that it is an important ingredient to our total package of securing what is ours – Barotse nation.
- Manipulation; where need be to actualize our goal. Actually, without really connoting any negativity, manipulation here looks at the strategic planning which is crucial to all of us not just to our leaders.
- Coercion; sometimes this is necessary like the Lord God dealt with lot and his family from Sodom. Some of our people need to be rescued the Lot’s way from the stupor of their utter shock and disbelief of the Barotse nation status quo, or even deculturation process we went through during the 50 years period of slavery in Zambia. Otherwise, these are the same people who will blame it on the leadership someday for not providing the needed leadership.
Otherwise, so far so good as our leadership continues to show commitment and skill in employing these strategies to make the new nation of Barotse a learning environment. However, there is always room for improvement as mortals and I think we need to intensify our effort in these areas now more than has been the case so far, as need may be.
JUST HOW CAN WE CREATE THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN BAROTSELAND?
Let me take a bit of your time, dear reader, to expatiate on the subject of Barotse Change and Learning Environment. Among other responsibilities our leaders have is to ensure the transformation of Barotseland into a LEARNING ORGANIZATION which provides for risk taking, exploration and toleration of failure. In other words, we all know that as Barotse nation we are divided into three categories in as far as this change agenda is concerned. These categories include the risk averse, risk taking and the risk neutral. The risk averse includes all those individual Barotzish wishing to identify themselves with Zambians for various economic, social reasons and political gains while shunning the duty call at home kwa Bulozi. The risk neutral are the indifferent and diffident citizens who do not have a decided stand but are ready to flow with the majority. Last but not the least are the risk takers in the likes of all our brave and resilient leaders in their varied types (From mwa lapa to Namuso and Interim Barotse Government).
Creating a learning organization out of Barotseland may be defined as the groups and teams of Barotzish working together to collectively, while accepting each other’s uniqueness, to enhance our capacities to create results that we truly care about-an independent Barotse nation. To achieve this synergy of a learning organization we need a continuous capacity to adapt and change. This means, among others, our ability to adapt and change to advice and render our strategy and change management work for us within our time bounds.
In conclusion let me assert that a leader in Barotseland can build and manage a learning organization through implementing five main activities namely:
1. Systematic problem solving; using the principles of total quality management. Even in our poor and disadvantaged state we can keep dreaming about quality in all we do, if we cannot achieve it now. This may not make much sense now but with time it will be quite mandatory that we talk quality, as we begin to run our affairs as a nation. If at all we will mind about quality services and/or products in independent Barotseland then the blue print must be framed now and be entrenched in the various policy documents being drafted. This requires adopting scientific methods for solving problems and not relying on guess work. This further entails the utilization of statistical tools and Barotse data, and not assumptions to guide our decision making. For example, we should know by now roughly how many Barotzis are at home, those estranged in Zambia and in the diaspora, including all the other demographic data to inform our planning.
2. Experimentation; referring to the systematic searching for and testing of new knowledge in managing our change agenda. In the world we live in today knowledge economy is a booming and vital discipline among many that we know. This may require that our leaders work closely with experts or knowledge workers to redeem and harness back home the brain drain that Barotseland has suffered for many years. In effect problem solving can be encouraged through the ongoing programmes which provide for incremental gains in knowledge and demonstration projects which involve holistic, Barotsewide changes, introduced at village level and escalated upwards aimed at developing new national capabilities. It is not right to assume that all citizens know fully what is happening on the ground especially given the levels of intimidation prevalent from/by the Zambian occupying forces.
3. Learning from past experiences; involves the Barotse Team Organisation reviewing our past failures and successes, so far, from the signing of BA ’64 to many other actions inclusive of our being duped by PF in 2011. What message do we get from our failures and successes? This information must clearly be availed to all citizens. I categorically appreciate what has been done so far to this very end as concerns our historic 50 years of servitude to Zambia-much information has been dag up to inform our change momentum. Notwithstanding, it is quite painful as Barotse youth to see our elders still yoking themselves with the Zambian Parties for the ‘ politics of the stomach’ as it were, at the expense their role and function in the great web of Barotse citizenship. With our past experience so far I would not hasten to say that actually this is the time and opportunity to affirm our stance to the whole world by totally boycotting the Zambian presidential by-election on our soil! Maybe foreigners can be allowed with permission from powers that be in our land, and ECZ educated on this matter. The mere fact that Zambia has littered our country with military hardware, software and persware is good motive for this action. Not forgetting the incarceration of our BNYL leaders and now Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, the Administrator General of the Barotseland (head of the interim government) and others in prisons for being ‘lindwalume za mwa hae’ and champions of our real and genuine cause. The chapters of history repeating itself are closed and open are the pages bearing the lesson from the history.
4. Learning from others; both within Barotseland and from outside. We applaud the work done so far by our leaders in consulting with others all over; no man is an island.
5. Transferring knowledge; where knowledge is spread throughout the nation in an efficient and quick manner. Mechanisms to achieve this spread of knowledge include visual, audio and oral reports, village visits, tours and so on whichever is possible. This means that we need to see more utilization of channels of communication followed by measuring learning through follow- ups like the use of questionnaires, interviews and surveys just to ascertain that our communication with the grassroots and others is not one way.
The whole idea is to put everybody on board to ensure that we speak the same language and walking the same walk of our liberation struggle. However, it must be noted that LEARNING IS PERMANENT CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR; our thoughts, actions and words must all be consistent with our resolve of self-determination. With us the youth this is possible to achieve if our leaders teach and direct us accordingly. With the old however, some may still be suffering from the syndrome of OLD HABITS DIE HARD. This is why some of the sporadic cases of dissidence and defections of some of our elders to rally with Zambian leaders.
To all of you our change agents from Namuso, milenen’I kaufela, Barotse media institutions like Barotse Post, Limulunga Post, Barotse Radio Station, BNYL, Linyungandambo, Barotse National Council and the Barotse populace.
Dearest brothers and sisters, this letter is written to you all ‘bana ba poho yensu, mambumbwe a liyambai’ in recognition of the good work and sacrifice you are making in the best interest of our motherland Barotseland – once the richest land in our territory but now the poorest and yet endowed with vast countless economic resources part of which were used to liberate our lovely neighbours during their independence struggles, as well as develop Zambia to where it is today. How could this be? Now our day is here and it is time to liberate our country and develop it. This is our Core Business.
Change is the name of the game in management today, in the 21st century. This means that what is happening in our motherland Barotseland is neither new nor strange but a long anticipated outcome of our quest for self-determination - it was long overdue! All welcome it; the Barotse natives, our enemies and well-wishers. The reactions we see today are only that change is often met with resistance.
The upshot of all this is that it is imperative for you our leaders in the forefront (Governors, and Managers) that you must not only learn to cope with the change but also learn to manage it, so that we all move forward as a united front, regardless of the peoples' different classes: Those from outright resistance, through partial resistance, to partial acceptance and full acceptance.
I need to emphasise this point here that from now on change management (Self-determination) and Barotseland development are synonymous, as our CORE BUSINESS. From the very onset this change has been initiated and implemented by you our leaders, in your various capacities, with the assistance of change agents.
This is someone, organisation or groups of people in charge of change initiative in an organisation. The change agent is a person(s) who acts as a catalyst and assumes the responsibility for managing change activities (Robbins, 2002). Wherever you are and whoever you are note yourselves and hold on to the nobble task you are pursuing for the sake of our motherland. Even if you are in power, well-wishers or in Police Custody, the Holy Bible asks a very important question that “can an Ethiopian change his skin?” You are doing what you are doing just because you are a Lozi! You cannot change the fact nor do otherwise unless one is a relative to Judas Iscariot to betray Barotseland. So cheer up change agents; one Lozi’s fate is a fate for us all.
Always remember that, as change agents, you are the leaders of the change initiative, leading and guiding the process of implementing change in our beautiful country. And as such, you identify, propose or initiate and guide the change initiative from start to finish through all the particular phases, in order that we drive the required change in our country to its logical conclusion and aspired glory. This means that there is hardly any time to relax or relent.
Types of Change Agents
I wish to submit here that there are three types of change agents we have in Barotseland namely
• Internal agents – those combating from within the beautiful land of Borotse,
• External agents – those strategizing from without in the diaspora, and
• Combination agents – those committed to the liberation of Barotseland as both types, caught between Zambia and Barotseland.
Styles of Change Agents
Harvey and Brown (2006:100-103) discuss five styles that a change agent could use in implementing a change initiative. The change style used is an approach that the change agent uses in affecting and effecting change, being influenced by your convictions and understanding of the situation at hand, at home. These include the following:
• The Stabiliser Style.
• The Cheerleader Style.
• The Analyser Style.
• The Persuader Style.
• The Pathfinder Style.
Please note that some of you are a combination of two, more or all of these styles. It does not matter at all, as long as the desired strategic vision, mission and Barotseland values are not staked. We love you all and your varied combinations give the needed flavour and synergy to the nature and impetus of our change programme.
Change Agent Roles
Change agents assume the following roles and in their varied combinations, as they discharge their mandate:
• Initiate (Initiators),
• implement (Implementers) and
• Manage change (Managers).
Consequences of Change
When planned change is implemented in any organisation, it will inevitably have consequences, depending on the magnitude of the planned change. Our change in particular is both transformational and strategic, cutting across the whole Barotseland as positive change. The consequences of change can also be negative. Examples here include chaos and entropy i.e. inability to change. We must diligently guard against the latter duo of chaos and entropy.
Change Agent Skills
From what I have attempted to put across to the readers so far it becomes evident that your role of change agent is complex, dynamic and becoming more demanding, especially so as we progress from one change phase to another in our struggle for self-determination.
Therefore, I wish to remind you all of the skills that have been found by research and practice to be more important to the change agent’s role. These skills are:
a) Leadership; your ability to motivate, direct and keep every Barotse National focussed on the National values and the change that needs to be changed can neither be underestimated nor overemphasised.
b) Project Management Skills; change agents need to display ability to organise the liberation programme into a project and show the requisite project management skills to manage the change programme successfully to enhance the chances of success all the way. I say this because it is common knowledge that the enemy is waiting to see any elements of discordant behaviour among us and deride us.
c) Problem-Solving Skills; this is the ability of change agents to accurately diagnose the problems that still remain unresolved in our country that pose to be threats to the achievement of our noble cause successfully. Let us also propose and implement workable solutions to this end so that everyone is kept aboard; united and focused. TUKONGOTE WA MWANAA NONGOLO!!
d) The ability to work with people; let us tirelessly continue to work with others and build relationships with natives and well-wishers in order to give the impetus to the change effort.
e) Personal; as individuals let us be mindful of our personal factors and use them to their maximum potential. As change agents we need to exude confidence in the commitment we have at hand, while being able to make tough decisions and introduce new techniques to work for us positively. And last but not the least,
f) Communication Skills; this is very critical to the successful completion of our Liberation and Development Change Programme Agenda, as our Core-Business. We salute our media houses for their relentless efforts in communicating the message to us time and again.
Allow me to conclude this article by reminding you all of the main sources of fear or resistance to change which also apply to our situation. Our knowledge of these factors will help us to handle the programme successfully too, besides enabling us to understand the different reactions of our stakeholders from time to time, like we have noted so far.
RESISTANCE FACTOR: IMPLICATIONS/CAUSES: REMARK(S)/EXPLANATION(S)
Ignorance: Failure to understand the problem at hand: People who are ignorant about the BA64 and its various legal connotations and overtones may show lack of understanding of what is happening in Barotseland.
Comparison: Solution is disliked; alternative is thought to be better: Some opposing the change may be due to still enjoying their “comfort zones” in Zambia.
Disbelief: Feel that solution will not work: Some resistance to our change in Barotseland is because of lack of confidence that we can manage our own affairs! Whoops!!!!!!
Loss: Have unacceptable personal costs: Some resistance may be due to perceived personal loses like in intermarriages, business partnerships, career pursuits, etc.
Fortunately, these life realities are neither new nor unique to Barotse.
All our neighbours went through it and when it was time up natives went back home to be participants in national building and development.
Inadequacy: Insufficient rewards from change: Some are resisting our change programme because they don’t have answers as yet regarding their aspired glory aggrandisements!
We need to remember that our greatest motive is to benefit our motherland AND NOT vice versa. That is how true patriotism works.
Anxiety: Afraid of coping in the new situation/fear of being “found out” :No need to fear anything since everything that exists today has had its own humble beginnings. We will get there; because we can do it too.
Demolition: Risk of destroying social network: Quite self-explanatory. But who said social networks are only people living within the same country or geographic region? What will be the role of IT today?
Power cut: Erosion of influence or control: Some change resistance is due to perceived fears of power cuts in current positions enjoyed. Remember that since you were not born in that position there is still a second chance for you even after/during the change programme, for all who are able, willing and available.
Contamination: Distaste for new values and practices: Ours is not a campaign for new values proposition but the restoration of the old values contaminated by the Zambish immoral practices of theft, corruption, etc.
Inhibition: Low willingness to change: There is always room to catch up with the rest of change agents when the shock of change is past. We all react differently to change. So take heart, all is not lost yet.
Mistrust: Disquietude about motives for change. Vesting oneself with all the BA64 documentation is the source of our being and mission and vision.
Alienation: Low shared values or high interest in alternatives: Having been Zambianised for all these years is surely enough cause for feelings of alienation espoused by some, once required to get back home and rebuild our looted Barotseland.
Frustration: Reduces political power and career opportunities: That political power and career opportunities have home still in Barotseland, as an emerging power and player member of the Global Political Village.
In other words, Barotseland has all the opportunities we can think of.
Even Christians understand that at one time in Biblical history God sanctioned the separation of biological nation into two kingdoms of Northern and southern (Israel) administered in Samaria and Judah respectively. The rest of the story is an open book for all who may learn life’s most treasured truths.
Thank you very much for taking time to refresh your minds by reading this article.
TUKONGOTE WA MWANAA NONGOLO!!!!!
Lindunda (La Mulonga) Wamunyima
Thrilled by the inspirational report from Mwembeshi as reported by Bo Saleya Kwalombota I could not hold myself but felt the need to share this screed with our Ngulutayutoya readers. Great is the work you our teachers are doing! Probably this Japanese proverb will put it better: that “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” I have no doubt this was the Mwembeshi visiting team’s experience. Those men are teaching us great lessons of self-sacrificing and self-denial! Right away I was reminded the words of Kuan Chung who once said, “If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree. If for a hundred years, teach people. When you saw a seed once, you will reap a single harvest. When you teach people, you will reap a hundred harvests.” Planting and teaching have much in common. That is how great a teacher is in life though often underappreciated.
First and foremost I wish to personally extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those gallant Lozi men and women who took time off to visit our incarcerated leaders and teachers. That is the spirit bahesu! Ni kamuso hape!! Whatever you did it was in our behalf as a nation of Barotseland. May the Good Lord, who knows best how to bless mankind bless you accordingly, even as you fulfill the words found in the Holy Writ “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I WAS IN PRISON, AND YE CAME UNTO ME. “Matthew 25: 34-36, NKJV. This is something that we need to do to each other regardless of our barriers: whether we are biologically related or not, whether politically /ideologically related or not. As long as we have the Barotzish blood flowing in us we are members of one web of Barotse Nation. As such, it does not help me to stand aloof because like rings in a chain the misfortune of one ring renders the whole chain useless until replaced or mended. Similarly, what befalls one of us indirectly or directly affects the entire web of Barotse, whether we want it or not, whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not.
Of particular interest is the following quotation which I want to follow up further, in my screed; Bo Mutompehi Mombotwa “further, emphasized the need to remain focused, resolute, resolved and never to lose sight of our vision." He mentioned that where there was no vision people perished. (Proverbs 29:18, verse supplied) “The underlying factor,” he said was to “extend and strengthen the ties among the provisional leadership, the Monarch and all the people of Barotseland in order TO CULTIVATE AND CONSOLIDATE THE MUCH NEEDED MINDSET CHANGE.”
Allow me right from here dear compatriots to categorically discuss the story of Barotseland freedom into three parts. This time around I strongly believe that Barotse teachers need to come on board seriously and help entrench this much needed mindset among our people, in the quest for total liberation of Barotseland from Zambian servitude. Surely to undo the nearly 50 years of Zambianized mindset in our people requires the services of our teachers too, to acculturate us into our true identity; for Education is light and lack of it is darkness. One of the purposes of a good teacher is to develop learners who can create or find their own identity and not to be mere reflectors of the teacher’s image. As a peace loving people this will prove to be one of the most effective instruments we can use to drive home our agenda. By teachers here I mean the tri-une of the TEACHING AGENT; at home, church and formal school.
Dan Rather once said “The dream begins most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” One such truth is the fact that there is no life without death, looking at great agricultural lessons of seeding and germination. You will notice here that the process is irreversible once it has started. What am I trying to say? The deaths of our fallen heroes and heroines since 1969 have given life and impetus to our struggle and in as much as their deaths are not reversible so is our freedom struggle. Isn’t this the reason why Christians cerebrate Easters? The death of Jesus Christ brought victory as well make it certain. Or using Bo Mungandi’s train experience and analogy, once the train has started off it is either one gets on board, alights, or gives way. Paraphrasing Mr. Mukunyandela’s words – our total independence can only be delayed but will surely come to pass at the fullness of time. That is the certainty of our present truth
and national destiny.
The second truth to learn from our liberation struggle is that the BNC 2012 was the climax and official time for germination or birthday of Barotse nation from Zambian yoke and as such, now is time to rejoice and not to cast down our faces in despair. We see here once again that birth is irreversible. Even when the vestiges of gestation still linger on (e.g. placenta usually follows birth of baby) there is usually jubilation; a family exude joy that a baby is born and will not go back into the womb.
BA'64 restoration is impossible! Consequently, we should not be dismayed by the remnants of Zambianship in us for old habits die hard. It is the work of the teacher to help us grow up through the process of unlearning the past in order to learn our new way of life; character building or reformatory is not an overnight job. If only our people could understand that this is time to "exude the change; to eat change, act change, behave change, smell change, wear change, sing the change, dance the change, communicate change, walk and travel the change, think change, speak change and last but not the least, it is time to plan the change, organize the change, coordinate change and lead the change.” In other words, it is time to fully embrace the change in every way of our being malozi without fear, remorse or any upbraiding. In our desire to realize this mindset in the nation we need to challenge ourselves as individuals to change our mindset foremost. Charity begins at home; Namuso, Provisional Leadership and Commoners at large.
The third truth to learn from our freedom struggle is that ‘we have to cry out’ like a newly born baby to sustain our new way of life. From the baby’s viewpoint it is very cruel of a nurse to ‘slap’ the baby to cry. Ironically, it is a necessary activity if the baby is to start breathing and survive. Mwana ya salili ushwela mwa tali! What relevance has this analogy to our freedom struggle? In as much as the activities of Zambia toward us are painful or fatal we must see them in the sanity of the path to freedom; it is not flowery and will never be. The more these acts are committed against us the more we should cry out in the innocence of our peaceful protests and other similar activities, against the insidious acts by the occupying forces and the government thereof. Surely our leaders have been in illegal detentions for too long at the expense of justice! Our crying out means carrying out meaningful, effective and efficient activities on our part the newly born Barotse citizens. Some of these include growing up and developing, being on the move on Barotse errands, filtering out any dangers to our newly found nationhood, showing and radiating energy for the movement, being sensitive to change around and within us, reproducing fellow compatriots in deed and spirit as well as feeding ourselves with information and news about our story all "to cultivate and consolidate the much needed mindset change.”
Apart from holding peaceful protests, teaching our neighbours or employing the teaching social network (TSN) can also be very effective; the Jesus model, after His resurrection en route to Emmaus. Teaching is effective because it is an activity that involves learning, where learning is permanent change in behaviour (thoughts, action and/or words), the mindset we crave in our people. This means that learning is something that learners do (both the reflective and un-reflective response to teaching) and not something done to them (teaching); learning is not teaching and teaching is not learning, as different sides of the same coin called education! Therefore, let learners do their work as teachers do theirs in our struggle for total independence. Wherever change has taken place mostly it has not been without the process of learning and teaching. Bulelela ndambo wa hao kwa hae, keleke, musebezi kapa banana kwa sikolo niti ya Bulozi. This is self-assertion written about in this forum before by our able scholars.
Teacher! You have a great responsibility because, among other reasons the future of Barotseland is in your ‘classroom’ today, a future with the potential for good or bad depending on how you play out your commitment. I need not remind you that several future leaders, teachers and doctors are learning from you today, so are the great writers of the next decades, and so are all the so called ordinary people who often times will make the decisions in our democratic monarchy by voting or other means. You must never forget that these same people could be the thieves, betrayers and murderers of tomorrow, just because of you the teacher! Say thank you to God for giving you a call to the greatest profession of all! Therefore, you must be vigilant every day, lest you lose one fragile opportunity to improve future Barotseland.
Remember also that God gives opportunities but success depends on the use made of them. If you want to be a mediocre teacher you will only tell about our freedom struggle. If you want to be a good teacher you will explain it, and if a superior teacher you will demonstrate what it means to be Barotzish, but a great teacher you are if you can inspire your learners to be free Malozi! In other words tell it, explain it, demonstrate it and inspire it in us, all because you are the Teacher!
If you want to reach a child’s mind as a teacher you must capture his heart. This is because only if a child feels right can he think right! The formula works better that way. When our prodigal, dissident, diffident and doubtful people begin to feel the darkness of being second class citizen in your own land then will they begin to think aright homeward bound! It is not easy for anyone who is still in the denial stage of our change agenda to just accept it. Teachers exist to make the desired learning outcomes to occur in every Lozi learner. SO YOURS IS CHARACTER BASED (CB) FIRST AND THEN OUTCOME BASED (OB) EDUCATION IN BAROTSELAND! That is, our struggle requires first and foremost the passion of compatriots who have a native character to affect the desired national outcomes. In my view this is why the issue of mindset change is so crucial this time around, in God’s great clock of our reckoning and time.
When all will have been said and done it will not be important to ask what kind of teacher you will have been. Rather, it will be more important to ask: What kind of human Lozi have you been to your learners who are also human lozis? Were you a lozi ‘character’ first and then a teacher? Your Lozi humanity should clothe your teaching. When this happens, your learners are built and empowered into the future citizens envisaged of the free Barotse state. When our teaching clothes humanity, our learners will fail to grow as individual and patriotic Lozi citizens; that is, if we reverse the formula of CB – OB to OB - CB.