Sacred Breath and George Floyd, a View from Africa, by Gabriel C Banda

 

Sacred Breath and George Floyd,

a view from Africa

by

Gabriel C Banda

 

BREATH is sacred. The tragic passing of George Floyd on Africa Freedom Day 2020 reminds us of the marvel of Breath.

Through breath, we are nourished. We are nourished and go on to do our part in maintaining creation.

We each make our contribution, a contribution which is some part that adds on to that of others and helps keep the world nourished and going, now and into other generations and eternity.

Humans and animals and even plants breathe. Yes, breath is life. The breath we make when we take in nourishing air goes towards nourishing our whole being. Breath is healing. Breath is restoring.

                                                                            Sacred Breath

Breath is considered by many as inspiration and expiration, the taking in of Oxygen and the taking out of waste air, Carbon Dioxide.

When you watch a person that has died, you will notice at the chest that the body lacks breath.

Yet breath is sacred. Breath is more than just pumping-in Oxygen and taking out Carbon Dioxide.

The breath we give out is not waste but used by other parts of creation. Plants breathe out Oxygen that humans and animals use. So what we take in and give out is useful for others in creation.

Breathing is not good air in and waste air out. The air we give back after our breath is not some waste but is actually precious spirit.

Breath is sacred. Breathing is an act of love in creation. It is not pumping in and pumping out. Breathing is not a mechanical process. Breath is sacred. In breath, we receive nourishment from creation.

In breathing-in, we are not pumping in and forcing in air through the breath process. In breathing in, we are receiving from creation. We are receiving a gift that is lovingly been given to us by creation. Breathing-in is not mechanical.

Breathing out is not throwing out waste. Breathing out is giving back to creation. It should not be throwing out waste air, but lovingly giving to creation.

 

                                                              Breath, Love

 

Like true food has love and nourishment in it, so too is breath made of love. Receiving air to breathe in is an act of love, so too is breathing out not one of throwing out waste but lovingly giving back to creation.

We can enjoy each breath if we become aware of our selves receiving it. We can enjoy breathing out and be glad we are giving to creation.

We are being given breath and nourishment. In this breath there is the spirit of creation itself.

Steadily, breath flows between receiver and giver. The receiver gladly receives and then gladly, with love, should give back.

So, breathing in and out is sacred.

 

                                                                           Holy Breath

 

Breathing in and breathing out are not pumping in and pumping out of air. Breathing out is not throwing out of air.

Breathing is a receiving and giving back process. Breath is sacred. Breath should be received with love and given with love. In receiving and giving breath, we should feel the appreciation involved.

We should feel the love involved. We feel happy to do our work and service in the purpose of creation. Breath is sweet.

Because of breath and its flow, we have some beat. Because of breath, we have some pulse, a pulse that like a beacon radiates our individual presence all over the universe.

Breath is spirit, the spirit of creation itself. Breath is life. Breath is a living process. Breath is holy. Yes, breath is not mere movement of air, breath is spirit. Breath is spirit of creation and spirit in creation.

 

                                                                      Martyred

 

Thus many persons, worldwide, were moved when unarmed George Floyd, a person of African descent, was martyred, killed by a police person of European descent, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States, May 25, 2020.

Remember that May 25th is significant as it is Africa Freedom Day celebrated by Africans, Persons of African Descent, and human dignity supporters from all over the world.

The police man finished unarmed George Floyd by putting a knee over handcuffed George’s neck for many minutes. Being choked, George pleaded, as Eric Garner in 2014 and other victims before, to be released, “I can’t breathe.”

Other police officers were just watching. George Floyd even cried “Mama,” which in Africa happens often when a person is in deep despair, wonder, or even appreciation. Many songs will have “Mama,” “Mayi,” “Mayo” and other variants of the universal root “Ma,” “Mama”

From that violent encounter on Africa Freedom Day 2020, George Floyd died. What person is it who can place their knee for long on another’s throat, with the victim pleading and struggling to breathe, and the assaulter continues to inflict pain against this human being, a creature of creation?

This goes on for long. What person can do that to another human being? Many persons recognise that even an animal is not to be made to suffer with such cruelty.

 

                                                                        Interference

 

Choking a person or animal is direct interference with the process of breath. Many humans consider other animals to be beasts, thus lesser beings that somehow are alright to harm, slaughter, and feed on. Yet even animals are fully pained by the process of death humans give to them.

Interference against the flow of breath and nourishment of life happens also in authorised and unauthorised hangings and lynching of persons by governments and persons.

The intention of choke is that the person should not breathe. The intention of the person not to breathe is that they should die. They should not live. The intention of making them die is to remove them from life so that they are not active in their work and service.

In the USA, for hundreds of years, persons of African descent have been lynched, hanged, without judicial sentence. Even in the early 1900s, there were some lynching at places like Gainesville in Florida.

In the 21st Century, they have continued to be killed, harmed, and trumped upon, in various brutal ways, by some police persons. Sometimes, the hatred is clear as when a person is shot down with many bullets. Many times the killers or assaulters have not been held to account for their actions.

 

                                                                  Finishing George

 

George Floyd was recorded, on camera, being choked while he was handcuffed and on the ground. For a long time, some eight minutes and forty-six seconds, the police man had his knee on George’s neck. George complained but was ignored.

Witnesses nearby pleaded with the police persons to stop harming George but the harm and choke continued. Clearly, the police man went on to finish George, to make George Floyd cease. To make George die. To make George not be part of the world. To make George’s contributions in life to cease. Yet police officers are supposed to be protectors of society.

The choke was to make George not be part of us, part of our physical world, part of brothers and sisters we are working with all over the world. It was a crime against the sacred human body. It is a crime against humanity.

The demise of George Floyd was against creation, where his presence was robbed from us. The choke that killed George Floyd is a crime against creation. It is sin against creation.

 

                                                               Breath Unstoppable

 

Meanwhile, that breath denied one of its homes flows on in the world, awaking souls of the world, bringing light. Truly, breath is sacred. Breath we are not to interfere with.

Like all that receive the gift of breath, persons of Africa descent are an integral and legitimate part of the human family, where none is inherently higher or lower than another by virtue of the grouping they are born linked to.

The choking and killing of George Floyd happened on Monday, May 25, which is Africa Freedom Day, a time when in abundance the gift of breath, with its freedom and dignity, flows forth, surging forth and shedding light, unstoppable by any choke.  Breath is Sacred.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the Author is independently involved in writing and the arts, social development work, and observation of conflict and peace issues.

 

– GCB, Lusaka, May 2020.

 

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  • GCB,

May 2020, LUSAKA.

 

 

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The Erotic Gospels, by Gabriel C Banda

 

The Erotic Gospels,

by

Gabriel  C  Banda

NOW, in recent years, we have noted increase in church “Gospel” song and dance involving erotic movements. We have witnessed the erotic performance of “Gospel Music” in churches, religious settings, on public screens, and video play.

That many performers use sensuality and sexuality to attract viewers and listeners to their music productions is common in Zambia and worldwide. It is in various fields. It has been going on for a long time.

In some performances, such as those by some members of the fraternity of some types of Rap, some performers touch their genitals. At first this was common among males but can be observed even among females. Of course, for one to do good music and reach many persons, it is not necessary to touch their genitals.

                                                                 HIV and AIDS

Some performances in music and dance casualise sex and sexuality. It is not uncommon for performances at functions on reversing HIV and AIDS to involve movements and images whose effect seems, directly or in other ways, to try to arouse the audience.

And these days the children that dance as they bring knives to cut cakes at weddings have recently taken on erotic movements that are beginning to be a culture at many wedding ceremonies. Some audience members move in to pay the young ones highly as appreciation of skill.

Erotic dancing tends to be somewhat acceptable or tolerable in performances considered to be in the secular, non-religious, environment.

But so too has Gospel Music performance been infused by erotic dancing. An interesting development we have observed in recent years is the use of erotic dance and movement in religious “Gospel Music,” the sounds performed by members of churches and groups that link themselves to Christianity.

                                                     Various Traditions

We must note that there are various attitudes, practices, and traditions towards religious worship and activities.  So there will be differences in how persons worship and do music in the religious environment. Some will regard worship and music as celebration.

Just as some shout in prayer and others are softer, there is variation in performance of religious music or music for religion.

                                                       Deep Silence

Some celebrate very loudly and expressive of voice, body, and music instrument. Some regard music worship as sacred and are often solemn. Even where the message is joyous, there will still be an atmosphere of reverence and sacredness.

Some persons worship in deep silence, where they can more feel the presence of God. Or they will have music that has some mood of sacredness. They may vary the mood, but throughout will have deep respect in their devotion.

                                                                    Sensual

The erotic gospels we find on our screens and even in church performances involve invoking, and performing, sexual movements.  Sensuality may be visual or vocal or in some other ways.

While in other settings they may not raise much in terms of reaction and issues, in the church and religious environment, one must think about purpose and effect.

Sex and sexuality, very crucial forces and processes of life, are treated with some casualness, not with sacredness and deep respect.

Of course, it is important to deal with issues of sexuality. Various cultures and institutions have developed platforms for dealing with sexuality in ways that are respectful and contribute to deep learning.

                                                        Traditional?

Of course, like in the way that if one wants to escape the police, a secure place to live in is a police camp, some persons are finding the church environment the place to do erotic dance.

Some will argue that the erotic movements are part of “traditional,” local, culture and are being used to celebrate religious life or proclaim religious message.

One is not sure that in traditional religious practice of time ago, the approach was similar. It is possible that there were some fertility dances in some ceremonies, but we cannot be sure that that music and movement dealing with praying to God and feeling God’s presence were not solemn.

These erotic gospels we can observe publicly performed by members of various groups, from the earlier established churches to the Pentecostal groups.

Actually, the erotic dancing can be found in many, many, Gospel Music pieces.

                                                             Casualise

The performances involve movements that are very openly sexual in nature, with movements that casualise sex and sexuality.

The hip movements, thrust, and other movements are normally performed in some atmosphere or event tolerant of sexuality. It seems out of tune to see them performed in prayer, or sacred song, to Christ and God.

Some persons will even do some sexual thrust or other movement as the name Jesus is mentioned.

Here, I am not saying that the dancing in Gospel Music should be banned. We are saying that the performers need to deeply consider the context, environment, and purpose they are performing in. They need to think more about the effects of the dancing in relation to the main purpose at hand.

They sing and dance in groups and choirs but individual members may need to think about the total product they are participating in.

Presently, there is some combination of gospel music and erotica, or Gospel Music is accompanied by erotica.

The erotic gospel dances may have been affected by the type of music beat chosen to accompany the religious music. Various music types have invoked various movements, some very sensual.

The erotic gospel performances are not limited to adult performers. Even child performers can be observed dancing erotically to gospel music performance.

                                                  Choreographer

The directors, conductors, and choreographers, who are in charge of designing movement, need to think about how they can perform Gospel Music in ways that focus on spirituality and not sensuality and casual sexuality.  We are not forcing them to change. I am not talking about censoring the erotic gospels. Nor should some persons turn our points into some attack on cultures of Africa and worship in Africa.

One is just bringing up some issues for the digestion of those linked with erotic gospels. It is up to them to consider purpose and effects. It may be their intention to have erotica to accompany religious music and one can only watch them as they claim artistic and creative licence, or even freedom of worship. It is up to them, but let other performers and audience think about purpose and effect.

 

ginfinite@yahoo.com

 

GCB, May 2018/ January 2019, LUSAKA

Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the author is independently involved in Writing and Arts, Cultures, Social Development, and observing Peace Issues.

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Fr Charles Chilinda, Priest and Friend, by Gabriel C Banda

Fr Charles Chilinda, Priest and Friend,

by

Gabriel C Banda

ON Thursday January 20th, 2021, Father Hector Mukwato, SJ, Jesuit, of Society of Jesus, mentioned his Coronavirus-2019 Positive status with Father Charles Chilinda, SJ. Also, he informed that the St Ignatius parish would close for two weeks, to reopen February 03rd, 2021.

Fr Hector Mukwato wrote that other priests and staff at St Ignatius had Negative results. Fr Hector Mukwato was calling for those who had had contact with Fr Charles Chilinda and he to go for tests.

Friday, January 22nd, I was very moved to learn about the passing of Fr Charles Chilinda, my Friend and Priest, on the night of Thursday January 21st, 2021, at Maina Soko Military Hospital, which has been turned into a Coronavirus-2019 treatment facility. Among the kind informants was the Ministry of Health.

Later, we learnt of the passing of another Catholic priest, Fr Patrick Muyenga, a Capuchin, part of the Franciscan Order. The previous week, Bishop Moses Hamungole, of Monze, passed away Wednesday January 13th, after days earlier announcing testing Coronavirus-2019 Positive.

Yes, Father Charles Chilinda. Cheerful, thoughtful, and graceful. Friendly. We could discuss a variety of issues in society and human relations and communications.

Fr Charles Chilinda, in touch with People and Society. Thoughtful. Tolerant, Patient. (Example, as he tolerated our Big Man, the unpredictable Michael Sata, to tease him in Church at prayer).

Father Charles Chilinda, available to many. Both open and disciplined. A guide to many. Priest and Friend to many. Fr Charels Chilinda was a relative to many, as a priest should be a relation of all. He appeared content. He did his tasks with gladness.

If there was Mass with huge attendance and the priests and persons giving Eucharist were many, I felt comfortable to go to the line Fr Charles Chilinda was administering.

(I believe that the one who administers Eucharist must at that time have some good level of preparedness and purity).

In 2019, at the tenth anniversary of memorial of passing of Mr Francis X Nkhoma held at the Nkhoma residence, I received Holy Communion from Fr Charles Chilinda.

In my mind, I sometimes thought Fr Charles Chilinda would do my requiem mass some decades from now.

Coronavirus-2019 and its effects and handling are still being understood before we reach some point of sufficient common control.

Meanwhile there are persons, like preachers, public officials, and persons playing various roles, that are very vulnerable because they are heavily exposed to interaction with other persons and many events and many things.  

Other preachers in other churches and religions, and other persons playing various roles, may have passed on without others and themselves knowing links with Coronavirus-2019. Others knew the links but it was not announced by themselves and others around them.

Now we give thanks for the contribution that Fr Charles Chilinda and those team mates of ours that have passed on have made to our paths. We give thanks for having been together in this journey of Life.

Yes, we must now greatly make adjustments so we can live and continue to be supportive of the work Father Charles Chilinda was on with us and others.

For the sake of continuing our roles towards the collective work we were doing with Fr Charles Chilinda and other team mates of ours in various parts of the world, we must protect ourselves and survive Cornavirus-2019.

Those of us still with the gift of Breath must rededicate our selves to fulfilling our parts in Creation.

Thank You,

Gabriel C Banda,

LUSAKA, January 2021.

*Picture of Fr Charles Chilinda, with apologies to St Ignatius Parish Lusaka

Season 2020 into 2021 !

Season 2020 into 2021!

To You and I

I trust that this Season now is
further time for Retreat,
Some Retreat that is for Reflection,
Healing, and Restoration
So to strengthen, deepen,
and be ready to go further
in our Contribution to Creation!
May You find Restoration and,
with your team mates in the world,
Greatly Achieve your various tasks in Year 2021
and Beyond !


Thank You,


Gabriel C Banda,
December 2020, LUSAKA.

Come to Life, by Gabriel C Banda

Light, Life. Golden Light over Zambezi River Lower. Picture by Gabriel C Banda, (c) Sept 2020.

Come to Life

By

Gabriel C Banda

AT what point are our ideas and projects we have been working on? Is some idea on the line-up, just about to jump into life?

Or is the idea and project sick, burdened and struggling? Or is our idea very ill and on bed in hospital? Is our project not breathing and is now on emergency, resuscitating?

Or is our idea being taken to the mortuary, viable but considered dead?

Or has our idea been buried or cremated? Or perhaps our idea and project is lying with a remembrance stone or memorial over it?

What is causing our project to be inactive, unborn, sick, dead, or buried? What is required from us now to make sure that some important and very necessary idea or project comes to live and be part of life?

When, and how, are we going to nourish and release our idea to fly into life?

Yes, there may really be persons and situations making things difficult for our project. Some persons and situations may be, deliberately or otherwise, working to kill or abort our idea. They want to uproot the seed and seedling.

The forces against us or our project may be so, but remember that good ideas always have some persons and situations available to support them. Creation nourishes and requires the good actions.

While some persons and situations fight our good idea or project, remember that good persons and situations are existing and are always available to support us. They are always, always, available.

Do not yield to the actions of persons and situations working to derail and sabotage our good project.

Let us not abandon the good, necessary, project. From the sick bed, let our idea heal and have strength. Do not take a breathing idea to the morgue. Return to life the good idea.

Resurrect the good idea from the grave and from crematoriums. Undo the memorial plate and let our project fly in life abundance.

The good idea, or the idea of Good, is always stronger than the actions of persons and situations that want to defuse its light, the light that is within. Know that light cannot be defused.

Even when we find or see darkness and night, Light is always present. Light is Life. Life is Light. Life is always present. Life always IS.

The good idea always has support available. The world is always waiting for our part. Creation is always ready for us, for our part. Be Awake !

So, Come to Life,

Come to Light.

Shine on Life.

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– GCB, October 2020, LUSAKA.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020, LUSAKA.

Coronavirus, Masks and Joe Biden’s eyes,

Greetings.     “Coronavirus, Masks and Joe Biden’s Eyes,” by Gabriel C Banda, is from our vaults of writing, done October 2020.

Please read and share.

Thank You.

GCB, Lusaka.

Coronavirus, Masks and Joe Biden’s Eyes

By

Gabriel C Banda

SOME weeks ago, in September 2020, I realised that if you looked into Joe Biden’s eyes, you found goodwill and sincerity in there. His appears a spirit seeking the path of righteousness.

This year, because of the face-masks-on to prevent Coronavirus-2019 infection, we have been enabled to have more contact with the eyes of others. From the eyes, and through the eyes, the soul reaches out.

                                 Various Reasons

Masks are worn by a wide range of persons for various reasons. Some masks cover more than others do. Masks of various proportions can limit the viewer or observer from fully knowing the face and expressions of the wearer.

Persons from the criminal fraternity have masks so that they are not identified by victims and the police.

In performing arts, clowns use masks. Dancers and artists in many parts of the world use masks so they are not personally identifiable. Full masks of the dancer prevent the identity of the dancer being known, thus giving freedom to the dancer to do much. In some cases, where they need to speak or sing, the dancer in Africa will also mask their voice so that they are not identifiable.

The welder uses some mask to protect their eyes from harm from excessive light of a particular kind. In the medical and health field, masks are used to prevent infection.

And face masks are worn by medical staff and a few other persons that have entered risky areas. But the Coronavirus-2019, being a pandemic, hugely threatens all our areas worldwide and compels us to use face masks. 

                                          Sincerity

In Joe Biden’s eyes, we reach some sincerity. He seems to believe in what he says and says what is in line with ideal principles. Observers can say Joe Biden is overall aligned towards honesty, honour, and goodwill.  His eyes are gentle and friendly.

You can feel at home, relaxed, with his presence. You are not on guard thinking he might insult you or attack you in other ways. He seems a person of honour. Biden’s eyes do not exhibit the fire and fury of some persons’.

Even now, we can note from video of decades ago how a younger Senator Joe Biden spoke very passionately, and with sincerity and humanity, against the racist Apartheid South Africa regime.

And above her courage, assertiveness, and perhaps sometimes some toughness on public issues, in the eyes of Senator Kamala Harris we find some sparkle of delight of a soul. In her eyes is found friendliness. Kamala Harris is a spirit reaching out in gladness and union with others.

                                  Spirits on Fire

Now, there are persons in politics, business, and various fields of life whose eyes appear to be on the alert and sizing down those persons they meet.   

They have fire in their bodies. They are spirits on fire. What they touch, they try to burn.

                                     When No Mask

When some persons have no masks, it helps them. It helps to reduce the focus on their eyes. The observer is seeing a large part of the face. There are many features that the observer will pay attention to.

The person may even have some make-up, which is some form of masking, and the observer will be made to focus on those, not the eyes.

But when they have some face mask on, their eyes are in focus. The state of their spirits is easier to see. The fire in their spirit is more easily seen through the eyes.

Because of this, it is also understandable why some persons do not want to have face masks on against Coronavirus-2019. Face masks reveal their eyes and spirits. Yet, there are still others that avoid face masks because the persons already have many masks to shield the person’s real character.

Some persons have on them some fake fronts to shield themselves from their real selves. These fronts are some form of masks. Some persons may have one or two masks within them while others have many masks.

                                      Masks Within Mask—–

Wearing a medical face mask will increase the masks they are wearing. For that reason, as the masks may be too many, some persons will avoid wearing the anti-Coronavirus-2019 mask. 

Also, the persons may not want some medical mask on because the masks within them do not want to be blocked by other masks on the body. The furious masks within want to be the dominant mask and not that of the medical system.

They feel suffocated by the one anti-Covid mask. The anti-Covid mask may feel like an extra mask. Besides that, the anti-Covid mask on the face of their body makes observers focus on their eyes, which they want to avoid. For in those eyes may be fire and hatred coming from their restless spirits.

So folks, some persons already have some vicious masks within them. Some persons may struggle with having masks on because the persons wear make-up, which to some extent may be some form of masking the self.

                                 Not Limited to Eyes

Of course, expressions of the spirit are not limited to eyes. For one aspect, in persons that have challenges with their eyes, such as in disability through blindness and other limitations, there are still expressions we have not learnt to detect and understand. 

Many who have visual disability have other expressions that reach out to other persons. They become very sensitive in using other aspects of sensing that others with better sight may not be using much.

In the lips of one with visual disability can be found one way the soul reaches out and communes with others.

Consider the joy that comes from singer and music artist Stevie Wonder’s smile as he speaks, sings, or is listening. Stevie Wonder’s soul reaches others through his smile, words, and singing.

Ray Charles was similarly pleasing and uplifting. In Zambia, we had joyful music stars P K Chishala, Spokes Chola, and Lazarus Tembo. You still encounter others performing in the street, with joy Many persons with visual limitations come to others through such and other ways.

                           Air Force One stair rails

*Masks show us a lot through eyes and the state of the spirit within a person. Joe Biden has shown sincerity in acting against Coronavirus-2019 by having a face mask on and encouraging followers and the public to practically act against Coronavirus-2019 and its dangers.

I am just concerned that sometimes, like other persons, my Big Man Joe Biden has not worn the mask securely fitting. He ends up touching it to make it align.

We will encourage that he must be careful with his hands, which will need sanitising, because touching the mask may expose the hands to virus the mask has blocked.

At other times, Joe Biden and persons like Donald Trump need to be careful about touching the rails of the stairs of aircraft, Air Force One for Trump, they are boarding. From where I am in Lusaka, Zambia, I sometimes observe Donald Trump touch the stair rails as support and pillar when going up to board the aircraft. That endangers him and others around him. I want him to train himself and avoid doing that. Just as we can train ourselves not to insult others, we can train ourselves to be careful on Coronavirus-2019.

And I understand that in recent months, Dr Chris Annear, our brother who is an anthropologist teaching in the United States, featured in Time Magazine with other academics commenting on some other aspects of Coronavirus-2019 and masks.

But, for now, the anti-Coronavirus face mask helps us to further appreciate the sincerity and dignity held in Joe Biden’s eyes.

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GCB, October 2020, LUSAKA.

Coronavirus, Trump WHO and Creation: Trump Against Creation, by Gabriel C Banda

Coronavirus, Trump WHO and Creation,

Trump’s Path Against Creation

By

Gabriel C Banda

“…In Creation, it is rare, as illustrated in the Donald Trump spirit, to find resident and combined in one human being many of the worst attributes in leadership and human relations.”

Trump, and WHO?

There are times Donald Trump has supported some things that, to us, seem the right or good direction.

These have included meeting the ruler of North Korea in dialogue, which I agree with. This easing of tension helps the earth and the communion of human beings who are in various positions. There is no need for rulers to continue to inherit the now unjustifiable hostility towards the North Korea administration.

Donald Trump has talked of intention to remove USA troops from places like Afghanistan and Syria. Invasion and support of armed rebellions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have been stressful for humanity, leading to effects that will for long continue to affect all of us in the world.

The occupations and rebellions cannot be sustained and it is not good for governments to make or support armed rebellions for regime change of fellow United Nations members.

                                          Actions against Creation

Yet in Creation, it is rare, as illustrated in the Donald Trump spirit, to find very resident and combined in one human being many of the worst attributes in leadership and human relations.

Donald Trump has been consistent in his actions against humanity and creation. He has sought the support of pro-life persons yet his actions are against the well-being and health of Creation.

Donald Trump has insulted friends and foes. He will turn against those who are considered his fans and followers.  He can be no friend to those who may be in his team and may consider themselves his friends. He bullies those near and far. He has insulted persons, institutions, governments, and peoples.

He has insulted persons and communities of African descent, classifying their places as “shithole.”  He has openly and consistently insulted persons of Mexican and Latino descent, and called them, as a group, some drug traffickers, criminals and rapists.

“Rapist” and rape are among images and codes racists use to dehumanise and grade inferior members of some groupings and justify degrading behaviour towards them.

Where things have been going towards cooperation and unity, Trump has thrown in the spanners to prevent their development. He has disrupted the international accord on Iran and nuclear technology and brought back sanctions, which in the time of Coronavirus will have great effect not only on Iran, but on the region and all of us worldwide.

Where persons from various backgrounds are working in cooperation for the good of Creation, trump has acted to disrupt the efforts. He has pulled out USA from the crucial Paris Climate accord. He is actively fighting the healing of the earth.

                                                 Mama Greta

Trump has attacked Mama Greta Thunberg, born January 2003, the great soul and passionate campaigner for healing the climate and environment. We may be cautious of how she has packaged one or two things but Mama Greta is a sincere, mature, and deep supporter of Creation. Trump has attacked Greta because she is a promoter of Creation while he is opposed to the health of Creation.

Where others are building bridges, the Trump spirit has built blocking walls. It has worked to divide humanity, even if it means building long walls. Trump has actively acted against persons of some faiths, the Muslims, and legislated his bias into national law and action. He has banned many of them, as groups and communities, from entering the United States.

He has uttered hate speech and nourished it in others. He has not hidden his words but has openly and proudly displayed them and acted on them. He has been proud of what many consider weaknesses. Thus he has mocked those he has demeaned and may be wounded by him.

Now, a head of state or government is expected to protect the rights and citizenship of citizens, no matter their origin. But in the country he governs, Trump has pronounced outcast some citizens and regards them as non-nationals.

These have included the four Congress representatives who were critical of him and are not of European-descent. He has talked of them to “go back” to “their countries” and that they come from crime infested countries. This is not the first time Donald trump has insulted Africans and others as a group and race.

“Go back,” “Go back to your place,” and “leave my country,” “leave us,” “leave us” some of the terms racists use on other members of their societies.

And locally, he has fought to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, “Obama Care,” that has helped many persons that previously would not have had some secure access to healthcare. His attitude and ineffective action towards the serious effects of Coronavirus-2019 is consistent with his position on not improving health for the whole society.

Trump has disturbed economies of the world and world economic relations by his selfish fight against others, including China. He has pushed others to the disadvantage of fair trade and economic relations among nations. His actions affect economies, countries, and peoples all over the world. He affects world balance.

                                             Fire and Fury

Trump has fire and fury within him. The Trump spirit has some restlessness. He is sometimes not at peace with peace and will thus stir things up to disruption and disharmony, where he appears to be at home with. A restless spirit, he displays an inner violence, a violence within.

Trump carries in him a very radicalised personality.

At the critical time of the Coronavirus-2019 pandemic, the Trump spirit has now turned against the World Health Organisation and its head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Trump says the United States government will withdraw funding and membership from the World Health Organisation.

Earlier, Trump did praise WHO and China, then lapsed into his character of attacking and insulting others, both friends and foes. The China blame game is not limited to China but will also likely, by his tradition, attack and insult others.

The action against WHO and China is consistent with Trump’s actions against humanity and creation itself.

                                            Easter Attack

The timing of Trump’s attack on WHO is significant and symbolic. Trump’s attack and sabotage happened on April 14th, 2020, around the time of the ending of the Christian Easter period. This is time when the betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ are observed.

In some terms, April 10th was “Good Friday” or “Holy Friday,” the day the assassination of Jesus Christ was set up. Sunday 12th April was Holy Sunday, while Monday April 13th marked Holy Monday or Whit Monday, day of resurrection and overcoming.

The assassination was achieved through the evil ones and their agents building false accusation, a false case, and some false judgement against Jesus Christ. But in spite of the false attacks and judgement, Truth and Good proceeded on to live and thrive into other generations.

Yes, the timing of Trump’s attack on WHO was symbolic for the period it was taking place. The last name of WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is linked to “Jesus,” “Servant of Jesus.”

This was time for Trump to make Dr Ghebreyesus, Servant of Jesus, and WHO carry some cross and go to crucifixion. It was time to claim some false case and invoke some false witness.

                                                   Framing

Trump framed the WHO, blaming it for national implementation limitations and problems that were not of WHO’s making.

Folks, the Trump spirit has been acting against Creation.

We believe it is not wrong to ask critical questions at a critical time. This can help in reflection, correcting situations, and avoiding going into worse situations. But Trump’s points against WHO and China are not critical points designed to improve the situations of WHO and the world.

His input is designed to derail WHO, which is trying to help heal humanity, and harm humanity.  These are efforts to make sure that WHO does not stop the Coronavirus-19 and reverse its effects.

The Trump spirit is deflating the tyres of the fire-engine as it goes to rescue to fight the fire. He is putting nails on the railway line so that the train derails. Earlier, he was trying to pump out and syphon fuel from a rescue vehicle as it is moving.

Trump is trying to stop the firefighters so that the fire can consume the world. Trump is trying to snare and handcuff the firefighting team.

Trump is behaving like when a child in a ball game does not like the way play is going and, as a way of sabotaging the game, withdraws their ball from being used in the game.

                                             Knows the Effects

It is not that he does not know the effects. The effects of removing resources at this time are self-evident. We will need to consider that his desire may be to remove resources so that things go into the direction he wishes.

It is sabotaging the WHO. He wants to remove the pledged funds now so that WHO is disabled. This will help to compromise humanity and creation.

The United States government, with America’s people, from formation has been a key and willing member of the WHO. US governments have contributed a lot to humanity through WHO and bilateral arrangements. They have also learnt a lot that has through international interaction benefitted the people of the USA. There are even USA citizens working in WHO.

                                     Not Trump Family Money

The monies Trump is removing from the WHO are not his family’s but from the persons in the United States whose taxes and other contributions have been put together to support a world organisation that seeks to help common humanity’s health and commonweal. People of the United States are part of the common humanity and have played, and continue to play, important parts.

It is unfair to the world and the United States for a person to have been behaving the way Trump has done.

Withdrawal of funds will not only affect WHO but may affect the relationship of US institutions like CDC and American health programmes’ collaboration with other governments and programmes of the world.

                                              Trump Isolation

Yet, instead of succeeding to sabotage WHO, he will find that others will quickly step in and fill the gaps and requirements. Governments, organisations, and individuals can together fill up the gap Trump wants to create in his sabotage. They will show that the world can go on and thrive without the Trump spirit.

The world will get together and fill the temporary withdrawal of US official funds. Working together, it is easy to put together various resources and fill the money that Trump is withdrawing. Trump will be isolated. It will not be easy for him to engage in necessary international cooperation.

In Trump’s isolation, he will want to hold the USA system with him, distancing the American people from their brothers and sisters in the world. Trump’s actions have been creating division, locally and globally, and undoing bridge building.

                                      Sanctions and Pandemic

Even during Coronavirus-2019, many governments and institutions are scared he will attack them if they call for easing or removal of sanctions against places like Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

As long as people in these places will be badly affected by Coronavirus-2019, everyone else in the world is also vulnerable to infection. Governments must cooperate above political divisions if humanity has to overcome Coronavirus-2019.

                                  Americans part of Humanity

The Trump spirit has tried to separate Americans from their fellow members of humanity. Americans are not a separate species but part of the unitary humanity. Some major Trump’s actions have been against humanity and the world. Sometimes, Trump has been an opponent of Creation itself.

The Trump spirit has invoked fire and fury at the world. Fire and fury have been meant to destroy the world. In that direction, some of his actions have continued been aligned. Some actions and words are similar to what may be found in the devil’s workshop.

He acts to have Coronavirus-2019 have high impact on the world, including America. Coronavirus is only one of the fronts he has tried to use.

Yes, it is rare to find held in one person some of the world’s key contentious issues threatening the integrity and harmony of humanity and Creation

Perhaps Trump is not exactly alone among rulers. There exists at least one other example of a ruler who has kinship with the Trump spirit in action and network against Creation.

                                            Who or What?

Like a cult leader, he tries to move and hold his audience from what is truth and real. May 2020, and the November 2020 US elections are too far away for a person who makes major errors many times he speaks or tweets. Before that time, he will make many, many, mistakes. His questionable acts and words may become so frequent that even some of his deep fans will wake up in doubt.

Every week may bring one mis-action or more. Eventually, every day will come with some error. And it may even be more than three critical mistakes every day.

He will sometimes do or say something and later seem to dissociate from its spirit like it was not he that had done what people are wondering about.

He will dissociate himself from his words and actions openly made and imply he did not make them or meant something else.  I can believe this. I can believe when he said he did not say or imply something.

He may be right. It may not have been he that said or did some things. So a question is: WHO, or What, is talking or acting through him? What drives Donald Trump? What is behind the Trump spirit?

                                               Human Family

Trump wants to push Creation over the cliff, even with the USA in it. Trump’s actions in various spheres and activities are trying to isolate Americans from the human species, the family that all humans, in their variation, belong to.

Whether they like it or are hostile to it, each is an integral part of the whole human family, which is also an integral species of life.

Many in the world know that the Trump spirit is not standard representative of the behaviour of most persons in America.

The Trump actions of isolation and division will eventually fail. But not before the Trump spirit has led to the decline of the United States.

Humanity is one, a unit. There can be no Super power in the human family. Whatever bricks are built to create a superpower eventually part and fall away. Donald Trump is not a god. He may act as a force, but Trump is not a power. In the world, there is only the power of Creation.

A good king or emperor is not disruptive to their societies and the world. Donald Trump must know that he is not the emperor of the world. His efforts in that direction will only fail.

He that wants to destroy Creation may himself end up falling off the tower and lying in the swamps below.

*

The writer is independently involved in Writing and the Arts, Social Development, and observation of Peace and Conflict issues.

                              *                          *                           *

– GCB, May 2020, LUSAKA.

Brother Isaac Chirwa, Some Lessons of Creation, by Gabriel C Banda

 

 

Isaac Chirwa

 

 

Brother Isaac Chirwa, some Lessons of Creation

By

Gabriel  C  Banda

 

BROTHER Isaac Chirwa, our cousin, passed away in Lusaka in the night of Wednesday, July 08th, 2020.

This is opportunity for us, in tribute to Brother Isaac Chirwa, to share with You some observations of some principle and process that should be of great assistance as you work in this beautiful creation.

Our parents were not only relatives but also close friends. Isaac’s parents were our mother and father also. We lived in Libala when the Samson Chirwa family lived in Arakan Barracks. So we interacted a lot in Arakan and in Libala.

With Isaac and his brother Martin, we were not only relatives but also friends from the time we were very young.

At some point, we played football together. In the 1970s, there was a time we were doing trials for the Zambia Army, now Green Buffaloes, Under-14 boys team. At first our Libala community team was matched against the Arakan Barracks boys team.

One time we played as entertaining curtain raisers at Independence Stadium when the senior Zambia Army team, the “real one,” was playing with a team from outside Lusaka.

Later, more boys from Libala used to go for trials with the Zambia Army Under-14 team, trained by coach Kathumba / Katumba. Major Mwanza would come over to check on the needs of the junior teams and the main team.

For some time, I was very involved in the very competitive trials. Isaac and Martin were also very active. Isaac tall and left footed. And gentle. He was very active yet steady in his approach to the game.

Around that time, Texan Phiri was also very active in the trials for junior Zambia Army team. He later went on to work in football in Swaziland, now Kingdom of Eswatini and other places outside Zambia. Texan passed away in Livingstone a few weeks ago, in late May 2020.

 

After our days of soccer with the Under-14 team, later Brother Isaac Chirwa went to Zambia Police soccer club, now Nkwazi where he also went into police work. That job of serving and protecting the public he held up to the time of his passing the day after the Heroes and Unity long weekend holidays. Through his dedication, he reached the rank of Assistant Commissioner.

 

                                                                         Cheered On

 

In recent years, I realised more and more that Isaac had over the decades keenly followed my activities and cheered me on.  Because of my work in theatre and the arts, Isaac sometimes fondly called me “The Bongoman,” as in a message person, after the Jimmy Cliff song.

Sometimes Isaac thought of the controversial writer of Zimbabwe and called me, for some reasons I did not quite understand, “Dambudzo,” who he was fascinated with.

 

                                                                         The Amphibian

 

Isaac had read some of my writing in my Post Newspaper column and would proudly talk about them to me and when we met his friends. He loved the piece “The Amphibian,” which I wrote about Zambia and the Southern Africa struggles after finding an old armoured vehicle in Senanga district.

Isaac was proud, and so to his friends, that I served in the Zambia National Defence Force as a willing conscript at a very tense time in the region.

After completing secondary school, I was drafted into the combined Zambia National Defence Force and, aged 17, trained as a soldier of the republic. ZNDF was composed of Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, and Zambia National Service.

After training, I postponed going to college and ended up in a ZNDC operations battalion. After release I went to do fulltime theatre, writing, and the arts. Later, following extensive raids by Rhodesia and South African forces, I was again drafted into the military and served at 9th Battalion, Zambia Light Infantry.

When we were released following Zimbabwe’s independence, I went back into the theatre, writing, social development and the arts, travelling in many places of Zambia.

 

                                                                    Supportive

 

While some persons were sceptical and even tried to throw in spanners, Isaac was proud and very supportive of my being a pioneer in the making of fulltime theatre in Zambia. For decades, this supportive relationship has continued.

So, in recent years, I have reflected on Isaac Chirwa’s contribution to me and other persons. There have been some very intensive times when I have been with him and the dawn has come afresh because we had been together.

In life, there are those with whom we are in support of one another at critical times on the journey of life. Our activities and advances have happened because they have been there supporting us.

No one in the world has survived without the voluntary labour and support of another.

I have been fortunate to have acknowledged and thanked Isaac in front of him and other persons.

 

                                                                 Creation Principles

 

And, now, it is also through Isaac that I must share some important learning about some principles of creation.

Many times, when we are struggling and facing much challenge and stress, we seek the assistance of others. There are times when others will, for various reasons, not help us. Sometimes they are not in a position to do so or sometimes they are unwilling to help us.

They may be unwilling because they may not believe in what we are doing or may not want it to succeed, however good it may appear to us and others. Know that some persons do not want to assist good projects because the persons are opposed to those good things being fulfilled.

There are those that are used to being assisted but do not move to do their part to assist others in need.

We sometimes have not done what we need to do because we have not received support for requests we have made. Many have given up and abandoned things or failed to achieve. Many in the world would have done much if they had assistance from others.

 

                                                                   Other Sources

 

In spite of these setbacks, the lesson that we would now like to share with you is that you must realise that when some refuse to help you or are unable to help you, there are always others willing to help.

Do not stay on the closed door and windows. Realise that there are other sources of what is required to let you achieve your activities. Do not weigh your-self down with frustration and self-pity and even anger at not being helped, even by those you have in the past helped.

Accept that you can give unconditional love and support to another but they may not return it. Do not feel frustrated that others have not helped or supported you. The frustration will slow you down in what you doing or may divert you from your journey.

In any case, true help comes with willingness, free choice, and love. Prefer to get support that comes from free choice of the person giving it. Such support is coming from love. Do not force another to help you. Someone that is forced to help you may resent you and now or later, directly or indirectly, may sabotage you.

 

Now, a key aspect we must learn to realise is that when others are unwilling or unable to assist you, there are actually others that are willing to help you. So, let go of the unwilling persons and saboteurs and focus on the willing. Do not feel burdened by the reluctance of the unwilling.

There are actually many who are willing to assist you and will be available for you. Do not divert from them by remaining with the unwilling and even fruitlessly and continuously negotiating with the unwilling. Many times this is futile.

 

                                                                       Willingly

 

Now, realise that in creation, when others are unwilling to support you in your good cause, there are those who are not only available but will willingly offer to support you. Later, you will realise that in fact, while others decline to assist us, there are those that will actually willingly reach out and follow you to provide you the needed support.

They are helping because the support is necessary to make creation operate effectively and fruitfully. So, this is the principle and process we must open ourselves to.  If some will not help you, others will come forth and willingly help you, and even follow you.

 

This I witnessed Brother Isaac Chirwa do. This I have witnessed others do before. And even as I conclude this, there have been some examples of some persons reaching out to others in need, without being asked.

Related to this is that we ourselves can also demonstrate this by willingly participating in this through helping others in need. Our receiving support from others is example of what we can also do

Sometimes you do not have to let a needy person kneel down and beg you when the need is apparent and we are in some position to assist.

We are teams working together with members all over the world.

Offer something you are able to give and another in need will turn up and be able to use it for the good of Creation. This is part of the practical lessons that Brother Isaac Chirwa, others, and Creation have contributed to the world.

 

The funeral service for Brother Isaac Chirwa has been scheduled for Saturday, July 11th, 2020, with church service at RCZ Matero and burial later at Zambia Police burial grounds, Mutumbi Cemetery, Lusaka.

 

*

G C B,

July 2020, LUSAKA.

 

 

UK-China and Hong Kong laws, the Science: a view from Africa, By Gabriel C Banda

 

UK-China and Hong Kong laws, the Science

a View from Africa

 

By

 

Gabriel  C  Banda

 

WE have been very concerned about the Coronavirus-2019 record situations in, among other places, UK and the USA. We are concerned about our brothers and sisters, citizens and expatriates, living in those parts of our world.

For, because it is a pandemic, the Coronavirus-2019 effects in UK, USA, China, and other places will eventually affect all other places of the world. Our health will be affected by the events in UK, USA, Brazil, China, and all places of the world. Our experiences here will also have effect on our brothers and sisters living in those places.

There are many in UK and USA who we know personally and they are in turn linked to other persons there and elsewhere who are all greatly affected by, or concerned with, Coronavirus-2019.

 

                                                                 China Passing Laws

 

While the Coronavirus-2019 situation has reached very worrying impact in recent days, attention is also being drawn to the issue of China passing laws in Hong Kong.

China government officials say the laws will deal with issues like promotion of secession, independence, and public disorder like the violence in the Hong Kong protests.

Of course, all that happens elsewhere affects many others, including those of us far away, in the world. Thus we must be concerned by what is happening to our brothers and sisters elsewhere. We were concerned when Coronavirus-2019 figures were developing in China, Italy, Spain, Iran, and later UK, USA, and Brazil.

 

                                                                     Affecting Us All

 

We were concerned when authorities in USA and UK, saying they have been following the evidence of science, were trying to rush and reopen economies after a short time of shielding and “lock-down.”

The practical evidence and wisdom in the situation seemed at variance with the direction of whatever science or theory the authorities said they were following.

We have been concerned by the killing of George Floyd and unarmed persons of African descent by police of USA cities. This is part of some pattern going back hundreds of years of these crimes against humanity. The concern of many around the world has led to protests and the opening of windows for definite change.

Thus the developments over China’s new laws in Hong Kong will affect us all. The authorities in the UK, USA, Australia have reacted by taking threats and actions against China and its authorities. The UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have started implementing what they threatened they would.

 

                                                                     U K Citizenship

 

The UK government will entitle residency and eventually citizenship to about half of Hong Kong’s population. These were born before the British’s 1997 transfer back of the Hong Kong city state to China and had been subjects of British colonial rule. These British National Overseas, BNO, persons number some three million.

The USA Congress and Senate have passed legislation to punish China. Australia is also inviting some person of Hong Kong to escape to Australia.

China’s authorities have been angry about what is like UK stealing, or defection of, some of China’s population and said retaliatory responses will be made.

 

The Chinese and British administrations are accusing each other of breaking the 1997 agreement of the Hong Kong handover.  The agreement was to cover fifty years. There are various interests by those involved in, and quarrelling over, Hong Kong.

 

Some persons in Hong Kong are critical of Beijing while others are not opposed to Beijing and others are even pro-Beijing. Some wish UK did not let go of Hong Kong and return it to China.

Of those persons born before the 1997 transfer and had been subjects of British rule, there are those who may want to leave Hong Kong, for UK and other places. Still, there will be those who will not want to leave Hong Kong and live in the UK.

So, now we are being moved from intensive concentration on the happenings around Coronavirus-2019 to sharing attention towards the implications of the UK China differences over the introduction of some laws in Hong Kong.

 

 

                                                                       How Informed

 

With these developments, what is now coming to our mind is how far the responses of the Boris Johnson government have been informed by the science, the social science, on their societies. It is important to consider the effects of various measures and possible counter measures.

And besides the Coronavirus-2019 situation, the UK has had major events recently. These have included the referendum on Brexit, the elections of December 2019, and the ongoing Brexit transition itself. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a key driver of Brexit and isolation from Europe.

Britain has separated from the European Union and they are finalising the divorce terms and what relationship will follow afterwards. Of course, there are other internal UK issues that will follow.

These include the future of the United Kingdom itself, for secession often begets secession. It is just a matter of time, within ten years at the most, that Scotland may secede into independence.

There is also the relationship of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, both whose publics are pro-European Union even though Northern Ireland is part of the UK.

The relationship between people in the Republic and the North has over the decades been greatly helped by both being members of the EU.

 

                                                                 Brexit and Migration

 

Now, Brexit has been quite influenced by issues around migration. So, for the Boris Johnson’s offer of millions of our brothers and sisters from Hong Kong to steps towards automatic residency and citizenship, we wonder how much the decisions of the administration have analysed the science.

What is the attitude of the current residents of UK towards the arrival of hundreds of thousands, and later some few millions, of persons of Hong Kong to be residents and citizens?

What is the current attitude of British citizens towards persons of China and of Hong Kong?

 

                                                                  Settlement

 

How comfortable will be the settlement of our migrant brothers and sisters of Hong Kong? How comfortable of this arrangement will be our brothers and sisters that are citizens of the United Kingdom and may consider themselves the natives?

How comfortable will be residents of members of the union – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland?

What relationships will develop? What will be the relationship between the new migrants and Hong Kong, and also with China?

Have some surveys and polls been done on this issue?  As issues are developing, it may be very useful to consider the science, the social science, showing the factors and dynamics around this issue. Healthy social relations are important.

 

*

 

Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the writer is independently involved in Writing and the Arts, Social Development Work, and observation of Peace and Conflict issues.

 

 

*

 

G C B,

Thursday, July 02nd, 2020. LUSAKA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus and Arts Relief Facility, Zambia, by Gabriel C Banda

 

Greetings ! This piece on Coronavirus and Zambia’s Arts Relief Facility has some of my thoughts reflected, to our Brothers and Sisters in the arts and those in support of the arts and social development, on recent developments involving the arts and the Coronavirus-2019 pandemic. It was also posted on my Facebook page, June 28th 2020.

Thank You.

Gabriel C Banda,

LUSAKA.

 

 

Coronavirus and Arts Relief Facility, Zambia

By

Gabriel C Banda

 

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s Statement, broadcast and issued Thursday June 25th 2020, as update on the Coronavirus-2019 situation and responses, has great importance.

It is good the administration is resisting pressures from some interests as has sadly happened in UK, USA, Brazil, Sweden, and some other places, to relax early and open up to active commerce and money-making. There is no contest between Life and Money. Life, with its health, is always primary. Life is first.

Before money was, Life was. Thus it is good, from President Edgar Lungu’s speech of Thursday June 26th, 2020, that government is showing resistance to pressures from forces, from various sectors, that want to act against Creation and Life.

The effects of seeking commerce and money above Life have already been showing in USA, UK, Sweden, and other places. Many of our innocent Brothers and Sisters there are suffering needlessly because of early opening.

                                                         Premature Opening

Some of these premature opening up societies, because of the harsh impact of Coronavirus-2019 and how they handled or did not handle it, will have their governing administrations swept away.

The impact upon societies of governments pre-maturely opening up to commerce and economy quickly and without capacity for adequate control over Coronavirus-2019, is immediate, harsh, and long term.

Recovery will take long and will require more resources than would have been required by just avoiding quick reopen.

                                            Many Health Workers Required

If Zambia opened up deeply and we had, in various places far from each other, more infections needing hospitalisation, the health workers would be inadequate to manage. Already, it takes many health workers to attend to one patient with Covid-2019.

How would they manage a few more hundreds or even a thousand more patients whose location may be spread in various places and directions?

The staffing in health is still inadequate. It would have been better had it not been for IMF and World Bank economic austerity programmes that reduced our gains and capacities in health and various sectors.

Many of our skilled Brothers and Sisters have migrated for economic reasons and are far away working on the front lines of health and fight against Coronavirus-2019.

Much still has to be understood about Coronavirus-2019, it’s nature and effects. Don’t be tricked. What we need is relevant safe behaviour and PATIENCE just for a few more weeks, only a few more weeks, and we should be in some position to come out further from the retreat, shields, and bunkers.

                                                         Arts Support

Now, some other aspect of President Edgar Lungu’s statement of June 25th, 2020, is financial support to the Arts on account of Coronavirus-2019. This is significant.

In terms of resource programmes, since 1992, some sectors and situations have received grants and loans. These include housing “empowerment” programmes, funds for market traders, taxi drivers, farming funds, and other fields. The arts have been on the margins.

This may have happened not always because of bias against artists and the arts, but because those designing interventions have not been systematic enough.

Thus many independent artists have been on the material and financial margins. Government and private financing, by banks, has many times excluded the arts as a fraternity.

                                                         Living on Little

Yet, those in the arts, who have learnt to live on very little, have experienced some resilience that can make them achieve much if supported just with a little from public resources as others have.

Supporting and investing in the arts just with a little money can hugely transform Zambia’s visual screens and arts fraternity. Supporting twenty production houses with small loans can lead to many productions that can transform Zambia’s screens. Supporting writers can bring out many publications.

All parts of the arts can become stronger if supported. If supported, the artists can up their contribution in various genres and greatly affect the social environment.

                                                       On the Margins

At present, since 1992, many independent artists like us have not personally benefitted from government and private sector resource and finance. We have been on the margins.

But we benefit from communal government programmes. Like in the night, many are relieved to go and sleep because others around us, the police officers, are awake and working to protect the common good and prevent the forces of evil from sabotaging.

Also, like others, we benefit from infrastructure. In some places, it is safe to move even late because of public infrastructure and facilities. And there are some other common benefits.

But the artists have largely been on the margins when it comes to sector needs.

Many are struggling. Rents and housing. They struggle to find resources to rent from those that benefitted from government housing programmes.

(The housing programmes, not well done, contributed to family breakdown over house ownership, and to town councils losing huge rental incomes necessary for their various programmes).

                                              Creative, Struggling

Some of our friends are still very creative but are struggling materially. Their work would have been faster and more if they had been in more material balance.

Many have difficulties with shelter and accommodation. Some struggle to pay rent but, being independent or freelance workers, will not be allowed mortgage finance by banks – even though the property itself can be security for the lender in a loan transaction.

Some are almost destitute. Some are not active in the arts as they have diverted to other fields and activities that provide money which can enable them get various basics for themselves and their families.

                                                                       Vote

Our friends are very much interested in Common Welfare. Like us, they always try to vote during elections. They know it is human duty to fulfil our part in society and Creation.

Many I know will foremost vote for what they consider a good candidate, a good person. They do not vote expecting their personal situation will receive special assistance and programmes.

They vote because it is important for the whole society, not because they will personally benefit through some packages.

So, President Edgar Lungu’s announcement of the package for Artists is a very important turning point.

However, from the Statement and responses, we ask for more understanding of the announced facility, which has been given to the National Arts Council, NAC, to administer.

Again, it is commendable that the facility will be coordinated by NAC. Now, we need to have clarification because this arts facility has been linked to Youth.

Already, national ZNBC TV News on the evening of the Statement had three persons comment as they welcomed the fund. The persons focussed on the ZMW30 million as a fund FOR YOUTHS.

Is the Facility for Youths and will also cover artists? Or is the Facility an Arts resource that will also cover the youth?

Or is the Fund weighing for either Arts or Youth?

At the moment, this fund committed to artists and the arts sector by government under the environment of Coronavirus-2019 seems to have early on been claimed by youths and others as a youth fund. Some persons are making plans for this ZMW30 million.

So, does the fund have both arts and non-arts in it? If it has more than just arts and more than just youths and is for all two sectors, shouldn’t it be disaggregated so that the amounts of money or even the number of beneficiaries be noted?

Is the fund meant to cover persons that are both youth and arts person, or arts person that is also youth?

Also, the youth and age factors combination needs discussion. Now, officially,

Youth is considered as age range 18 to 35.

                                                          Various Ages

The artists are of various ages. Some are below 35 while others are now aged over 50. Linking the fund to Youth risks alienating, excluding, or putting on the margins persons aged above 35.

The arts and communication field is not very restricted by age. Manu Dibango was still playing music into his late 80s. Then he passed away, Coronavirus-2019 linked, some few weeks ago.

There are many music persons, writers, visual artists, and other artists and performers who have produced deep and moving materials when they have become Elders.

Retired members of the Zambia National Dance Troupe are example of artists who are still active after formal retirement.

Even when they are very creative and active, financial institutions in Zambia and elsewhere exclude elders from support such as loans. Some banks receive and use for profit the deposit of elderly persons but refuse to give them loans, even when those elders have surety.

Perhaps elders with money in such banks should start withdrawing their funds to put in more friendly institutions.

For now, the Government’s announced facility for artists should be very helpful. It should be done in very fruitful processes.

Artists are composed of persons of various ages. They are in various art forms. And they are male and female. And they are in various situations of physical ability. They are in an arts fraternity that works across various factors.

Let this chance of arts investment during Coronavirus-2019 practically work to uplift the arts, artists, and society.

 

*                             *                               *

GCB,

Friday, June 26th, 2020, LUSAKA.

 

Coronavirus, Lessons from Captain Tom Moore, by Gabriel C Banda

 

Coronavirus, Lessons from Captain Tom Moore

By

Gabriel  C  Banda

 

FROM our 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore, there are many lessons for us, now and in the future.

Captain Tom Moore, a retired army officer and business manager, lives in Bedfordshire, England, the United Kingdom. Born just after World War I, he is a veteran of World War II.

Captain Moore, born in April 1920, just after the Flu Pandemic of 1918/1919 ended, was turning 100 at the end of April 2020.

Meanwhile, currently not a very predictable contagion, the Coronavirus-2019 pandemic has been worrying people in UK and the whole world.

Captain Tom set out to do some walking exercise that would through sponsorship raise a thousand Pounds towards the National Health Service. The “NHS” is that significant health system that covers the residents of the United Kingdom. It is a system of universal health.

To this body, Captain Tom’s one thousand Pounds goal would help in efforts to deal with the Coronavirus-2019.

Yet Captain Tom in recent years had treatment for knees. He also had a hip broken 18 months before his laps project for NHS. The NHS had helped him.

Now, with his walker frame, he pledged to walk the household grounds and make one hundred laps of 25 metres each. This was one lap for each of his one hundred years.

 

                                                                        Inspiring

 

Captain Tom Moore inspired many persons all over the world. Captain Tom showed deep sincerity. And he was a good natured and friendly person. He loved what he was doing. He was determined. He was very concentrated, very focussed. And he enjoyed his task.

The result was that Captain Tom, igniting and inspiring many in the world, actually ended up multiplying his target by over thirty thousand times and raising tens of millions of the Pound.

Starting off with the hope of raising some few thousands of Pounds, Tom Moore went on to raise tens of millions of pounds as his hundredth birthday anniversary arrived on Thursday, April 30th, 2020.

 

                                                                   Tom Lessons

 

Captain Tom has given us many lessons that can make our own lives and the world to grow.

Captain Tom showed that a person is useful at whatever age they are. We should be contributing to life as long as we have the gift of breath. There is no retirement in true life. Each moment we are living a life that is a contribution to what has happened, and will happen, in the universe.

 

                                                                        Welfare of All

 

The money Captain Tom has recently made and contributed to the NHS will be helping to look after the welfare of everyone, including the elderly.

The elderly have right to be helped to be active. Some persons write off the elderly. If you are a health worker or social welfare official and believe that elderly persons are more likely to die than younger ones, you may end up neglecting to support the elderly even when they are able to survive. In China, a 103 years-old woman survived a Coronavirus infection.

Elderly persons also have right to life. Living longer does not limit a person’s right to life and care. As long as there is breath, a person, at whatever age they are, is entitled to support and love.

 

No one should be at the margins. No one should be labelled too young or too old in life. Everyone should be central. And, as Captain Tom Moore shows, the elderly person is entitled to contribute to society.

 

                                                                        Exercise

 

And from Tom Moore’s achievement, we learn that for one to exercise well, physical space does not have to be massive. At times, when we find we have some limits, it is still possible for one to exercise in limited space.

While some persons have been pushing to get back to “the economy” and the standard ”normal” movement and travel, the cautious can still use limited space very effectively.

The Tom Moore experience shows us that persons in various roles and places will support those sincerely dedicated to some action to help the common good.

The support for Tom Moore tells us that a good venture will receive goodwill and support from persons all over the world. People all over the world, and from various backgrounds, will support a good person and a good cause. Individuals do their parts to support much bigger schemes taking place in creation.

 

                                                                     Supported

 

Another major lesson is how Captain Tom Moore has been supported by family members. Daughter Hannah Moore-Ingram and her family team have been in his stride.

In many societies, many elders are not supported in their ventures because family members want the elders to exist as archives. They will withhold required support.

Worse still, some family members and associates not only do not support the endeavours of their elders, but are key in blocking elders from activities that contribute to the wellbeing of the elders themselves and also the wellbeing of society.

In recent times, a World War II veteran living in a home for the aged was being blocked from attending an important war memorial in Europe. He managed to organise his visit quietly and went to the Europe memorial, later, mission achieved, returning to the home for elderly persons.

 

                                                                      Generations Together

 

As they cared for us without conditions, to our elders we need to be Keepers of Our Parents. In return, we are greatly nourished just by the presence of the Elders.

Now, we may be many ages and generations living together, from baby to centenarians like Captain Moore, but each enables the other to learn and grow.

Every person, as long as they have the gift of breath, can, and should, contribute to life. All who are alive are alive at the same time and thus part of the same journey of life. No live person should be archived. Working together, the common wellbeing of society is promoted.

Britain’s NHS is a great creation for the common good. Without it, the impact of Coronavirus-2019 on the UK would have been harder. Supporting the NHS is some big gift that Captain Tom Moore has given to humanity, now and in future.

He has contributed to what helped him and also to what is fighting the current Coronavirus pandemic. He is trying to help humanity survive this pandemic challenge.

 

                                                                         With Our Elders

 

Now, Captain Tom Moore may have served in the military together with our elders we know in Africa, elders who, while in the British Commonwealth military during World War II, also were at Arakan in Myanmar, formerly Burma.

All over the world, as we have seen from our war veteran elders in Africa, most persons that served the military during war respect and protect human life.

Tom Moore shows what very good military personnel become. Many I have met who have experienced armed combat deeply respect life and creation.

 

                                                                        Not Archived

 

The Elders are not to be archived. They are not to be put aside and restricted. For, still with breath, they are living, living now. The elderly are not archives or the archived but are persons that are living libraries and databases that are alive, alert, and active. They are not to be on the sidelines but are an integral part of life and creation.

They are not for another time passed and archived but for now. They exist to be together with others of other ages.

The elderly live to contribute to the Forever that experiences various persons at various times. The elders are also forever. Captain Tom Moore shows us that.

 

                                                                        Goodwill in Action

 

Captain Tom Moore’s practical example is Goodwill in action. It is inspiring us to also practically do our part in dealing with Coronavirus-2019 and our individual and common health.

 

From all over the world, we salute and honour Captain Tom, now Honorary Colonel Tom Moore, an officer and a gentleman. Captain Tom Moore has been an asset for humanity and Creation.

 

                                                                              ginfinite@yahoo.com

 

Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the Author is independently involved in Writing and the Arts, Social Development, and observes issues of Peace and Conflict. He has served as a conscript in the Zambia National Defence Force.

 

*                   *                      *

 

– GCB, Lusaka, May 2020.

 

 

By Sunday, May 10th, 2020.