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Sunday, November 2, 2014

MY PLEDGE TO DEFEND FREEDOM




And SO I PLEEDGE TO YOU MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND TO THE PRE-INDEPENDENCE GENERATION OF OUR FREEDOM FIGHTERS

I received a letter from the District Commissioner’s Office in Chiengi, appointing me as a member of the Golden Jubilee Committee celebrating our beloved country’s 50 years of Independence from colonial rule. I participated in two meetings in preparation for the event. It was on 24th October 1964, when the Zambian flag was raised with the Eagle on it flying high in the sky. It was that same year that earlier on about May or June, that my father came back home after two years of CHA CHA CHA trials at Bwana Mkubwa. He had been arrested as one of the “terrorists” as Mr Roy Welensky, then Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland used to call them. He had been sentenced to four years in Prison following those two years of  trial. Thank God, Amnesty saved him and his colleagues from the tyranny of colonial prisons even though two years of un-bailable trial was more than enough. I felt the joy. I felt the exaltation, the inner pride that my own father, was among the thousands of men, like a thousand stars in the sky that kept the hope of freedom alive. As young as I was, 12 years to be precise, I felt the adrenaline in me enough to memorize and sing our new national anthem with total joy. Free we had become, at last.
On 2nd of February at 16.30hrs, 2013, my father passed on to the other side, a victim of a massive stroke that kept him on a wheel chair for almost 4 years. He endured great suffering. But a royal, I buried him at Kasamba farms on 3rd February, 2013 at 03.30 hrs. His freedom song he once sang for me ringing in my head, much louder today on 24th October, 2014 at 00.05 hrs. I was asleep earlier but I woke up without an alarm set, just to witness once more, the moment, the hour that our Zambian flag was raised for the first time in 1964 and hear deep in my heart, the freedom song. A deep yearning I feel for freedom moved me to reflect. Dad, if you were here, what would be your story of the struggle for freedom? You told me, you were not Independence fighters. You were freedom fighters. What did you mean Dad? Can I be independent and not free? Can we destroy our own freedom even though there is no colonial master? I remember your answers and I shall keep them to heart and allow the freedom song to ring for all the children of mother Zambia! And so,  I pledge to you and to all of your generation who sacrificed bone, flesh and blood, for our freedom, where ever freedom shall be threatened, I shall speak out for freedom. Not just here in my country, but wherever, freedom is threatened in the world. As long as I live, the song of freedom must ring. Help me God!