Just a few days ago we were commemorating Africa Freedom day. A day that year in and year out reminds us that there was a time we were not free, not free to express, not free to move, not free to sale, not free to buy, and generally just not free to be. There was a time the extent of our freedoms were dictated by powers that were. During that time if you attempted to do anything that went beyond the bounds of your predefined extents, you would be charged and punished severely.
While one would argue that there is need to moderate or regulate how far one goes with what they can do, the problem with how the limits were set on the freedoms is that they were extreme and oppressed the people who were subjective to them. Because we experienced all those years of gruesome oppression at the hands of the colonizer, we strived and fought for liberation. When it finally came, we made sure it was never to end and the years of oppression were never to return. We value the day we attained this liberation so much that every year we set aside a day to stop and commemorate as a continent.
Now for people who struggled so much to escape the grippling avaricious hand of the oppressor, you would expect the now free to treat other people as equals because you expect them not to want any other group of people to go through what was experienced during the years of struggle for freedom. But unfortunately greed and a desire for more power and authority and wealth and prestige has continued to contaminate the minds of the now “free.” They fight among themselves for each to have more than the other. They attain so much pomp that it deafen their ears, they can’t listen to anyone unless they can cause a swell in their already fattened pockets. They don’t realize that by their actions they subtly mimic the colonial oppressors who held their forerunners freedom encapsulated in their hands.
I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I wanna make this article more relatable by bringing it home. Now the next few lines may pump some nostalgic zing in you, coz I get goosebumps just writing about it. This is because if I look back to this time last year, there was much chaos and tyrannism when we speak of national freedom on a lot of fronts. Around this time last year the country was gripped with so much fear that people could not freely associate or even express for fear of being unjustly incarcerated or beaten by thugs.
If not for a few brave vigilantes that stood up and spoke regardless of what was their obvious fate, we would still be under moonwalking the corridors of fear.
This article is aimed at recognizing the freedom that we are experiencing today, the freedom to associate, the freedom to speak and express and just generally the freedom to be. And this freedom was made possible through the bravery of individuals like Chellah Tukuta, who in 2020 was arrested several times for standing up and speaking for the many scared Zambians. But despite the several arrests and threats, he never kept quiet up until a point where he was jailed.
To Chellah Tukuta and Many other soldiers like Pilato, Laura Mitti, Sishuwa Sishuwa and everyone who fought for freedom in our present day, we want to say:
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