By Manson Mutumba
As the Library Development Foundation, we would like to give those that did not attend the book launch a share of the prestigious experience that was felt and appreciated by all at the event through this article. We congratulate Dr. Theodora Kabali on not just completing and publishing her second book that was being launched, but also for pulling off such a successful book launch. Moreover, the launch of the book and it’s title was done within the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence. As the Library Development Foundation, we look forward to partnering with Dr. Kabali and many more other authors on similar future book launches.
Any successful event and program in the world require the efforts and willingness of team playing members, Dr. Kabali’s book launch was characterized by a group of enthusiastic and friendly team players, they all wore regalia that reflected their official specialized duties; that ranged from ushering in arriving people into the event hall, giving directions of where to locate washrooms, answering questions, as well as the technical team that were handling the video and picture cameras, the overhead projector and many more other inconspicuous important tasks. Additional support from the organizers and some members of different organizations was rendered to the people at the book launch in a way that solidified an aura of dynamic and friendly interactions.
Officially, the book launch begun with the arrival of her Royal Highness Mukuni, upon which all the book launch attendees rose to their feet as show of respect for her presence. After her Royal Highness settled into her reserved seat along with other distinguished guests, such as the High Court Honourable Judge Maria Kawimbe, the National Prosecution representative, the professional Authors International CEO, and a few more others from different organizations, as well as our very own, the CEO of the Library Foundation Development Mr. Jordan Nkonde.
After all people settled down in their seats, a glorious introduction by the energetic MC, Ms. Kunda Mando of Katongo the Psalmist was made, to sing her famous version of Zambia’s National anthem that she created in seven different local languages along with English. The technical team turned on the projector and as she sang her version of the National anthem, an official video of the National anthem played on the screen, depicting a continuous amazing footage of Zambia’s natural sites, its people and many more National attributes.
Then a short prayer was done by the MC, thereafter inviting the Honourable Judge to make the first speech.
Honourable Kawimbe’s speech was a revelation of the impact of Gender Based Violence on the justice system. She recognized and appreciated the effort made by Dr. Kabali to produce a book on a topic that elludes many societies finding lasting solutions.
Abraham Muzimba shared a poem which exemplified the traumatic impact of Gender Based Violence on children and women.
Mr Christopher Chitumbo, CEO of Professional Authors International recognized Dr. Kabali’s commitment, effort and dedication under the Professional Authors International training program, which guarantees the publication of a high quality book. He emphasized on the the need for training in having a successful outcome in all ventures.
Mr Shadreck Thewo, CEO of Author outreach pointed out that their organization has a similar purpose as that of Professional Authors International, and thus collaborated in publishing Dr. Kabali’s book.
Dr. Kabali’s speech gravitated more towards her experience as a dentist tending to patients with dental related wounds that were a product of Gender Based Violence. She pointed out that she took an extra step of researching on the topic issue and found that the numbers of reported and unreported cases were on scale of 1 to 5 respectively, and that a huge majority of the victims were girls and women. Dr. Kabali further narrated that what prompted her to take the action of writing the book, was an incident she witnessed involving an 11 year old girl whose hands were severely burned by her step mother. In addition to the book, Dr. Kabali spoke of her initiative in a creating a care home where victims of Gender Based Violence can be sheltered, rehabilitated and trained so that they can return back to society with higher chances of being financially independent. She elaborated that many victims of Gender Based Violence are bound to abusers because of economic dependency, and thus find it hard to report the perpetrators.
After Dr. Kabali’s speech, the attention of Gender Based Violence was more drawn to the plight of girls and women in society. The guest of honor, her Royal Highness’ speech pointed the need to do away with traditions and cultural tendencies that perpetuate the scourge. Her Royal Highness even went further admitting complicity to some of these traditions that undermine girls and women.
Mr Hendrix Shamainde, the representative from Childline and lifeline informed the audience of their 24 hours support call line for traumatized children and adults. The MC in between the speeches did an amazing job of amplifying the different points of views of all the speakers on the issue of Gender Based Violence.
What was even more appealing and impressive at this focus against the victimization of girls and women, is that Katongo a.k.a the Psalmist performed a song on girl and women empowerment, syncing with the official video to the song that was being played on the large screen by the technicians. It was such an impressive display of creativity and passion by the Psalmist in the video, and on that stage that left the audience in a state of marvel.
The closing remarks were made by our CEO of the Library Development Foundation Mr. Jordan Nkonde. He congratulated Dr. Kabali and her achievements with her book, and pledged to support the book by ensuring that it is on the shelves of all the libraries in Zambia. Furthermore, Mr Nkonde pointed out the social economic impacts of Gender Based Violence, and emphasized the need for love and support of one another in homes, workplaces and among neighbors.
A book sale exercise handled by the CEO of the Professional Authors International organization saw some people in the audience paying as high as K2500, all the way down to K300 in support of the book. 3 organizations including the Library Development Foundation purchased 10 books each in an effort to spread the important information in the book.
After the book sales, photos, autographs and short interactions between the book launch guests and Dr. Kabali. Her Royal Highness was excused from the hall while everyone stood to their feet as a show of respect.
Thereafter, the MC invited everyone to make their way to a section where some food was being served.
To sum it up, the book launch was a spectacular event that has gone down in history of organized book publishing. It is the Library Development Foundation’s goal that we partner with many other Authors to give their books a strong foundation in reaching their intended audience.