TOWARD A ZAMBIAN GENRE "WHAT IS THERE TO WRITE ABOUT ZAMBIA?"
TOWARD A ZAMBIAN GENRE
WHAT IS THERE TO WRITE ABOUT ZAMBIA?
If you drive through Zambia you will encounter the most spectacular countryside. The vast savanna sprawls kilometers of beautiful vegetation. Each season has a story to tell about the magnificent transformation of the grass, the trees and flowers, year in year out. The scents that fill the air are transferred over vast regions by the elements that carry great stories across lakes and rivers. In the dry season, you walk over the soft crackle of leaves and perhaps feel a harder crunch of the fallen barks of the enormous baobab or sausage tree. When you brave the early morning cold in winter, you are met with the sweet smell of dew as it soaks into fresh or dry grass and slowly evaporates with the winds.
Living in decades of peace in this beautiful country are the people of Zambia; people who are described as peace loving, warm hearted, hospitable. They are true to their land, their tribes, their culture and beliefs. They will tell you stories of old, stories of where their land begins and where it ends. They will share their fears, their hopes, and their brave attempts at trying to make it in the big cities of Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola. They will sing songs, recite poetry. The people of Zambia are great stories in themselves. You can read it all in their eyes, their smiles and soft spoken nature.
Talk about soft, Zambia has had some hard times too. Its political development has been punctuated with pain and glory; pain from the loss of great leaders that once tried to bring the country’s ailing economy back on track. This mighty copper producer has received its fair share of the rising and falling prices of the precious metal. The weather has not had kind words for Zambia either- hitting it hard on the staple food-nsima. The politics and the economy both tell their own stories of how this peace haven has waned from the glory of standing as an equal with the currency of its former colonial master to being defined as a third world country.
There is a journey that Zambia has made from the early Stone Age through to the Iron Age and now the country is massively influenced by technology that has helped it log onto the world stage. Yes, it is in Zambia that we have archived victorious soccer stories. We have shared the world Olympic stage and the feats of our heroes and heroines are yet to be written about.
Are you still asking, ‘What is there to write about Zambia?’ Well, there you have it-this country is ready for the literary world. You can take her own whichever way, fiction or non-fiction. Zambia has a lot of stories to share with the world but it is the writers that it is waiting for.