Open letter to musician Lota Mandevu aka DRIMZ

Dear Editor,
I AM quite impressed with your appeal for peace and condemnation of tribalism. Your appeal to the head of State, the President of the Republic of Zambia to fight tribalism and political violence is laudable.

But I am challenging you to also play your part by being a responsible artist, a bridge builder and peace maker. You have also been fanning the flames of politically motivated hate and violence through your music.
For example, your song “ba Mwankole” does not promote or preach peace but fans political violence. It is not only provocative but also disrespectful. You can’t hide behind the claim of satire or metaphor. Clearly, the song was aimed at provoking public hate and contempt towards a particular group of citizens.
That is why it played a very divisive and destructive role in the recent parliamentary and local government by-elections.
People were quick to interpret who the “mwankoles” are in the song.
The people you called “Ba Mwankole” are reasonable human beings with feelings and emotions. They still feel hurt, angry and bitter because of the ridicule your song occasioned on them and their social group.
If you are not alive to this reality then you are still a toddler in the creative arts.
You need to find a way of making amends with the people you disrespectfully called “Ba Mwankole” and “ba Mushanina bwali.” Failure or refusal to do so may adversely affect your career and your personal safety.
The ideal is that those who feel injured should exercise tolerance and swallow the shame of being ridiculed as “ba Mwankole ba Mushanina bwali” because Zambia is a democracy where every citizen should express themselves freely. Yes, that is the ideal. But we are not living in the ideal world sir. We are living in the real world. Realism supersedes idealism.
In politics the real world exists.
You also need to play your role as a peace maker by releasing songs that promote national unity and peace.
You can help build Zambia.

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