Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:09:18 +0000

By Sycorax Tiyesa Ndhlovu

REFLECTING on most of the good things which occur in our society, one can conclude that we rarely exploit available opportunities and plan how best to utilise future ones.

Such a trend has led to most citizens in most African countries to remain poor and some being destitute despite such countries having vast rich, natural resources. Consequently, such citizens sustainably blame each successive government that that respective government leaders are not doing enough to improve on the living standards of many citizens.

Surprisingly, while some citizens persistently blame their respective governments for their sustained high poverty levels, some citizens in the same countries are doing relatively well through exploiting the enabling environment the same condemned governments facilitate; and in the process, improve on their respective living standards!

‘The government is not doing enough to improve on our living standards. Some government leaders are busy serving their personal interests,’ said one of the middle aged man.

One of the youths said foreigners are buying huge chunks of land from some traditional leaders.  Hearing this, another man said traditional leaders selling huge pieces of land to foreigners do not consider that their domesticated animals such as goats and cattle will continue requiring land where to graze; and that, in future, such land will no longer be there because much of the land will be in the hands of foreigners living in Zambia.

Generally, some citizens observe that most of such perceived or real malpractices against some citizens are a result of high levels of corruption which they feel has grown with time both in public and private sector organisations; including among some traditional and some political leaders.

As a result, some citizens continue to blame traditional leaders, successive government and some government leaders involved in such perceived or real vices against some citizens.

But do citizens condemning every successive government imply that there is literary nothing the respective governments do in terms of providing relevant policies, programmes and supporting infrastructure for socio-economic progress to take off to the benefit of those who use such an enabling environment accordingly?

The Chewas of Eastern province have a proverb saying: ‘Likawomba wotheratu’; meaning when the sun shines, bask in it before in disappears. This proverb is a figurative speech from cold seasons where the warmth of the sun is rarely felt because the sun is always hidden in the clouds.

Therefore, the stated proverb advises individuals that when the sun shines, ensure that you relax and enjoy the mild heat from the sun before it disappears. Generally, this proverb reminds us of the need to exploit available opportunities.

This is what most small-scale farmers do when rainfall pattern is favourable in a given farming season. Zambian small-scale farmers have reportedly been contributing to bumper harvest of maize consecutively for more than half a decade now. Such farmers exploit favourable rainfall patterns when it is available.

But the same farmers also make mistakes of not storing some of such maize stocks for future use in case the rainfall pattern is unfavourable for household food security in a given farming season. Therefore, when there is poor rainfall pattern for 2-3 years, such farmers can starve to death because they did not exploit the availability of enough maize stocks for future use when it was there.

At no better time, for instance, can one mould his or her desired future than when one is in youthful age. Not doing enough to ensure that your adult age is relatively enjoyable is establishing and developing future destitution in one’s life. So, exploit your youthful age before it disappears! Invest in what you will enjoy in future for you to have a relatively full and decent life at your adult or old age.

Using one’s five (5) human senses, throughout one’s life, one might see, hear, smell, taste and feel or be able to touch opportunities of various sizes and shapes to mould one’s relatively better future.

Take an example of someone given an opportunity to rent and do some business in a certain building for a long time.

Being a rented business place; and that anytime a land lord or land lady might increase rentals or change his or her minds to use the same building for another purpose, a wise tenant is supposed to quickly organise himself or herself; be committed to his or her business, develop strict financial discipline to raise more money for increased capital in his or her business; and construct his or her own building for self-reliance in business premise!

Similarly, some people have been in employment for a long time; earning a relatively huge monthly salary. Rarely do some of such people cogitate that, one day, their respective employer might terminate their services or that their organisation, for whatever reasons, might wind up; making all employees jobless and destitute. When you are in gainful employment, make wise use of your monthly salary before things turn sour.

For instance, one of the men who complained of sustained selling of huge chunks of land to foreigners said soon or later, land would be too scarce to buy; making it unaffordable to most Zambians.

While all such statements and complaints might be associated with PR issues on the part of successive governments and their respective political leaders, learning about or hearing all such statements and complaints makes one wonder; and ask: ‘What are the same citizens doing about the same trends which appear to disadvantage them?’

Reacting to the same perceived or real negative trends is not necessarily about going into the streets to demonstrate against such malpractices; but to ensure that while such practices against majority citizens cannot be supported by any patriotic and well-meaning citizens, one is supposed to work hard to buy one of the pieces of land to safeguard oneself against future negative consequences of scarcity of land and its high costs.

What is also interesting in such issues is that we see and hear how some indigenous citizens and foreign nationals become relatively comfortable within the same environment we are in. We, therefore, know, for example, where they buy land; and at what price. It is from such a background that some fellow Zambians have bought land from the same sources or others. So, why are others just watching such relatively developmental activities without participating in any moral and legal way possible?

Is really having no money an excuse? Can money come alone to us? Where do those who buy pieces of land in towns or in relatively rural areas like in Sibuyunji, Mumbwa, Chilanga, Kafue, Kapiri Mposhi and in other districts get money from for buying land, for example?

Both in public relations (PR) and in strategic management, it is encouraged to be pro-active. Be pro-active! Invest in strategic properties. Invest in knowledge. This is because, in some situations, we never know what happens next!

Watching actors serving their interests without serving yours can be detrimental in life! While we condemn actors who use illegal and immoral means to achieve their personal goals, we should also work hard and be financially disciplined to secure our future through legal and moral means at all cost.

With some highly financially disciplined foreign nationals living in Zambia, some Zambians have learnt a lot from such nationals on strategic plans and management of such plans to improve on one’s life. Consequently, one finds that, nowadays, almost every district in Zambia is full of personal home construction activities in form of mansions. Some of such mansions have heaped or Nigeria’s types of roofs.

This is because such Zambians feel that the current government is providing enabling environment which facilitates them to do something for their future.

But one of the major long standing opportunities Zambia has is peace and stability. As already alluded to, some Zambians and some foreign nationals are doing their best not only to preserve such peace and stability but also to exploit the same peace and stability for their own benefit through working very hard and investing their earnings in properties.

Take advantage of our national anthem’s motivating words and phrases such as ‘Land of work, joy and unity’; ‘victors in the struggle for the right’; ‘all one strong and free’. Be a victor in the struggle against high poverty. Feel proud and free when you are a victor against poverty around you like other Zambians are already doing or have already done in fighting against high poverty levels.

That some ordinary, some middle income and some relatively well off Zambians are buying land and constructing some structures in different parts of the country implies that Zambia has many opportunities which each of us should strive to see and exploit for our better future. With social, cultural, economic, legal, technological and political environment always changing, available opportunities will not often be there. They might disappear soon or later. Therefore, exploit opportunities before they disappear.

But this demands constantly developing relevant capacities to withstand unfolding negative socio-economic, legal, political, technological and environmental factors now or in the near future; and be able to exploit some opportunities which the same factors might create for you and many other Zambians.

For ideas and comments, contact:

Cell: 0977/0967 450151

E-mail: sycoraxtndhlovu@yahoo.co.uk

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