WE Christians sing in Church: Whom shall I send? And the response is: Oh Lord, send me. These are very important words both in and out of Christian life. They speak to responsibility for carrying whatever burdens exist around.
In these words, you’ll find an expression of the willingness of Christians to do tasks for the Lord as espoused by our Saviour Himself – Jesus Christ.
Zambia is a football loving nation. Our national team might not be as vibrant and exciting to watch today as has been the case during certain spells in the past, but nonetheless we are a football loving nation.
Aside from local football, many of us tend to focus a lot of our energy on watching English and other European football. And who can blame us?
Football in Europe is like a movie produced in Hollywood. It’s not that other places do not have good football, it’s just that Europe is where the best talent in the world can be found.
And just so we are clear, I am talking about football at club level, and not necessarily internationals.
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
Similarly, it’s not like other places do not make movies – Nigeria, South Africa, India, Britain, Germany, China etc all make movies except they simply don’t come close to the quality and popularity of what is churned out of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
For those that love football, you’ll agree with me that possession is a very big part of the game. In fact, you can only score when you are in possession of the ball. And you can only concede when you are not in possession.
All great football players pretty much never lose possession of the ball to their opponents. It’s something that is easily noticeable when you are watching the greats.
I once heard of a football manager in one of Europe’s elite leagues that would put up on the wall of the dressing room the words: Loss of Possession is Criminal.
wHowever, the very element of how critical possession is tends to put pressure on some players.
Losing possession leads to conceding goal
Losing possession leads to conceding goals which in turn can lead to losing games. It’s that simple. So certain players do not want to be the one to lose the ball. When the ball is passed to them, they will not hold it for even two seconds before passing it to someone else in panic. This can be dangerous football. Out of panic, that very same ‘don’t give me the ball’ culture can lead to loss of possession and conceding of goals.
And that’s how most Zambians live – very good at talk but do not want to be a part of the solution.
A man once asked: Are you here with the solution or are you part of the problem? In Zambia people like to talk.
We talk about poverty, joblessness, the economy. We talk about how everything is owned or run by foreigners. Yet, the question that begs an answer is – what are we doing about this beyond chatter?
Many of us are simply playing don’t give me the ball on the pitch.
There’s that inner coward stopping us from joining the new liberation struggle, the economic liberation struggle.
They say we need to look to our own people to come up with solutions to the challenges that we face, but looking to people doesn’t happen just like that.
They have to stand up and be counted. And when I say stand up and be counted, I do not mean stand out as the loudest noise maker, empty tin! I mean make positive contributions in your community. This is how leaders should emerge ordinarily.
People should be able to appreciate your good works in the community and then desire to have a person of your capabilities in a high position in society.
Instead of talking about problems, we need to think more about solving them. Take unemployment for example, if an individual that starts a little business employs five people, these five will have an income that will be used to provide for their families.
If these five employees have families of four on average, that’s up to 20 people that the one small business proprietor is empowering.
If 10, 000 people came forward with various small business initiatives employing a similar number of people, that would mean 200, 000 jobs created.
This possibility should not be farfetched looking at our population of 17 million or so. It is also important to note that these small businesses have the potential to grow into mega businesses, some grow from starting out with 2 – 5 employees to over 1, 000 within a decade or two.
So imagine the possibility for empowerment of people. Let’s not forget the benefit that will be spread to other players in the value chain such as suppliers.
The question is where do we find the 10, 000 individuals to set up these small businesses? Easy. It’s you and me dear reader. But where are we?
We are somewhere in hiding. Playing in a football match hoping to win, but somehow praying that our team mate does not pass the ball to us. We are afraid to fumble the ball.
Yet we need to play our part for our team of Zambia to win. We need to receive the ball, hold it long enough for our team mates to make a strategic play forward, release the ball and score. And that is how we shall beat poverty, joblessness and other afflictions of our society.
The culture of cowardice and insecurity has killed us. The culture of always waiting for others to sort out our problems equally has killed us.
This business of running away from responsibility has gone just too far. And now all we can talk about is that there is this problem and that problem.
Yet the real problem is the people that are supposed to be in the forefront contributing to solving the problem are not doing their job.
You and I need to stand up and stand out. We need to say I will contribute to job creation one way or another. We have reached a point where entrepreneurship has gone beyond the proprietor of the business making money; we now need successful entrepreneurs to avert the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment from going off.
Again I regurgitate the words and ask: are you hear with the solution or are you part of the problem?
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