‘Sakwiba Sikota’s tomato support nauseating’


I don’t know how you missed it but there is an article circulating supposedly written by Sakwiba Sikota in which he has joined Stella Sata mocking unemployed youths.

Sikota’s conclusion was that ‘Stella was saying that formal employment need not rule your life and if you do not have a job offer, but work hard, you can still become a millionaire. One may ask if Stella has lost her groove or woken up the Zambian imaginative spirit.’

I really found Sikota’s article nauseating. First of all, in trying to justify Stella’s insults, Sikota used examples from USA, a land of opportunity where it is possible and easy to make money. He talked about an imaginary man who made money through selling tomatoes. Now, this imaginary man, apart from being in a stable country, had $10 on him. Do Zambians graduates have that kind of money when they go looking for opportunities? Why can’t Sikota give us examples of all the hundreds of Zambians who have tried to sale not only tomatoes but sweets and fish but failed for various reasons but mostly due to the bad economy? Who told Sikota that Zambians do not try to do small-scale businesses? What I know is that hundreds of thousands of Zambians each day try to start a business but things just do not work out. Even at UNZA, students try to do business by selling clothes and other stuff to fellow students, but people don’t pay because they have no money. So Sikota should thank God for his privileged position before he mocks the poor.

How can you expect poor people to survive or become rich through selling tomatoes when they have to compete with funded Chinese investors?

To answer Sikota’s question direct, Stella did not awaken the Zambian imaginative spirit because it never went to sleep. We have always been hardworking and survived economic hardships under Sikota’s client Rupiah Banda. If we all had a well paying client like Mr Banda, then surely we would sit and mock those trying to survive the current hardships. There are better ways of seeking a job from PF than mocking poor people.


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