By Maiko Zulu
It’s been days of threats, madness, apology demands, comic apologies and genuine shows of solidarity for somevartistes who have spoken out about a number of evils being perpetrated by selfish individuals who have been given the opportunity to run the affairs of the country.
What is interesting about this is that it’s no longer just Pilato and Maiko who are speaking for Zambia but a whole battalions of artistes who have taken it upon themselves to be the voices of the voiceless. The awakening of Zambian artistes is by far the best thing to have happened in recent history of the industry.
A few questions however have been lingering on my mind. While literally the while sane side of the nation has been showing solidarity to the artistes who are being intimidated by the powers that be, arts associations like the Zambia Association of Musicians to which B’Flow and other musicians belong, and indeed the umbrella body the arts National Arts Council seem to be silent on the matter for some reason. What would be interesting at this time would be for artistes to know what the position of their representative bodies is on the issue of artistes being threatened by government officials. Are these bodies for or against the actions by the people involved in this whole saga? How protecting of artistes are these bodies?
NAC’s very existence depends in the existence of artistes whether affiliated or not and it it in such times that leadership has to be seen. Every NAC employee is enjoying their benefits and drawing a salary in the name of artistes and it is just fair for artistes to question them especially in times when huge stones are being thrown at artises.
While we await to hear what NAC and ZAM have to say or do about this, I wish to urge artistes to continue being relevant to the country by providing checks and balances. If people threaten you, you have every right to fight back. Now is no time to turn back if you love Zambia. Soon we will find out who the real patriots are and who the enemies of progress are.
Zambia is for all of us.