Who is the greatest enemy of development?


Ganizani had agreed with Sakauni to go early in the morning to see a friend in the neighboring village; 47 kilometres from their village who is supposed to take them to the latter’s potential fience. It was resolved that by 03:45hours, Saukani should come to Ganizani’s home to start off.

But it was now 03:50hours before Saukani arrived at Ganizani’s home. Ganizani went to Saukani’s hut.

When Ganizani reached Saukani’s door step, he called: ‘Saukani! Saukaani! Wake uuuuup!

Although Saukani was deep asleep; and coiled in his only blanket, he heard someone call his name outside. He stretched his slim; but tall body. He knew it was Ganizani.

‘Nabwera mwana;’ in his sleepy-like voice, he told Ganizani while still stretching his body.

Four minutes later, Saukani staggeringly came out of his hut while scratching his only left functional eye.

‘Yes, mwana! Saukani said. ‘Sorry, we were too intoxicated with beer yesterday to wake up early this morning;’ Saukani apologised.

Ganizani kept on thinking why his friend is always behind in thinking and in doing things; and in most cases with wrong and risky decisions.

‘Let’s go, Mwana;’ Saukani said while fixing the buttons on his blue, short-sleeved shirt. The belt on his yellow pair of trousers which was tattered in the knees was still hanging loose. He was wearing a pair of canvas shoes with a left big toe protruding the canvas shoe like a head of a from tortoise.

Ganizani touched the front part of his waist where he ties his belt to check if he hasn’t done his belt like Saukani. His belt was well fastened to his black pair of trousers. All the buttons on his clean, deep blue long-sleeved shirt with white and red stripes were properly fixed.

Ganizani advised Sakauni not to wear that pair of canvas as he might reduce his chances of winning his prospect. ‘She might think that you are out of your mind;’ Ganizani warned.

As they were travelling, there was silence for some time. Each of them was cogitating what the other was thinking about.

Later, Saukani started thinking about what brings poverty on someone.

To break the long silence between them, Saukani said: ‘Ganizani, help me.’ ‘What is it?’ Ganizani asked. Saukani asked why poverty was increasing as years from political independence also increase.

‘What do you think were the causes of high poverty levels among many people in their village?’ Instead of answering the question, Ganizani sent the question back to the sender.

Saukani said it was because most of the elected political leaders such as ward councilors and members of Parliament don’t do their work. Ganizani said: ‘You are partly right. But that is not enough. ‘What are the other causes?’ he asked Saukani.

Saukani replied that it was because each successive government we put in power doesn’t do a good job. He argued that with many natural resources our country is endowed with, by now our country, including their village would be highly developed.

Ganizani said he was partially right. But he told Saukani that there was a big factor with many sub-factors to why many citizens were experiencing high poverty levels.

‘The opposition parties;’ Saukani suggested. ‘Not necessarily;’ Ganizani responded.

‘The problem some Zambians, like you Ganizani have is that when someone asked you a question; instead of answering that question, you also ask a question to the one who asked you;’ Saukani observed.

‘I started asking you this question. Just answer my question; instead of asking me the same question;’ Saukani demanded. ‘Don’t waste precious time with your gymnastic style of thinking, Ganizani. Just tell me why we are always wallowing in deep and dirty mud of poverty while others are enjoying their lives!’ Saukani demanded.

‘Nooo! You also know the answer to this question. How can you be in high poverty levels without asking yourself why it is so? Think! Then you will know the answer;’ Ganizani retorted.

Saukani replied that he has tried to think to arrive at the right answer; but in vain.

Ganizani said, although elected political leaders and successive governments have a share to blame for high poverty levels some citizens are experiencing, much of the challenges we face were self-inflicted. He said if each citizen could do something to fight against his or her own high poverty levels, high poverty levels among many citizens could be water under the bridge.

Saukani, who was walking in front of Ganizani couldn’t believe what Ganizani said. Saukani stopped; widely opened his left eye; and glared at Ganizani. ‘How can you say that Ganizani when you are also poor? Are you implying that you also inflicted yourself with such high poverty levels?’ Saukani asked.

They both stood; and stared at each other as if they were about to fight.

Then, Ganizani said: ‘To start with, poverty is a relative term. It is difficult to accurately measure in individuals and in a country. Therefore, it might not be correct for you to say that I am also poor;’ Ganizani argued.

Saukani wondered whether Ganizani implied that he (Saukani) was poorer than Ganizani. But from their respective homes; and the type of clothes each of them wears, Saukani knew that his friend was actually boasting that Saukani was poorer than him.

To avoid sustained suffering when his friend had answers to such a situation, Saukani wasn’t bothered by what Ganizani meant. He asked Ganizani how someone could come out of high poverty levels which have engulfed him and many others in the village.

Ganizani said the first thing to do if you want to fight high poverty levels is to know whether you are in poverty or not. Then, know what you want to be like in life. After that, you need to work hard to achieve the level of what you want to be like in your life.

‘How can you achieve that?’ Saukani asked again. ‘I am telling you how you can reduce high poverty levels; and then you are asking me how you can achieve that?’ Ganizani wondered.

‘Yees. You mean just like that someone can evacuate from high poverty levels to relatively comfortable life?’ Saukani wondered.

Ganizani said knowing that you are poor is easy. Also knowing what you want to be like in life is also not a problem. But how to work hard is what a lot of people have challenges on.

‘How? Why? Saukani asked.

Ganizania said: ‘Most people are lazy. They want easy things. They are also unable to identify and exploit opportunities. One also has to be committed to what he or she is doing to reduce one’s poverty levels. And discipline is critical in whatever one does;’ Ganizani observed.

‘Ganizani, are you saying that you and I are not disciplined?’ Saukani asked. ‘It is you who started this issue. So don’t include me in this equation of poverty. It is your situation; because it is you who felt or observed it for you to initiate such a discussion;’ Ganizani explained to exclude himself from being part of the statistics of high poverty levels.

‘But what else should someone do to work hard; and achieve what he or she wants?’ Saukani asked again.

‘You see. In whatever you want to do, acquire relevant knowledge. Developing appropriate skills in that field is  also critical. But a situation where some citizens just go into business without undergoing any course; not even a two-week one in that business or developing the much needed skills cannot take someone anywhere in fighting high poverty levels;’ Ganizani explained.

‘What do you mean? Saukani questioned. Ganizani said Vince Lombard said: ‘If we aim at perfection; we will achieve excellence.’ Ganizani explained that it is because most of us are content with what we have that the dynamic economic situations sometimes blow us into deep waters of poverty.

Ganizani observed that most of us do things to maintain our lives; and not to expand our career or grow our businesses for sustainable family development. Ganizani argued that it is when each person, family and organisation is well developed in a sustainable manner through sustainable exploitation of a country’s natural and other resources that the same country can develop sustainably. ‘We should all work hard; and be disciplined! Ganizani concluded.

‘So, who is the greatest enemy of development?’ Saukani asked.

‘It’s ourselves as individuals;’ Ganizani answered. ‘What about elected political leaders and successive governments? Saukani asked again. ‘Yaah, they are partly to blame; but the culpability is more on each citizen than on politicians; Ganizani observed.  ‘Can’t you see that some citizens who are serious with what they want to be in life are doing relatively well in the same economic situation? Ganizani inquired.

Saukani held his chin with his right hand; and closed his only eye; and thought pensively. Then, he opened his eye; and looked at Ganizani with appreciation. Saukani promised to increase on doing what adds value to his life; and reduce on luxurious life. He said it is important to spread such good news to our friends and relatives.

With only 1.2 kilometres before reaching the destination, Saukani asked Ganizani not to go ahead with their journey because it doesn’t add value to their lives at that time. They made a u-turn to go back to their village; and start working hard with high discipline levels on their respective life visions.

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