The recent dancing by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at a certain function has raised some observations among which portray that President Lungu is a ‘play boy’ without seriousness in addressing national issues while some observations give an impression that Zambian politics is still immature. But the same Presidential dance has generated lessons which other aspiring republican presidents can learn from if they are to be liked by many Zambians.
Critics of recent President Lungu’s dancing at that function portray that with the current socio-economic challenges Zambia is facing, a republican president isn’t supposed to be having light moments; but working hard at all times to address such issues. Such critics argue that a republican president is too busy to dance.
But some people have observed that a head of state can dance; but the style of a dancing should be checked as he or she is holding the highest office of the land. In this light, some people have added that one doesn’t expect a head of state to ‘fwenkhula’ in public like the Congolese rhumba musician, General Defao.
In short, some people say that a republican president’s dancing should be moderate and decent in consonant with the socio-cultural morals and values of that society.
But the issue still is: ‘Should a republican president dance in public?
Little do some opposition leaders and other critics in such an issue know how tough it is to be a republican president. They don’t seem to know that the office of republican president is too busy an office to remain fresh at all times. Issues crop up day and night which needs the head of state to respond to or address. Such issues make the head of state tired in most cases.
Do some people expect a republican president to work day and night until his or her term of office ends? Can’t such workaholic lead to death of a republican president? Can we enjoy losing another republican president just because he (President Lungu) wasn’t relaxing after long hours of official pressures?
Can’t the same opposing leaders who condemn President Lungu for relaxing with his fellow human beings at certain functions accuse the head of state of being selfish and isolated from members of the public?
A republican president is also part of national planning team at every stage of national planning and re-planning processes.
However, while a republican president is a national socio-economic manager, he or she is also a leader. A good leader delegates certain things to respective government ministries.
While other government leaders are implementing their own and delegated functions, a state president can be planning or resting.
Working at all times can lead to the collapse of a republican president. Therefore, while a head of state is always a busy person, he or she should find time to relax and refresh himself or herself in order to re-gain energy to stir and steer the nation in the right socio-cultural, economic, legal or political direction.
This is why there is an English saying which states: ‘All work; and no play make Jack a dull boy’. How can those who condemn President Lungu for having a nice time with his fellow human beings once in a while interpret such a saying?
A republican president is a human being like us. He is one of us. As a result, he is supposed to socialize with us. He is supposed to interact with us so that we share with him our feelings and views on issues that positively or negatively affect us.
Hasn’t UPND leader, Hichilema Hakainde danced in some functions such as traditional ceremonies before? Hasn’t Rainbow Party secretary general and presidential candidate in the 2016 general elections, Wynter Kabimba danced with his so-called supporters in full view of reporters and camera persons before? Hasn’t FDD leader, Edith Nawakwi danced with her supporters in public before?
Does it mean that when one becomes republican president, such a person is a prisoner who cannot relax and interact with his or her fellow human beings once in a while just because they are some real and perceived national issues? Even prisoners are given time to relax regularly!
With all such sarcastic language, hate speech, hatred and promotion of such against the head of state coupled with some socio-economic hardships which President Lungu is trying to address, do you think the head of state can continuously be in a pensive mood about such issues without relaxing? Can’t such an approach to life in a republican president in such circumstances lead to psychological depression and later result in a stroke?
While working hard to address national issues, but avoiding President Lungu going into a stroke to the disadvantage of many Zambians, PF secretary general, Davies Chama said President Lungu wants to be himself; adding that the current head of state doesn’t want to pretend. Probably, this is why most Zambians like President Lungu because, despite some weaknesses and limitations like with any other human being, he socializes and interacts with Zambians accordingly.
As opposed to some opposition leaders who are cruel; and therefore never smile in any situation, President Lungu effectively demonstrates senses of humour and belonging to the electorate. President Lungu sings with Zambians. He mourns with Zambians. He prays with Zambians. Dancing with Zambians, he enjoys it. President Lungu is an all-weather president and friend to all Zambians. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is ‘The Man of the People’.
Therefore, do such President Lungu’s critics on his dancing want people around the head of state to be freezing until President Lungus goes away? Do those who criticize President Lungu’s recent dancing want each person in the audience in the presence of the republican president feel and say: ‘Nayuma bwana’ or ‘nayuma your excellence’ each time President Lungu is in their midst? For how long can members of the audience at a social function?
To bring people close; and make them feel you are one of them, do what they do in their respective communities.
As a national political leader, one is supposed to know when to be serious and when to be jovial with people from all walks of life. A national political leader shouldn’t always be too serious to be jovial or vice versa like a monument made in that manner.
This is why, once in a while, President Lungu, in Chipolopolo jersey like the rest of Zambians, creates time to go to the stadia to watch the Chipolopolo Boys when they are playing with another national team.
For people to feel free with you as a leader, you should demonstrate that you are also in relaxed mood. One of the ways to show that you are in a jovial gear is to dance and sing around the audience. This is the only way you can show that you are one of them.
First republican president, Dr Kenneth Kaunda used to play a guitar or sing his famous ‘Tiyende Pamodzi ndi m’tima umodzi’ song whenever he was jovial with Zambians at a certain function.
North-western province’s Mufumbwe constituency legislator, Stephen Masumba dances freely whenever he wants; and once played summersault at a sporting function at Mulungushi International Conference as part of demonstrating that, despite being a member of Parliament, he is still a human being; and can freely interact and play with fellow Zambians.
Even US president, Barack Obama was recently on vacation in Hawaii enjoying an ice cream in what might be perceived as extreme casual attire. Can this be perceived as not being serious in address US issues?
Therefore, the way some of these opposition leaders talk, express their views and fail to socialize with fellow Zambians speak volumes about their personality and their leadership style.
The critics who have expressed negative feelings against President Lungu’s dancing seem to be telling Zambians how serious and cruel they will be when some Zambians make a mistake of voting for such political leaders as republican presidents in any forthcoming elections. They might be fearful at all times; making all Zambians feel depressed on a daily basis.
Because some opposition leaders are always too serious to smile, hard core capitalist and profit oriented, sources close to such political leaders reveal that when such political leaders will be republican presidents, they will scrap off from respective government ministries anything to do with culture, arts, social security and sports because it is reported that such political leaders feel such departments are just a waste of government resources.
However, President Lungu, like any other human being, needs time to relax to forge ahead with improving Zambia’s socio-economic situation even in world economic typhoons.
Like laughing, singing and dancing refresh one’s brains. When one is refreshed, one can handle cumbersome and complex national issues effectively and efficiently. Every republican president relaxes when need arises.
Don’t criticize strategies that make a head of state relax. You might also need the same strategies whenever you will be in State House. Moreover, the same strategies, once in a while demonstrate that you are a normal human being who needs to relax like any other human being. In the process, the same actions are powerful political campaign strategies as they prove that one is a national leader who can easily make electorate free through socialize and interact in light moments with a view to learn more about what positively or negatively affect the masses; and how.