Hold You Down or Financially Oppress You?

Recently I had a twitter conversation with @DatAfricanGirl about the Dj Khaled video “Hold You Down.” Specifically the part of the video where he says to the video vixen “say my name baby” and tells her if she says it he will give her money to “go buy your momma a house.” If you can’t see where I am going with this then all hope is lost!

This video is offensive and an example of the “situation-ship” or “relationships” that are all too common in Zambia. A young girl or perhaps even a grown woman gets involved with a man because he can financially provide for her, that story is as old as time. The danger is when the man uses this financial control as form of emotional abuse, making the woman do demeaning things in order to get it.

Before I get ahead of myself let us start with the tweet that @DatAfricanGirl tweeted that sparked our conversation:

Now I have to agree with the idea that this girl is playing along with his ownership fetish can definitely lead to dangerous situations. A woman who allows herself to be treated like a piece of property or who is with a man for financial means and status is a woman asking for trouble. This man is not forced to love you or respect and cherish you because you are both playing a game. He knows he can talk down to you, demean you in public, dress you like his personal barbie doll all because you have agreed to fall in line with his fetish.

As a grown man who probably has sister and maybe a wife or girlfriend and a daughter you would think Dj Khaled would be aware of the message that short clip was sending. This is a grown man living in an industry that demeans and degrades women openly, surely in 2014 he knows the message he is sending is wrong.

That struck a chord with me, “selling ones liberty” this rings true because you are selling your own free will when you put yourself in such a position or allow a man to put you in that position. A liberty that was fought for by your ancestors be they slaves or be they colonized Africans, ownership over thyself no less! To wrap up our twitter conversation @DatAfricanGirl made the following beautiful point:

Yes! Dear women please stop seeking validation from others, learn to love yourselves above all else and only then will men value you.

Dynamic Diabetes Support Group Zambia

A local, Zambian community Facebook page for people living with diabetes or friends and family of those living with diabetes. The purpose of the page is to share information and encourage a healthy lifestyle, they also hold meetings, the last of which was 2 weeks ago (check on fb for details on the next), where you and your loved ones can share your journeys with diabetes.


As November is diabetes awareness month I wanted to do my part to help spread the word about this particular group. I believe this disease is one that is a silent killer in African communities and is often undiagnosed or poorly treated by people in Zambia. Undiagnosed Diabetes, especially in Africa is a bigger killer than Cancer and HIV Aids together, infact in 2011 it was reported that 78% of people with diabetes in Africa are undiagnosed. Described as Africa’s silent epidemic the number of people with diabetes in Africa is expected to rise from 14.7 million (as of 2011) to 28 million by 2030

Make sure you like and share the Facebook page and if you have comments or questions or ideas for them please inbox them directly. You could be a part of helping to save lives and give diabetics a better quality of life right here in Zambia.

Emma Watson #HeForShe Campaign

Emma Watson gave an empowering and powerful speech about gender roles in society at the launch of the#HeForShe campaign at the United Nations on Saturday (September 20) in New York City. I thought it was important to share and I hope a lot of men watch this and come together with us women in solidarity for equality. Below are the video of her speech and an excerpt from her speech that I found moving:

“When I was 8, I was confused about being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media, when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams, because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscle-y,’ when at 18, my males friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist,” Emma told the attendees at the summit. “And this seems uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.”


It seems that lately every young person in Lusaka is linked to an Internet scandal of some sort, be it a sex tape or naked photos. In the last 4 years we have seen sex tapes by college students and more recently upcoming rappers.

What I want to know is what has motivated these people to get involved in sex tapes; I mean it can’t be the money! As far as I know a sex tape qualifies as pornography, which Zambia has strict laws against. It’s not a Kim Kardashian and Ray J type of situation where you sign a distribution deal and get rich from getting off (excuse the pun).

Are kids so desperate for quick and easy “fame” that they are willing to compromise their integrity by releasing these sex tapes? Whatever happened to working hard at a talent or having an actual skill that you could build a brand on? If you want celebrity then do something the old fashioned way to get it.

Most of the people who have sex tapes claim that their laptop or mobile device was stolen and that is how the tapes were released. I don’t know if I am going to buy that though, because these people always seem to release a sex tape before an album drops or some project is released.

Again its not like you are going to build a million dollar empire off of one very badly lit, unedited and just all round gross sex tape. Please remember that you are not Paris Hilton and even her video was in night vision!

If you think you are going to catapult yourself to celebrity-ville and start getting sponsors and crazy money- you are dead wrong. Even the most well known people in the entertainment industry in Zambia are struggling to pay rent on time and put food on the table. We don’t live in America and we are certainly not living the American dream.

I am increasingly disturbed that the sex tapes that get released feature people engaging in unprotected sex or sex that carries on even after a condom breaks. It is as if people have forgotten about STDs and HIV/AIDS. You will not pass Go and collect a cool million or get Muvi Tv or ZNBC to set you up with a reality Tv show. If your sex tape is anything to judge by then perhaps you will get sponsorship from Society for Family Health but you will be the poster child for what happens when you have sex without protection.

Let us remember that we have family, siblings, parents, grandparent and one day we will have children who we don’t want or need to see our niave mistakes. The internet makes sure that things live on forever!

The Semi-Naked Truth

I woke up this morning and logged onto Facebook, I saw a promotional picture of the Singer Dambisa Lunda  on the cover of an online magazine. Pregnant belly exposed and breasts covered and I thought “awww cute” then I logged out and carried on with my day. Let me preface the post by saying that I will not be posting the photo you can head over to www.ezmmagazine.com to see it.

As it turns out my nonchalant attitude about a beautiful pregnant woman on the front of a Zambian magazine was the opposite of most people’s. The conservatives and judgmental Judy’s of Zambia quickly took to Twitter and Facebook to shame the poor woman. There were many disrespectful things said about her and the photo which i shall not repeat. Instead I want to share a few positive tweets and discuss why it is that people felt uncomfortable with the photo.

A few of the tweets I agreed with were:

“Once again Zambia is the only place in the world where ‘culture’ is static and not dynamic. Re: dambisa mag cover”


“I see nothing wrong with Dambisa‘s pose.”


” In other good news I’m loving the promo pics of Dambisa for the 1st ever printed issue of coming out next month! ” 


The things Zambians are so concerned about, leave Dambisa alone! She was comfortable with her shoot, so what now?! Drama for nothing!



A friend of mine also posted a Facebook status that read: “Loving the comments on various pages over the Dambisa pics….Many are supportive n some call it sinful n unafrican….Always funny how Zambians like the whole “this is not african stance”….My thoughts, we stopped living “african” when we got colonised….Nothing we do is “african” anymore.”

This made me have an AHA moment of sorts, first of all I do think the backlash is just the deeply religious fanatics and the extreme conservatives and general “haters” reacting. Most of us are  more evolved and know that a semi nude pregnant belly photo is nothing to lose your shit over.

What struck me with the status was the “we stopped living African” part, which is so true! Think about it, women would expose their breasts and that was tradition. That was our culture, not all this covered up head to toe nonsense. As colonized Africans we have lost part of our identity and we don’t truly know what it is to be African. It is seen in the way we dress, the music we listen to and the way we speak. Across the board we are Westernized and the irony here is that in the West, Kim Kardashian can pose and expose her pregnant belly and we don’t bat an eye. The second one of our own does the same we want to bully her into submission, its nothing you haven’t seen on your DSTV or in your Elle Magazine!

I for one, am all for women expressing their beauty in whatever manner they see fit; even if it means being naked. How is it that we still have people in our society who are so backwards ? The same people judging her will wave the “Christian Nation” flag meanwhile they are having premarital sex and doing worse.  The human body and the naked one at that is not something to be ashamed of especially when done tastefully, I suggest you get off your high horses and leave Dambisa alone. The photo is tasteful, natural and beautiful and nothing to get heated up over.


Are We Raising a Generation of Rapists?

We are moulding our sons into rapists and making our daughters the scapegoat. I say that because when we tell our sisters, mother and daughters that the way they dress could affect whether or not they are raped; we are making them accept responsibility for being raped.

I have talked about how Swaziland has banned mini-skirts and openly stated that women and young girls who dress provocatively can face up to 6 months in jail. It is a now a criminal offense to dress provocatively, which I find ridiculous because a bare shoulder can be just as provocative as bare feet, exposed legs or cleavage.

In Swaziland, police spokesWOMAN Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying “The act of the defiler is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women.” Once again perpetuating rape culture by putting the blame on the victim and not the perpetrator. With people voicing such outrageous and back dated thoughts on the subject of rape is it any wonder that we are raising a generation of rapists?

Yes, that sounds dramatic but with the rape statistics of Sub-saharan African countries we need to be dramatic. South African police statistics record more than 64,000 cases a year – more than seven an hour.

Here in Zambia the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) stated that “more than ten girls are raped in a week”. I remember reading that in Zimbabwe child rape is up by 42%, UNICEF said the number of cases of rape of minors reported to police surged from 2,192 in 2003 to 3,112 in 2006 .

In Zimbabwe 15 women are being raped daily, these are just the reported cases, we all know that the shame of rape and stigma often leads people not to report it.  I don’t even have statistics on men being raped in or outside of prisons but I am sure you get the picture. Rape is not just our problem it is the continent’s problem, it is the world’s problem.

Women and children are being told that the things they wear could determine their safety, the dress they wear to a friends birthday party could be the thing that gets them raped. What they wear to gym class could provoke a violent assault, how they dress when going to the club, supermarket or anywhere public is now seen as the “catalyst” of rape. All of these ideas are uneducated, unfounded and just so bloody outrageous.

The point of this post is just to raise awareness about what we are doing to the next generation of men on this continent. We are taking away an aspect of their humanity, we are messing with their psyche by making the women the problem. We are encouraging them to rape because we are teaching them “if she wore a mini-skirt she was asking for it” Whatever happened to teaching them that NO means NO, that they should love and respect all women the way they would their mother or sister. What happened to teaching them right from wrong, to putting them in their place when they step out of line. What happened to fathers teaching their sons how to be good men? Or how to have proper relationships with women.

Guys, what the hell happened to common sense? Parents please raise your sons to be kind and compassionate non violent people. Who see the opposite sex as human and not some prize to be won or challenge or something to be defiled.

Sensationalism vs Voyeurism

 A gruesome photo of a bus crash in Northern Zambia yesterday that left 53 people dead has been making the rounds on Facebook and twitter. I happened to see it because it popped up on my Facebook timeline, at first i was not sure if it was a hoax or a reality. As I looked at it, I realized very quickly this was a photo taken at a real accident scene. I quickly closed it but not before I saw bodies strewn by the roadside and three blood soaked bodies lying on the road. 


I was immediately disgusted, not curious and not sad…just disgusted. I was disgusted that the photo was being passed around like a flyer. That is how I felt, I don’t expect too many people to feel the same way. For me it is more than a photo, there are PEOPLE in that photo and those people have families and loved ones. What if they recognize a family member in the photo before they are contacted properly through the authorities? I was raised to be a considerate person and a sensitive one at that, for me this goes beyond Voyeurism and speaks to our culture. 


Social media is always at the tip of our fingers and we use and abuse it, people tweet angry things without thinking. They share photos like the aforementioned without considering who might see it next and after that. For me the issue is slightly bigger than the photo because let us face it; a journalist or blogger or media outlet was going to post the same photo. The only difference is they would have included a story about the accident itself, it would serve as a cautionary tale regardless of the horrifying nature of the image. I feel like sometimes the words help to soften the blow or the impact of such horrible events, when there are words at least it becomes less of a spectacle and more of a report on a tragic event. Perhaps I am reaching here, but there is a certain comfort knowing the photo you are seeing was taken with the intention to report a story and not for fun or sensationalism. 


I know the person who reposted the photo onto my timeline has since apologized and said it was in bad taste, they have also shared that the reason they posted it was for awareness on how our local bus drivers drive recklessly. I completely agree that we in Zambia have the same problem that exists in South Africa and Kenya; there are very reckless bus/taxi drivers on our roads. It is very easy to say that people should not board the bus of a reckless driver but when your livelihood depends on it and you have no other transport you will take a chance and hope for the best. The government needs to enforce laws against the reckless driving we see everyday and we as citizens of this country need to make it known that we will not tolerate anyone endangering our lives on the road. Instead of setting up pointless roadblocks that are really only there so that the police get bribes let us focus on the real dangers. Have a constant patrol built to look for these bus drivers who have no consideration for the lives of others.