Independent…what next?

Africa was not on top of my list. I dreamt of visiting Australia, New Zealand, India and Iceland. I didn’t have any connection to Africa at all…until my postdoctoral project brought me there and I immediately fell in love with Zambia. Today is a special day for the country I consider my second home: 56 years ago, Zambia became independent from the British. Today, there is music and dancing in every single village.

Children dancing in Miamba, a village close to the lodge where I conduct my research

Although today was a happy day, life becomes increasingly difficult for local people. The Kwacha (Zambia’s currency) is getting weaker on a breathtaking speed. When I arrived to Zambia in July, one dollar was still worth about 16 Kwacha. Mid October, it reached 20.6. Consequently everything becomes more expensive: petrol, rent, food, water. The only thing that doesn’t increase is the salary.

In other countries people would demonstrate, maybe violently try to force politicians to do something about this misery. Not in Zambia though, it’s the most peaceful nation I’ve ever got to know. In fact, president Lungu doesn’t care about the country at all. It doesn’t even embarrass him to invent new regulations how how to squeeze every single Kwacha from the poor before he hopefully has to resign. The current government is corrupt (fair to say it’s not the first corrupt one) and careless. International economic trust meanwhile equals zero. One spark of hope: the next election is in a couple of months.

In 1964, the nation was thrilled about their independence. Now everything would become better, no more suppression, eventually autonomy. Let’s keep hoping that the next president will finally strive to improve things. The people deserve it! They’ve waited long enough.

Published by caribiologist

Postdoc at the University of Basel, Switzerland

One thought on “Independent…what next?

  1. At least there is no war. That is already good given the situation in other places. Hopefully, Africa is not as much impacted by Sars-Cov-2, and while they have bigger problems they even adhere to mask wearing. Great people. Thanks for sharing! Hope political critism does not ban you from entering again. On another note why Zambia why not also try out other countries neighbouring the lake such as Tansania? I suppose the fish are better or swim slower in Zambia? Or safety concerns?

    Australia is awesome too. It luckily doesn’t have Malaria but you can try out the Ross River virus for a change!? You also gotta watch the bushtucker
    man, Les Hiddins on youtube. Its a classic from the 90ties.


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