I have been asked about what I read and what I am reading right now. Here is my brief response:
From the time I was able to read, I have read as many books as I could, and it pains me a lot that I don’t spend more time reading. I can’t imagine life without reading. It’s sad I can’t spend my life reading and studying.
I have read all kinds of literature. What I liked best of the first things I read were books of history: the history of Zambia, African history and world history. I have read a lot about the Bantu and their migrations. I have read all the writings on the Bemba people that I could lay my hands on. I have enjoyed reading the heroic history of the Ngoni people and warriors, especially their resistance to colonialism. I have also spent a lot of time on Lozi history.
I like reading biographies. And I think I have read all the classical biographies. Naturally, the Bible is one of the classical works I read. Any one who analyses the way I speak or write will find that I use a lot of biblical terms. I was in Catholic schools for 12 years, with the Capuchin Fathers, the Irish Christian Brothers and the Sacred Heart Brothers.
I read many novels when I was in junior secondary school – James Hadley Chase, Nicky Carter, Allister Maclean and so on and so forth. I have also enjoyed reading African writers series – Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiogo, Sonyika.
Then there’s political literature. I began to dip into political literature as a student at the University of Zambia. I was greatly attracted to Marx, Engels and Lenin. I read a lot about all of them. My spirit became fertile ground for Marxist-Leninist ideas. I am always reading. I read the Qur’an a lot. It’s got great teachings.
It’s hardly necessary to mention that I have read many books about revolutions and wars. I think I have read all the English books on the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, the Bolivarian Venezuela Revolution.
I have paid a lot of attention to economic writings, problems. I try to follow what children are learning in primary and secondary schools.
In a word, I can say I read everything or anything I can lay my hands. I try very hard to read as much as I can about things I detest or do not agree with. I learn more from this.
Write now, among other things, I am reading a book by Daniel Posner – INSTITUTIONS AND ETHNIC POLITICS IN AFRICA.
I am very fortunate to have a cousin who is a brilliant history lecturer and researcher – Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa. He is my tireless supplier of very good reading materials. This story doesn’t seem to have an end – I can go on and on. For today, let me end here.