The other week an acquaintance of mine I have not heard from in a long got in touch.
After exchanging greetings, he told me he has given up on Zambian politics and wished us who were in it “all the best”. I responded: Thank you very much!” And the conversation ended that way.
He left me wondering: is this all he got in touch with me for? Then quickly, and in an attempt to console myself, to pick myself up, I turned to a favourite quote of mine from Bertolt Brecht:
“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He doesn’t seem to know that the cost of living, the price of beans, of flour, of rent, of medicines all depend on political decisions. He even prides himself on his political ignorance, sticks out his chest and says he hates politics. He doesn’t know, the imbecile, that from his political non-participation comes the prostitute, the abandoned child, the robber and, worst of all, corrupt officials, the lackeys of exploitative multinational corporations.”
This made me feel I am not the only foolish person – if participating in Zambian politics was a foolish thing.