It always seems impossible: From Barotseland Desk

It always seems impossible: From Barotseland Desk
Published: 14 September 2016 | by Editorial Comment, BarotselandPost

Any undertaking, event or achievement may sometimes appear to be impossible, and only its actual occurrence will be enough to dispel every doubt and misconception. Indeed, how many things in history were looked upon as quite impossible, until they actually happened?

Pursuing the Barotseland dream is very hard and painstaking work especially that every caution is being taken to avoid bad lessons of history where avoidable spillage of blood was the price paid for national freedom. It is, therefore, important to regularly draw comfort and strength in words delivered by people who have been there and done what Barotseland is currently doing. These could give just the motivation needed. Their words could rekindle enthusiasm, re-energize efforts, dispel doubts, let the Barotse know they are not alone, and show that the ‘fight’ is not only worth it but also winnable.

The world freedom icon and statesman Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa, a very keen admirer of Barotseland’s King Lewanika I, is attributed to have stated the words that form the title of today’s comment. Mandela in these words wishes to intimate that despite all the periodic and perpetual contradictions that Barotseland may encounter in pursuit of her dreams, she will one day reach that moment when it will be all over. In it, he also wishes to caution that it will not always appear evident that these dreams will be achieved, but he seems to imply that certainty only occurs when the pursuit has actually been attained. Therefore, if one quits along the way on account of the many doubts and contradictions experienced in the process, one would never really achieve their dreams.

Indeed, Barotseland’s pursuit for self-determination is not without many contradictions and doubts, to the point that sentiments of giving up are often common from both keen followers and participants alike. Expressions of doubt and cynicism are now a daily encounter, as many wish to have answers to their numerous questions. Some even demand to be given the exact date; day, month and year when Barotseland will be totally free! Their desperation is understandable because of a deep longing for rest in their own homeland. They know what five decades of servitude has offered or failed to offer Barotseland and her nationals, and their only hope now is that a free Barotseland holds the promise to a better life in every way imaginable.

However, the Barotse need to heed Mandela’s advice not to give up regardless of the many visible contradictory encounters along the way. They need to know that Barotseland’s total freedom will always appear impossible until it is finally achieved. They must also know that no one will ever give any specific date because self-determination and independence is not a singular event but a process. In fact, independence begins when one decides they want to be free. That is why it is called ‘self’ determination. To some, the day of independence began when Afumba Mombotwa and his Linyungandambo team decided to declare Barotseland independence on 8th September, 2011, and the world took notice. However, to others, independence began the day a more representative body of the Barotse National Council (BNC) affirmed and validated Barotseland freedom on 27th March 2012; and yet to others independence is an occurrence yet to come in some unforeseen future. Sadly, others still do not believe in the possibility of Barotseland self-rule.

The truth, however, is history and the world have already recorded both dates of 8th September 2011 and 27th March 2012 as the declaration and popular affirmation or validation of Barotseland independence respectively; but the question to the doubtful is ‘What date or event are you still waiting for to record Barotseland’s independence?’ While some are postponing Barotseland’s independence to some fairy tale day in which they dream to hear Zambia, the African Union or the United Nations declare that ‘Barotseland is now independent’, many others have already embraced Barotseland’s independence and are working daily to fully actualize it. They are already living this ‘independence’ realizing that self-determination is never ‘handed over’ but rather ‘taken’ by way of self-effort. These are those that continually share and affirm messages of Barotseland independence. They are the ones that participate in information distribution, funds and resource mobilization. They don’t ask ‘When is Barotseland going to be independent’ because they already know and are working to actualize the declared independence. Even the whole world knows Barotseland was long declared independent. Therefore, it will be unwise to expect and wait for yet another independence day, but rather, Barotseland’s preoccupation now must go towards growing and enhancing her already declared independence. That way the world will be compelled to affirm her independence through bilateral and multilateral recognition.

The world also knows that Barotseland has a government in transition; although not yet territorially rooted, it is nevertheless a legally constituted government in conformity with international law and politics. In fact, the world is already talking to this government. The world also knows that the declared state of Barotseland is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch is ceremonial and non-political, while the people make all the national decisions. Therefore, the Litungaship is not expected to have a national political stand contrary to the people’s declared wishes.

Knowledge and decisive actions are, therefore, what the Barotse need to have at this moment. Why would anyone stand on the side-lines watching others ‘fight’ and ‘die’ daily for that which is for common national good and not even ask what it is they could do to participate? And without any excuse, everyone is expected to do something. One does not need to be based in Barotseland. Those in the Diaspora could help mobilizing resources, approach international offices of power on behalf of Barotseland or engage in civil non-violent protests at relevant international fora held close to where they reside. The Barotse should not move one step forward and two steps backwards; Ku ya pindingwa ku kuta pindingwa. It is time they decisively moved on growing their independence!


- Source:Barotselandpost, published by umthwakazireview.com

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