By Adebayo Fajinmi
“Woe to the land whose king is a slave and whose princes feast in the morning.” Those words are not mine, they came from the wisest king, Solomon, son of David. Who would have seen a king who is at the same time a slave except Solomon and the elders? Solomon, after his amorous and extravagant lifestyle that shamelessly and seamlessly ripped his kingdom, grippingly and remorselessly turned a preacher. Having seen many evils in his sojourn, he declared again, “I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.”
As a ‘pikin’,I’ve never seen plenty things in life, not even a king who is also a slave until Providence brought me to the city of S’oye and completely marooned me there.
Over the years, this city had been under crude, cold cum callous super-power whose education, civilization, economy, preponderance and ethnic irredentism have subjected us to silly-imperfection. Hence, we were whisked into slavery. Before our ‘noses’, on our soil.
Slavery and its emissaries are bad things. Don’t pray for it. They’re better imagined than experienced. Harrowing. Lamentable. Appalling. Crushing. Overwhelming. However, there were freedom fighters, baptized in implacable and death-wish commitment to oust and deodorize slavery. One of them was Kaunda. Not Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, former leader of UNIP and first President of the Republic of Zambia. This Kauda came from S’oye. He was tall, strong, bold, articulate and valorously influential. He was a man lexicographers would call ‘enigmatic phenomenon.’
Like Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Ghandi, Steve Biko, Nelson Mandala and Jomo Kenyatta, Kaunda fought and put his life at stake in the struggle for freedom. He didn’t brook slavery, exploitation and injustice. Rather, he took the battle to them and casted them out into the dry desert places.
Who no like freedom? The person is unborn. It’s an inherent desire of man.
Endlessly and tirelessly, he fought the fight of freedom and led us to a victory that was asterisked and fluked by chicanery.
We had freedom. Very sweet. Very soothing. Very endearing. And Kaunda, the unyielding advocator of liberty took yeoman’s job; he led the people from slavery to liberty.
Regrettably, several years after, the city of S’oye had no fluid of independence. We retrogressed than we progress. A decade after self-rule, our city solely depended on the slave masters to cater for the citizens, on everything. Abdication of responsibility became his watchword. He blamed the slave masters for bastardizing the system. Not only that, the reign and rule of Kaunda sired implacably bitter mutual administration as a result of myriad of problems and sheer whims of his leadership.
Kaunda viewed every idea and criticism of his people as discourtesy. He always think, ‘You would have been in my position right now if you had better idea.’ He engaged people’s opinions in their flaws and contradictions with his political beliefs and rituals. He ruled and lived out of law and accountability. Comparing the time of the former slave masters to his own, one couldn’t point to any flux.
Sadly, we became prisoners of our own invention and victims of our modern products. The reason was because of the myth, that, freedom is without law, accountability, responsibility, discipline, and that oppression demands much from us than freedom. That was a mindset from slavery. Because in slavery, you have no sense of accountability. One has to depend on the slave masters for clothing, feeding and shelter. Yes, for everything. Erroneously, he felt true freedom is just an absence of work and to do one’s desire at will.
On the contrary, freedom doesn’t work that way. Genuine freedom imposes more work, discipline, law, maturity, accountability and character than in slavery.
But it was too late for us to realise that what our freedom fighter called freedom was simply a corrupt desire to have license to live without laws, accountability and discipline.
Dr. Myles Munroe was right when he said “No one is more dangerous than a mountain man with a valley mentality.”