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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Monday, 11 August 2014

e18hteam: Using the Power of Film to Speak

Zambian Theatre release: October 2014
True to my word, I have enjoyed the World Cup, and just as football gave me voice to start blogging four years ago, it continues to inspire me. So I am officiallly back, ready to communicate and to indulge my love of words with ease.  I am proud that the essence of who I am as a writer and what created this blog for still rings true as I professed and promised in my inaugural post.  Let me just say how I am even prouder of never letting the standard of posts go down just to keep the blog current, and that I continue to take the time I need to regenerate when necessary, and that whenever I come back, I come back with a vengeance he he he.  This sleeping lioness has once again awakened, and she is out for blood.  No mucking about, straight for the jugular.  We do things royal here, no mediocre, only the regal will do for me, and for you :)...

 © Football Association of Zambia
So what causes me to break my silence?  I already have alluded to what I am about to reveal before.  On February 12, 2012, the Zambian National Team: the Chipolopolo achieved the dreams of a nation.  They not only won AFCON 2012 for the first time, but also honoured the dead: the Chipolopolo who died in a tragic plane crash off the coast of the Gabon, the very country in which we then triumphed.  When they won in 2012, the first thing I thought of was documenting their momentous win, after screaming like a banshee and shedding emotional and proud tears.  It was more than just Zambia's first raising of the Africa Cup of Nations:

Their efforts embodied 50 years of the Zambian National Team carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation.  50 years of potential almost realised, but never quite producing at the highest level, until AFCON 2012.  Most of all, this was facing our loss and allowing it to heal by soldiering on in the very place where we had suffered an inconsolable pain, despite the odds stacked against us:  we had to defeat more well-known and higher ranked African teams that had played at the World Cup, and the weight of sorrow could have burdened us and hindered us.  Instead the Chipolopolo found a way to soar like the nkwazis (eagles) we Zambians all have the power to be, and raised our flag proudly in honor of those we lost, preserving their place in history by winning on their behalf.  

As my beloved country turns 50, I am honoured to be able to give this gift to the people.  I may have a turbulent relationship with the place of my birth, but the best relationships ebb and flow - there will always be that tug-of-war to remind you to be present and to make sure to give as much as you take.  I thrive in the conflict that my Afropolitan identity creates as it clashes with some of the more static and stagnant elements in the Zambian environment.  It allows my creativity to thrive by causing me to turn inward to figure out new ways to express myself in ways authentic to my soul and freeing to my spirit in order contribute to the communities I engage and/ or identify with.  The moment it happened I knew I  too could achieve some of my dreams through their success. I could finally become a filmmaker by documenting this seminal moment in history, and could go one step further by preserving this story for future generations.  One of the recurring themes on this blog is legacy, the other is capturing an African experience in the 21st century and populating the internet with more content produced by the continent, so we can tell our own stories now and in perpetuity.  As a media professional, and a passionate Afropolitan, I am taking advantage of the multiple ways afforded to me. Film is another way to do that.  I formed my production company Purple Tembo Media because of how inspired I was watching the Chipolopolo continue to triumph despite being written off as the underdog.  Triumphing when underestimated is one of my favourite things to achieve and to see unfold in others.

I can now also freely share this journey with you on the blog and on social media.  There will be a series of blogposts about this that will be curated in the e18hteam tag.  In the meantime please like the following on Facebook and follow on Twitter to follow my journey through this film:

MbA on Facebook and Twitter

The documentary film about the Chipolopolo: e18hteam on Facebook and Twitter

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