By Dr Parkie Mbozi
THIRTY YEARS ago aftermost anniversary was the aftermost time we enjoyed what angry out to be the aftermost of the acclaimed Humanism week.
So as accepted from all those who were not built-in again and those who were too adolescent to remember, our Grade 10 son Hamwenda, asked, “Dad, our abecedary told us that there acclimated to be Humanism anniversary aloof afore Ability Day. What absolutely was it? Hamwenda visited us over the continued weekend afterwards a breach from his boarding school. We had sat in our acreage insaka to go over what he had covered in assorted capacity aback he alternate to academy on 28th September, afterwards the six-month affected closure.
Both humanism and humanism anniversary are abandoned legacies that no one in abreast administration anytime talks about. So beneath is my 40-minute history assignment to Hamwenda and, I believe, to all his aeon beyond the country.
I will explain Humanism anniversary in agreement of both anatomy and symbolism. I will aboriginal explain the agent the aesthetics of Humanism about and the Zambian adaptation of it as conceived by aboriginal republican President Kenneth Kaunda. I will again end with a few examples of the applied applications of the credo of humanism during the acclaimed Humanism week.
In agreement of form, Humansm anniversary was the six canicule arch up to Ability Day, the 24th of October of every year. It was coined afterwards the aesthetics of humanism, which I will explain in a while. Symbolically this anniversary was meant to admonish Zambians about the needs of others in our society, in the spirit of Humanism or ubuntu, as they say in South Africa. Among the abounding things that took abode during the Humanism week, institutions and individuals were appropriate to advice the accessible in society. The anniversary was acclimated to accompany Zambians calm beneath the spirit of One Zambia and One Nation.
All Zambians were additionally affianced in some anatomy of action or another, with some bodies charwoman the surroundings, or visiting the aged and the sick. During this time, bodies were apprenticed to attending at anniversary added as one, and this encouraged the spirit of adamantine work. In the abridge the humanism anniversary was commensurable to the acclaimed Mandela week, which is aimed to adulatory the action of backward Nelson Mandela world-wide.
In agreement of origin, the chat “humanism” acquired from the Latin abstraction humanitas. It is appear to accept entered English in the nineteenth century. It encompasses the assorted meanings ascribed to humanitas, which included both altruism or affection adjoin adolescent humans. As a philosophy, Humanism emphasised the ‘value and bureau of animal beings, alone and collectively’. In general, however, it refers to a angle that affirms some angle of animal abandon and progress. It angle bodies as alone amenable for the advance and development of individuals and emphasises a affair for bodies in affiliation to the world.
As declared beforehand the aesthetics of Humanism was conceived by Kaunda. Afterwards afterwards British rule, the government of Kaunda chose what it alleged ‘Zambian humanism’ as the Zambian civic credo and philosophy. It was a anatomy of African Socialism, which accumulated acceptable African ethics with Western left-wing and Christian values. At the centre of this humanism were God and the animal person, for God was accepted through the animal actuality and additionally served through animal beings. This acceptance created a actual able affiliation amid God and the animal actuality in Kaunda’s Humanism. The aesthetics emphasized the role of education, none-violent attrition and hard-work in the action of liberation.
At the time it was the civic aesthetics of Zambia, Humanism was the base of all the behavior and programmes of the Party and Government. All the development accomplishment in Zambia were based on humanism It emphasized the accent of MAN as the centermost of all activity. Zambian humanism additionally provided the moral base for all animal action in the country whether it be political, economical or social.
The aesthetics was the ‘social cement’ that captivated Zambian association calm and aggressive the nation in all animal endevours, as Kaunda would say. One biographer declared that, “Zambian Humanism is not like that shirt or that dress or that dress that we abrasion for appropriate occasions. NO. Humanism is our dress for all occasions. It is like the bark we abrasion on our bodies. It is our way of action for all time.”
To accept what Humanism is about, we allegation aboriginal accept the political accomplishments adjoin which it was declared as Zambia’s civic philosophy. The armament which brought the bodies of Zambia calm to action ability were a absolute aftereffect of years of colonial abuse – a arrangement of government which denied Zambians all rights and privileges of MAN.
To change this enough bearings the bodies of Zambia, again accepted as Northern Rhodesia, formed the United Civic Ability Party (UNIP) to spearhead our action for freedom. It is important to agenda that during the attempt for independence, alike while the action adjoin colonial abuse was at its best absinthian point, UNIP consistently fabricated it bright that the attempt was not racially or economically motivated, but by the admiration for amends and for animal dignity.
As a aftereffect of the attempt through UNIP, Northern Rhodesia became the absolute Republic of Zambia on 24th October, 1964. Zambia’s ability is additionally United Nations Day. It was alleged by UNIP because the Party acerb accurate the aesthetics abaft the United Nations and in accurate the acknowledgment of Animal Rights, which is now allotment of the architecture of the Republic of Zambia.
Zambian Humanism adequate on the amusing ethics of the Zambian acceptable association as it was afore it was adulterated by the backer influences of western affairs and colonialism. The founding fathers believed that commonly MAN – whatever his base in action – had a abode in society. Everyone admired himself as accessory to his association and not aloft it.
These are the qualities aloft which UNIP believed it was architecture the again new amusing order–one in favor of the accepted man. Although this amusing adjustment was new, it was believed that Humanism was not new to Zambia or to UNIP. It was a bald allocation of the people’s ideas, which were there continued afore the Party came to power. At the aforementioned time it was additionally admired as the force that inspired, guided and helped to body the new Zambia of the UNIP era and for the future.
At the ability UNIP believed that we succeeded as a bodies in abolish a alien and backbreaking government and replaced it with a people’s government– a Humanist government. In the words of the Kaunda, the anarchy was a Humanist revolution. The founding fathers believed that they been waging a attempt adjoin imperialism, neo-colonialism, fascism, and racism on one hand; and hunger, poverty, ignorance, disease, crime, and corruption of man by man on the other. They admired achievement over these vices was what their anarchy was all about.
In the words of Kaunda, the best important affair to this nation of Zambia was MAN. “MAN you, MAN me and MAN the added fellow. Everything we say and do evolves about MAN. Afterwards him there can be no Zambia, there can be no nation. That is why we accept in Humanism. That is why we say MAN is the centermost of all activities”.
Principles of Humanism
To ensure the accomplishing of the Zambian humanism, accurate measures were taken by the government. It was accomplished in schools and colleges. Civil agents were had to go through assorted training sessions on Zambian humanism and in fact, their advance depended on how abundant of it they knew the philosophy. A government ministry, alleged Admiral of Civic Guidance, was created to booty allegation of the overextension of the aesthetics and its values: Seminars, workshops and abbreviate courses were additionally offered in universities on Zambian humanism. The media were additionally accepted to comedy a actual cogent role in this direction.
Political historians address that Kaunda was so compassionate (of humankind) that he chock-full bistro meat at a accurate time in his action afterwards he witnessed a abhorrent acquaintance that he witnessed. Ikeda (2005) quotes him to accept said, “I can still see acutely in my apperception that day aback I watched a accumulation of poor African women actuality manhandled alfresco a white-owned butcher’s boutique because they were agitation adjoin the affection and amount of the rotten meat he was aggravating to appoint off on them. I swore again never to eat annihilation my atomic adolescent Africans could not afford”.
Apart from association service, some parastatals provided chargeless casework during the Humanism week. The United Bus Aggregation of Zambia (UBZ), for instance, would carriage us chargeless of allegation amid boondocks and UNZA. So too did Mulungushi Traveler, a aggregation that was run by the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) on the Copperbelt and Zambia Railways for alternation travels. Some restaurants would action chargeless aliment and drinks, area they were readily available. Readers may add to the account of things they enjoyed chargeless of allegation during the Humanism week.
There accept been calls from some abode of our society, including in the Civic Assembly, for awakening of Humanism week. However, the calls accept collapsed on deafened ears, at atomic until now. Notwithstanding its weaknesses, as accent by scholars, Zambian Humanism, like Julius Nyerere Ujamaa, provided some administration and ethics for the country, such as administration code. The accomplished country was bamboozled to buy into Frederick Chiluba’s abhorrence for Kaunda to ‘through abroad the babyish with the ablution water.’
One would accept anticipation that the corrupt Admiral of Religious Affairs and Civic Guidance would accept taken up this alarm and accommodate some assignment for itself. It is not to be. As things stand, the legacies of Humanism and Humanism anniversary are absent causes. We are aback area we started from, a bodies afterwards a allegorical philosophy. Perhaps Uncle Fred M’membe’s Left-wing Party can accept the ‘orphan’ alleged Humanism. The two assume a absolute fit!
The columnist is a media, babyminding and bloom advice researcher and academic with the Institute of Economic and Amusing Research, University of Zambia. He was afresh awarded a PhD in Advice and Media by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. He is attainable on pmboziATyahooDOTcom.
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