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Headline Matters with Chambwa: Contest of colours

YOU see dear readers, there’s certainly no neutrality in life. It’s good that way. If you’re dead, like my father, you’re dead. Please, note that my preceding statement has no iota of spite. I still love him, six feet under!

If you are among the living, like you, it’s that way. There’s just no middle ground in many worldly situations. Yes, it’s either you’re blue, red, green, yellow or even white.

Who wears colours they have intense aversion for? You don’t do that! Even a football referee reaches for his caution cards only when necessary. And it’s not always red. Usually, it’s yellow. But more often, referees gesture with their hands to remind players of the rules of the game. When lawlessness on the pitch by a particular player intensifies, that’s when you see the ref flashing a yellow card to them. Sometimes one gets a straight red card. I’ll plead with Mast newspaper Kitwe-based sports journalist, Darious Kapembwa, to explain a bit when a footballer duly gets a straight red card. Darious is an astute author of Kick Off column that comes out in every Friday edition of The Mast. Read it!

So, that’s it about colours. That’s why when Frank Bwalya started a ‘red card campaign’ back in 2010/2011, everyone with rationality understood what he was advocating. But please forget about the ex-pulpit man’s amount of later benefit from the regime – if you know what I mean. The thing is that colours have essence and they shouldn’t be flashed anyhow, at least by people with a live conscience. Think of traffic lights and their colours; all you need is logic.

What’s next? There was some yellow card campaign outside Parliament buildings on July 20. Yellow card, I said. Obviously, the organisers of that campaign have been gesturing with merely hands to key political players to adhere to the ‘code of conduct.’ Continuous career-threatening injuries on wretched Zambians made the yellow card campaigners to caution the rough political players. Excellent referees! The injured remain thankful! Yes, the rough political players know the next colour to be flashed at them.

But on July 26, another group of referees with a campaign dubbed ‘One Zambia, One Nation; the Zambia we love’ gathered at the same venue for the yellow card campaign but with a remarkably different message. That’s democracy! Someone told me that this same One Zambia and shani uko wants to be flashing white cards. Nonsense! This is nothing but a match-fixing antic between rough political players and this same group of referees.

Apparently, in Australia – where Bwalya is High Commissioner – anyone who works on a construction site has to do construction induction training and get their White Card. The white card is the name of the current card given when you complete your construction induction training. Previously the white card was called the Blue Card. If you have blue card it will still allow you to work, but you may need to update to a white card depending on your employer’s requirements.

Colours matter. So, yellow for what and especially white, for what? Seasoned blockheads!

For the next version of Headline Matters, check The Mast on Sunday. For reactions, text only to: +26 0977-238451

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