[By Michael B Munyimba]
I want to immortalise the digit 7 because, to me it has connotations of deity. It seems synonymous to all aspects of our lives enshrined in the Bible, human history and Kenneth Kaunda’s earthly existence.
Contemplating on KK, let’s see how this magical digit, 7, played a mythical role in his turmultous life and diligent death. Something seems strange and diametric about this lone digit. It somehow showed up mysteriously in the life of Kaunda. I will bracket its appearance in most portions of this article. Ok, let’s see; Kaunda ruled for 2(7) years. He died on the 1(7)th. Oh, what an interesting coincidence! Could there be something special about this digit, such that it trailed KK in several major endeavours, including death?
But before I surge ahead with my imaginary dogma, let me catapult you to the Living Book, the Bible. Genesis teaches that in the beginning God created the world…and gave special respect to the 7th day on which He rested. So, day 7 was so significant. Let me quickly mention here that the issue of resting is quite significant and will come up later again in this article. We really don’t know exactly why it had to take 7 days for the world’s creation process to be declared complete and not much longer or less, but we cannot question the wisdom and power of the Almighty God. All we know is that the digit 7 is an important one in this story.
Let’s go again, this time we jump to the issue of forgiveness when Jesus Christ was asked how often we should forgive each other, and what does He say? 77×7 times! There we go again, another wonder, the ‘mighty figure 7’ pops up once again. The question is why ‘7’? It is extremely profound, when you come to think of it, why this particular figure should be given so much significance in the foundation and development of mankind without any divine explanation rendered. But that’s not all, let’s continue to examine old Biblical artifacts, and this time, we look at the story of Joseph.
Genesis 41:1-14 tells the story of Pharaoh’s dream that Joseph interpreted. The story talks of 7 thin cows and 7 fat ones, 7 thin heads of grain and 7 fat ones…you know the story. There we go again; our figure once again springs up. And the question again comes to the fore, why does this figure ‘7’ masquerade itself before us in constant repetition throughout world and human history, so much so that its emphasis now overshadows and dwarfs the existence of others? What’s so special about it? I doubt we shall ever know that. Those two sets of cows and heads of grain could have been 10, 3 or 9, but no, they had to be 7!
Still in the Old Testament, King Nebuchadnezzar was cast in the wilderness for 7 years by God where he lived like an animal for exalting himself too high and taking credit for Babylon’s greatness. Again, we see our Mighty God preferring ‘7’ years as the appropriate time sentence for executing discipline upon the defiant king. Was that the highest sentence? That we shall never know. We shall only know when we get to Heaven or Gehena. Between now and then, we shall have to live with the suspense, knowing only that God has always had special preference for the digit ‘7’ without knowing why.
Now, let’s get back to the Book of Life and quickly examine one or two last passages where the figure 7 once again comes on the scene. And this time we look at Isaiah. Chapter 11:15. There, God is promising the Israelites with the words, “I will dry up the Gulf of Suez, and will bring a hot wind to dry up the Euphrates River, and divide it into 7 tiny streams, so that men will be able to cross it with sandals.” There we go again, ‘7’ tiny streams! Was it randomly said, or did God want us to once again know and remember the significance of this figure to Him? Jesus was brutally nailed to a tree for breaking Sabbath laws and “equating Himself to God”, even though He truly was; and Sabbath is the 7th day.
What about the story of Joshua and the fall of Jericho in Joshua 6:1-5? Here, we see God instructing Joshua to take his army round the fortified city of Jericho for 7 days, blowing their trumpets in war-cry and that in the fore to lead them were to be 7 priests and that on the 7th day, they were to see Jericho fall. And true to His word, on that 7th day as the soldiers marched round Jericho with their 7 priests in front, the walls of Jericho cracked, and with invisible force, came crumbling down with a deafening rumble. So, ‘7’, here you come again! As you may see, the list is endless where we see God taking bias or preference for that digit over all others. I could go on and on.
You can go through Revelations, read more in chapters such as 8:1-2, 1:4 and discover the Seventh Seal, the 7 angels, the 7 lamps of God, the 7 stones and all others that could fill up this page. There’s also the issue of 7 heavens!
Now, let me get back to my main issue which is in my article title – was the number 7 symbolic in KK’s life? So, let me therefor close it this way, interestingly, and to my observation, there has been a mythical inclination to our famous digit with our legend’s life. First, he ruled for 2(7) years, died on the 1(7)th, and was buried on the (7)th, in the (7)th month! There we go, 7 again! He was born on the 28th, a combination of four 7s!
In the beginning of this story, I mentioned that I will come back to the issue of ‘resting’ when I referred to God’s rest on the 7th day. Well, Kaunda was born out of a family of 8, he was the last-born child, born in the 20th year of his parents’ marriage. The parents ‘rested’ for several years before he was born; he was actually “accidentally” born. And he was going to be the divination and fulfillment of Zambia’s forefathers’ prophesy of political and economic freedom.
He and his friends named this country Zambia, after the Zambezi River where Victoria Falls flexes its mighty tentacles that Guinea’s Book of World Records deemed the (7)th wonder of the world! Let me close with a bit of a political overview. George Orwell’s famous novella book, Animal Farm, states that the animals created a manifesto which you could call rules or constitution to guide them. And the (7th) rule said, “All animals are equal.” Kaunda preached Godly principles of Love, Peace, Unity and Equality among all. In the 10 commandments of God, the (7)th one says, “DO NOT USE MY NAME FOR EVIL PURPOSES, FOR I, THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL PUNISH ANYONE WHO MISSUSES MY NAME.” That’s Exodus 20:1-17, and Deuteronomy 5:1-21. That’s the (7)th commandment. But Zambia, which was declared a ‘Klistu’ nation perpetuates hate against one another! Sleep well KK, the father of love and obedient servant of the digit 7. Till next Wednesday, adios!
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