This is a blog about me and the things that make me laugh, smile, hurt or cry!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Loud and Clear Review of the Year 2011

I will approach my personal 2011 news re-cap from two fronts:
1. The ones that I genuinely remember off the top of my head, and
2. The ones that I recall after some online research, checking through which news links I posted on Facebook, articles I commented on etc.
Charlie Brooker (a columnist at The Guardian UK), described 2011 as being like an end-of-season finale. I have to agree with Charlie on this one. This year was a rollercoaster of nail-biting, action-packed, edge of your seat news stories. In the end, I felt lazy to research a real blow by blow account of the months. I will kick myself later, when I remember some important stuff that I would have loved to document for posterity's sake. Anyhoo, here is my take on 2011.
The Jasmine Revolution
Arab Spring (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya etc) -- The Time magazine Person of the Year was The Protester and I so agreed with this. Tunisia in January captured all our hearts because here was a country where you don't normally hear much of anything other than football. Together with Egypt, Tunisia boasts the top two African Football clubs in terms of silverware. What followed in Egypt was equally fascinating. Libya was not so great, but it meant something. The struggle continues for our comrades in Yemen and Syria. 

In Southern Africa, our thoughts turned to Zimbabwe and whether or not this would inspire similar movements in our neighbouring country. I was and remain skeptical. In Zimbabwe, I think there are too many people who benefit from the status quo to really change things. I think they must get a lot worse in order to get better. 

However, what happened to our other neighbours in Malawi shocked us all. Generally, Zambians are considered peaceful, laid back people. If this is what we are (very accurate description, more inclined to passivity though), then I really don't know how we would describe Malawians? That our brethren across the border should resort to rioting and marching on the streets was a wake-up call that things were mighty bad. I certainly had no idea that things had gotten so bad as to make our comrades demonstrate. We just don't do that sort of thing here, without extreme provocation. The scenes we witnessed in July were testament to me that things had been brewing for a while and our comrades just couldn't take it anymore.
That Kiss...
The Royal Wedding -- I attended a viewing party. I was all set for a week of wedding news, when two days later, it was upstaged by one of THE biggest stories of the year, being the killing of Osama Bin Laden by some Jack Bauer wannabe Navy Seals. The movies can NEVER live up to the drama of real life.
I took this picture from my car window, the morning after the results of the election were announced
Zambia Election -- September 20th, 2011 was a day when Zambia once again showed the world that in some areas, we stand apart from most other African nations. It is not often that a sitting president is defeated, considering he has all the powers of the state, including military, financial and propaganda at his disposal. Equally, it is not often that a defeated president accepts that defeat and steps aside without force. I think it is sad that people have failed credit RB with not doing what so many others could or would have done. 

Last September, we witnessed what determination can achieve. Michael Sata has been in the opposition for a good ten years. There was no other voice speaking up for the people and giving an alternative to the state rhetoric. He was the most effective opposition leader we have had and for that I will miss him. 
Manchester United -- Need I say more? I don't think so.

Japan -- The scenes of aerial photography showing the large scale destruction from Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan are forever etched in my memory.
Number ONE at last!
Novak Djokovic attains the No. 1 stop in men's tennis. I was so happy for him to finally get what he has worked so hard to achieve. He won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Onwards and Upwards to 2012
What major events am I looking forward to in 2012? Again, these are those that I just know are the things I am genuinely looking forward to in this coming year. There are a whole load of other things, but that will require some kind of research, reading up etc and I'm so tired (or lazy), perhaps both.

The Avengers -- This movie comes out in May 2012. I'm not sure I know why I am so stoked for this film, but I am really looking forward to it.

2012 US Election -- after the drama of 2008, I really do hope that Barack makes it to another term. The US elections always reminds me of how alike the world is and how politics is a dirty game EVERYWHERE you go and that issue-based campaigning and elections may not exist anywhere actually. 

Also, bi-partisanship is a myth, a fantasy. I wonder if Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity can be revived. I am confident that we will need to see a revival Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear slogans such as "I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler".
London 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games -- I would have loved to have been there, but sadly did not make it. I made it for a world cup, the Olympics is next. Perhaps Rio 2016 will be mine.
My country tis of thee...
Life in the Pabwato Kingdom -- as a Zambian, the biggest story of last year was the election that was a peaceful revolution, resulting in a new government. I and my countrymen and women look forward to the next five years in hopes that our lives will be better. By that I mean less corrupt, more equitable distribution of development, freedom of expression and accountable leadership.