Living In Fear Without Papers

Living In Fear Without Papers

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By Lady C.

Friends, I took some time out to re-evaluate certain aspects in and around my life. I experienced some life-changing episodes and learned that not all friends are what they appear to be.

This week I want to touch the hearts of many folks out there who think they are no longer from Zed simply because they are living here or married outside their race and want little or nothing to do with Zed. Their Zambian blood runs through their veins not by mistake but on purpose. Ba Lesa ba kulu.

Well, some people come to visit long lost rellies or they come in search of a good memorable holiday break.

Others come to improve their educational skills or status by doing a ka ma short unaccredited course somewhere and others just come to work and help their needy families back home. Life is really tough for them and this could make a huge difference in terms of life and death situations. And then there are those who float into this space just waiting to see where the wind will take them as they just anchor on this step for an improved standard of living.

Totally chilling mwana, not wanting to work or study but always stating how hard it is to do any of this. You wonder why and you accidentally ask why not boyi? You suddenly look at the person you’re addressing and realise the sadness in their eyes doesn’t emanate from homesickness, but there are tears in those eyes glazing over a heartfelt history of struggles, pain, suffering and just being lost. Then it hits you one time. They are living in constant fear and without papers.

This is a really terrible twist in most people’s lives who are still here looking for a way out. In most cases, they are the most gracious people to ever walk the earth but find themselves in this difficult situation. Some folks are gifted or super talented, totally unaware that this government would reconsider their status based on that alone. We all have special gifts from God and these should be maximised.

But some Zedians can be funny though. They totally hate mixing with their own kind for one silly reason or another and yet they are so willing and ready to spill their heart out to a total stranger from ‘Mars’ who can give them a helping hand. What stops them from seeking out a confidante from a fellow Zedian? Fear of familiarity and embarrassment? What about the disgrace of being discussed by the stranger from ‘Mars’ who will obviously discuss you or even ridicule you as soon as your back is turned? Perhaps the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.

Perhaps it’s time we all sat up and took time out to really think about our comrades in need.

There’s nothing worse than living in constant, never-ending fear simply because you don’t have the right credentials or papers. As much as I don’t condone this, I know that every single person’s circumstances are different from one person to the next and all you need to do is seek good advice and the right help for you alone in your own personal circumstances. I know it’s easier said than done but It’s better than being invited to a party and suddenly finding yourself surrounded by immigration officials who surround the party and start rounding everybody up looking for illegal immigrants – courtesy of your fellow Zedian comrade who called them.

Strong rumours have it that this actually happened in the good old USA and I have struggled to comprehend this single act. How selfish can one be? Was this person the only Zambian person entitled to live in the USA? Has it always been a race to leave Zed and prosper in the USA or UK before any other Zambian comes along? Why would you want to put your fellow human beings in harm’s way? How would you sleep at night and most of all why, why, why? Will God really forgive you for these acts? Do you know how many people they are feeding whilst they are here doing menial jobs here and there, struggling to survive on a meagre income? Do you know how many demons they have to face in sickness or in health? It must be a real nightmare for that ‘traitor’ to hear that word AMNESTY in tandem with over-stayers or illegal immigrants.

But of course, God never sleeps and will always look after His own children. There are amnesties out there now for people looking for a way out of the darkness and advice must be sought from the right sources to match your own personal circumstances. Everybody is different.

Nobody has the right to play God but we all do have the power to give love and show support for our fellow human-beings living in this foreign land away from all that is familiar and a life line away from home.

I will keep my column very short today as I would like to send a strong message for all Zambian ambassadors living in the Diaspora. And by ambassadors I mean each and every one of us living outside Zambia.
Let us be united and show some kindness to one another as our children are watching and learning from all our actions. What kind of legacy do we leave behind when we do not help our own or even promote our own brothers and sisters in this foreign land? I recall a time when our Mission would step in to assist with the repatriation of the body of a deceased fellow Zambian back home. One doesn’t understand how it has come to this as now everyone’s left to their own devices. Financial aid is not always what people need, support can come in all different shapes and forms but the common denominator is really giving that precious time to help out or just being there. One’s presence is an effervescent gift of nothing but real love.

Love costs nothing, is infinite and can be reciprocated in a way that even you could never imagine.

Christmas is around the corner so let’s learn how to be humane again and make the changes you want to see around you.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I think its better to keep yr problems to yourself or tell someone who is not from zed,believe me you the minute u tell them abt yrself the other second he will be telling others about u, by the time u know it everybody knows even neighbours back home in zed will know abt it.And sometimes its jst jealous maybe he/she doesnt want the other pipo to prosper,the best to do is to keep it to yrself and take care.

  2. I don’t think refusing to mix with Zambians is not a silly reason. Some sections of zambians in the diaspora are venomous and are way too dangerous to have in your vicinity. I have zambian friends but my circle is very small. Some of the wrost betrayals I have experienced in my life came from the same people that wanted to me to huddle around them because we share the same nationality. Spilling out your problems to a fellow zambian is just as good as getting on the microphone and telling the whole world. I know some zambian brothers and sisters out there have no papers but advising them to pour our their problems is counter productive. Lets not forget that the Border police work on 100% tips from the same zambians who want claim to be your friends. the truth is when someone is deported most of the time it’s someone close who snitched on them, harsh but true. All I can advise the brothers and sisters without papers is work hard and save money, Plan ahead. be careful who you show your weaknesses,problems and shortcomings because certain people will use them against you .

  3. Interesting, papers are an emotional subject. for people i think they are embarrassed or the fear stops them living their lives the way they would want to. but it’s one of those things that you don’t talk about in public in-case the wrong people hear about the situation, it’s always kept hush hush cos it mite even be ur own flesh and blood who stabs u in the back and tells the authorities.

    so i think u were right to talk about it and remind people to support their brothers and sisters who don’t have papers but are trying to make an honest life for themselves here and to send money to those who need it back home. We need unity in our community, but as africans we never broach these subjects and the fear perpetuates, we need to get rid of the fear and allow ourselves to grow.

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