Oct
30
Posted on 30-10-2011
Filed Under (POLITICS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

“Being black is our only crime,” innocently sang South Africans struggling against humiliation, denial of liberty and physical torture under white Apartheid rule. The revolution to dismantle such racial isolation was totally driven by swaying to beats, music and impromptu songs. “Speeches or lectures in meetings are too laborious and intellectual,” said one of the black political heroes, “People connect better when you drive a simple message with the natural African rhythm of life.”

In their daily life during Apartheid days, blacks were continuously uprooted from home to segregated areas, given passes that prohibited entry to most places. Protesters were gunned down indiscriminately and en masse, their dead bodies strewn untended. That was the time when blacks would stealthily pick up murdered bodies from mass killings to bury them as per Christian rituals. It’s very painful to go through old documentation of that time. White missionaries had entered their land, converted and baptized unsuspecting natives into Christianity. Yet these religious fundamentals disappeared disrespectfully into thin air in the white man’s craving for dominance. After attaining freedom, the black community fished out the bones of known people and intellectuals who were tortured, and gave them fitting reburials. Aside from total breakdown of human dignity, abject poverty drove black people astray towards crime, yet the demoralized homeless would sing and hum together, "Ancestors, tell us why black is our mistake that white people hate us so."

Their hero of heroes is known as Madiba, his Xhosa clan name. Even from the ferocious, highest security, solitary imprisonment torture cell of Robben Island he could inspire South Africa youth to mutiny against their white oppressors. From 1976 to 1986, adolescent students and college-goers revolted braving gunfire. Poets and singers who inspired the uprising were exiled. Desmond Tutu, the first black South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town rose to global fame as an unequivocal opponent of Apartheid. When the world was sensitized to black persecution and inhumanity practiced by South Africa’s white government, economic sanctions were imposed on it. In 1985, the US and UK stopped investments in South Africa, the Rand currency plunged more than 35% pressurizing the government toward reforms. What finally resulted was Madiba’s freedom after 27 years in 1990 and South Africa’s liberation in 1994.

Madiba initially started opposing Apartheid with Gandhi’s theory of non violence. But after a certain time, he understood this was not going to work. He fled the country, got trained in guerilla warfare, and returned to advocate fighting with firearms. Students became violent, retaliated the governing regime’s violent attack with counter-attack. Madiba understood his enemy so strategically that when imprisoned he ignored a ‘foolproof’ escape opportunity a fellow prisoner planned. Sure enough that turned out to be a Government ploy to kill him if he’d tried to break-out and blame his death on crocodiles and sharks in the waters encircling the island. He knew his country required him, so he had to take every precaution to keep himself alive.

When their beloved Madiba was released at age 72, the black masses were ecstatic and of course pelted out victory celebrations in song, dance and rhythm under the African sky. Madiba bore a peaceful temperament, grudged no anger towards the white regime, but he too danced in his now famous typical swaying style. His powerful leadership had inspired several black African intellectuals, musicians and singers to create world propaganda against South Africa’s white dictators. From 1960 to 1990 musicians like Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masakela among others not only messaged the world of tyrannical rule through song, they also influenced world music with African beats and rhythm.

What’s most remarkable in erstwhile Soweto Apartheid colony that was forcefully created by whites to segregate blacks is that it’s produced two Nobel Laureates. And both live on the same street, the only street in the world that houses the homes of two Nobel Laureates. Madiba won the Nobel Peace prize in 1993 and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1984. When in Soweto, we saw white people freely cycling around, our guide Japh said this signals that this is not a trouble-prone area unlike downtown Johannesburg, an anti-Aparthied epicenter. But socially, the black-white divide continues in South Africa. Is it hypocrisy on the part of so-called sophisticated Western societies that they chose to give the most admired Nobel Peace Prize to anti-Apartheid workers just to assuage their own guilt feelings? Or to keep the blacks in check, and non-hostile in future? In India we’ve gone through colonization, but the visible experience revealed to every visitor to South Africa compares more or less to Auschwitz-Birkenau’s mass murdering museums where innocent Jews were brutally killed by Hitler.

Madiga is a superb intellectual, strategist, fighter, influencer and leader in the body and mind of every black African. He’s got about 250 awards worldwide, international rock concerts, songs and films were inspired by his struggle for social justice. His statue adorns several public places in the world. As you enter Johannesburg’s Sandton Square you suddenly get dwarfed by a 6 metre Madiba, not on a pedestal, but allowing you to reach his ankles. My curiosity was aroused in Johannesburg airport when I saw large Madiba photographs inside a garment boutique chain. Called Presidential, this store was selling colourful, African origin batik printed shirts that was trademark Madiba dressing style. I’ve seen San Francisco’s Alcatraz prison sell prisoner outfits, but what a extraordinary tribute this was to the freedom fighter imprisoned for 27 years, who emerged to liberate his country and become its first democratically elected President from 1994 to 1999. I find it outstanding that people can experience his iconic image by wearing a Presidential shirt.

In this last part of my African sojourn, I leave the identity of 93-year-old Madiba for you to discover. When you search you will find that everything can be diminished when we as human beings have tenacity and self confidence to overcome woes.

To download above article in PDF Two Nobel Laureates in an Apartheid street

Financial Express link:http://www.indianexpress.com/news/two-nobel-laureates-in-an-apartheid-street/867605/0

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Oct
23
Posted on 23-10-2011
Filed Under (TRENDS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Before reaching Johannesburg from Zambia, I’d asked friends about the city’s must-see sights and sounds. Surprisingly, all I got were scary warnings. We could be mobbed at anytime, the hotel should arrange airport transfers, even driving a rent-a-car is not safe. This immediately raised my curiosity about South Africa’s inner picture that hadn’t changed even after liberation from official Apartheid racial segregation laws since 1994.

The bitter black-white-skin divide still matters. In most workplaces I observed African natives doing menial work, their bosses were white. A week before we met Japh, our native South African guide, a young white boy had deliberately smashed his car’s rear windscreen. Why? Because he could not overtake him as the traffic light turned red. The white boy’s mother was driving the car, but she didn’t interfere. The boy toted a gun. Instead of getting into a fight, Japh went into the police station. However, without witnesses the police hesitated. The Government of this ‘rainbow’ nation represents 40 million black native Africans, 4 million coloureds and a million Asians and 5 million whites. Yet since historical times, the money’s largely been in with white people. They drive the economy even today, so the blacks tread warily.

Downtown Johannesburg looks very disturbed. You don’t see white people on the street, daytime or night. The whites were mugged and robbed here during the black uprising, so they fled. Now indigenous Africans and Indians man the shops. If you’re unfamiliar with the neighbourhood’s unexpressed feelings, you’re advised to stay away. Only the financial section didn’t move out, these large downtown buildings housing banks have white employees. But white tourists are not encouraged here. In fact, even when we wanted to see a jazz show downtown, our hotel in Sandton was on the lookout for the right taxi to take us, wait for us, and deposit us back after midnight.

The torture and indignity Apartheid inflicted on the blacks, making them homeless, herding them into make-shift black-only colonies like Soweto (South West Territory) created about 50 kms from Johannesburg cannot be forgotten so easily. But today all areas are technically open to all. Soweto had boasted 23 native African millionaires a decade ago. However that number has dwindled in Soweto as wealthy blacks are moving to costly, sophisticated places earlier reserved for whites. The Dutch and English together monopolize the mining rights for diamond, gold and mineral mines that South Africa is rich in. Their exclusive mine owners club is so exclusive that even women are barred, although of late they’ve condescended to allow women through a side door! White living areas are up-market, resembling places like Monte Carlo. Native Africans, poor and in lower stations in life, are generally intimidated from navigating such places. So the continuous racial and rich-poor clash has made a foreigner’s movement in South Africa uneasy and frightening.

We crossed beautiful farms en-route to the Stone Age anthropological site named Cradle of Humankind. In these limestone caves near Gauteng, over 500 hominid fossils were discovered from 3.5 million years ago, including the first human fossil nicknamed Mrs Ples dating back 2.3 million years. In this land we can visibly realize how human beings have evolved to conquer nature and rule the world. “This countryside environment we are passing has gone through many changes in recent times,” explained Japh. Earlier white farm owners used to build homes for their farm hands, provide for this captive labour force generation after generation. But now the owners have hired white managers to run the farms. These managers have asked native labourers to vacate those homes. Their fear is that they will be accused of keeping farm workers as bonded slaves, snatching away labour rights and liberties. So a large number of blacks have become homeless. During Nelson Mandela’s Presidency he started a housing scheme for the homeless. From the highway we can see these rows of basic council houses. If people can prove a certain low wage and homeless situation, they’ll be allotted a house free of cost.

Why did the rich white farm owners leave their land? Japh’s perspective is that they have fled to coastal towns Cape Town and Durban so that if, by chance, the sleeping volcano of native anger erupts, they can quickly take boats to escape the country. “This burst will surely come, we cannot say if it will be in 5, 15 or even 100 years,” Japh said. “White people will have to exit one day just like they did from all our neighbouring African countries.”

From Uncle Tom’s days to Apartheid, racial strains have choked societies in North America and Africa. So the black community in both continents has inculcated a warrior mentality against the whites, a mentality that erupts as soon as the occasion arises. Except when it comes to the arts, white society has gleefully borrowed from African culture, thus enriching the arts and themselves. In his famous African Period (1907-1909), Pablo Picasso painted in a style strongly influenced by African sculpture. The seminal black influence on Rock-n-roll King Elvis Presley was Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s black gospel music. African rhythm and sounds, first brought to the US by African slaves, led to the creation of blues and jazz. It can be established that African music is at the root of a very significant portion of all recent popular or vernacular music in the West, including genres like heavy metal, punk rock, pop music.

Musicians like Paul Simon, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger have contributed to lessening the skin matter, but it has never been resolved. It seems to be like the solar system that cannot be displaced. There have been great integration initiatives from white Americans, but their mindshare is somehow blocked, the two colours cannot make the same cup of tea. The black and white races of the world continue to carry this shame to this day.

To download above article in PDF Skin matters

Financial Express link:http://www.financialexpress.com/news/skin-matters/864267/0

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Oct
16
Posted on 16-10-2011
Filed Under (TRENDS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Continuing our 4-siblings&spouses family reunion in Africa, we reached Kapani safari camp outside Mfuwe, Northeast Zambia. Here I learnt of a certain ecological balance from the animal-jungle habitat we were immersed in. It’s night-time; a guard is escorting us to our cottage in the middle of the jungle. He waited to take us for dinner by the river deck. Shining his torchlight he casually showed us what looked like a big cow within 15 meters of our lodge. In reality it was a wild hippopotamus that had wandered into the camp and was grazing grass. I almost collapsed! Will we become the hippo’s dinner? The guard assured us hippos are vegetarian; if we don’t disturb them, they’ll never attack. That was tough to believe. My mind’s eye recalled Discovery channel where we’d watched, in the safety of home in India, animals enjoying each other as food. Was there much point in travelling to the southern hemisphere only to be eaten by them instead?

Our guide Lawrence mentioned that, on average, 2 fishermen die in the crocodile-hippo infested Luangwa river every year. He said white tourist guides with little practical knowledge or feel for the jungle come with books to guide others. He narrated a sordid tale of fatal bravado. A few years ago an American tourist group had a highly professional swimmer who wanted to absolutely cross this dangerous river. He’d out-swum man-eating sharks and other predators in different parts of the world’s waters, so what’s a slow-moving crocodile in comparison? Everyone in the forest camp forbade him, but the adventurer had to prove his point. During the hot mid-afternoon siesta, he slipped out alone. Of course a croc chewed him up in the river. In the ensuing chaos, a local forest guard went tracing the American’s footprints. Unfortunately, he too couldn’t wriggle out of the crocodile’s big jaws. This gruesome drama was happening just below a bridge from where another guard shot the culprit crocodile. Inside the crocodile’s stomach they found dismembered body pieces of both men. The American’s hand was intact and still wearing his watch. This is all his family received as testimony of his demise.

I was conversing with Andrew, another extremely knowledgeable local guide, about the jungle’s heart being so divergently different from the digital world we’d left behind. Andrew pointed to a pile of animal dung and asked, “Is it so different really? Look at the ‘poo’ of the civet animal. Perhaps the inventors of email, Facebook and dating or matrimony websites were inspired by it.” As I stared at him incredulously, he explained the animal kingdom’s communication methods. Every male civet marks his territory by leaving his droppings in several places in the forest. Every day he opens his Facebook account by visiting his marked places to check who has responded to his activities. It seems animals can find out from every ‘poo’ heap which animal the faeces belongs to, the age, sex and health condition of that animal, and at what preparatory stage of mating the female is in. If the female civet visiting the male civet’s ‘poo’ site is interested in dating him, she leaves her email address by doing her own job next to his. Then at regular intervals she leaves her ‘poo’ trail so that her chosen mate can find her in this vast jungle. In a day, if about five female civets have left messages indicating their interest, the male civet examines them all, then makes his life-plan. Of the five, one may be about to ovulate in 2 months, another in 2 days, a third may be much older than him, the fourth much younger but she has some illness, and the fifth about his age but with no indication of when the mating time will come. If he wants a family immediately, he’ll go for the second girl, if he wants to play around and be fancy free he’ll go for the fifth one. So who said human beings are superior inventors to animals?

When Lawrence heard about my fascination for Chitalele dance, he was so enthused that an Indian knew his culture that he immediately organised nearby village folk to perform. It was marvelous. Under acacia and ‘sausage’ trees, a dry riverbed as backdrop in this wintry afternoon, no microphones, no speakers, just six voices were singing with gospel harmony. Their astonishing voices had multiple chords synchronized with African percussion accompaniment. If you’d not seen this with your naked eyes you’d think the dancing was to pre-recorded playback songs. The fabulous Chitalele involves call-and-response songs, coordinated hand clapping and energetic legwork. They danced to local song-stories of elephants destroying crops, the tweets of myriad birds, interspersed with some humour using impromptu paper props of binoculars and cameras to caricature how white people go into the forest to watch animals and birds.

In the far distance behind the dancing we could see an elephant family bathing in the wet-spots of the dry riverbed, a hippopotamus foraging for food, a male deer whistling. Lawrence had explained that when the deer whistles thrice, he’s communicating his presence to females during mating time. If he whistles continuously, it means there’s danger, a predator is nearby, so everybody, just run! In the forest the next day, Lawrence suddenly stopped the safari jeep. He showed us the pug marks of a crocodile that had crossed this way the night before. The crocodile would have felt very hot and was going towards water. In-between the feet marks we could decipher the tail inscription. It seems the crocodile progresses slowly as he has to drag his very heavy tail, so he needs to rest every five minutes. I marveled at the language of the jungle, so different from our metro, urban or rural civilization. Here you can feel you’re in a world apart. What’s the balance or reconciliation between the two eco-systems, nature’s technology and digital technology?

To download above article in PDF Jungly Facebook

Financial Express link:http://www.financialexpress.com/news/jungly-facebook/860379/0

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Oct
09
Posted on 09-10-2011
Filed Under (BUSINESS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Let me thank you, my Valued Readers, for your encouraging response to ‘From the Discomfort Zone’ as it enters its third, without-a-break year. I was preparing articles from my recent African sojourn, when the world’s all-time hero died on 5 October. I stopped. Without paying homage to the greatest contemporary inventor who continuously created discomfort to change the world, how could I proceed? Steve Jobs broke our old habits, made us experience things differently, whether in corporations or in society. His discontinuity with mediocrity is the ultimate example of creating discomfort.

Apple has acquired many nuances. Adam and Eve bit the forbidden apple in Catholic mythology, making it an object of desire. The falling apple was profound realization for Newton’s discovery of the gravitation theory, while Apple is the record label of the Beatles, the world’s biggest entertainers. “Apple of my eye” is what we want to be for our loved ones. Aside from assigning values and imagination to apples, we find lots in the market coming from different countries. When organic, we pay a higher price for their supposedly being more natural than others, when generic, the apples get sprayed with pesticides or can be genetically transformed. But Mr Jobs’ Apple is obsessively focused. It has proved his purity as an inventor, designer, disruptor, entrepreneur and lover of humanity. I wrote about his Fifth Avenue, New York, Apple store (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/big-apple-to-steves-apple/619482/0), how knowledgeable salespersons were inducting both scruffy-looking below-teens and a Louis Vuitton bag carrying sophisticated woman to Apple products. I was curious to see what car Ms Sophisticated left in, and sure enough it was Rolls Royce. Her expensive bag and car give her show-off value, but a $50 iPod Shuffle in the pocket of a basic income person and a billionaire is invaluable for the joy it brings to both. Steve Jobs had the ingenuity to create real socialism between the rich and poor with his products which both hunger for. Yes! Fifth Avenue should become Jobs Apple Avenue. His apple is Job Apple.

The Western inventive character and discipline prioritizes on how to go against nature, to have control over nature. In my industrial product design experience in the West, I’ve learnt about increasing the functionality of an engineering product to reduce human effort. A few years ago I created my engineering design framework to be ‘Reduce Effort, Increase Comfort.’ If you look at the evolution of human society’s living betterment, you will find that functional improvement has been prioritized in every day-to-day life product. The ultimate reference of my ‘Reduce Effort, Increase Comfort’ is the inventive power of Job Apple. Steve Jobs unlocked the apple from being forbidden to becoming officially permissible. You may or may not believe in Adam and Eve’s Garden of Eden, in religion or God, but you have no choice but to believe that Job Apple is the universal religion of human rights. Jobs was extremely conscious about connecting his inventions to everybody, both for their entertainment and livelihood.

Across all continents, the CEO’s function is defined as the engineering of finance, human capital and PR. But Job Apple has proved that the CEO’s job is different, others should manage a corporation’s transactional jobs. Jobs first broke the practice of ivory tower research and development (R&D) where doctorate intellectuals have no connect to end-users. So I can say he transformed R&D terminology to Research for Differentiation. The common man has to perceive extra benefit in the products. Jobs established that the ideal CEO should have unbelievable thirst to intercept human need and desire beyond anybody else. So first, he should be sensitive to human society’s hidden desires; secondly, know the performance of his product/service in any competitive environment; and thirdly, create a simple story to sell the product/service to the masses. Unfortunately most CEOs today are primarily engaged in fixing a positive quarter result, and not aligned to these 3 elements. Job Apple also proved that the digital world does not need rocket science invention but an instant leapfrog on vision. The vision has to be very practical to fill the consumer desire gap, and inspire whole team to work in an unconventional way to break the mold. The CEO should empower himself with the ability to take risks, to create the hunger for self discomfort. Only such action can catapult a loss-making company in 1997 as Apple was in the year Jobs rejoined it, to becoming the world’s most valuable company in 2011. Today Apple is No.2 in global market capitalization.

Twentieth century history has multiple examples of invention driven by struggle, especially from the effect of the two World Wars and how to get rid of Adolf Hitler’s devilry. Now when democracy largely reigns, the prevailing jargon is take and deploy the opportunity. But how? You cannot deploy opportunity in a merry-go-round that’s merely turning. You need to create discomfort to bring discontinuity on the monotonous, boring aspect of business. So Jobs delivered a new, non-forbidden apple to the world. As a CEO or wanna-be CEO, you can eat the Job Apple, and empower yourself to the alternative way that will enormously connect to the masses. Vive la Discomfort Zone!

The last 8 years when Steve Jobs fought his fatal pancreatic cancer were the most critical for Apple and him. While everyone speculated about the timing of his death, Jobs didn’t hesitate to deliver his best creative work. What mental power and courage! The digital technology movement will surely unearth something new in future, but Job Apple will always remain the summit of creating a difference for the masses to enjoy. Steve Jobs not only contributed to creating an all-new digital delivery, he connected people emotionally to their digital devices. He fulfilled their unstated desire of having total finger-tip control, giving fingers an ingenious freedom to drive a new type of pictorial language in the digital world.

To download above article in PDF Job Apple

Financial Express link:http://www.financialexpress.com/news/job-apple/857630/0

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Oct
02
Posted on 02-10-2011
Filed Under (TRENDS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

From California came my sister-in-law’s invitation for a family get-together under the African sky.  My in-law family composed of multiple nationalities, Indian, American, Canadian, French, were getting ready to celebrate her 20th marriage anniversary amidst nature and animal beauty. Before the safari trip my wife would regularly turn on Discovery channel. I found my eyes riveted to lions and crocodiles killing their prey.  Was she mentally preparing me on how we’ll soon be gobbled up by all kinds of animals? 

So there we were in Livingstone, a Britisher’s name in Zambia. Just like our mountain Everest is etched with an English climber’s name. That’s supreme branding done by British colonial explorers who’d then bequeath their discoveries to the international community. In so doing they’ve maintained 5 aspects: (1) missionary zeal to convert people to Christianity, (2) discovery of unique natural phenomena, (3) looting the colonized societies, (4) creating the black-white people divide and (5) making the colonized speak English. Scottish missionary David Livingstone discovered the world’s highest waterfall called Mosi-oa-Tunya, literally meaning Smoke that Thunders, and named it in honour of his Queen Victoria.  

Nobody knows how many Zambian natives had seen the falls before him.  But Livingstone marked his discovery, the town got his name. On the banks of Zambezi River bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe, people told us that dangerous crocodiles and hippopotamus inhabit the calm 3,540-kilometre waters. If you fall in there, the crocodiles will not take more than 7 minutes to put you in their stomach. Then suddenly the river’s beauty changed dramatically, tumbling headlong down 108 metres to become the gushing, misty Victoria Falls. Victoria is followed by Iguazu Falls between Brazil and Argentina, the world’s second highest at 82 mts, and third highest is Niagara Falls, 51 mts at the USA-Canada boundary. In worldwide fame it’s Niagara’s majesty we’ve always heard of, perhaps because its part of the developed West. But when we compare, the widest falls is Iguazu at 2700 mts, followed by Victoria 1708 mts, with Niagara the third widest at 1203 mts.

Driving from the airport, Livingstone didn’t seem too different from an Indian C town. Except there were fewer people and tourist information in English indicated tourism to be the most important income. The good part of British colonization is that it paves the way for livelihood of local natives. The few hotels and hired cars in Livingstone proved they were living off tourists. Election billboards had smiling mug-shots of the president, others of his opponent called for corruption clean-up. It was still not clarifying to me that we’d reached Africa as I was coming from the same phenomenon in India. An insurance company hoarding displayed a big electric bulb pointing out you can die of electric shock so it’s better to insure! This signaled to me that we may be in Africa. Going forward, a man on a bicycle was overloaded with plastic cans. It appeared we’re back in India again. But why was he nervously waiting by the roadside? Our guide Simon clarified that he’d stopped for fear of crossing the elephant pathway. We gasped as we suddenly spotted several huge wild tuskers and baby elephants ahead. They were frolicking on both sides of the road, enjoying an afternoon’s picnic stroll. Simon halted for our obvious camera clicks, but warned us not to get off the vehicle. What I learnt is that if you are at their same ground level, wild animals can attack. But as they don’t recognize machines or read them as prey, you’re safe when inside a vehicle.

Behind the elephants we heard the thunderous rumble of Victoria. The African jungles parted into an unending chasm. We were awestruck as the sunlight created unimaginable colours, reflections and illumination in the mighty waterfalls. But when you look down, you feel the vertigo. While our family members went to minutely check Victoria from the Zimbabwe side, my wife and I decided to visit Simon’s village. Without understanding the social aspects of African life, this trip would be incomplete for me.

Simon’s village folk lived exactly like they’d always done. The small round mud huts with low roof had a single door and no window through which animals can attack at night. Villagers perforce went far out for water and firewood. We met a 17-year-old girl holding a baby. Simon told us she was raped by a married man. For this abuse the tribe’s headman obliged him to pay regularly for the child’s upkeep. Others from this small village were away to work in another village, a few children greeted us, they had goats and chickens for company. In such native surroundings you see a different kind of life from the beauty of the jungle, river and animals that tourists get to know.  You can ask whether its poverty or culture that makes people live like this without being eaten up by capitalism or digital world devils.

The open markets of Livingstone were gypsy-like with fruits, vegetables, dry fish, furniture, second hand apparel and the occasional touristic handicraft-ware all hanging under temporary thatched shelters. By 7pm everything shuts down. This is like the weekly bazaar (haat) on Indian village outskirts, but here it’s the main city market. So it’s easy to gauge that investors of different hues were yet to come to Livingstone.

Simon’s biggest crib was against the current president Rupiah Banda whose election slogan was “A President for all Zambians.” His party’s been ruling for 20 years. Michael Sata, a former train-station sweeper nicknamed “King Cobra” for his rough-spoken ways, was his electoral opponent. He’d served in the ministry of Kenneth Kaunda, liberated Zambia’s first president. Aside from anti-corruption, Sata is against Chinese investment. China is Zambia’s biggest foreign investor with $2 billion in copper, cobalt, nickel and coal mines. The day we left Africa we heard “King Cobra” had won. Even under the African sky, anti-corruption has become the contagious winning strategy.

To download above article in PDF Rhythm under the African sky

Financial Express link:http://www.financialexpress.com/news/rhythm-under-the-african-sky/854527/0

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