Friday, February 24, 2006


A number of books have left a lasting impression on me. The chief ones are:

1. The Bible
This classic is renowned as the best world seller. It has remained my number 1 reader, year in and year out. Here is why I go back to it so often:
-It has a very rich variety of styles. A number of books from the Old Testament are historical, while some are full of wisdom andyet others are poetic. Then we have prophesy and in the new testament, we find books that are easy to read (the four gospels of Mathew, Mark Luke and John present the story of Jesus or the good news) while the remainder of the new testament contains letters that were sent to churches or specific individuals. These letters describe how to relate with one another.
-I always find something new each time I re-read what I read a few years ago. Very few books have had this impact on me.
-I am amazed at the wisdom and scientific detail that is presented in the Bible. Modern knowledge, it would appear, is not new after all!
-The book claims to be the word of God and I am convinced it is.

2. The Diary of a Nobody - by George and Weedon Grossmith
This book is out of print but one can get a copy at any local library (at least in North America and Europe). The setting is England around 1600. It is basically a catalogue of daily entries of routine things including drinking English tea at 2pm! What drew me to the book was the thought or question that I had. Would somebody's life be so exciting or boring that they would want to share it with the whole world? Apparently, life is never boring if you can see the big picture.

3. Pio na Vera- by Stephen Mpashi
I picked up a reprint of this book at the University of Zambia book store in 2005. The book describes the courtship of a couple in a Copper Belt town of Ndola. It is written in a Zambian local language (Bemba). The man, Pio is a school teacher while Vera is an apprenntice of some sort. The description of the social life in a Zambian compound is quite breath taking especially for those who are now detached from home.

4. The Trials of Brother Jero- by Wole Soyinka
The author is a nobel prize winner for literature. The play is set in Nigeria. Christianity, politics and business mingle at the beach, the setting of the play. Soyinka has a way of letting you see the characters without watching the performance.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Conservative Government elected in Canada

Canada went to the polls on January 23, 2006. Victory went to the Conservative Party who won by a small majority. This was after 13 years of being in opposition to the Liberal Party. The new government was sworn in on February 6. The new Prime Minister is Mr Stephen Harper and comes from Calgary, Alberta (western Canada). The Conservative party is strongest in western Canada but a number of seats were won in eastern Canada as well, including Quebec where separatist ideas are held high by some people. The Conservative party won the majority of their seats in rural ridings mostly.

What does the conservative party win for the ordinary person mean? The answer depends on who you ask and how you define the ordinary person. Issues that the new government ought to be judged on from a visible minority point of view include inclusiveness and poverty. The offshoots of these problems can be observed in gang violence in our cities, under-employment etc. Hopefully, the climate of change that the Conservative leaders campaigned on will be translated into action.