Zambian News

Reading this week:

  • The Sabres of Paradise by Lesley Blanch

I have recently begun following Zambian news and it is a hoot. I should have been following it earlier, I suppose, but it was the coup in Zimbabwe (or, as the Zimbabwean Army puts it, “totally not a coup”) I wanted to keep up with, and Zambia had better (well, more extensive) coverage than US news sources.

Zambian news is exciting because you get headlines you just don’t get in the US. Here, you get to read about the Lusaka Prophet Jailed for Failing to Raise a Dead Man. In this story, a grieving widow paid a witch doctor $1000 to bring her husband back from the dead. She fasted and they went to the graveyard and the prohet ordered the dead man to rise up, but he didn’t. The best part is the framing of this story though, like her mistake wasn’t getting swindled, but that she just picked the wrong prophet. If you want to know how much you should pay, it is apparently $400, along with two goats, two chickens, and two white bed sheets. That’s how much the witch doctor in the story A Man Who Was Reported Dead in 2015 Spotted in Lusaka Compound got paid. That’s actually a straightforward fraud story, with a pastor faking his brother’s death to get death benefits, but gets wild when a witch doctor is paid to “take care of” an investigating mine employee.

Following the news has given me important insights into how the world works. The article is about supposed corruption in the ruling party, but from the headline alone I have learned that Typical of Rats When Caught, They Blame the Cockroaches. Who knew about this rat/cockroach feud? I have also learned that God doesn’t care about your football game: ‘Playing football na Lesa [with God],’ I beg to differ! In this column, the author rallies against pastors getting into the apparently “lucrative football market.” However, as the author points out, God has things like famine and wars to worry about, and can’t be bothered with a football match.

Speaking of things God worries about, there is a cholera outbreak in Lusaka. This is distressing and depressing (this is an Al Jazeera article on the topic), not the least of which because of the Cholera Germs Found at Three Hungry Lion Outlets in Lusaka. It has, however, lead us to discover the following fact which, based on my submarine experience, hits especially close to home:


Sex gets it’s fair share of time in the news. Or, in the Zambian News parlance, s*x:

The kicker in that last story is that the woman was in fact a prostitute he had brought to the funeral, but had claimed was his sister. Don’t worry though; when the family found out they slapped and kicked him as they marched him to his car.

Besides s*x, there is a ton of relationship advice. Reading Zambian news, I learned Women Who Marry Us Before Having a Stove, Car Usually Stand With Us (the article also mentions not having a mattress, so ladies make sure to give those mattress-less guys a chance), advice that should have been headed by the 19 Year Ugandan Toy Boy Dumped by 70 Year Old Lover. Truly, is love dead? Apparently, judging by Coffin Scares Son-in-Law (a quick read, detailing a man filing for divorce after finding a coffin in front of his house following an argument with his mother-in-law). Of course, in happier news, the World’s Oldest Virgin Weds in Uganda (lots going down in Uganda). A 90-year-old widower has married an 83-year-old-woman, medically confirmed by doctors as a “first class virgin,” whatever that means, and apparently the world’s oldest, according to whoever tracks these things. People will read of her principles!

Until next week my friends, this has been the news.