7th JANUARY, 2013
UNPALATABLE PICTURES IN SOME OF THE DAILY TABLOIDS
The Council of Churches in Zambia is deeply concerned at the almost nude pictures that are being published in some of the daily tabloids. The deliberate exposure of near naked women, the suggestive sexual positions of the dancers and the obvious alcohol abuse by the patrons at such occasions raises the question as to what is the motive of all those pictures.
It is palpable that the answer to this question might be that we are in a liberalised and democratic era and we can even be referred to the west where those things are normal and nobody complains and that people can chose to see or not to see, to read or not to read. The other argument might be that the internet is awash with worse pictures and people watch anything anyway. However this phenomenon cannot pass without comment. Our nation is still too young to deal with these things as the west has done.
At the time when the country is crying out against the rampant moral degradation, the ever increasing cases of sexual and gender violence, the breakdown in community values and principles, the uncontrolled substance abuse, such pictures in a newspaper do nothing to help the country curb the ills it is grappling with at the moment. When our children are subjected to such pictures day in day out they begin to think it is the norm and once this entrenches in their minds there is no telling to what extent the damage would have been done to these potential adults of tomorrow.
We are appealing to the consciousness of our media practitioners to consider walking with the Zambians in their quest to instil moral grounding and to entrench value chain in the lives of especially our young people. We are cognisant of the fact that papers must sale but not on the back of our young people and our moral cultural standing in our society.
The church’s other concern is the widely popular so called entertainment during government or private functions. The kind of dancing that our women and men are exhibiting at such functions leaves much to be desired. At an occasion where we are raising consciousness regarding sexual and gender violence, it is at the same occasions that women and men would dance in such a way that it is sometimes very embarrassing to watch. As far as we know some of the so called traditional dances were never meant for public consumption, they were for a specific purpose and a specific occasion and usually performed in the privacy of homes or during counselling preceding a wedding. To now bring these activities in the public arena and call them entertainment raises concern for the church. The sexual manoeuvres and explicit gestures are to say the least uncalled for and they do not help the nation in their aggressive campaign against sexual and gender violence in our society.
Secondly the ‘entertainment’ is taking too much time away from the core of events and could even be anti-development in terms of the time this entertainment takes. Zambia at a time such as this needs everyone to be investing as much time as possible on developmental activities rather than on entertainment. Instead of an event taking two hours so that people could go and do other work, it is taking four to five hours.
If indeed we must have entertainment during all events there are many other traditional dances which are graceful, entertaining and not suggestive.
It is our hope and prayer that as we begin a new year those that are responsible for disseminating information to the public and those that arrange the so called traditional dances as a form of entertainment will seriously reflect on this matter and dutifully help the cause of society in bringing sanity to the land.
Rev Suzanne Matale
Council of Churches in Zambia