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Why is that jetliner for British Airways parked ov’r yonder when all other flights from the same region go to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow? One would ask … It is being fumigated, Another would respond. Fumigated!!! Why?? The Other would inquire. Because it just landed from Zambia, Another would answer.

British Airliner at London Heathrow Airport

British Airliner at London Heathrow Airport - All Other Arriving Passenger Go Throw Terminal 5 Except Those Arriving From Lusaka

So all flights from Zambia have to be sent to that concourse? One would ask further. Yeep!!! Another would answer. I don’t get it … The Other would say. Well, sorry that you guys don’t seem to get it, Another would say. These jetliners coming from Zambia stink to high heavens and we are just trying to be hygienic around here.

 

Dog on it, you mean Zambians stink and are not hygienic? I have seen some dressed in the best not only in Zambia but also around the world. One would prod. Nope!!! Ain’t got nothing to do with the way they dress, Another would counter.

 

You got to work in the cargo bay to understand what I am talking about, Another would retort. You see, when that plane lands, it carries with it as cargo some of the most stinking staunches, from Kapenta, Chapatwa, Insefu, Ingulube all dried just to mention a few, Another continues.

 

Why can’t we ban them from carrying such things? One would probe. I guess we make some much money from charging excess luggage fees that we just wink an eye, The Other would add. I am glad you are finally getting it, Another would say.

 

So what we do is collect their money but humiliate them when they land in London because we have to ferry them in buses to the other concourse for connecting flights. Besides, have you been to Lusaka? Another would continue …

 

Nope!!! One and The Other would respond almost in unison. Well, their airport looks like you are landing in the former Soviet Union, Another would answer. But we don’t care because we make so much money on this route compared to others that we actually fly there four times a week … besides the fact that it is the same place where you have sporadic cholera outbreaks; we got to be more vigilant …

 

… it is embarrassing to say the least how the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise are being treated upon arrival in London, but much of the blame has to be carried by us. In one of our weekly memos entitled Success Corner: Do You Have A Perception Problem? You Can Get A Hang On It …  we wrote the following …

 

We can not control what others think about us entirely but we can certainly circumvent their perceptions of us. Each one of us needs to make sure that the perception of others towards us is positive because people respond based on their perception of what they anticipate would be our reactions to circumstances.

 

To be successful in any enterprise one needs to have the ability to read people and tailor antitheses to what he/she perceives to be the most logical derivative reaction(s) from the said subjects.”

 

In our case the Brits look at our airport, our customs clearing facilities and our concourse at Lusaka International Airport and because these infra-structures are such a sorry sight in the modern world we are treated with impunity when in their presence.

 

“Without the ability to control peoples’ perceptions one is at a loss for advancement in any endeavor be it family, enterprise and otherwise. Most people fail miserably in life and business not because of lack of expertise but because they do not have the ability to circumvent others’ perception(s) of themselves.”

 

I guarantee you, if Lusaka International Airport had the same structures as Washington’s Dulles International, New York’s JFK International, or Johannesburg International, we would not be treated the way we are right now.

 

Because we portray poverty at our departing airport we are treated with it at the point(s) of entry. We have to control that perception by the way we carry ourselves. We need a complete overhaul at Lusaka International Airport.

Our Passengers In London Are Sent To Part Of Heathrow Similar To Lusaka International Airport, Ferried By Bus To The Main Concourse ...

Our Passengers In London Are Sent To Part Of Heathrow Similar To Lusaka International Airport, Ferried By Bus To The Main Concourse ...

We need to create an environment similar to other premier world capitals. When a world class traveler lands in Lusaka, he/she wouldn’t have a sense of arriving at a provincial capital let alone a nation’s capital.

 

Now don’t you tell me we have no money!!! The Auditor General’s report for 2007 alone revealed government had squandered K14 trillion, O yes, trillions of Kwacha as in “thanks a trillion”. Do you know how far that would go in setting up an entirely new airport similar to at least London Gatwick?

 

That kind of money can create a total facelift for Lusaka International Airport and we would no longer have the same look as the former Soviet Union airports. If the current government has no idea on God’s earth how and where to find that money let them ask …

 

No one is going to find the money for us, we have the money already – we just have to move it around. No one is going to build an airport for us; we have to build it ourselves. No one is going to fund our own household needs we need to do that ourselves.

 

The more we do things that would give us a facelift that the world would see, the more respect we get from the world. The more we take care of our own business the more people would want to do business with us.

 

The more we improve ourselves and change the way others think about us the more others see us in a different light. We can’t say this enough, perception, perception, perception. Perception is everything.

 

Ed Louis Cole used to say, “… if you want to pull the crowds, set yourself ablaze.” It is time the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise set themselves ablaze and built a world-class international gateway at Lusaka International Airport …

Artist's impression of the new terminal five at Heathrow Airport. The terminal opened in April 2008 with the second phase due to open in 2011. Total Cost £4.2bn ...

Artist's impression of the new terminal five at Heathrow Airport. The terminal opened in April 2008 with the second phase due to open in 2011. Total Cost £4.2bn ...

Folks, we are dead serious about this. If the Zambian government doesn’t know how to get this done, let them consult us … our business consulting team will provide a project proposal for them, including all schematics, financing plans, cost recovery plans as well as operational plans, for a fee.

 

Of course the Brits like to do things in extremes sometimes we know that, they were our colonial masters, but much of what needs to be done is right below own noses.

 

And of course we can achieve anything we set our minds to … we are Zambians for crying out aloud, let’s change the way we are treated by improving where we come from.

 

Seriously, the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise deserve a better Lusaka International Airport and it is government’s duty to build or facilitate building one, come 2009.

 

Compliments of the Season, Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle 

 

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