Home Articles Tales of Zambia The man with the key.
The man with the key.
Written by Joribar   
Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:09

Anyone who spent a few years in our beloved Z-Land, will have encountered this man, here is a narrative of one such occurrence,- Livingstone boasted a very active branch of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia, of which I was to become the Chairman.

There was an occasion when we were given a film to show for fundraising purposes, so we booked a local hall for this. The film was to explain the benefits of abstinence from poaching, and hence income from tourism. Posters were displayed all over town, and the topic was discussed in all of the open-air bars and in the markets.

The great day arrived, the organisers were ready with their equipment, the crowd was amassing outside the venue, and an air of great expectation pervaded the area. Time passed, and the doors did not open. The organisers started to panic, the equipment took time to assemble, and the crowd was already restless...where was the person who was to let them inside ?

After some time, a member of the crowd shouted out to the effect that they were tired of waiting, and wanted to go in NOW ! "IMPOSSIBLE" ! shouted the organiser in reply,- "we cannot get in ourselves, there seems to be a problem with the owners of the building". "I will fetch the owner” said a man in the crowd, “We will come with you”! said others, and off they went.

Presently, they arrived back at the building dragging the poor unfortunate owner with them,- "It's not my fault" he said. "I arranged everything properly, but the man with the key went to a funeral and took it with him, I cannot let you in." "So what do we do "? asked the organiser, "We cannot show the film out here". "I'll resolve the issue" said the owner, "I'll re-advertise the event and make the building available in a couple of weeks". "OK" said the organiser, and proceeded to address the crowd to that effect. "Look for the new advertisement, and come to the event”.

The crowd dispersed. In due course, at the appointed time, the organisers turned up, the building was opened and the equipment was set up and tested. "Great," said the chief organiser “but where is the crowd"? "I cannot understand this", said the owner, "I put up the advertisements just as I promised, look at this one on the door".... The organiser did so, and immediately the reason for the absence of a crowd was evident.... although the advert was displayed, it gave the original date!

There is a moral to be found here, -- something about doing things oneself !! Anyway, so as not to waste the opportunity, the owner, together with my wife Barbara, sons Richard and Michael, and I all sat down and watched the film on our own.