Muzungu & Munthu (Black & White)

I’m a Muzungu – or so I was told at dinner last night. Apparently, it is the colour of my skin that makes me a Muzungu.

In Zambia there are only two options of “being” and I ended up a Muzungu. I could have been born a Munthu – but then my skin would have been black.

Yesterday I arrived in Lusaka, the capital and largest city of Zambia. Lusaka is the launching point for my real work here. This is where I start to really let my smoke thunder. I’ve walked and talked with the animals. Now its time to walk and talk with my own kind.

Being on Safari is incredible. I mean… just totally amazing. For me personally, there are few things I’d rather do, than go on Safari and learn about the animal kingdom. It is here that you can clearly see the world. Nature is beautiful, not just because she endows humankind with visual pleasure, but also because of the purity and innocence of her relationships.

On safari, one cannot help but to feel the urge to get ‘closer’. Even the most threatening animals compel this instinct. Take the elephants for example… all I want to do is hug them.

In the animal kingdom there aren’t any Muzungus. Nor are there any Munthus, But there are elephants that come in 50 shades of grey and there are the Zebra’s that embody both black and white at once.

Many years ago, one of my legal mentors advised me to stop looking at the world as either black or white. What he really meant was that I needed to start becoming more adept and flexible in applying legal concepts and rules to a given set of facts. He wanted me to be a better lawyer. But at the time, I rebelled against his advice a little. I liked the world in black and white. It was so clear – and easy. It was what I knew. But the law isn’t so easy and neither is life.

Now here I am, many years and struggles and miles away to find myself urging the same wisdom. Our world has had the chance to look at itself in black and white a long time with some devastating consequences. We need to grow out of it. If anything good can come out of our inheritance, may it be that it helps us to navigate the grey a little bit better.

4 thoughts on “Muzungu & Munthu (Black & White)”

  1. If you ever decide to leave law, you my dear Amy could be a writer… reading your blogs !!. What a wonderful experience you are having and I’m happy for you


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