Quick story…

A couple of years ago, Nick and I were in Zambia – the really rural, out-of-the-way parts of Zambia (we were shooting a doccie on the Zambian Orphan Choir).  Anyway…

This is a typical home in the rural parts of Zambia (beyond Choma):

zambia home

And this is a typical kitchen area:


And these are the kitchen utensils:

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And this is the kind of food that most rural Zambians eat:

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I really enjoyed Zambia, by the way.  It’s a peaceful nation with big, wide, open spaces… we met sooo many warm and hospitable people there.

One afternoon, as we were returning from interviewing one of the singers from the choir, we happened across this group of young men:


They noticed that we were carrying cameras and film equipment and they asked us what we were busy with.  An interesting and lively conversation soon ensued.  As soon as the young men heard that we had been filming the Zambian Orphan Choir, they enthusiastically told us that they were also a choir – and immediately launched into song.

They harmonised beautifully – and told us that singing made them happy and gave them a purpose in life.

I noticed that one of them was playing a guitar.  When I asked about it, I was told that the guitarist had actually MADE his own guitar… and then taught himself to play it.  Such was his passion for music, that he didn’t allow things like lack-of-money… or lack-of-access-to-guitars… to stop him from DOING what he wanted to do.

He took what he had… some wood… some borrowed tools… bits of old wire that he had found… and he MADE a guitar – and then taught himself to play it!

And let me tell you – he played it well!!

Here’s a closer look at what he made:

guitar in zambia

Nothing like people like this to put things into slap-through-the-face perspective for me!

I can’t count the amount of times I have whinged and whined and said that I “can’t” do something… because I didn’t “have” something else.

  • I can’t start a business because I don’t have the money.
  • I can’t finish my book because I don’t have the time.
  • I can’t finish my song because I don’t have the right equipment.
  • I can’t paint that picture because I don’t have the right art materials.

Actually – it’s all such BS.  A bunch of really lame excuses.  I CAN do any of the above – I just CHOOSE not to.

I think that so many of us overuse the word “can’t”… when the truth is we actually CAN… but we “won’t”… because we’re too afraid to… or we’re too scared to step out of our comfort zone… we’re too worried about what other people will say or think about us… we’re afraid of failure… we’re too proud… (the “real” reasons are numerous – but one thing is for certain, the real reason isn’t “can’t”).

Back to the young, Zambian men and their lead guitarist…

They asked Nick to please film them… and asked us please to share their story with other people in the world.

So Nick did…

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And now, so have I…