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It is my aim to anchor the contents of the posts to research, practicality and experience. In this way, the information tries to answer positively to reality rather than match what is in your text book. Hoping that has been fully achieved. As you can see (above), you can translate these writings to many other languages.

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Monday, 21 December 2020

YENGWE: WAS IT AN EVIL RESEARCH CENTRE? FIND OUT BY READING THIS INTERESTING ARTICLE.

 

Introduction

The legend of Yengwe is a story from the city of Ndola in the nation of Zambia. Ndola is the town that was in newspapers around the world after Dag Hammarskjeold, second Secretary-General of the United Nations, lost his life in this Copperbelt Province metropolis in a 1961 plane crash.

Yengwe was a familiar tale to many of the veterans of the Copperbelt who lived there in the estimated period-stretch of 1930 to 1975.     

The parents of the author, themselves residents of the Copperbelt for a long time, recounted Yengwe to the children countless times. But, what is the legend of Yengwe actually about? A logical question. However, first things first.

Yengwe, today, is the site of Zambia’s first and only stand-alone hospital for children. The health facility has the official name of Arthur Davison Hospital. It is not only the place that is known as Yengwe. Among the ordinary Ndola townsfolk, the hospital, positioned on one periphery of Northrise residential area, has itself been popularly called Yengwe since inception in the 60’s. Actually, this particular spot of Ndola carried that name long before the hospital was built. In other words, even the Yengwe story is older than the hospital.

Arthur Davison Hospital assumed the name of Yengwe obviously because it slipped into a place already well-known by that name. And now, the hospital is the living symbol and enduring reminder of the supposed history of its location – at least in the eyes of those to whom the Yengwe saga was or is a household citation.

 

The Legend

The legend is that at some point between 1929 and 1964, people were kidnapped and taken to Yengwe to be experimented on. It was the universal understanding that a white man had sought to see what would happen if human beings were for a long time fed on an exclusive diet of green vegetable matter, especially fresh grass. Never mind that the man would have known that some communities had consumed primarily herbal food for uncountable years. Perhaps he would have wanted to do a test himself.

The local people called the white person Yengwe. The source of the name, or its meaning, unfortunately, remained undiscussed. Yengwe allegedly lived and did his diabolical studies where the Arthur Davison Hospital stands today. In short, it seems the place was given the name of its resident and the hospital was given the name of the place.

It was said that the abducted individuals on the grassy food regimen eventually started looking like animals. They grew thick hair all over their body and walked on their hands and knees rather than on their feet. They forgot all human language they knew, increasingly resembling and sounding like pigs, to be specific.

 

How Were The Victims Kidnapped?

That is what often sparked the telling of Yengwe. It was an example of what could happen if one moved care-freely in the night. However, it was not meant to be a mere scarecrow, but also as oral teaching of part of the factual history of Ndola.

The victims in the alleged Yengwe operations were people who moved after the sun had gone down. Yengwe, with a squad of African assistants, used a car with a totally soundless engine, lights switched off, so the narration goes.  The stealth vehicle braked close to the targeted person. Yengwe’s helpers would then jump out and pounce on the unsuspecting, probably even drunken, night–walker. They quickly and silently bundled their new captive into the car. It was said that it was essentially over in a matter of seconds, and the man-snatchers were on their way back to the research house with their trophy. There has not been any assertion as to whether or not they used a debilitating agent like chloroform to improve their chances. How they could keep their subjects under control at Yengwe – in particular in the initial stages when the hostages would be expected to be more human than animal - is also untold.

According to the story, when relatives and friends of the seized man discovered their loved one had disappeared without a trace, they concluded he or she had to have been captured by the prowler, Yengwe. That means somehow, the people had an inkling of what was causing the disappearances. Indeed, if any job is done by more than one person, as is seen in this case, keeping it a secret is a huge challenge.


    Author's impression of the Yengwe kidnap car creeping up
on an unwary human figure walking in the night.


Could Such A Mission Go On Unnoticed?

What are the chances that an ongoing, and not one-off, activity, could not be detected by crime fighters? An undertaking with obviously strong physical pointers evading the eyes of the authorities? Two considerations attempt to give us a better picture on this.

The first is that there have been many continuing crimes with good noticeable indicators that have remained unknown for a long time. Some smugglers and drug rings, for example, have been known to move large quantities of cargo for years before the law picked up their smell.

The second and greater consideration is that if any white person kidnapped black people for any reason, in those pre-independence years, it is inconceivable that such deeds could be exposed or classified criminal by the white rulers. Could the courts imprison or hang the wrong-doer?

 

Why Would Abductions Be Done At Night, Then?

Why would people be taken at night if it could not be treated as illegal by the establishment? It seems that can be explained.

Firstly, even with government protection, eye-witnessing could likely make things more challenging for everyone in authority and ‘researcher’ Yengwe himself. Knowledge of the dark activities would move from mere hearsay to actual evidence of kidnapping.

Just because the people did not act on what they heard would not mean they would not act on what they actually saw. The people could likely rise against the white colonialist government and Yengwe. Oppressing people is not easy business. So when you are an oppressor, you do not openly allow situations that make oppressing a more difficult job to do. And from that perspective, Yengwe would make things easier for the government and himself by working under cover. Night would probably be the best in this type of deed.

Secondly, operating after people had long left work would help raise chances that the potential hostage had taken some alcohol. That way, the victim would likely have become less able to resist effectively.

Thirdly, darkness would also make it safer for Yengwe’s African helpers. These would live in the black townships and their lives could potentially be at risk. It is easy imagining a person escaping an abduction attempt (predators do not always catch their prey) while positively recognising one of the perpetrators as their own next door neighbour.

It makes sense from different angles that the best time to conduct the Yengwe thefts would be when it were difficult for anyone to see what were happening and the victim were potentially at their weakest time of day.   

 

Silent Car

How silent can a car be? In this age of greater environmental and health awareness, noise pollution from cars is one of the problems vehicle manufacturers have been trying to minimise. There are cars with virtually quiet engines, but mainly at very low speed and in stationary mode.  Was it possible and easy to make Yengwe’s vehicle completely soundless between 1929 and 1964? As far as investigation here could go, this appears a very small probability – especially when one talks of a car with a perfectly muted engine. Then how come the account is that the vehicle made no noise at all?

The chances are that if Yengwe did indeed happen, and almost as told, then either the captors used a car with a lower-than-normal vroom sound, or the ‘totally soundless engine’ part of the story was pure exaggeration.

 

Car Lights Off

Without any doubt, a human being cannot ordinarily see in total darkness where there is practically not the weakest ray of light. So, did the Yengwe team manage to drive in absolute blackness, nevertheless?

In reality, nights are not entirely lightless throughout the year. There is often a degree of brightness from some object that enhances visibility. When there is no moon, there is frequently some artificial source such as security lighting, especially in historically industrial regions like the Copperbelt. So, if car lights are off and the driver is able to navigate, there must be something else in the environment that has provided illumination. That is to say, if the Yengwe vehicle had no lights, the ruthless men almost certainly would use glow from other bodies. Glow that still left enough darkness for the villains to be sufficiently unidentifiable. If the kidnappers even wore any disguise, then there would be just enough light to work in, while the cover would now be complete; the perfect gangster office.

If the snatchers would have to hide their operations, concealment would have to include the vehicle. This, however, seems something they could also handle. For example, they could paint the vehicle a dull colour, like black or grey, keep it hidden and only use it on their wicked trips.        

 

Did Yengwe Happen?

There is no proof that it did. It has been argued already, though, that possibility is there. But, if Yengwe was a real episode, what happened to the incarcerated, eventually? Certainly an interesting line of thought. So, let us assume in these four passages that it did take place. Then, that gives us questions to address in respect of the research coming to an inevitable close at some point. When the project ended, for whatever reason, is it not likely that the living people who were the unfortunate subjects in the experiment were all killed at once and buried together?

Could there be a mass grave somewhere at the former sinful scientific centre? There could be. Has there been a known report of such a burial place already? To the best of the writer’s recollection, not any at least in the last fifty years. In fact, had there been, Yengwe would have been officially recorded as an unhappy part of the history of Zambia, and in particular the city of Ndola (like the Dag Hammarskjeold incident).

What if a mass grave was found at some time in the past, and not brought to the attention of the news media or authorities? One wonders then what caused the silence, or where the remains were taken. Granted, Zambia has a lot of old burial sites, but a mass grave should have aroused special interest, in all likelihood. So, if there does exist a grave with multiple bodies at Yengwe, then it is anxiously waiting to be uncovered; by accident or design.

Did the ‘explorers’ decide to let the hostages die naturally one after another until the last person was gone? In which case there cannot be any mass burial place? Most unlikely. Who, for one reason, could have had that compassion for them? Not people who, in the first place, disrespected their lives by holding and studying them against their will. For another reason, keeping them too long could have carried the risk of being discovered by some morally upright, powerful, organisation or individual capable of exposing everything to all and sundry. And by the way, who waits? Who waits, sure that the other person will die first? So, the mass grave theory holds much more strongly.

 

Yengwe Might Be Pure Fiction

Even though Yengwe was told as a portion of Ndola’s real past, it might actually have never taken place at all. It was perhaps just part of Copperbelt forklore. A fairytale borne of man’s imagination and inclination to entertain and be entertained.

Yengwe was probably a way parents scared their youths into coming home early. A way to keep them from different vice promoted by the darkness of night. A way, too, to shape them into individuals who stayed home in married life, presumably giving their family optimal attention.

 

Real Disappearances Misinterpreted?

Was Yengwe just a wrong diagnosis of a real problem? Could it be true that at one time, there was vanishing of people? Disappearance caused by something unknown that was not Yengwe? And then, when different theories were advanced to explain the mystery, Yengwe happened to be the most captivating and therefore most exciting to tell?

 

Conclusion

The legend of Yengwe is given here exactly as it was communicated, believable or not. It was the intention not to change anything that was said to have happened.

Yengwe the story did exist. It probably still circulates thanks to Copperbelt old-timers passing it down to their children and grandchildren. Existence of Yengwe the white man and Yengwe the satanic project appear to require investigation. The earlier it is done the better, because there could be still-living potential sources of valuable information somewhere in the country or outside.

If a person called Yengwe ever was in Ndola, it would be interesting finding out how he lived his life.

If the project existed, there could be need to take the subject to some next logical stage. A statue could be dedicated to the memory of those who suffered such harsh treatment, for example. Physical symbols have been erected in respect of Dag Hammarskjeold and City of Ndola footballers who died in a road accident about five decades ago.

And if Yengwe the project never took place? Well, at least people will know all they had heard was simply a fairytale. A myth with great staying power. Like Loch Ness and Bigfoot.

19th December, 2020

© Rupert Chimfwembe

Monday, 7 December 2020

EFFICIENCY UNDER PERFECT AND MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

QUESTION

 

Graphically show that perfect competition is more efficient while

 

a monopoly is not (label your diagrams appropriately)



My second book. I actually published it under the pseudonym Pete-Isaac Fowler (cat out of the bag!).




 

SUGGESTED ANSWER 

 

Fig. 1. Both productively and allocatively efficient



At equilibrium quantity Q, price = marginal revenue = marginal cost, at Y (Price = MC is what shows allocative efficiency).    Production Q is at the lowest point of the average cost curve (this shows productiv

 




Fig.2: Productively inefficient.



There is an MC = MR (at K), BUT Price MC.  Price is greater byRK. Additionally, allocatively inefficient because production is at cost j, above n, the lowest cost on the AC curve. 

Sunday, 6 December 2020

ECONOMICS: EQUI-MARGINAL PRINCIPLE; CONSUMER SURPLUS; RATIONAL CONSUMER

 

QUESTION 1

 

What is the equi-marginal principle?

  

This (2020/21) season's mangoes. Still green (04/12/20). Photographed and appearing here with permission from our gardener.

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: The principle that different courses of 

action should be pursued but up to the point where they equal 

marginal benefit per unit of cost.

 

 

QUESTION 2

 

What is the importance of the marginal consumer surplus in framing the idea of a rational consumer?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

 1. Understanding that consumers will seek to maximise their marginal utility per unit of Cost.

2. Understanding that given identical products A and B, the consumer will spend their next kwacha on the product that gives the higher marginal surplus per unit of cost.

3. To help us develop the formula: Marginal surplus = marginal benefit less 

marginal amount spent.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

ECONOMICS - SHIFT IN DEMAND CURVE AND MOVEMENT IN QUANTITY DEMANDED

 

QUESTION 1 

 a)   What are the determinants of elasticity of demand?

I wrote this book. I started in 2007 and finished in 2017. I had to do extensive research in the areas I covered. The book has 200 pages, eight chapters. This is the front cover page, which somehow I designed myself. Hopefully, I'll be able to do a better job next time. By the way, I also edited the book. Editing meant going over the entire document not less than ten times. That was when I understood the 'labour pains' of editing (it was really 'playing with editing fire').    

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

The type of product being demanded; the price level; the 

amount of financial resources of the buyer; the amount already spent on

the product; whether or not substitutes exist; whether purchase can be

postponed or not; joint demand; range of prices; number of uses of 

the commodity. These are the key influences under normal circumst-ances.

 

QUESTION 2

 

What is the difference between a shift in demand and a movement in 

quantity demanded?

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

A shift in demand means the demand curve has

 moved – left or right. A movement in quantity demanded means a change

in what is bought along the same demand curve – up or down. 

 

A shift in demand occurs when factors other than price (eg, incomes,

population, tastes) change.

 A movement in quantity demanded is a change in what is

 required at various prices along the same curve. It shows the response of

customers – in terms of how much they buy - to changes in price.

 

Monday, 30 November 2020

TRANSACTIONAL AND CONSTRUCTIVIST COMMUNICATION MODELS

 

QUESTION

With relevant examples, describe in detail any two communication models used in the business environment.

    Look at those red new leaves! Beautiful! The leaves are red when young, starting to turn green from about one to one-and-a-half weeks. This tree, found in most parts of Zambia, will grow to be at least ten metres tall if left alone. Do you know its name? If you wish to leave an answer (because you do not have to, do so in the comments section at the foot of this page).
 

SUGGESTED ANSWER

Communication is the exchange of meanings between individuals through a shared system of sounds, signs and other forms of message.


                        Our humble dining room in 2013, Lusaka, Zambia. 

The Transactional Model of Communication

In the transactional model of communication, at one point party A is the sender and party B is the receiver; in the next moment, party B becomes the sender and party A becomes the receiver. That is, the sender/receiver status alternates between the two parties. In other words, when one party receives a message from the sender, they become the sender themselves when they give feedback. The original sender now becomes the receiver (the feedback is the message they receive).

As a result of the switching of status from sender to receiver and back, parties A and B are referred to as communicators rather than sender and receiver. This also explains why the model is said to be “transactional”, whichis a word normally associated with the commercial activities of buying andselling. Indeed, in business transactions, there is something to give and also something to receiver for each of the parties (who we call C and D). We give an example of a business transaction in the next paragraph.

C is selling a wrist watch and D is buying the wrist watch at $25. One set of actions involves C physically offering the watch to D and D taking possession of the watch (in which C could be called the sender and D the receiver). There is then a second set of actions in which D physically offers $25 to C and C accepts the money (this now makes D the sender and C the receiver). This is how transactional communication mirrors a commercial exchange.


            And one corner of our humble 2013 living room. Partly visible is the head of our fourth and youngest child, our third son. His name is Kapambwe. Thank you for looking at these pics, folks, even though they have nothing to do with the two models of communication. Just thought we could get to know each other a little better! 😎.


Transactional communication is two-way interaction. It is real-time exchange of messages. As a result, both parties are normally present, though not necessarily in the same place. Examples of transactional communication include face-to-face speaking, a skype talk and a message exchange in a chat room.

Diagram 1, below, illustrates transactional communication.

 


Criticism of the transactional model

·         A response is a necessity. Without a verbal response, it is not easy for the sender to be confident the message has been received as intended.

·         Since the message exchange is concomitant, interference is a big possibility.

 

The Constructivist Model of Communication

Constructivism was first used by Jean Piaget to describe the learning and cognitive processes of children. The constructivist model of communication is, in the general sense, much in line with that, as it is based on the principle that the real meaning of what has to be conveyed in messages comes out through the social process of communication.

The constructivist model focuses on the common ground or negotiated meaning reached as the communicators (sender and receiver) clarify the key components of the messages going in each direction.

Constructivist communication is exchange of meanings that develops through reaching a common understanding on different things. It is bout people getting to a stage where they start getting the same meaning from particular signals, sounds and other kinds of communication package. The way a child learns to communicate is indeed one example of a constructivist model of communication.

Constructivism learning is influenced by past experience of the learners/teachers which enables them to ascribe meaning to different motions, sounds, and other specific types of communication effort.

To further help one conceptualise constructivist communication, one could imagine two people who spoke completely different languages coming to live together and somehow finding ways to understand each other.

 

Figure 2 illustrates the concept of constructivist communication.


 Significance of the constructivist model of communication

Constructivism in communication provides the basis for mutual understanding. The constructivist model is a reminder that there may not be effective communication if the communicating parties do not ensure that what one word or phrase means to party X is what it also means to party Y.

A lot of communication requires that action be taken by the sender/receiver in accordance with the message sent/received. No action is likely to address the expectation if the sender/receiver do not have a common interpretation of the ideas exchanged in the communication.

Criticism of the constructivist approach

A constructivist approach to communication, among students, could mean an undirected, principle-less study system that eventually leaves learners frustrated and ending up nowhere (as they may not know exactly where they are supposed to go).

Conclusion

The transactional and the constructivist communication models are not the only models of communication identified by different researchers on the subject. However, they are among the most basic and, in that way, could help set the foundation that scholars of communication can build on to uncover or create new perspectives on the subject.  

Saturday, 28 November 2020

CENTRALISED VS DECENTRALISED MANAGEMENT

 

QUESTION

Briefly analyse the merits and demerits of centralisation and decentralisation.

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER


Centralisation

Centralisation is a management approach in which the top level of an organisation makes all the material decisions.

Advantages of centralised management

·         The command framework is clear. There is little confusion as to who directs what activity.

·         In times of emergency, response can be quick owing to plainness of authority and responsibility structure.

·         Employees tend to concentrate on developing a smaller skill set, which they tend to polish up well. They do not have to master any real management skills, which could simply be a strain on their obviously scarce time.

·         It is more likely the firm will operate as a single unit with minimal pulling in different directions.

Disadvantages of centralised management

·         Where a situation needs detailed information from a specific locality, top management

may not fully understand the situation. As a result, any action taken may also not be good enough.

·         Workers may not have enough motivation to work if everything appears dictated down to them by top management.

·         Repetitive and limited scope of work can be a disadvantage to employees interested in grown by way of learning and management responsibilities, especially as the organization expands.  

·         Overall company performance may go down when workers feel they are simply carrying out someone else’s instructions and not what they are part of.

·         Total centralisation may deny the organisation valuable input from talented people in lower echelons.

 

Decentralisation

This is when top management and lower-levels share management authority and responsibilities.

Advantages of decentralisation

·         Overall organisational levels of knowledge and effectiveness are raised because of marrying central and local-level perspectives.

·         Workers are more motivated because they feel they have a say in the running of the firm.

·         It reduces the potential of top management being overloaded.

·         Lower level employees become more alert as they feel they could be partly responsible as well if anything went wrong.

 

Disadvantages of decentralisation

·         Reporting lines can cause uncertainty and frustration as to who is in charge of what domain.

·         Passing the buck. More managers means the blame-game is easier to play.

·         Complex processes. It takes long for decisions to move through the established stages: in business, it is said that time is money.

 

Conclusion

Centralised and decentralised management each have positives and negatives. The best situation is probably leaving it to managers to decide whether their unique business situation will work better with centralisation or with decentralisation.  This means looking at such factors as type of business, size of organisation and capacity of human resource.

Monday, 26 October 2020

POLITICAL SCIENCE - Relationship Between Nationalism and Internationalism

 QUESTION

In view of how Nationalism has been changing the USA and UK foreign policies, briefly discuss the relationship between Nationalism and Internationalism.


SUGGESTED ANSWER (abstract not a necessity)


ABSTRACT

Nationalism in this sense is the desire for people to identify with a smaller, often more local group rather than a bigger, cross-border entity (a tendency known as internationalism). As nationalism grows and internationalism shrinks, there could be less sensitivity to the needs of those farther away and more interest in the requirements of those closer. There could possibly even be international conflict as nationalistic nations pursue goals that harm other countries. However, nationalism can be good when people are unfairly subjugated by others.  


INTRODUCTION

Nationalism is the formation of new units, suitable for conditions existing, though admittedly using as their raw material the cultural, historical and other inheritances from the past. Internationalism is a policy of working together among nations or an attitude supporting such a policy.

Groups in general are formed to meet human requirements. At national levelthe group addresses many needs such as the economic, socio-cultural and political. Groups give individual members a sense of security and satisfaction that they belong somewhere, as well as prestige.

In recent years, there has been a rise in nationalism in countries around the world, most notably, in the United Kingdom and the United States. In this essay, we examine connections between nationalism and internationalism.

 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NATIONALISM AND INTERNATIONALISM

 It appears that there does exist a strong relationship between nationalism and internationalism. We now look at some of the main apparent links from several angles.

InternationalTrade Agreements

As internationalism decreases and nationalism increases, the possibility of existing international trade agreements being revised appears to grow. Donald trump, upon becoming American President, announced that he would pursue an America first foreign policy.

One of the first things President Trump did was to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he said allowed Mexico to take advantage of America in international commerce. Trump has also cited China as another country with which American was at a disadvantage in trade.

Trump successfully pushed for signing of a new, ‘better’, agreement called the United States, Canada and Mexico Agreement (USMCA), replacing NAFTA.  

As regards China, Donald Trump has been slapping taxes on some products to discourage their importation into the United States as a way of reducing the huge trade deficit the United States has with that country.

ForeignAid

President Trump sought to cut development assistance to third world countries (often given through agencies like USAID), but a bipartisan congressional effort rejected his proposal. The UK is legally required to spend at least 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) on aid every year. Still, the issue of aid post-Brexit appears one of interest to some observers. And so, it appears a less internationalistic and more nationalistic world has potential to have development aid reduced or, at least, reviewed.

Immigration

A rise in nationalism and fall in internationalism seems to have negative implications for international migration.

The British chose to leave the European Union (EU) so that they could take back control of their borders, their laws and their money - or so they believed. As can be seen, attitude toward inward migration into the United Kingdom has been unfavourable.

And President Trump vowed in his presidential campaigns, and after, to stop illegal migration from Mexico by building a border wall. The wall has not been built (yet), but there has been a tougher stance in dealing with those who attempt to come into his country.

World Peace

The founders of the European Union wanted to put an end to the unending violence and aggression that had long scarred Europe’s long history. Nationalism was at the root of the many European wars, and the world wars. The European Union was thus a project for peace. For example, to remove trade friction (and possibility of that escalating into something more serious), the European Union set uniform standards for all countries and opened up markets.

The point here is that if the European Union disintegrated, there could be a return to wars. In other words, internationalism appears to reduce possibility of wars while nationalism tends to increase that likelihood.   

International Anarchy

When nationalism dominates internationalism, it could mean fertile grounds for the breeding of a spirit of international anarchy. It is closely connected to what we just discussed above. In this case, however, we refer to issues like Donald Trump (ignoring pleas not to) pulling America out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and unilaterally promoting mining and use of an unclean energy source like coal – all in the name of America coming first and making America great again.

National Sovereignty

More nationalism and less internationalism does not always have negative connotations. Nationalism is the philosophy that stresses allegiance to one’s nation as a major political virtue, and national preservation and self-determination as political imperatives. So, when nationalism is seen as a fight for African independence (as in the 1960’s and 70’s) and less internationalism is seen as colonisers going away, it can be good.

CONCLUSION

A policy of strict nationalism could be harmful to others, and possibly even self. Internationalism is not always perfect either. Nations need to strike a balance between nationalism and internationalism.  

.