I just want to add on to this very interesting letter, Archie did write on the racism going on at Jolly boys unfortunately after sometime he started getting threats on his life and he never pursued this issue further. Below is an article that Archie wrote , his observations and comments plus his own personal experience. Sadly Archie died in road accident in South Africa so , it would have been the greatest thing for him to know that somebody some day would stand up against Racism at Jolly Boys. The article below was first published on the 23 of November 2008.
Whites-only’ resort Jolly Boys Backpackers Livingstone
Action must be taken against the controversial “whites-only” Jolly Boys Backpackers in Livingstone.
If The Zambia National Tourist Board and Ministry of Tourism are not taking action on continued racial practices at Jolly Boys Backpackers then our country is going no where in the tourism industry.
There is mistreatment of black guests at the resort and unnecessary accusations. Black guests are not given equal treatment as whites when they visit the resort. Iam not sure if the Human Rights Commission has attempted to investigate the reports, but the owners have used corrupt practices to stop almost every incident reported.
Three months ago there was a racial incident at the resort involving a black boy adopted by a white family. The family was barred from entering the property. However, only a few weeks ago, before Kim and Sue who are the proprietors of the lodge left for Botswana on a holiday emotionally abused a black street kid who they accused of trespassing on their premises.
When you enter the premises, neither of the staff greets you instead they will tell you to say they are fully booked. I can not think of any reason why they treat and ignore us like this, other than because us are indigenous. We are no worse dressed or behaved than anyone else in when we go there. Having worked in hospitality before I know that even the most abysmally run venue would not have failed to notice and wait on us instead all they do is treat us like this is not our country. Such would never happen in Canada or England where they come from.
I know that not only Jolly Boys has a history of violent suppression of the indigenous Zambian’s, so we have concluded that their racism encompasses any Native Zambian, whatever their province of origin. I have personally concluded that they don’t want indigenes in their racist Backpackers.
It is no secret that Jolly Boys is extremely racist toward indigenous Zambian’s and other nationalities from around Africa (who are of course a majority in this country driving over land trucks).
I suspect that elements in such incidents are drugs and preoccupation with personal matters. I know it’s not uncommon for backpacker owners to take marijuana smoking breaks out behind the kitchen, regardless of service considerations. And they’ve all got problems with color, relationships, and not paying their workers right wages, so they’ve got to mull these things around and around in their fogged minds.
The darker you are, or more indigenous-looking you are in this case, the more racism you WILL experience. Particularly in places like Jolly boys. Most lodges are owned by white people who are all mostly guilty of stereotyping blacks as criminals and incompetents.
What’s at risk here is more than a bunch of hacks or the ongoing struggle for a non biased tourism industry. A Kim and Sue’s altitude highlight the ineffectiveness and also shows how vulnerable our laws are to foreign investments as there is complete disregard towards indigenous Zambian’s rights.
As a Zambian I would like to put the message squarely in front of all lodge owners and the whole Zambian community so there can be no doubt about where Zambian’s stand –we are utterly opposed to racism and will continue to condemn getting that message across.
The continuous racial arrogance by management at Jolly boys towards Zambian’s is representation of a cowardly act by disgruntled social rejects from Europe. We can’t have such racism at this stage of our democracy unfortunately Jolly Boys backpackers’ lodges appear to use race-based criteria when accepting visitors.
There is only one “race”: the human race. The idea that humankind can be divided into distinct “races” on the basis of physical characteristics like skin colour, hair type, nose and eye shape etc. seems like common sense, but is nonetheless wrong.
It is true that people differ by skin colour etc. but it has proven scientifically impossible to rigidly and clearly define people into clear cut “races” because there is no known single physical feature or group of physical features that clearly mark off one race from another . For example, Whites are said to have straight hair: but so do Asians, and some Africans; and many Whites in fact have woolly hair. Similarly, not all Africans have dark skins, while not all Whites have light skins; some Africans are fairly pale, and some Whites are dark. The point if all this is that no hard and fast divisions can be established amongst the different races, which blur into one another in a number of ways.
What is behind all this is that people like Kim and Sue believe that blacks are only there to steal and have hidden agendas’. Similarly on a number of times in Jolly Boys when a multiracial team of freelance journalists posing as visitors tried to book into the lodge, the black reporter was turned away while the white reporter was welcomed.
I acknowledge that backpackers’ lodges have a right of admission, but Kim and Sue and every other backpacker owner should not hide behind that for other causes. Particularly I am appalled about it. Sue will always ask you if you have a passport, and when you say I don’t, they say they only accommodate international tourists. Unfortunately their facilities cater for foreigners and they do not take Zambian’s or even Zimbabwean who are actually foreigners.
Incase management at Jolly Boys does not know I would like to remind them that racial discrimination and racial harassment prevent individuals against whom they are directed from reaching their full potential, and are unacceptable to every other Zambian.