Zambian, ex slave of US religious businessman, tells his story

Zambian A Cappella Boys Choir

From Al Jazeera:

Zambian: ‘I was a captive choirboy’

By Rob Reynolds in Dallas

Two hundred years since slavery was abolished in Britain [no, the British trans Atlantic slave trade was abolished then], a Zambian is trying to draw attention to the modern day trade in human beings.

Captured by rogue missionaries, Given Kachepa, was brought as a boy from his home in Africa to the United States and made to sing in a choir to make money for his captors.

Now, Kachepa is a young man with a mission: to put an end to modern day slavery.

“I’ve made it a goal of mine to do anything I can to fight human trafficking”, he told Al Jazeera.

He said his message to people who don’t believe slavery still exists is “look at me”, he says.

Growing up an orphan living in crushing poverty in Zambia, Kachepa was taken to the United States at the age of 11 after his family were told that he would be given an American education while raising money for good causes.

He was part of a Zambian Boys Choir that performed for churches and Christian organizations all over the US.

Kachepa said: “We sung four to seven concerts a day, going to churches and schools, parks, any avenue we could find to sing.

“And the advertisement was we are building schools in Africa. So people were willing to give a lot of money.”

Global enterprise

The group’s organiser, an American preacher named Keith Grimes, promised the choirboys the money they raised would go to build schools and help their families in Zambia, and their educations would be paid for.

“The modern contemporary slave trade dwarfs the historic Atlantic slave trade

Ethan Kapstein, Centre for Global Development

But it was all a lie – the money, estimated at over a million dollars, was never used for those purposes.

Kachepa said: “My family was supposed to be getting money for food, I was supposed to be getting an education in the United States and when all of those are not happening, at the age of 11, what are you supposed to do?”

Kachepa had become caught up in the modern day trans-national slave trade – a global criminal enterprise that touches virtually every country on earth.

The UN and US State Department estimate 800,000 slaves are trafficked every year.

See also here.

Slavery and African history: here.

6 thoughts on “Zambian, ex slave of US religious businessman, tells his story

  1. Edited by Monica Moorehead
    Marxism, Reparations,& the Black Struggle

    Writings by political activists including Larry Holmes, Monica Moorehead, Pat Chin, Saladin Muhammad, Mumia Abu-Jamal, LeiLani Dowell, Sam Marcy, John Parker, Larry Hales, Imani Henry and Minnie Bruce Pratt.This is an expanded edition of the pamphlet published by World View Forum by the same title. Many of the essays and articles are reprinted from Workers World newspaper.The horrendous Trans-Atlantic slave trade left a legacy of brutal racism and discrimination which can be seen all over the United States today—from the daily instances of police brutality and racial profiling to the government’s callous disregard of poor, mainly African American people, in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina.This remarkable book illuminates much of this often forgotten history and the continuing struggles for justice and against racism, national oppression, and economic, political, and social discrimination. The struggle for reparations is also discussed here within the world context as peoples of Africa and the Caribbean struggle with U.S. economic exploitation and political intervention.


  2. 2009 Waterbird Census in Zambia – The Zambia Ornithological Society (ZOS, BirdLife in Zambia) have completed their Africa Waterfowl Census activities across the country. This year proved to be particularly difficult with the heavy rains making many sites impossible to visit. Nearly 3,000 records were collected – including sightings of White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus, Blacksmith Lapwing Vanellus armatus and Ruff Philomachus pugnax. To read more about the ZOS survey, and lots more news from the BirdLife International Africa Partnership, please click to download the 19th Ebulletin (PDF 324 KB).


  3. Pingback: White hamerkop in Zambia, Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Hundreds of boys in Pope Benedict XVI brother’s choir abused | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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