Zambia President Edgar Lungu on September 8 joined students of one of the country’s leading university in mourning the death of a 'good luck' fish. Students from the Copperbelt University lit candles and marched mourning the fish which lived in a pond within the institution.
“Mafishi was part of the #CBU community for a long time…. I'm glad you received a befitting send-off. We'll all miss you,” the president wrote on Facebook while quoting Mahatma Gandhi, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
The death also trended on Twitter under the hashtag #Mafishi, as the fish was fondly referred to as. For almost 20 years, students at the campus believed that the fish would bring them good luck in their exams and they would pay homage to it before entering the exam room. Lawrence Kasonde, the president of the Copperbelt University Student's Union told the BBC that the fish's death is under investigation and that “It is yet to be buried, we are planning on embalming it."
A video shared on Twitter depicted students standing around the pond and singing the national anthem. In a statement, Zambia’s minister for Higher Education Dr Brian Mushimba said that President Lungu has committed to restocking the pond once the investigation into Mafishi’s death is concluded.
His Excellency the Preident, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has committed to restocking the pond where #Mafishi lived all those years after the conclusion of the review in the circumstances of how Mafishi died. Thank you Your Excellency for being a father and friend to CBU always ????????????????????????.— Minister Higher Education, Zambia (@HonMushimba) September 8, 2020
Here are some of the reactions to Mafishi's death:
— Mukanzala IK???????? (@CBUmoma) September 8, 2020
When the fish from your relatives place died you didn’t say anything. But you’re here talking about Mafishi who didn’t even know you. — Lord Masulani (@Masulani_) September 7, 2020
Go well #Mafish
Learnt of the passing on of #Mafish with great sadness. I came to know #Mafish when I served as CB Minister through my engagement with COBUSU and I fell in love with #Mafish and all the good things she represented to CBu students and visitors alike.#RIP #Mafishi pic.twitter.com/j91N5AWTmp — Bowman Lusambo (@BowmanLusambo) September 8, 2020