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za-lgflagThe next stop on my quest to learn at least a little bit about every country in Africa is Zambia. Formerly known as Northern Rhodesia, this former British colony has been independent since 1964 and is a functional democracy. It should be wealthier than it is, because of its copper resources and agricultural productivity. However, a very young population base (more than 60% of people are younger than age 25) and devastation from HIV/AIDS have helped to bring GDP per capita down to $4,300.

The young population may explain The Red Bag, a movie I found on YouTube that is, apparently, one of the biggest hits in English-speaking Africa. It has sight gags and slapstick a plenty. Early on, it’s established that we’re dealing with bad guys because their knowledge of the Bible is terrible. From there, it’s a lot of goofiness and confusion.

Peter Sellers’ legacy is safe, but this movie gives me some hope that Zambia can get it together. (I haven’t watched Part II, though.)