Hi everyone. I’m sorry I dissappeared for a while. Where was I?
I dropped off the radar just before Zimbabwe’s elections. A lot has happened personally since then, but like most other Zimbos, I got a little depressed. I got so caught up in the country’s politics I couldn’t focus on much else. At the same time, I got was getting a bit of radio time because of articles I had written on both Zimbabwe and other issues.
I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that change in Zimbabwe is not going to come about through a political process but a social movement. There will come a time when people just decide that enough is enough and we want to build something better. That may happen before or after Bob (Mugabe) goes, but the truth is tht he is just part of the problem.
The biggest issue in Zimbabwe is the same one that gets in the way of progress in Ireland, in the United States, in China,… everywhere. Self interest. And not just the self interest of the ruling classes. All of us. We are all so consumed with getting an iPhone or a Macbook (I’m an Apple fan), or a new car or house or just protecting our persona space and security. We are all so concerned with our own issues that we don’t fight for others. So much so that we allow injustice to reign.
In the words of Matin Niemoller:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out
I think that when people start sacrificing heir personal interests for the sake of the general good, then things will really start to change. Otherwise, the changes will only be superficial.
One of my articles was in the paper the other day. It was received pretty well. So much so that a couple of things have happened as a result.
First of all, it looks like I’m going to be on the radio. A producer got in touch with me and wants to have me as a guest on a relatively popular radio show to debate the contents of my article. I was shocked when I got the email. It definitely came as a surprise. I guess part of me wasn’t convinced that people actually read my stuff.
There are so many interesting articles on any given day in a good newspaper that I always assumed that my stuff got lost in the bigger news. It’s really flattering to think that not only did someone influential read what I wrote, they have decided to act on it and have a debate around my ideas. It’s a very gratifying thing to have happen.
The other thing is that an executive of a pretty big organisation emailed to congratulate me on the same piece. I got chatting to his assistant, and I might even get to meet him. I wonder if I should mention that I’m not formally employed and that if he offers me a decent job I will probably take it. Nah…I’ll play it cool, dress up for the occassion, and pretend that I’m in my element and that things are going very well for me, thank you very much! Just meeting someone of that caliber will be an fantastic.
All that out of an article that I wrote in the library. Maybe I should go to the library more often. Who knows, next time I write something there, someone might offer to buy me a car! If that’s you, my contact details are available on this website. Everybody is allowed to dream, right?
Thank God for the big and small things that make life so worth living.
Where I come from, people are very tolerant of each others’ religious beliefs, generally. The only exception is the outright ridiculous or immoral – everything else that leads to ‘love, peace and happiness’ is at worst tolerated.
In the ‘free world’ though, people seem to be really sensitive about religion. For example, I am not a Muslim, but back home I would always know when it was Ramadan. Muslims didn’t feel a need to keep it quiet or be discreet about practicing their faith. And this is in a country with a small Muslim community.
At Easter, yes there would be hot cross buns on sale just about everywhere, and the supermarkets would have Easter eggs of all types on sale. But the overriding theme would be the crucifixion of Jesus. It would be shown countless times on television, be enacted at junior schools and on the streets, be on billboards outside churches, and just about everywhere you can imagine. Christians would make a big deal about the time, and everyone else would munch the chocolate eggs and either indulge those believed or engaged them in religious debate.
Here though, times like Easter and Christmas are kept as purely commercial occasions. In return, Muslims who choose to wear the burka, and all those who publically display their faith are frowned upon. It seems as though the ideal is to have evolved beyond the need for a creator and be rational enough to move past God.
That said – I am grateful for Easter. It has been a time to reflect on my sinful nature, thank God for redemption, and be reminded not to judge others (people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones). For those who don’t see things like that, indulge me, after all, you had chocolate.
I’m still digesting Obama’s speech on race and the comments that have come in its aftermath. I am filled by so many strong, sometimes conflicting emotions that I am not yet able to put it all on paper coherently.
Having said that, it is such an important issue and it would be a shame if we all didn’t take this opportunity to thrash out the issue of race. I think this article by Roger Cohen is fantastic.
More and more, I am confounded by the human race. We are all so similar and yet find it so hard to see the world through each others’ eyes. I wonder why that is. I don’t know. I have a lot of ideas and theories, but the truth is, I don’t really know.
What I do know is that Barack took the more difficult path in trying to help his complicated world see things from different perspectives. It was a very honest, courageous speech. If nothing else, it will hopefully lead to a little more honest dialogue. I hope it does a little more. I hope it helps us all at least try to imagine being in another’s shoes. I respect the fact that Obama behaved like a human being with a heart rather than a politician bent on getting elected.
On days like this, I hate politics. The world and all our issues are so much simpler than many politicians make them seem. The solutions to our issues are simpler than they would have us believe.
Today is St Patrick’s Day in Ireland. It’s a big deal and people take it really seriously. My wife and I watched the parade in Galway and had an absolute blast! I can’t wait for next year’s.
The photos are of my wife having a shamrock painted on her, a flame thrower, and a celtic dancer. I took all of them. Pretty cool day so far. Off to the local pub now (with my camera) to check out what St Paddy’s eve is like.
Marriage. I am very old school so to me it seems as though the world has gone crazy when it comes to family life. In Europe at least, people don’t get married anymore. They have partners that they live with. I don’t get it.
I’ve only been married for a couple of years, but I can tell you this, it’s the way to go. Marriage isn’t bliss by any stretch of the imagination. There are days when it straight up sucks. And unlike living with someone, you lose your rights and space and individuality. But what you get in return (provided you picked the right person) is loyalty, companionship, a shoulder and ‘thereness’. Commitment costs, but it is so worth it.
This business of living together….maybe I’m just a backward African, but I know a recipe for disaster when I see one. Why people feel the need to cheat life’s fundamentals is beyond me. That’s my unsolicited 2 cents.
If I have offended you, please think of it as a loving friend telling it like he sees it.