I am from Tanzania and like any other african citizen in a country riddled with corrupt leaders I have developed a strange immunity to ‘we hate our leaders’ pub banter. It’s not that I do not care, of course I do. But once you hear it one too many times you develop the concentration span of a one year old, when they are not watching cartoons that is. There are of course many reasons why I should care but I rarely feel the need to say anything because it never ends well. One, I may talk a lot but I am not the loudest kind of lass. Two, it is only fun when people know what they are arguing about. It is exhausting to both correct and argue with people. You’d think with innovations like google people would have wanted to sharpen their arguments. You know, make the argument more interesting. And yet, it is the same old ‘oh…we all know he stole X million shillings from X company’ or ‘His wealth does not match his salary.’ I think it would indeed not be far-fetched to note that many people know that already so tell me something that I don’t know. So here comes the question, if we cannot argue about it (or can’t be bothered to), what do we do? We cannot, and must not, just, just ignore what’s going on can we? That would not be responsible and other similar words of the sort that would put me to absolute shame. So here goes nothing..and a lot of somethings.
‘Education is key’ has been the highlight of many conversations growing up. So yes lets, lets educate ourselves about the dynamics of our countries’ politics. Let us not focus on the matters that lie on the surface but know exactly how all the little parts function in the big machine. And we should also go back and know the history of politics and the formation of certain policies and the such. This way when we want change we know exactly what we are talking about and roughly how to get it done. Even intelligent people can look crazy if they do not know what they are doing or think they know they are doing it right. Time invested in educating people on these issues may prove to be fruitful.
Awareness is another one. I applaud very talented bloggers and journalists who post articles that force us to critically analyse a variety of issues. I used to think certain programmes were boring but listening to speeches by the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere really raises the eyebrows. Maybe the media people can repackage all the material and make it prettier? I say prettier but basically make it appealing to the wandering eye. Some people work hard on store display windows to lure you to wander into it. The material is there, we just have to find ways of relaying it to people.
So go out there and absorb the abundance of knowledge available. And if you are one of those people who can turn jibber jabber into an easy few sentences then do it! You will be doing many of us a huge favour. Till then if anyone asks me about such issues looking for a fight, I will reply in the words of Mr. Mackey, African presidents are bad mkay.