Politics in Africa

This guy is probably overcharging me is what I’m thinking as I sit in this minion-themed bus that’s as hot as a tin box can get in the Sub-Saharan equivalent of summer. The traffic’s long enough to get me thinking if it has any impact on our economy, maybe if our intersections were better planned I’d get paid on time and we’d eradicate malaria. We’ll never know though, this is Africa, we might wake up tomorrow and find out our roads are owned by China and they’re taking them to Nigeria because somebody in the government who doesn’t really work for the government decided that America is a better neo-colonialist or some even more complicated scenario. Trust me, everything goes. I might as well stand for public office in the next election, make a few promises and rent a car for a few hours a week, maybe I could get elected, it’s all about visibility I’m told but I personally think sheer lack of responsibility and absolute disregard for sane thinking is what all these elected ‘heroes’ have in common. You know what? I will stand for public office. Vote for me and I will build you a stadium bigger than the Maracana using my meager public service salary, I will buy a bigger car so as to stop embarrassing my constituents, I will fund-raise for your road accident victims with money meant to build you roads and curse the striking doctors who refuse to work because I stole their salary. Constant improvement? Why would I do that? I’m trying to get voted in for a second term so please, keep your expectations in check. I’ll give you heaven on earth though, just without any gold paved streets or perfect lives. Truth be told, I’ll probably just sell you purgatory since I’ve already sold heaven’s title deed to the devil and he has the guts to say it’s fake.But hey! I’m an African leader so please don’t act shocked.

This Unruly Mess I’ve Made

I can barely remember last night, another morning swearing its the last time. “Where would I be?” can’t start over you don’t get a new ID.

Looking at the satellites pass by, reflecting on my past life, “I’m sorry,” doesn’t cover all the pain I’ve caused, you’re judging me off my past, don’t you see that I’m grown? I might have lost perspective, should go to a place where I lose reception. Maybe I should find God-but beat the dogma?


Heard the quickest way to happiness is learning to be selfless, ask more questions talk about yourself less, wear a helmet, don’t be stupid, jay-walk but look before you do it, put the work in, don’t worry about the praise and most importantly…

.. always say the truth regardless of the consequences.

So tonight as we toast to our accomplishments, with our insecurities dressed up as confidence, pray for Sheila and Rita, Patricia and Peter, glued to their screens for the next gossip re-up.

They all wants to be American, they want the gossip, they want the drama, they want Britney Spears to make out with Madonna, they want Kanye to rant and to go on longer, they want talking topics, they want trending topics, they want outfits to be outlandish, they want sideways glances, beef and problems, they want nipple slips, cause they live for clips, this is their economics, so they bleach their skin and smile for the camera, might as well get new boobs while they’re at it, with their selfie stick and cheap cologne reek, they forget…

… that is America, insecurity is their fabric and we wear it and we renamed it fashion.

She asked me, “What is your contribution? Are you marching for freedom or when its convenient, want people to like you, want to be accepted? That’s probably why you are out here protesting.”

I want to take a stance cause we are not free (Although the other day I thought about it and we are not we).

Then her question really hit me, is this about me or them? What’s my intention? Am I on the outside looking in or inside looking out? Is it my place to give my two cents, or should I stay on the side and shut my mouth?

Then again, it’s never too late, won’t think for a second I don’t have incentive.

A lot of opinions, a lot of confusion, a lot of resentments, some of us scared, some of us defensive and most of us aren’t even paying attention.

Someone once told me, “don’t try change the world, find something that you love and do it everyday, do that for the rest of your life and eventually the world will change.” …

… so today I write, what will you do?

Today let’s talk about the one of the largest contributor to failure in our generation. That nagging feeling that you are meant to achieve much more than you currently are at this boring job, degree, situation etc. and that you know you are overqualified for and put just barely discernible effort in; having already proved your expertise.

 

You with me?

 

You must remember at least one movie where the star is sucked into a whole new world of limitless possibilities and true contentment. Nah? That episode where the scrawny boy or naïve little girl learns that their whole life has been a sham and through some sort of inner awakening or messianic moment the course of their lives is changed forever? That ONE shot at breaking the bank, that billion dollar idea, the prayed for epiphany of a selfish God-send and the mother of all laziness, ‘The Big Break’, better known as ‘entitlement’.

Television and society has churned out an entire generation of dreamers who do just that, dream. No action, no hard work or patience, just dreams. With attention spans like goldfish we do something perfectly for the few minutes we’re still interested before we hurriedly move on to the next ‘better’ thing with ‘richer rewards’ as we find reasons to justify our shortsightedness.

This Play Station© and Xbox© generation thinks that life throws everybody a  life-line once in a while and there’s a bail out coming soon. Our sheer lack of responsibility is pungently expressed in everything we barely do.

I had an older cousin who lived by this philosophy throughout his life. The list of what Yuri had worked on was ever growing (with his achievements list being rather stagnant). Yuri sold real estate today and launched a start-up tomorrow only to sell grains the next day. Everything he did to best of his ability but never quite committed and finished anything he claimed to put his mind to. You must already be thinking of someone who is always “planning on doing ‘…’” and doesn’t accomplish anything. One day in his fifties, Yuri learnt of some land his church wanted to dispose of, his Big Break. Valued at roughly 2 million dollars, Yuri knew this was it and his mouth literally watered at the thought of how much he will be able to accomplish with the 5% commission he will receive from its sale. As life sarcasm might have it, Yuri did sell the land in a mere two months to a single buyer who was willing to pay for it all immediately. No partial payments or ‘let’s pay the deposit first’, a true life line! The call from the church that Yuri’s contact had agreed to buy the land literally popped a vein. In his brain. One night later he was rushed to hospital after severe migraines and black outs and surgery was expedited and successful. Yuri was 200,000 dollars richer already and he’d lived through a near death experience. I can only imagine what went through his mind, amid all the beeping from the machines, as he lay on that hospital bed staring up at the boringly white ceiling. Five days into his surgery, a humble little man walked into the hospital and slowly approached the nurse station where in a soft voice he asked explained that he had come to visit Yuri. Even though the nurses had been instructed to not let anybody except family see him, who were they to say no to a man of God? Only this time this was no ordinary man of the cloth, but the exact man of the cloth that had called Yuri a few days back. As fate would have it, he was let in and up the stairs he went to the room. This time the conversation had much more icing and three cherries on top. The good pastor was here to tell him that the deal had been completed and his commission had just been transferred to his account.

POP. DEAD.


Stop waiting for that big break already! Life is made up of the small seemingly insignificant victories over a period of time and not winning the lottery. We build one brick at a time not a completely furnished house falling from the sky. The patience, hard work, resilience and consistence required for success is not negotiable; put in your 10,000 hours or die a lazy life (I would have said live but an unfulfilled life is worse than death).

Transmogrifying nursery rhymes

With an addiction so severe that even conversation left both emotionally content, their story continued down the surreal path of love. This is the story of Jack and Jill, little red riding hood might appear, never mind her though, she’s a constant party crasher. Ooh! If anyone sees the wolf, don’t be deceived by the wig, little red riding hood’s grandma is Asian. Anyway back to the love story.

Of course Jack fell down the hill (what else would you expect? Its Humpty Dumpty who fell down the well or something, no?).
Please don’t read this by its face value, I’m not talking about a literal hill, even though they both have some really slippery slopes. Jack fell. More than fell if you ask me. But who cares anyway? The oblivion of ideality had engulfed him in a darkness so bright he had forgotten about Jill.

Jill watched earnestly as Jack rolled down. Never before had she witnessed this from him. Even she wasn’t sure whether her seemingly intelligent idea now looked unnecessary.
“Little red riding hood had invited me over,” she pondered, only to drop the idea after remembering how weird her grandma looked in those ‘new’ dentals.

Jack was so dizzied from the roll and the ‘pedophile-looking egg in a multicolored polka dot suit and a lime-green bow tie’ screaming at him wasn’t of any relief (He asked me to omit that, but I think media freedom might be an acceptable counter in a court).
*Who names their child ‘Humpty Dumpty’ anyway? Definite pedophile… I digress.
“What are you doing sitting on a wall?” Jack asked,
” I’m proving to everyone I’m not a coward!” Humpty shouted back.
As Jack was trying to figure out who ‘everyone’ was, Jill rammed into him and they both tumbled down the hill pushing Humpty off the wall while they were at it. Poor yolk… I mean soul, poor soul.

 

Jack, blinded by a sense of purpose, decided to go hunt and gather, leaving Jill all alone on the wall. With all the creeps out there? Some prince might appear and try fit a shoe on her foot.

All alone she worried, worried about him, her, them, that meddling girl in the red cape, or is it a hood? Still she yearns to fall with him… She always will.

‘This is the way that we love, like it’s forever, then live the rest of our lives but not together….’ she thought to herself

Luckily, the only passer-by happened to be Simple Simon who offered her a ring o’rosies and a pocketful of possies, “A-tishoo! A-tichoo!” Jill sneezed her allergies and Simon away.
*Isn’t Simple Simon the schmuck who tried fetching water in a sieve? I’m pretty sure he’s still the guy who went fishing for a whale in his mother’s pail.

Jack’s first stop was Oink’s (remember the little piggy who was too much of a miser to pay anyone to build him a house and instead settled for living under some fire-hazard ‘grass house’?) but nothing. The house must have finally been stolen by birds to make their nests. Pink’s place was logically the next place to look, considering how introverted those Pig brothers were (Yes, yes, Pig was their family name). Pink was a nature activist who lived in an awe inspiring little cabin out in the woods. A tree-huger whose house was made of …wait for it… trees.

All that was left was saw dust and despair. According to a passerby the last person spotted around those sides of the woods was Little Red’s grandma. He impatiently asked Jack whether Asians celebrated Halloween in July because ‘she had a hairy suit on and mentioned that she was off to the Pig family house to blow their socks off’.


Exhausted, Jack settled down and started “baa”-ing at black sheep asking if they had any wool,
of course for Jill.

letter from a fan

We are young and restless…
Stronger from all the disappointments, mad with ambition, worried by uncertainties, crazed with
hope for the future… With ruthless focus, we want to hustle, be presidents, be king. Deep down, we know achieving this is very impossible, but even deeper, we know it actually is not only possible but mandatory… There is literally no other way for our kind, make it or die… Continue with our path of procrastination and fantasy or actually have the courage to get up and do what we must…

Conflict, within and without…
I am awakened baby. I know what I must do… But there comes a twist in the midst of this new awakening sense of purpose. The possibility of the one thing that has
always eluded me.. Such a cliche,
love or ambition…
Behind door number one is him in his glorious splendor… Tall, handsome, everything desired. He, however, may not share my feelings or even worse, my ambition… I could walk away from door number one this instant, am certain there are no real feelings at this point, I wouldn’t really loose anything… But once I shut this door, there’s no opening it again, I’m all out of love, my past has ensured that…
Thus, door number two… Continue down my chosen path, free from destruction in the name of love or heart break… Make it. I really don’t want to die. I want to be king, I want it all. I want the world, LITERALLY. Having it any other way, would bring me to a whole new level of self loathe and loneliness.

But am I not already at that point?
Don’t i know that in order for me to be really OK, someone, anyone, has to reach for me, honestly see me, honestly know me, and honestly care. And oh he sees me, occasionally, he is glorious, but at the first sign of honesty from me he runs. “Tone down the attention span he says,” while treating me as an obligation.

I am like fireworks… Try to contain me and you get burned, explode with me and let’s be
beautiful…

“Is this really worth it? Is any of it really?” Decisions, decisions… “Right now at this moment, do you care for me, if we both hit rock bottom will you still care for me? When I’m at my lowest and you’re on top of the world, will you care for me? How about if we both get all we have ever wanted, will our interests change? Right now at this moment do I honestly even care for you?”

The writer claims to be an amateur and hadn’t figured out a title by the time of posting. I especially like how she tries to authentically capture emotion

…be intrigued…

Human Dignity

Human Dignity

My definition of human dignity is that every human being is valuable. In the words of the UDHR, human dignity is defined as the idea that every human has inherent worth.

I believe the foundation of dignity lies truly only in our ability to recognize and truly appreciate others’ worth. That worth being infinitesimally small, apparently non-existent or even grossly exaggerated is not up to anybody or even quantifiable. It isn’t based on opinion or value-assessment but rather by recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of humanity. With that in mind, my perspective on the topic of the foundation of the dignity of the human person is that human dignity cannot be shared by a group of people or even religion but rather is a personal characteristic whose appreciation and sharing can only be achieved by accepting no human being has greater or less value than we do. In my opinion, this acceptance is the only foundation of human dignity.

The Nature of Human Freedom

The Nature of Human Freedom

The nature of human freedom refers to a culture of life that upholds everyone’s dignity and emphasizes the inherent right to life, a right that should not be denied or infringed in any way. Every human being has rights that should not be violated in whichever way whatsoever. Rights that consequently come with responsibilities requiring every individual to practice his or her rights cautiously and responsibly so as not to interfere with others’ rights. The nature of human freedom should therefore entirely subscribe to the philosophy of the culture of life – that advocates for and promotes human dignity, the core to every individual. A culture that’s devoid of any social, political or even economic interference. A culture that nurtures and protects the dignity of every human being from conception to natural death. That should be the real description of life.
Society must therefore rise to the occasion by protecting and defending the dignity and value of human life because that’s what describes the nature of human freedom.
It’s the obligation of everyone to build a culture that favors the development of a society that’s mindful of the dignity of its members. Human freedom should accommodate everyone in all respects. It should campaign for the need to respect everyone regardless of his or her cultural background, social status, age, race, political affiliation or gender. That respect to everyone forms the pillar to which dignity is built which is the foundation of every human right. Both men and women should be treated without bias or any form of discrimination to either party. Equality in matters of gender must be emphasized and practiced to the highest standards possible. The essence of human freedom should be that no one is denied his or her fundamental rights and especially the right to life. It should see that society abjures its allegiance to acts that demean the dignity of any person and articulate measures that protect the right to life of every human being. That’s the nature of human freedom.