Just say it like it is

Just say it like it is

Writer’s block…dah, dah, dah, dah, an artist stares at the blank white sheet of paper in front of their eyes and can jot nothing because the wells from whence the letters he or she combines into the words that shall form the sentences that will add up to paragraphs turn into chapters has gone dry.
Ain’t no word as meaningless as ‘writer’s block’ in the world where those born to write exist, a lame excuse for those thieves of words and creativities of others to use when they (the thieves of words ) have run out of stock of words and ideas to steal from the poor sods they conveniently befriend to leech upon.

In brief, the individual that cries ‘writer’s block’ is in the first instance of the profession not a writer, and they therefore use the term to create the false notion that there was a nit of talent before the ‘dark period when they could not write’ began; the reality is that a fly can never be a bee, and never can a bee assume the annoying maggot laying habit of the deplorable fly: a bee goes out in search of nectar to fill the honeycomb, and the fly buzzes for the sole purpose of irritating nature and using the dung heap as a landing pad and nest.

To say it like it is, no real writer ever runs out of themes to explore, for such themes and their plots are as numerous as the grains of sand on Mohokare’s banks. Claiming to have ‘blocks’ when it comes to putting the plume to the parchment means that one was not a writer in the first place.
I was sitting down this Sunday after fixing the gutters on a neighbour’s house and a song by the Canadian artist k-os (Kevin Brereton) I had first heard in 2005 was playing in my head.

The song, Crabbuckit from the album Joyful Rebellion explores the Crab-in-a-bucket metaphor as expressed in the common but often hypocritically denied phrase, “if I can’t have it, neither can you” that one sees in the lives of the children of the Third World.
Down here in the Third World (Developing World . . . whatchamacallit), the ordinary mentality of the common folk is to pummel the confidence of those that are outstanding in the execution of their duties to the level where they are considered successful.

Crabs in a bucket will work at any cost to ensure that those crabs that can escape the bucket are pulled back into the bucket to ensure that all fail as a collective (they call it PhD Syndrome(Pull him/her Down) down in Babylon street).
Through sheer uncalculated envy, covetousness, colonised mentalities, malice, slander, gossip, rigmarole, and brute force, the councils of flies posing as critics will lay whatever maggots they have in their abdomens to discourage any thoughts of progress the brave individual that dares to get out of the bucket has.
The modern media age with its uncontrolled platforms has become the perfect dung-heap on which the flies can dump their maggots.
A lot of individuals, often talented people in their varied professions, sit on corners in groups of squalor just because the system is so programmed to ensure that they do not cross the first hurdle to their initially intended destination.

These poor ones are like a runner that will fail to leave their starting blocks because some vain power somewhere decided they could not. Why these poor ones are so designated by the Procrustean judges of fortune to languish in the arms of poverty beats my understanding.
But I think the simple reason is that this continent never really left the cot colonialism left it in. We have members of the old guard, most of whom I frankly deem to be deeply colonised; with their uppity attitude when it comes to the selection of individuals to certain posts.

Then there is the new guard, just as colonised as their ancestors busy discussing the performance specifications of the latest Mercedes Benz, BMW, or some other car instead of wondering why their race and their nation have been consumers and admirers of the same piece of junk for a whole century.
None of these idiots ever thinks of designing their own motorised carriage like Karl Benz or Henry Ford did back in the late 1800’s. The fear is that they will all be riled for even daring to think like a progressive human being in a continent teeming with the cousins of the Flintstones.

From Stone Axe to Space Age, I used to read the damn book as an eight or nine-year-old boy growing up in the village, and I used to be awestruck at the achievements of the nincompoops that flew to the moon. Well I must have been dumb back then, for as soon as I sprouted the first clump of groin hairs I could see through the stupidity of our educational system that teaches children to compete for the property of other nations.
Why teach children to compete when you can teach them to complement each other? We used to stand in a line and the results would be counted from ‘Number One’ to ‘Senqétè’ and parents would be there ululating.

It used to feel well and fine when one passed, for then they would be stuffed full of Coke and orange juice and village fried ‘Kentucky’ on such a day. One would think this was well and good as encouragement for kids to work harder in their classes, but this is where the bullpoo reveals its most pungent stink, and the skunk smell thereof dulls the African mind with its putrid theories of competition, competition, competition.
What should we compete for? The plenty natural potential that is presented as little because we are the entire world’s secret garden, and should therefore not be wise to the tricks of the kleptomaniac finger-smiths (pickpockets) of the West.

Since the day those wandering fools taught the African that only their way is the right way, the poor gullible native has been busier than a greyhound chasing the elusive fake rabbit of fortune around the race-track of life. And the tendency to compete has fanned more storms than the poor and naïve continent can bear.

I read a thousand miles everyday, and I turn the holy book’s verses faster than my heart beats.
So when a politician becomes or chooses to become mendacious and declares that we are a poor continent, Rabbi Haim of Romshishok’s Allegory of the Long Spoons comes to mind and I realise that the often uneducated political native is just being perjurious as usual.

You see, in the allegory; the only difference between Heaven and Hell lies in people being human and sharing or mutually returning the favour and not being self-righteous and forgetting the power of sharing what they have with those that helped them get it.

These people get voted into power and as soon as they get their per diems and per day living allowances learn the true power of a poker face when it comes to preaching poverty, strife and disease as if these were medicinal salve for the travails this continent has had to go through over the past 500 years.

We do not lack as a continent, we have just lost the urge to share due to the colonially-instilled spirit of competition. One feels that the blessings they have received through the efforts of others must be ignored and in their place favours to kin and confidantes must be given greater priority.
We suffer because this here continent is reminiscent to the Hell scene in the Rabbi’s allegory, where there is plenty to eat but the inhabitants thereof starve because they are overwhelmed by vice.

If we share what we have equally, this continent can get out of the perennial slavery in whose chains it has been since the Middle Ages. So said comrade Thomas Sankara; and the bustards wading in mires of sin killed him for saying it.
I have heard tales of citizens that had chanced upon a kimberlitic dyke in some African land who were mowed down just because some ulterior power had interests in the newly found diamond pipe.

To the day, no ordinary citizen ever got the mining rights and the diamonds flow all over the world in markets the ordinary citizen never hears of.
Like the dog in the manger, the government on this here continent does not hold back when it comes to clamping down on citizens that have somehow found ways to pull themselves out of the miry clays of poverty.

Offered close to nothing for their land, their natural resources, and talents, the citizens are left behind to suffer without the means to pass something worthy to their progeny.  And the dog in the manger goes fat while the kine go on and pine in the arms of squalor. To eke an existence is not to live, to dream and never to see the dream be is not to live, but the dog does not care; the hay in the manger the cows need to feed is a comfortable bed for the dog: and the dog will bite anyone that dares ruffle its bed.

We do not as ordinary citizens display aspects of what is termed the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’, but rather, the upper classes seem to be affected by a kind of protectionist attitude that has them preventing the children of the ‘common (as if everyone is not common)’ folk from reaching heights of success their honest efforts carry them to.
This reverse Tall Poppy Syndrome has seen some individuals that could have gone on to fly the country’s flag being forced to migrate to parts of the world where their efforts are honoured.

No one was meant to see the fruits of their toil end up as nothing, as the sweat of the dog that gets only the offal after chasing and catching the prey in the heat of the sun while the ‘hunter’ gets the best parts of the quarry.
In Herodutus’ Histories Thrasbylus and Periander are allies, but the former goes and displays jealousy on the achievements of the latter, a just man that ensured that the wealth of Corinth was evenly distributed.
Such men as Periander do not make it on this continent, they are just as soon as they sprout cut down because they threaten the status quo. And who would want to be pruned in their prime?

All drinking glasses are made of glass but some are made for drinking lemonade and others for drinking champagne out of. A flute and a snifter serve drinks and are both made of glass, but they are given higher regard only because they are associated with a certain class.
The world the post-colonial African state has created is one that seems to hold the false notion that only a select few deserve to hold the stems of the flutes or to sniff the contents in the snifters.

I choose to differ (will never beg), for all men are created equal; it is only through courtesy that men deem themselves subjects as the needs of the moment demand. Other than that, begging would prove to be a move that would present one as a docile donkey worthy to be burdened with the problems of the world.

The revolutionary knows when to say ‘no more’, and the revolutionary knows when to say what needs to be said despite the million critics that buzz around their heads like flies at a dumpsite. One gets torn down with snide remarks as to the complex nature of their sentences, and well one would choose to reply with a sarcastic smile and say; put a dictionary by your side if you find the words hard to understand hillbilly.

And learn to read while you are still at it. This kind of writing is wine in a goblet. Take the sacrament and swallow.
Stop being a critic and try and understand the message, for believe me, one developed a crocodile skin ages ago that such cheap shots as negative criticism cannot get through.  All that one is left to do is to say it like it is. The African should learn to say what it is that really irks them. Diplomatic talk never got anyone anywhere except into the arms of poverty.

Tsepiso S Mothibi

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