The African Dream. Was it that bad?
14 November 2011, 09:58
I am not a regular columnist and in fact, to claim that I am an 'irregular columnist' would not only be an overstatement but an outright lie. This would be the first article that I have sat down and written with the intention of publishing my humble two cents.
So, 200 years ago or so, man did not marry because (and let it be noted here that I speak only in the African context) he walked past a woman and thought that she was hot. No! In fact I have a feeling that back in the day, the notion of being hot was a very different idea for the African man than it is today! Looking back on what we know of the African ancestors, all the women would walk around topless hanging their business for all to see while they bounced around doing their various chores.
In this day and age, the 'hotness' index is directly proportional to how many layers of clothes have been shed by the candidate or in most cases, what surface are percentage of total skin area has been exposed to the naked eye of the beholder, with the higher percentages granting a higher score.
This would have meant that back in the day, the score board would have had to start at 10/10, seeing as men only vote with the only organ in their bodies that is remote controlled by a woman geography. However I would have to believe that this was not so and that in fact marriage was not based on the hotness index but rather on the natural basic instinct that all beings have to reproduce. Perhaps it is for this very reason that the average man would have several women in tow, each with an average of 9 children and still live to see his great grandchildren live a healthy full life.
Then came along the missionaries that pointed out the errs of our traditional ways. Introducing their concept of civilisation, where we were taught that contrary to our popular belief, having as many children as one could naturally father was indeed not a great sign of a man’s wealth, but a barbaric way of bringing children up that not only couldn't you know by name, but also, you could not even number! This might also have been related to the level of literacy, but anyway that's a topic for another day!
So you ask, what's you point? Well let us have a look back and really see what this great move of civilisation has done in the form of improving the African man's lifestyle. Yes sure we now have big mansions in Sandton that we can retire to after our long days at work, our thirsty oversized overpriced petrol head vehicles that we can drive about racing any other man that thinks he can do better ( probably in a bid to outsize each other)
Sure we now build villages with storied hospitals and helicopter pads for our chiefs, while using two planes to fly one chief around the world as if he travels with his 7 wives and children. Yes we build big beautiful roads which we then clog with our expensive modes of transport while complaining about the tolls and taxes that we have to fork out to our ceasers for the privileges we enjoy, so that in turn they can go and marry more wives and live their 'African dream'.
Yes it is true that we have now replaced the herding of livestock with herding human flocks while marching to the union buildings and stock exchange to protest and 'bring the economy to a standstill'. We have even declared being late to a meeting to be a legal definition of an emergency, which could result in the deaths of our fellow countrymen, (as long as the meeting was not in your schedule.) but what price are we really paying for these pleasures? How far have we really come in terms of improving our quality of life?
Not even long ago, a man could be able to take 7 or even 15 women to be married to chauvinist or not! Now we can hardly look at a woman without having to head over to the clinic to get tested for some arbitrary sexually transmitted disease! So much so, that our politicians have even changed their music. They no longer campaign by promising to alleviate the unemployment that has been crippling us for generations, or the tackle crime statistics that have soared so high that doctoring the books are now deemed a necessity.
They now have now turned to avenues like trying to criminalize sex with multiple partners! I ask myself as I look on into the future, as our average life expectancy dwindles down at such a rate that I suspect that our great grand children will all die infants, what went wrong? What changed? How did we get here?
Perhaps it's time that we sat back and seriously contemplated retreating back to the days where we didn't need all these medicines that technology brings about, because we won't have these diseases that technology has brought about with Medicines to treat them. Perhaps we should go back to the days where man married because he needed to reproduce himself...perhaps we were not so barbaric at all.
Perhaps we were not so far off the mark after all. I ask myself daily, would we really be that badly off if we still lived in our villages watching our naked children play with mud toys? Would we know any better? Would we still die at the tender age that we now do? Perhaps, we were the stupid child at school who traded their shoes for a lollipop. Perhaps it is time we reconsider our ways.
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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.