Reflections

The Young Layman Should Not Shoot The Farmer

By Mpuga Rukidi

Africa – She has been called the fabled virgin that attracts the attention of many a young energetic man. She has attracted many men, from the East, West, all over. She has got many stories, but this, from the South, is just one of them.

A group of some of those men, from the North, on seeing her sharp, pointed breasts from afar, decided to come, to pursue, to taste. She must have been one of a kind, for, while she looked nubile and all, she actually had some kids before. They went for those parts that are sensitive, Transvaal, Transkei, Free State and more, touched them and she gleamed, came to life, and gave offsprings. Her fertility was amazing, truly amazing.

The land that was once upon a time a virgin became the land of the once upon a time visitors and their offsprings, the younger children. The soft spots brought forth pleasant plants- watermelons, apples, oats, pumpkins, you name it.  The visitors' and the younger children so loved farming; so they are called farmers. And the deeper the once upon a time visitors dug, the more jewels they found: gold, diamonds, pearls. There were sad stories as well, plenty. The visitors overstayed their welcome, and to get all the pleasantries from the lady, used force, violence. Many of the beautiful spots on the lady's body were obtained by use of force. Many wars ensued, the first older children, lacking modern firepower, were often overpowered, and enslaved. With time there had to be a solution. The older children had to be kept apart, aside – they were subhuman, after all. They had to get permission to move from one place to another. Their languages, being barbaric, were restricted; couldn't be used in schools, they had to learn another, created by the visitors.

The situation became hard, very hard for the older children. They decided to fight for their rights. At this time, their literacy levels were low, birthrates high, but infant mortality was having a field day. The only logical thing, the older children felt, was to begin some form of resistance, but what form was it to take? Some said it should be peaceful, others, forceful. Many parties were then formed, black consciousness was everywhere. While the older children called it resistance, the younger called it terrorism.

To motivate themselves, and to give momentum to the struggle, they came up with songs. One of the songs they are so fond of to this day. It says: Shoot the farmer. Still the torture, incarcerations and death continued. Tens of years went by. The world remained silent, deafeningly. It cared less. The farmers could kill the older children. Who cares for the poor, after all? Are they also human?

Time came when it was politically incorrect to keep other human beings apart, aside.  It became sexy to identify with the older children and to claim to fight for their rights. After all hadn't all the more pressing concerns such as the war that wasn't hot ceased? Every leader now claimed to feel for the older children. With courage they continued the fight, and the the younger children, on realizing they wouldn't lose anything anyway, agreed to give up political power. They realized they would retain the real power that matters- the economic one. The new government, headed by the older children, has little meaning, because in actual sense the bulk of the older children are still kept apart, aside.

At present, the main party of the older children sums up the picture; intrigue, corruption and heartlessness all fuse in it to create a less than pretty scenery. Meanwhile the song 'Shoot the Farmer' still rocks and some savvy kids among the older ones hum it every time they want to make a point. There are many young, vibrant leaders. But there is this very charismatic one; he wants to vie for the top post. He calls himself Julius The Layman. He is brought to court. The song is challenged. Court calls such songs hate speech. It says in this day and age, the young man should not kill the farmer (Boer). I hear voices mumbling, some saying when the farmer killed the older children, the court was nowhere, and that then, it was real shooting and killing, not song killing. Others say death is death and is bad, whether of a farmer or older child.

Am still listening to the voices. But am thinking, whereas the beauty of this beautiful lady that is Africa won her admiration from far and beyond, it also brought her misery. That, sadly, is just one of the sad stories of this beautiful lady, Africa.

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