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When the undertaker wishes you long life

04 Oct 2020 at 09:57hrs | Views
This time Africans have abjectly disappointed the world.

For Pete's sake, why can they not simply die?

At least that is what the world expected after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

It is a story that the world has been waiting for ever since 1993, when the ill-fated South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter, took that ghoulishly haunting image of an emaciated Sudanese toddler that was being stalked by an expectant vulture, which was gingered up by the prospect on an imminent meal.

As the story is told, the unlucky toddler, whose coal-black complexion and kinky hair unmistakenly screamed her identity as African, was on her way to a nearby feeding centre when the matches-thin sticks she had for legs, perhaps weary of supporting her bulbous belly and disproportionately big head — all tell-tale signs of kwashiorkor — gave in, which made her slump to her haunches, as if in supplication to the heavens to be spared her delicately fragile life.

The little girl actually did not die, at least not then.

At the time, Sudan, whose name is a translation from the Arabic bilad as-sudan, which poignantly means "land of the Blacks", was in the throes of a famine that had been spawned by the civil war between the north and the south, itself the legacy of the divide-and-rule colonial legacy of the British.

You see, the British had divided Sudan into the predominantly Muslim north and the traditional south, which became a major source of ethno-religious friction when the northerners and southerners sought to integrate into a unitary state after independence on January 1, 1956.

Where Bishop Lazi comes from, vultures, which are never predators but ever scavengers, always portend death and misery.

Whenever and wherever they circle and swirl, you can be assured that a corpse, or death, is nearby.

As fate would have it, Carter would go on to win a Pulitzer award in 1994 — they say this is the acme of journalistic excellence — but he would lose his life as well.

Actually, he committed suicide in July 1994 for giving the world this embarrassingly sad African story.

Tragic script

In fact, Africa is always supposed to be a tragic story.

It is an unending script.

This is why, when the pandemic was bearing down on the world, we were told that Africans, because of their stubbornly begriming "poverty", "corruption", "misgovernance", "misrule", "blackness" and everything bad that they are abhorred for, would literally drop dead like flies.

On February 26, during a press conference at the White House, US president Donald Trump was proud to brandish the 2019 Global Health Security (GHS) Index, which indicated that America was the most and well-prepared country to tackle "a major infectious disease outbreak".

Well, who would have disproved a research conducted by the US' first research university, Johns Hopkins; the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI); and the London-headquartered Economist Intelligence Unit?

After all, we are always reminded at every turn that these are the world's foremost thinkers.

"We are rated number one for being prepared . . .

"Johns Hopkins, I guess, is a highly respected, great place . . . They did a study, comprehensive, 'The countries best and worst prepared for an epidemic,' and the United States is now, we are rated number one," gushed Trump at that February 26 presser.

As you might have guessed, the findings of the GHS were quite unflattering when it came to Africa.

Close to 40 of the continent's 54 countries were regarded as "least prepared" for a major infectious disease outbreak.

About four countries — US, Australia, UK and Netherlands — were considered to be the most prepared.

No sooner had the ink on this self-adulating report dried than a novel coronavirus announced itself to the world.

And with more than 10 months into the pandemic, it seems to the Bishop that researchers who produced this report might have read the data upside down.

Fatalities in the US, with more
than 211 000 Americans having lost their lives as of Friday, are the highest in the world.

Conversely, Africa, which is home to more than 1,2 billion people, had lost 35 000 lives by last week since recording its first case on February 14.

In fact less people have died in Africa than have perished in the UK (42 000), which has a modest population of 66 million.

But worse was even predicted about our tea-pot shaped Republic.

London's Imperial College had projected in its March 26 report that in the best-case scenario, 15 000 Zimbabweans would die before the pandemic is contained.

For Platform for Concerned Citizens — yes, one of those multifarious civic organisations that you all trust to look after your interests — the outlook was even dimmer and grimmer.

Its April 13 report actually estimated a staggering 150 000 deaths.

And these are your well-meaning civil society organisations.

Hameno/ Asazi!

It is again a timeless reminder that our evil thoughts and ways are different from God's pure thoughts and ways.

It actually reminded the Bishop of Mother Mary's song (Luke 1:47-55);

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.

"From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy His name.

"His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

"He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors."

So-called experts must have read the data upside down

They don't wish you well

Remember what Bishop Lazi said in his March 8 blog?

He told you that "someone somewhere in Zimbabwe is currently praying incessantly that the plague that is coronavirus somehow finds its way into the country in order for the envisaged resultant fatalities to eloquently prove their long-held belief that our health care system is in shambles".

How does Platform for Concerned Citizens feel now that statistics have shown 228 Zimbabweans had died by last week?

Statistics from the Civil Registry actually indicate that less people died (33 818) in the January to August period this year than those that left us during the same period last year at 45 256.

In the wake of an incredulous global media, miffed by the fact that Africans were not dying as they had budgeted for, Sam Agatre from Arua Regional Referral Hospital in Uganda offered perhaps the most emphatic response.

He said: "Covid-19 has shattered a lot of biases about disease in general but also about Africa . . . The severity of the pandemic has not played out in line with the outrageous predictions."

However, the inescapable fact remains: Those who enslaved our forefathers, plundered and pillaged our villages during colonialism and continue to vilify and attack the post-independence African state will rather have us die from the ongoing plague.

They will never wish us well.

This is a lesson that has to be taken to heart by our coconut brothers and sisters — those who might be pitch black or brown on the outside but thoroughly white inside; those whose spiritual home is in the Western capitals.

Do they think that those who clearly wish them dead would rather pray for them to have a long life?

Do they think that regimes that are slaughtering blacks in their own backyards would care a hoot about the welfare and well-being of blacks in the savanna?

Do they actually believe these holier-than-thou regimes that are not measuring up to the democratic principles they pontificate to the world would care about the so-called democracy in a tiny Republic deep in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Only Africans of questionable sanity and outstanding naiveté can ever think that these people mean well.

An undertaker will never wish you long life.

Bishop out!

Source - sundamail
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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