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Opinion / National

Loose lips can really sink ships

17 Mar 2019 at 08:31hrs | Views
As Jesus liked his teachings in parables, the Bishop will continue to use intelligible riddles and anecdotes to help you understand the workings of the world, at least as how I understand them.

Hallelujah!

No offence, but parables, riddles and anecdotes are a subtle and ingenious way of communicating or drilling world truths to otherwise blissful ignoramuses.

Equally, they also edify the world-view of the wise.

Our ancestors knew this all too well and relied mainly on folklore to communicate intergenerational messages, value-systems and morals.

Quite clearly, the didactic value of folklore is worth more than silver and gold.

But our forefathers knew that storytelling was not a mundane task, but a sweet science that could be effectively delivered through whetting the appetite of eager ears as the story is told and stylistically serving the punchline.

The notorious twosome

Last week, Bishop Lazi told you that Africans had traditionally used their natural surroundings to hew out skills, knowledge and philosophies which crystallised into indigenous knowledge systems.

You see, Africans, as Kenyan academic Professor Patrick Loch Otieno would say, are not children of a lesser God.

And, as racists would have us believe, they are not evolutionary laggards too.

It is not the Americans who invented the technique of telling their stories through anthropomorphism (please forgive me for this big word), which simply means attributing human traits, emotions or intentions to non-human entities such as animals - we have been doing this for centuries!

This is precisely the reason why most, if not all, stories that were told by our ancestors unfailingly had two notorious animal characters - hare (the canny and sleek protagonist) and baboon (always the blundering and gaffe-prone buffoon)

If you are into African movies and Nollywood, hare and baboon are like that midget duo of Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme.

But there is one particularly interesting story about the hare and the baboon which is the fulcrum - the pith - of today's sermon. Kikiki.

And you need to hold this sermon very dear.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 says: "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

A story is told about a day when hare and baboon, who - after being traumatised by an unchanging diet of vegetables - decided to get some meat from humans by hook and crook.

Hare volunteered.

After a reconnaissance mission - which involved trailing some consummate hunters as they wheeled home sackfuls of jerky (dried meat) in a scotch-cart on their way back home from a successful hunt - hare decided to play possum along the route.

The hunters, thankful to their stars for another source of meat that had fortuitously presented itself, picked up the hare and threw it among the sacks of meat. It allowed hare to offload five sacks from his unsuspecting victims before surreptitiously vanishing with the loot.

Baboon was naturally awestruck and wanted to know the intimate details of the successful heist.

Hare obliged, telling baboon how he had beaten the humans black and blue before forcing them to surrender the meat.

Baboon was impressed, but he felt the story lacked some razzmatazz.

He reckoned he could execute the plan better than his bosom buddy.

After thoroughly preparing himself through a brutal routine of some press-ups and shadow boxing, he thought that the time had come to prove that what hare can do, he could do better.

After trailing the same hunters, who were now all the more wiser, baboon made his grand entrance, springing in front of the meat-laden scotch-cart and peremptorily ordering his victims to surrender their bounty.

Dear reader, as you can rightfully guess, the plan came unstuck.

Instead, it was baboon who was beaten into a pulp.

It was even worse: being cynophobic (a mortal fear for dogs), having a pack of blood-thirsty hounds set on him was the last thing he needed.

We are told that even to this day, baboon still has a hunchback courtesy of that fateful day when he was bludgeoned like a piñata - nay, a snake.

Moral of the story: do not believe high-sounding narratives; worst still, do not act on them for you risk inviting unwanted calamity.

But as 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, we seem to be living at a time when people gather "for themselves teachers to suit their own passions" and are increasingly turning away "from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

Engineered self-hate

The Western world, through its pervasive media apparatus, is happy to tell us at every turn - and often through engineered narratives - that we, as Africans, are not capable of doing anything good.

Using false narratives, where they hide their own warts and accentuate their successes, we are told that success is an effortless endeavour.

Our problem, we are told, is because of ineffectual leadership. Or is it?

Well, obviously our interests cannot be the same with theirs.

But what worries Bishop Lazarus the most is how most of our people, like the baboon is our folk tale, believe this false narrative to trash their own.

We have become a self-deprecatory people that are filled with nauseating self-hate.

This is more apparent on social media, especially on Twitter, which has become a melting pot of enervating and divisive messages of hate, doom and gloom.

Instead of building, it is destroying; instead of inspiring, it is dispiriting; instead of uniting, it is dividing.

And therein lies the challenge.

Mark 3:24 says, "If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.…"

You need to zoom in at what happened in Venezuela early this month to understand how a people can actively conspire to destroy themselves.

The incident happened at the Venezuela-Mexico border when three trucks carrying American "aid" were burnt as they tried to make their way into Caracas.

It triggered a maelstrom of false narratives that President Nicolas Maduro's "henchmen" had deliberately torched the trucks of salvation.

Incidentally, this fake version was generated by a Venezuelan journalist and spread on the West's ubiquitous news networks.

The result: more sanctions were heaped on the already struggling people of Venezuela who the West purports to be trying to assist.

However, it later emerged that it was actually hoodlums belonging to the American-back quisling, Juan Guaido, who hard "mistakenly" burnt the trucks.

But this was never publicly admitted by these news networks, which are clearly an extension of their countries' foreign policy.

They are clearly doing a lot of damage without the bidding of impressionable locals who believe that they are doing us a favour by trash-talking their own country.

It is Zimbabweans who are actively calling for sanctions, it is Zimbabweans who are imploring the world not to extend lines of credit to Harare and it is also Zimbabweans who don't want to see the economy recover.

But there is a better story to be told.

Every country has its own peculiar challenges, as does Zimbabwe, but we can do better for ourselves if we stop the self-hate.

It's true, loose lips really do sink ships.

This Bishop will ceaselessly pray to God for him to continue to raise Pan-African cadres who, as our ancestors did, continue to be our moral compass.

Cadres who will continue to tell us that we, as a people, can do it.

Love him or hate him, Julius Malema can be crudely truthful; that is why he is as controversial as he is popular.

This Bishop thinks the ANC did a good job in backing this cadre.

Sometime last year, Juju said: "They (the whites) are everyday telling you that black people cannot run a successful economy, and you believe that - stop the self-hate . . . Let me tell you, you are going to fail and we are going to keep on trying you until you get it right. Japan invested its money in Toyota - (the) Toyota you see today - (and) it failed. It failed many times, but Japan never stopped putting money in Toyota until Toyota became what it is today.

"They have never given up on themselves. You give up on yourselves easily and you are told by your enemies to give up on yourselves. Your enemy tells you "you cannot do it", and you believe that. They are everyday telling you that blacks cannot build a successful economy, and you believe that. Stop the self-hate."

Need I say more? You need to remember that we not children of a lesser God.

Bishop out!

Source - zimpapers
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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