By Sapientia Seeker
TUESDAY — this is one of the days that I get really stuck in the dark, hollow abyss of writers’ block. Deep down there, my literary creativity shuts down altogether — so pardon me, readers, for the mountains of ‘garbage’ I am about to let loose in this rather fiery essay. This country is sweltering, frighteningly dark and scary for the past couple of days, and I am terrified at the mere thought of going to work. Speaking of work, I’ve not been to the office for a couple of days now —there are thirty-one different, ugly faces plastered on the wall — and I cannot tell if, in fact, they are photos or an artistic graffiti of a deranged artist. They scare me! I hate working while they watched. It gives me the creeps. Maybe, journalists are pusillanimous. Maybe not! Whatever the case, it’s ‘garbage’ that they are there (or should I say we are there!). They and we being together is a journalistic taboo. Pardon the opaque phrase.
All right, enough about my puerile dread of that…you know, don’t you? I grew up in the hinterlands, so remote is my village that I had to walk 10km through the thick, green or sometimes autumnal bushes to school. It was not dark there at nights. There was a generator that would supply the entire village with power…even Kanilai didn’t have that luxury! Now, I spend my weekends at Latrikunda…is it German or Germany? Wait, are these people colonized or they’re still being colonized by Germany? Somebody tell them colonialism has ended eons ago. Latrikunda is drier than Luxor, Egypt —one of the driest cities in the world. The average rainfall per year in Luxor is 0.862 millimetres. That is probably ‘higher’ than what Latrikunda taps record a day: their taps run only at nights. Meanwhile, you’d have to buy a bottle of water from a shop if you don’t want to parch to death during the day. Kids at that place dread the idea of night creeping in, because the only light they know is sunlight. Nights are darker than an abandoned, medieval cavern…probably there exist a long-standing feud between them and NAWEC that doesn’t show any signs of dwindling.
NAWEC! They don’t seem to be doing a good job these days. They have now become politicians: masking their lies by repeating it over and over again and expecting people to believe them…Einstein said that’s the definition of insanity. The results won’t change, if you don’t change the process. Simple logic! How can 30-year-old generators, which were in fact, decommissioned from service before being shipped to the Gambia, serve a country? Geez, we are doomed. Did they tap my computer? They knew I am writing this; because they just cut power. I swear! Quite honestly, the only time I feel like I am in civilization is when I am in sleep: nothing is more civilized than nature, especially when you have to die without the excruciating pangs of death, and without having to experience the erratic power cuts and the daily stench of political corruption. The thing about sleep though, is that you die and come back; so you’d have to relive all the nightmares again. Eek, I detest the idea of not waking up anyway!
You know, I like that chubby guy in the ‘Big Office’ but my only problem with him is that he’s always dumbstruck when it comes to speaking — he does it only mutedly. But the fact is, being a new president comes with a weight of expectation. Always remember that! There’s something about him, Gambians or rather ‘the Barrow snipers’, as Gibran would call them, find compellingly addictive. Whatever it might be, please advise the ‘snipers’ to accept dissents and critics; that’s what will make you better. But the truth is no one knows what goes in your brain — I understand women better, and quite honestly — I don’t understand women at all. Probably that is because I am venustraphobic, whatever the hell that word means. As a leader, sometimes you have to act swiftly in solving certain issues within the country even if that means alternating between your Jekyll and Hyde personalities, but in NAWEC’s case use the Hyde personality before people start dehydrating to death.
When I remember that mid-January afternoon, when for the first time in decades, the dry pores of this country exuded freedom and your image everywhere was a beacon of hope, but ten months later I am gripped with a distinct, horrible sense of déjà vu; reliving the Jammeh-ism all over again. I feel this country is at war with itself, and with the political hubbub between the abnegated politician and the zeitgeist leader, I fear we are going to sink into another quagmire of political tragedy. It would be our fault! PLO Lumumba amazing said that the problem with Africa is that those who have ideas have no power and those with power have no ideas, which is somewhat true; but more accurate is that… those without power are equally or even more clueless. Power is not hereditary.
It is a mandate that people entrusted you with, so it is not anyone’s fault to be in power without any ideas. It is the people’s fault. Period! Many a times we are enticed by the lying games of politicians that we tend to think that they are destined saving grace of our problems but almost all the time they become the ‘chief looting grace’ of our coffers. It is about to we became the redeeming quality that we seek and choose leaders base on merit not religion, ethnicity or tribe. Daylight is getting dim and the page is blurring, and this essay is about to bite the dust so; snipers, please do not blow my head off. It wasn’t an outright cynicism… just a reminder. I know what lurks in the hearts of men… men of politics! So read and understand but if you wish to eat and stuff yourself… then bon appétit!