A DECORATED monkey is a monkey still, I like to tell you this always and mostly when I refer to Africans, ‘wachukiao watajiju!’ My teacher used to tell me that for a monkey, it doesn’t matter what you do to it, it will remain a monkey, no matter what.
You can clean it up, apply lipstick to its lips, spray it with expensive perfume and dress it in trendy outfits, but once it gets the slightest opportunity, it will hop on the nearest tree, ‘ndio ukweli wa mambo.’
Okay, usually when I use this example, I normally get very funny calls, most of them filled with foul language, while others are characterised by threats and as you guessed right, from Africans, ‘hao hao!’ But as I always say, ‘msema kweli ni mpenzi wa Mungu,’ so I will continue telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! When I say that most Africans are a confused lot, people tend to misunderstand me, simply because they choose to misunderstand me and not that they really don’t understand me, they will eventually understand me, ‘habari ndio hiyo!’
This time round, I want to touch on the subject of responsibility and try to see whether every person, male or female, takes responsibility where necessary, ‘kutimiza wajibu wetu.’ In life, every person has his or her basic rights and these rights include good health, education and a good and healthy environment to live in, which includes a safe place to call home, ‘mpo mpaka hapo?’
The government has its responsibility towards this and by all means, they are supposed to carry their responsibilities, without any lame excuses we are getting used to in some cases, ‘sheria inaamuru.’
It is not a new phenomenon for Africa and Tanzania included, to record cases of cholera outbreaks and before it could be controlled, several people end up losing their lives, ‘naomba mnifuate taratibu.’
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know the main reason why we experience cholera outbreaks every year and if you don’t, then may God help you, because you are living in the dark ages, ‘mshamba!’ Cleanliness is next to Godliness, I always try to tell my readers, but believe me, it’s like playing the saxophone to a racoon, “inaingia huku, inatoka kule, hawaelewi kabisa!”
There are some people we live with in the same neighbourhoods who are plain dirty, ‘ni wachafu hasa!’ I know you know what I am talking about, for those of you who live in ‘uswahilini’ like Papa Shango, “basi mnawajua watu wachafu, yani wachafu kweli kweli!”
And when I talk about dirty people, I just don’t mean in appearance only, but in everything, ‘hawastahili kuishi na binadamu,’ because they end up being a nuisance to many, ‘wapo, mnawajua!’ When the government construct roads, although some of them are sorry excuses of real roads, they try to include gutters so that in case of heavy rains, the water can be drained, ‘mitaro na mifereji.’
But in most parts of ‘uswahilini,’ you find that because these people actually try to make us believe that they don’t know the use of these gutters, they instead use them as dumping places.
Someone comes from his or her house and goes ahead and dumps a whole lot of garbage right into the gutter, which happens to be right outside their doors! ‘Haba na haba hujaza kibaba,’ therefore, within a short period of time, the gutter is overflowing with all sorts of garbage.
So when the rains come, the water does not have access to move, ‘matokeo yake ni nini?’ Drainage systems are clogged, garbage is spewed all over the place and generally things are chaotic.
After a short while, these same people will call reporters from different media houses so that they can highlight their plight on televisions, radio and newspapers, ‘mnanifuata?’
“Serikali haitujali, imejaa mafisadi, angalia mazingira tunayoishi!” some of them will lament, for whose benefit? ‘Hivi kweli,’ do you want the government to go from house to house telling you how to keep your environment clean?
Do you want the president to stand before you and tell you that throwing garbage in the gutters is wrong? “Mlizoea vibaya, subirini mfanye mchezo huo kwa baba Jesca,” the president we have right now does not entertain lazy thinkers, ‘mtanyooshwa tu,’ you must know your responsibilities ‘buana!’ Let’s be realistic people. As long as we are all grown-ups, we should try and behave as such, ‘mtafundishwa hadi lini?’
That is why western countries look at Africa and laugh behind their shirt sleeves, ‘kweli kabisa!’ When there is a cholera outbreak because of your own negligence, you cry for government intervention, forgetting that prevention is better than cure, ‘mtaambiwa hadi lini?’
Change start from the mind and I believe that Africans should change their way of thinking. It doesn’t take a genius to know that being careless has great repercussions, take time to think, ‘msiwe vimeo!’
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