Passion On A Scaled Pedestal

By David Wesonga

In my country a tale is told of a man who once invited his friends over for lunch.  He was a very rich man, but never married.  Distinguished people waltzed around him for his wealth and, on receiving the invitation, the privileged few kept the buzz alive. The uninvited watched from a distance and prayed, not for a feast but that some day they would own enough to feed their families without a struggle.


On the day in question, guests started arriving as early as 10 in the morning.  It was a custom of the land for lunch to be served at one.  By half past noon, all guests were seated and ready to feast.  At a distance a fire burned, a cooking pot steaming over it. At half past one, food was yet to be served.  On inquiry, the host pointed towards the fire, saying, ‘Won’t take long! You shall have your fill soon.’


They kept talking, from politics of the day in which they argued who to back and finance during the forthcoming elections, to social life, an interesting topic in which they discussed their wives and husbands.  At four in the evening, there still was no sign of food and, hunger now clearly taking its toll, anger set in and they started pointing fingers at the host.  The host suggested they play a game, while they wait a little bit, for it would be ready in a short while.


They picked on a game called ‘blame’ a favorite game of the land with a huge following.  The winner, it was decided, would be the first to stake out a claim at the table.


‘Who refused to draw first blood when his servant rebelled, leading to the strikes….?’

‘Who led the local parliament into a wild goose chase of the….’ They went on and on.


Seven o’clock came and still no feast.  When they finally turned the game of blame on the host for food yet to come, he asked them to follow him to a table on which lay a tray covered with a white piece of cloth.  After washing his hands, ready to feast, he lifted the cloth to reveal not food but a piece of red cloth!  You can imagine what happened next.


Like the host of this story, we are masters of our own destruction.  We fancy ourselves as G8 countries and pretend to play ball.  But we refuse to spark a faint fire within ourselves, and try lighting a dead one in our neighbors!  Take four of the dictators of the African lands and you have it in black and white.

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