Change begins with us


All work and no play cannot sustain a person but sometimes we take our playfulness a little too far that some assume play, and not work, is all they need. Yes, some humorous moments in life are essential but time and place and topic of the matters have to be put into careful consideration at all times.

Our country is stuck in the doldrums o f underdevelopment. It is a crisis unfolding right before our eyes. As usual, we are waiting for someone to do something on our behalf. We want a politician, a donor country or God to improve the situation while we sit around sulking and scratching our beards and the like.

The sad thing is: we invest a lot of effort in things that are not productive. In the past, I used to get overly defensive when others would say we have a lot of time to waste in the country and that most people in the country are idle minds and hands. I would get even more furious when this came from the international community. I would write it all down as oppressive rants of arrogant and selfish people.


Now… well, experience is such a great teacher indeed.

Let me start with the attitude towards the perceived misfortunes that had or have befallen the Head of State of our beloved Warm Heart of Africa. The gossip waves, the rumour mills and social media went gaga with stories and sentiments about the alleged death or ‘incapacitation’ of the President.

Of course, it is human nature to speculate. We cannot fault people for speculating but what was worrisome is the passing of speculation as facts, the shameless ridiculing of another human’s life and the momentous celebration of the death of another human being. It is ludicrous.


Apparently, the assumption is the death of the current leader of the nation will bring some much-needed change and development in the country. Well, only a fool would believe that. A country is made of complex systems. Very complex and deep-rooted systems. A complete overhaul will be needed to achieve any tangible change. Most importantly it would need you who are rushing to spell doom on another to change.

Somebody said: “Everybody wants to change the world but no one wants to change himself.” This country will only change if you and I change.

The death, incapacitation or resignation of one person at the top will not transform this country because the problems we have are beyond leadership. We have seen it before; one president dies and the person who steps in turns out ‘apparently’ worse. The problems we have are so deep-rooted that for any meaning change to occur, we would have to begin with simply reflecting on the attitudes we have in everyday life; how we rejoice in the downfalls and misery of others and how we like to blame everyone else but ourselves for our problems.

Some of us cannot even run a simple one-bedroomed house let alone a home, we fail miserably at our jobs, our relatives and children and spouses complain about us every day ad nauseam, we have successfully made a mess of our lives and we have more regrets than we have achievements but we want to stand tall and proud spelling doom on others. Our mindsets are definitely poverty-stricken and this poverty infects the rest of our livelihoods.

Nothing will change unless we change, we start working hard, we start taking full responsibility, we act, we empower, we create and we develop this nation.

And if we think our leaders are not effective, let us put them to shame by being effective ourselves and actively voting wisely next time. Actually, let us make a real difference by joining active leadership positions and making the necessary changes.

We wonder why we have the same people running things decades over. Well, we have the same old folks doing the same old things and yet we expect a different result. Really? The rest of us refuse to step up and choose only to wine and whine in our comfort zones.

Then you hear someone, after complaining about politicians, say: “I can’t join politics.” If I can paraphrase Plato in The Republic, those who refuse to join politics accept to be governed by people inferior to themselves.

So stop complaining. Step in and change things. Be the change you want to see in your country.

I rest my case.

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