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Opinion & AnalysisTales of Time

Losing our ventures

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There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea we are now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures—William Shakespeare

WHERE most of us are right now is not where we were supposed to be. We were supposed to be better than what we are today. The bad thing is that we are in resigned mode and we believe we cannot be better.

Last week, I was a silent observer of a tiff between two bright young men both of whom I have some attachment to. The issue at hand was pertinent but the line of argument was so shallow that a person who believes in the old and tired adage that “the youth are leaders of the next generation” would be so defeated that they would give up on this nation.

From their quarrel, the easy read was that even the brightest bulbs have been dimmed either by their political affiliation or selective loyalty.

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I am not that much of a voyeur but the sole reason I silently observed the two purportedly fine gentlemen “quarrelling” was that I thought, sharp as I have always believed them to be, they would argue on fine premises. I was wrong.

All I learnt were demeaning accusations, allegations and whatever petty thing you can think of. But in all this my final thought was that this country is in this mess because we have allowed it to be like this. Our biggest problem is that we do not have time to debate issues and come up with proper and conclusive resolutions.

As I argued two or three weeks ago, we are a nation that argues on who and not what. This, dear countrymen, is our biggest problem. Some weeks ago, I learnt that some young men are agitating for a revolution that seeks to change the way we do things as a nation.

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The idea—for all who care about this nation— is brilliant. We all know that this country has been shafted for a long time and things must change.

Sadly, those on the fore of the supposed revolution decided, madly, to start attacking sensibilities which in the end has made them become a group of petulant, peevish and megalomaniac young men and women.

But, if these came with sound arguments, their movement would have been a bomb. Now, where am I heading to? I am heading to the issue that we are in this state because we think in the mode of affiliation and anyone who thinks otherwise is considered an enemy that must be annihilated.

It becomes even saddening that those who have sold their conscience to “the spirit of belonging” are young men and women who still have 40 or 50 years to have a feel of what an ideal Malawi must be like. Right now, the education system has come to a halt with Chancellor College closed, teachers have been on a sit-in because of unpaid leave grants causing pupils to run riot.

These are serious problems that a normal nation must solve in the least timeframe allowed. But we are busy arguing on petty political premises. What we have conveniently decided to forget is that we will not all be lucky to be around in the next 50 to 100 years.

But what we must realise, sadly, is that posterity will remember us as a generation that looked on when the country was being raped.

This might be the hundredth time that I have said it, but my honest take about this country is that we debase ourselves by being too concerned with trivia when we are losing the biggest plot. You might belong to a political grouping and that is fine.

But when your thinking is paralysed by the idea of belonging then you are a waste and a betrayer. All I am saying is that when this giant nation, especially those of us who still have the energy and the brains to think, continue to tackle petty issues influenced by our belonging to a certain political party, tribe or whatever, we will continue being a laughing stock.

Now, let me return to my subplot.  Somewhere I hinted that this country needs a revolution both of the mind and leadership. But this depends on us starting to think as a nation.

We have a chance now and if we will not take this opportunity, we will wake up to realise that our tide was lost somewhere and the future of this nation will be all about losing our ventures.

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