It might be the rise of the social media world or, indeed, the rise of the actual frustrations. It might be the collective voices or the collective grievances. It might be the emancipation of a people from social timidity or the emancipation of a people from actual mediocrity. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: The nation is definitely, absolutely and completely fed up.
We have witnessed this dance before
The anticipation that comes with the intro. The excitement of the first verse loaded with the sweet melody of something new and refreshing. Then, of course, the glorious intoxicating first chorus with its heavy rhythm.
Next, comes the second verse and that is the point the beat and the lyrics start to sound familiar. When the chorus hits again, the novelty of the new song has started to wear off. The bridge just confirms that the song is not actually new; the producer just changed.
By the third chorus, no one is dancing. By the time the outro hits, the dancers are leaving the arena; some with their heads down, some angry, some chanting in protest and some simply numb.
This is the tale of progression in Malawi. A revolving tale of lamentations that has gone on for decades now.
The story is the same
There is a regime. People get fed up. A new one starts flirting with the nation; people get excited. The people then label the new administration a saviour. The excitement mounts. Elections come and old administrations are mercilessly booted out.
Expectations become high; a nation pregnant with hope for the much awaited ‘change’ and development. It does not take long before the ‘new’ cast starts acting the usual plot. The nation starts buzzing, frustrations rise and the vicious cycle begins again.
As alluded to earlier, the frustrations of the nation are clear, especially now that we have social media which allows people to share and lament collectively and in real time, a privilege (or a curse) that was but a farfetched phenomenon barely two decades.
It calls for a debate as to whether the Fourth Estate is still enjoying the monopoly of setting the agenda or the agenda is now being influenced by an implicit (or actually explicit) Fifth Estate. Whatever the case, the fact remains clear at this point – a nation is fed up with itself.
We are evidently past the buzz phase
People are frustrated. Period. Who is really to blame here? The administrations? The pool the administrations come from i.e. how we all operate from grassroots level as a nation? Are we simply complacent? Impressionable? Timid?
At this point, I am actually wondering if anyone has the actual answers to these questions and if they are willing to share if they do or they would rather sit at home and stew since they think nothing will change anyway. Do we even know what change really means and what it actually entails? Or it is an abstract phenomenon we have romanticised that keeps us going and confident that we are making progress.
The lamentations have gone on and on; the nation has expected different results only to have the same results and sometimes worse. It is clear the nation can benefit from a complete overhaul of its own system all the way from grassroots level.
This means the people have to come to the realisation that there is no single god and saviour for Mother Malawi. We are all the god and saviour for our nation.
Next time, let us get excited about making changes where we are, instead of getting excited about regime changes, lest we continue the revolving tale of lamentations for another three decades.
I rest my case.