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Sunflower choice

Dear Pain

It has become all clear, Dear Pain, that politics is one unique field, some abstract arena that irritates with its litany of equally abstract conceptions.

In an ideal world, Dear Pain, people visit people.

And, ah, now that I remember; even in scripture, people visit people.

That is why, two thousand and fifty five and probably four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten months ago (2055 and some months, but not more than 10 months) years ago, the virgin Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth in Jordan.

She visited another human being.

In the course of the visit, she was told that she was the most blessed of all women.

That ‘Hail Mary’ prayer captures it so well:

Hail Mary,

Full of Grace,

The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit

of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary,

Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.

When people visit people, many people-centred things happen.

Even in poet Qabaniso Malewezi’s creative world, things happen when people meet.

In that world, people do all sorts of things.

For instance, people see people, people meet people, people greet people, people know people, people make people happy, among other things people do to people.

However, things are changing. And changing quickly.

People are visiting grass and sun flowers.

People are changing really fast.

Of course, someone said that we all have some “outer relations” with things we may know or not know.

Are sunflowers part of the “outer relations” equation?

One would have hoped that sunflowers would have answered. Nay. Far from it.

The sunflowers are insensitive to the powers-that-be.

When the sun is setting but a national leader is on the rising part of the sun, the sunflower will only be following its leader— the sun— and not the leader of the humans who inhabit the land of the Lake of Stars, as Dr David Livingstone put it.

There, Dear Pain, is the lesson our leaders do not learn.

They deliberately turn down opportunities to learn.

Like the one who stood on the wrong side of the sunflower the other day.

Did I say sunflower? Maybe replicas of sunflowers, for, if the truth were to be told, the sunflower that obeyed the sun instead of the leader of the land where it has grown was somehow stunted.

Like the Malawi population, where over half of the population was at one point stunted. A good part of the population still is.

What a choice of sunflowers; stunted and starved of nutrients that make real flowers tick.

But that is not the point; the point is that sunflowers can teach us something.

They can teach us to know our leaders, and follow them.

To embrace our leaders and not miss their shining light.

Likewise, leaders have to know their people.

People, all about, are subdued by nature; that is, rains. It is either the rains started late, fell in droves but at the wrong time, and continued to fall when they were needed.

One or two or all of these factors have made the situation worse in the field, where the maize, sorghum, cotton and, now, sunflowers, are showing signs of disobedience.

That is why some people are worried— dead worried— that they will starve to death because the crops in the field, goats and cattle and sheep and pigs at home have not ‘smiled’ at them.

As for the National Food Reserve Agency; forget it. The Central Government forgot it long ago— if two years qualify to be tagged ‘long ago’— and has been denying it the necessary funds with which it would buy food stocks.

At a time our “outer relations” with the rain are not good, or not ticking, and all faces are gloomy, people expected their leaders to save government resources a bit and cry with those that are crying.

They expected people to understand people.

They expected people to visit people.

They expected people to cry with people; people to comfort people; people to smile at people and not sunflowers—unless, of course, one has warm “outer relations” with sunflowers.

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