A complacent Living legend
The first freedom fighter The Villager encountered was armed with a Bible. It was one of those rare occassions when learners get a breather from “huis faders and moeders.”
Ooh! And the self proclaimed custodians of moral values at school, the SCM boys and girls! They tried to be more catholic than the Pope. That was too boring to The Villager. He ended up participating in all sport codes including netball.
The Villager was the chief organiser of all sorts of entertainment at school. His Sundays were reserved for recuperation to avoid the blue Mondays.
But what attracted him to the man with a round collar? After all, he is coming to do what he was trained and passionately loves to do, conducting the church sermon.
Your guess is spot on. The food.
That’s when the school development fund is tapped in to cook the best food as omuyenda a litha omugumbo surpassing enyanyu lya mbishi megumbo mwa tselwa (a guest treated with utmost dignity and honour and given the best food). The rest of the family would naturally benefit from the hospitality as well.
The Villager’s school was fortunate to benefit from his wisdom as all the youth country wide needed to tap from such wisdom. It was the Year of the Youth. The theme was the biblical David and Goliath. Boy! Since that day The Villager has never wore any shoe other than David’s. That’s the day The Villager was baptised into the movement of harnessing the power within. The man was and is still fearless. He inspires. The Villager just wanted to be like him, minus the Bible.
Another freedom fighter, Marthin Kandenge, was under the previous regime’s constant surveillance. If the truth be told, many people went into exile through his hands. The system seemed to have concluded that: ‘the only way to stop him, was to get rid of him.’ One Villager even remarked that sheku langelea oshi na uunongo wo ku ku lya (it is not easy to escape an ambush). Finally they got it their way. His life was cut short when his car was crushed by a caspir. Hope somebody somewhere will be able to explain “the car accident” to The Villager. What a way to meet the fearless man again.
It was at a funeral where The Villager saw him staring danger in the face without being shaken. Indeed, it was time for him to console the mourners and give them hope.
“Onime ngele ta yi ndunduma olye ita kakama. Kalunga ngele ta popi olye ita tila,” proclaimed the man. Ihe! Ina mu tila, Kalunga ina popya natango. Na yo oye shi shi ngaashi mu ya wete mpo. Oyo nana na oombangi dhotango. Ina mu ti la! Ka ku na oshikukutu ihaa shi hulu. (Amos chapter 3 vs. 8: The lion has roared, who will not fear. The Sovereign Lord has spoken, who can but prophesy?)
As he was preaching, The Villager was sweating as it had all the ingredients to give them a reason to spoil the funeral. He spoke facing the direction of men sitting on top of the murder weapons, armed to the teeth. Immediately they left the funeral.
That’s the day The Villager was conscripted into the sometimes lonely army of believers driven by the power within. Through him, The Villager had come to understand the cause of the struggle. He came to understand that the heroes were fighting the system. A system that was benefiting “the previously advantaged groups in the Village.”
It was a war that demanded equality, tolerance, human dignity and opportunities for all. It was a war that sought to abolish the “master and servant” relationship. It was, indeed, a war that sought the empowerment of the previously disadvantaged, YOU included. It was a war that sought to empower Villagers to be able to sit on Boards including the listed conglomerates. It was a war that guaranteed Villagers the political independence being enjoyed today. Rest in peace all the fallen heroes and heroines.
The Villager pays tribute to late Gabriel Shikongo Nuunyango with a 21 gun salute. He passed on too soon before the Heroes Acre was built. The Villager is equally guilt as he is yet to go to Nuunyango’s resting place. Politically, Nuunyango has played a crucial role in The Villager’s life.
Anybody who was somebody politically speaking (in the 80s) in the former Peter Kalangula’s zone, and do not know him, then he or she should be forgiven for not knowing who introduced NANSO there. The man was an operator. May his dear soul rest in peace.
What is happening to his family? The Villager has no clue.
The departed continue to turn in their graves every time a Villager pays tribute to one of theirs who died as a pauper. That’s not what they sacrificed their lives for. When are Villagers going to appreciate the fact that God gave up His only Son in order for the rest of humanity not to suffer again in this global village besides having eternal life?
Indeed, the economic battlefield is a complex one. It is now a war pitting previously advantaged, the previously disadvantaged and a few unpatriotic previously disadvantaged Villagers. The Villager is at pains to understand this scenario. Why do Villagers always look down upon themselves? Why is it that Villagers are so jealous towards each other? Why is it that Villagers raise questions whenever another fellow Villager achieve the positive, and have answers whenever the previously advantaged achieve the same? Is it because Villagers have been oppressed for longer such that they don’t believe in themselves anymore? It pleases the eye to see The Villager’s living legends (the round collar and the athlete) participating in the economy. That’s a sign of an ideal living legend. No complacency.
Why don’t Villagers treasure living legends amongst themselves? Why don’t they bahave like that one who put the Village on the global village with his legs and his running shoes? He mesmerised them on the track field, today he is making inroads in business. He excelled on the athletic field and he continues to mesmerise them on the economic field.
The same cannot be said about the gun carrying liberators. It is sad to note that the same are only known as liberators. They are not known as business people (something they fought for). These are Villagers whose curriculum vitae only end up with 1990s’ activities.
Regrettably, many have become forgotten heroes and heroines while they are still alive and by the time they depart the global village, there will be no inheritance for their offspring. A very sad situation indeed. What really is the problem with them moving forward to the next hurdle, that of economic independence? Could it be lack of knowledge that has led villagers into abject poverty and death?
You are still wondering why Villagers are quick to answer to the call of their ancestors a few years after retirement. Could it be that the laws Villagers enacted prohibit them to empower themselves (oyii tegela omwigo) without kicking the bucket or becoming candidates to Noa’s line of duty? Frankly speaking, there is no reference amongst yester-year leaders when empowerment is being talked about. When will yester-year’s Village leaders become the reference of empowerment? In any revolution, leaders are always on the forefront of the battle line. Get it right, The Villager is over the moon when it comes to the courage shown by liberation fighters, on the other side of the coin, The Villager cannot say the same when it comes to their courage to empower themselves, thereby guaranteeing their family’s legacy economically.
Why is it that the begging bowl is circulated whenever our liberators’ souls and flesh are finally separated? Why is it that their profiles only go as far as the “bush and the gun”? When will their profiles also include the “dollars and cents”?
The Villager, as loyal as he is, as polite as he is, is at a loss of words. A shoe will be given attention to by the owner whenever they are using it. It is polished, always shining and in many cases, it always sleeps next to the owner. And how cruel and inconsiderate this system is, the same pair of shoes is thrown into the dust bin when it is old. Some would say it is unAfrican, but hey, so is complacency.
Something is terribly wrong with Villagers in general. How come even those who looted with the colonial regime are left walking next to their shoes while their masters are changing from one boardroom to another? Is it a curse running in all generations of Villagers or ignorance? Etsee! How come The Villager is just in a probing mode without providing the solutions, you may ask? What else can he do if the answers to the same are as good as your gene code? After all, this is not an academic thesis. The question is: how do you want to be remembered? PF