Good people, Malawians often market themselves as a God-fearing people. Maybe the tag is not a flag of hypocrisy.
Open your newspapers. Switch on your radio or TV. The world is buzzing with something which seems to confirm Malawians are truly a God-fearing—and it is something that makes the bloodiest people on the continent speak angels. It is not new, but an evil that should have been dead and buried in 2008. It’s back bloodier and worse.
Xenophobia! It is just hate glorified by influential voices who are supposed to be exemplars of virtues on the African soil and it stinks. Shame on King Goodwill Zwelethini. Some prefer calling him Badwill for the obvious reason that the king failed to tame his tongue just one minute of folly when he felt more patriotic than all South Africans and started clamouring for foreign workers to pack up and leave.
I don’t want to know what the bloody Zulu royal was high on when his tongue went wagging with hate of the people who stood side by side with South Africans and cried with them when the black majority was under the yoke of minority rule. A friend in need is supposed to be a friend indeed’. It is disheartening the oppressed have become the oppressor and some people are already crying for the rise of legendary anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
The cries for Madiba’s resurrection is the stuff of fantasy makers and time travellers a sensation, the futuristic writing that put our own Muthi Nhlema’s short story Ta O’ Reva in the run for a $15 000 (about K7 million) prize. Except the story is about a black man stabbing a white Boer, making talk of a rainbow nation just a talk.
Don’t kill the Boer. In real life, it’s blacks killing blacks and the rest of Africa is singing Peter Tosh’s African unknowingly.
“[I] don’t care where you come from.
As long as you’re a black man, you’re an African,” sings the Jamaican reggae pioneer.
Zwelethinis need to be reminded about their responsibilities to humanity—for so important are chiefs on the continent that they make celebrity look like kindergarten dwarfs. When they say one thing, people do thousands without a question. Their word is our command, they say. But that is why influential people need to think before they speak—not otherwise.
But evils Zwelethini and his bloodletting disciples have done reminds us about artists who saw what bigoted culture warriors cannot.
Play Lucky Dube’s Teach the World!
“It takes a million of people to build a reputation and one stupid fool to destroy everything they have done,” it goes.
Zwelethini could be that fool, and the world, as Dube sings, knows South Africans as the most violent in the world. The most oppressive.
Kings, artists and other voices that count must take it upon themselves to rebuke this and teach the world about mutual respect and sanctity of life.n