Wednesday, September 29, 2010

thoughts on Africa

It is the dirty windy season. The rainy season will come soon, and for a short while the land will be lush and green as the land comes to life once more. But right now it is dry and the wind pushes the grit into every little nook and cranny. Every time I got out of my house I need a shower when I come back. On the worst days, the sun is browned out by the dust.

Today I walk outside of my house. I see little Thabo playing. He is maybe seven but looks five. His nose is running as usual and nobody is there to wipe it. Nobody is there to give him food. Nobody is there to take care of him or tell him what to do. He is playing with his favorite toy, an old can dug out of the garbage pile. He rolls it along with an unstretched hanger. It reminds me of a person walking a dog. I think, “There is dirty little Thabo again walking his can.” It is a seen I have seen a dozen times and will see a dozen more. It is his favorite, one, and only toy. Later, I would buy him more, not much, but something more than a can.

That was almost eight years ago, and I wonder if he is alive today. Little Thabo would be a big Thabo now. I’m pretty sure he had HIV. He was always sick, as was his mother, and his father while being healthy, openly admitted his positive status. I wonder what happened to them. Did they make it?

When will Africa be free of this terrible disease? When will the rich and plentiful of the world give a helping hand of kindness to the poor. No doubt America spends more on pet food than most poor countries spend on regular food and medicine and school combined. I want to help, I really do, but I do little. I gather most people think it would “be nice” to do something someday, and go about eating nice meals out and buying new clothes, while doing nothing for Africa. I say give to Africa, give generously and without want for a return. Let Africa grow in her own way, with her own culture, taking what she wants, and leaving the rest behind. It is too late for Asia. Asia who has lost her Eastern charm, gone to only be replaced by materialism, bustling cities, fast food, and boy bands. I say let unconquered Africa not be beaten into conforming to Western culture, but don’t let it wither either. Give medicine, technology, and other aid when needed and wanted, but let the rest of the great continent, the motherland of humanity, grow and awaken to a new course and path. And then maybe the motherland of humanity will help us all to be human someday!

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