A disease has been born in the heart of a nation, and its people are now stained with every symptom. In a bid to fight it, many of them choose to ignore it, hoping that it will miraculously depart, and normalcy will return. They ignorantly put their trust in the ability of ‘everyone else but themselves’ to deal with it. But it lingers on, changing form ever so often, carried through the air of their indifference; until it is a part of the system designed to fight it. It has infiltrated their way of life, and they have become the very lifeline that sustains it.
This disease crept up on us while those that came before, divided the spoils from the war. They convinced themselves that the battle for peace had finally been won. Clouded by inanity, they laid down their arms and forgot that the soldiers in one generation must bring up those in the next. The deceivers brought forth the deceived. The caretaking was taken out of hands calloused with experience, and placed with those that delivered a generation full of mediocrity and dross. They failed us, and now, we fail ourselves.
Don’t be so quick to judge they that have used power and greed as weapons to claw the land to shambles. The twaddle that seeps between their lips, in their masquerade as fighters for truth and justice, is almost unbearable. And yet, we mustn’t be so quick to point fingers. For youth is fleeting, as you will soon discover, and time spent playing blame games, cannot be replenished. We cannot afford to forge any form of future in this state, we are sick!
The infection has since spread unchecked. It is lodged deep inside our hearts and pumped out to every corner of our mortal beings. It has us convinced that the elite class we belong to is exempted from the consequences of the rot that has bunged up our nation. Yes, the underdogs suffer, but they only suffer first. Soon, the tide that has built up in the slums will spill over into the street, into our two-storied homes and air conditioned cars, into our carpeted offices and A- class schools. It will take refuge in our healthy, educated, pampered, fragrant, well dressed, over – indulged forms; filling us with the same stink that brews in the streets. Dreams that were once vivid will be blurred by this cold reality, trapping us in a place from which money, class, poise and even sleep will offer no escape.
Are we so naive, so as to think that the land that bears and feeds us expects nothing from us in return? Remember this; the consequence of our inaction will remain long after we are dead. And our mistakes will write out the destinies of many unborn. So take heed, and through our deeds, let us live not just for ourselves, and not just for now. Let us be the ear that listens for society’s ache, the voice that clamours for truth and the hand that causes change. So together we can forgive a past generation, restore the present, and deliver a healthier future to the next.
Rebecca Abonyo Wana