africa – a continent alive with wonderful people, diverse cultures and many opportunities. generally a place where it is more important to have fellowship than emphasis a job that you might need to get done, always make sure you take the time to greet and inquire about them, how their family is doing, even if this is the first time you’ve met them. family is where this person has been raised and despite many possible problems in the family and extended community, loyalty is often an attribute often represented. friends often coming from a long way back can be quite “brotherly” and loyal to the point of where they are more important than their actual family. so does loyalty have a dark-side to it? can this loyalty that holds family and friends together, through many a horrendous situation, have a negative effect on africa as a continent?
“hakuna matata” – we’ve all heard this phrase that was widely made known through the animated film “the lion king” – this kiswahili phrase defines a state of “no worries” – used by people to make sure that the other person is not upset with them. take bartering for example – when you barter for a better price on a certain article, and during the course of your negotiations get “upset” the other person will want to resolve this , they don’t want there to be tension between the two of you. “hakuna matata” – no worries, everything is ok between us, no problems, still friends?
this ideal of never offending someone, never wanting to be the barer of bad news, has its own set of problems. whether it be when asking for directions or solving a criminal investigation, never be the one who bares bad news. so if you don’t know where it is the other person is asking for, you don’t want to be the one who says this, rather just say something like: “it is that way” and point in a direction – probably not the one from where they have just come. never be the person who rats on someone else, at all costs – remember to be “loyal”. this could be a bit of a problem!!
much throughout africa, we have this situation where truth – and i’m not referring to truth as a topic of beliefs in this statement – where truth has been replaced by loyalty. preserve the loyalty – by means of deceit and lying and by what every else will delay the loyalty from being disturbed.
africa has loyalty, but this is not enough. yes, we need loyalty, but loyalty to what is truth should always remain as highest priority. so may loyalty and truth reign in africa and may you check your priorities of loyalty and truth, and if needs be, do some rearranging.