“If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.”
- Albert Einstein
THIS week, I had intended to share with you my irresponsibility with respect to culture and gender. Why is it that, it was from our colonial menopause that the sorting of humans begun? I wanted to show you that my mother had an identity – she was not a Mrs. My Father! But in our poverty of reason and degeneracy, the Europeans through dog-eared agencies of Donor support ram gender and good governance dialectics down our throats. Like mangy dogs we echo inequities that are a creation of adopting their languages, religious practices, and development paradigms.
Lastly, I had also hoped to show that civil society leaders too need serious introspection. It is inanely hypocritical for them to have been hysterical about a change of government as in so doing they lost their guard.
These issues unfortunately will have to wait, as yesterday I heard the howling of the jackals.
The jackal is a carnivorous species of animals related to the dog. The jackal is cunning, cowardly and always tends to form a pack with its kin. It is known for its discriminating mournful and melancholic howling, especially when the moon is full.
The fascination of the jackal is subject of much folklore. But one that approximates the jackals I heard howling yesterday, is that of a jackal that was so hungry that it got thin beyond recognition. When the other animals saw the mangy jackal, they could not recognise it and ran away in fright.
The jackal being a crafty and cunning animal soon realised that it could take advantage of its changed appearance. It rallied all the animals and thundered: “Do you know who I am?" All the animals were cold with fear, and could not utter a single word.
The lion however gathered some courage and mumbled: "No my lord, your majesty seems to have been sent by God to rule us and we request you to take the reins of power from me". The other animals consented and said in unison: “Yes, you are our Lord and please rule over us." The jackal accepted.
The jackal was however worried about the other jackals of the forest. He asked the lion to banish all jackals from the forest. Now the jackal was never hungry, became fat once again and enjoyed his newly gained power. The other animals tried to figure out who their new king was, but in vain.
One night there was a full moon, the few banished jackals that had hidden themselves, started howling as all jackals do when there is a full moon. The jackal-king could not control himself, but start howling like his kin. The secret was out. The animals discovered his real identity, and the lions had a feast.
Folklores are not a product of demented ancient minds. Folklores tend to have a moral lesson. The lesson of the jackal-king folklore is that it is very difficult to put on a facade for a long time.
It is important that we remain who we are and try to bring about positive changes in our people’s livelihood. But the tragedy of this God’s country, however is that there are those within the citizenry that continually put on a façade in the face of plain political and socio-economic degeneracy.
The jackals discriminate mournful and melancholic howling may be pitiful, and many may be moved to permissive and apologetic feelings. But it is irresponsible to feel pity, permissive and apologetic, for the jackal is no different from most politicians.
Our plague often is, when the howling gets louder it seems our legs take over the thought processes. We kneel, fall into an amnesiac state or jump into a transient euphoric stupor. We celebrate. We dance!
But to who’s good? Perhaps, we should listen and decipher the meaning in the howling.
Listen to the howling tonight, and remember that the Turks believe the howling of the jackal is bad luck. The person who hears it must spit on the ground, otherwise tragedy will fall like the vengeance of the gods.
Ora pro nobis.