The culture of freebies is strangulating our beautiful country. The first seeds of this very bad culture most regretably were planted by the missionaries and the harvest is being enjoyed by the politicians. Visit regions that were first inhabited by the early missionaries and you will hear stories of how they used freebies as incentives to lure people to the church. They were to later initiate many community projects that the community loved but never had a sence of ownership over. Haven’t you heard of “rùùjì rwa batìrì”, “cibitarì ya mwarì” (White Fathers water project, Sisters’ Hospital) and many other such terms to describe whst should be community projects?
One early morning, while the lion was enjoying a meal, a mongoose passed by and asked if he could join in and have a bite. His request was turned down. The lion was up early that day and chanced on a buffalo that he felled. The mongoose, not being one to give up easily, told the lion: “Despite my size, I can eat a full grow buffalo just like you.”
The lion brushed him off as a big joker. “My only challenge is that I cannot fell one on m own because I am not as strong as you.”
The lion wanted the mongoose off his back so yhat he could enjoy his meal in peace. “So you want to tell me if I hunt down a buffalo for you, you can eat it to the last bite, alone?” Asked the lion.
“I sure can, only I need to drink a lot of water as I eat.”
A rendez-vous was set for the following morning by the river, on condition that the lion would sit there and watch incase the mongoose was up to some mischief. The following day, the scene was set. The buffalo carcass, check. The mongoose, check. The lion, check. The river, check. Then ofcourse the surounding bushes to complete the set. The activity began in earnest. After a few moments of eating, the mongoose dashed off for drink in the river, then reemerged moments later to continue with the task. This was repeated over and over again. The buffalo was three quarters way done and the lion was almost convinced to take the mongoose by his word when all of a sudden, a mongoose walked up to him looking rather confused: “Good morning sir. I hear you have thrown a party for all the mongoose in the neighbourhood, that you have felled a buffalo for us. Kindly show me where it is for here I can only see one, which I presume is yours sir.”
It is then that it dawned on the lion that he had been duped. Apparently, it was not one mongoose eating, it was a feast for all mongoose. Unknown to him, the crafty mongoose after securing a rendedez-vous sent word round to all the mongoose that king lion had invited them to a party, only that they shall be eating one at a time. Unfortunately, the mongoose who was to later spill the beans did not get word in time.
Knowing what had happened, the lion let out a loud ferocious roar that sent all the remaining mongooses still hiding in the bushes waiting for their turn scampering in all directions.
All in the name of freebies “mbogo’e mìnùngùru”.
For as long as people sit waiting fot the day the “lion” politicians will come around to fell a “buffalo” for them in the name of freebies and hand outs, then we have subscribed to permanent poverty. Let us help our people disabuse their minds of the “serikali saidia” mentality.
Let’s fold our sleeves and lets get dirty, the only way we can get it done.