A brilliant piece in this weeks Pambazuka News by Fatoumata TourÃ© entitled "The Slaves Are Not Tsunami Compliant".
I didn’t have a happy New Year and I am galled because the
slaves are in fact elbowing one another to stay in the master’s house. My
brother Tajudeen in his postcard aptly states that the saturation coverage on
the tsunami has more to do with the number of Westerners killed in the disaster!
Yet one cannot but cringe at the fact that the catastrophe not only wreaked
havoc on its victims but also brought out the baser instincts. Poor orphans
watch greedy kin cashing in, bereaved families contend with self appointed
"corpse finders" demanding cash upfront!
As an African woman I am not
comfortable with the fact that the reporting has been uneven and there is the
tendency to obscure certain unpalatable issues. Some of those countries are
favourite destinations for the hordes of shameless sex tourists exerting their
power on what the Cuban poet laureate Nicolas GuillÃ©n termed “dark smiling
natives”. Isn’t there the the risk of stepped up trafficking of women and girls
with the paedophilia brigade relocating to our look the other way countries?
Secondly I am concerned at the lower rung reserved for all things African when
it comes to the scale of priorities. Even in disaster relief must we cool our
heels awaiting the crumbs from the Annan-Eagland-CNN table of compassion and
coverage by affirmative action?
The slaves have not left and in fact are
on overtime! I weep for the African casualties who may never be known, for the
lone Kenyan boy who died on the beach at Malindi, the coastal resort town famed
as a playground of the affluent ranging from rowdy royals like the Prince of
Hanover to retired colonial spies, mercenaries, livestock officers and new rich
expatriates. The kind who can smuggle in a ton of cocaine labelled personal,
purchase a speed boat to transfer the loot onto a waiting liner in the high seas
then beat it as a well placed “contact” tips them off on the impending police
“raid”! Hollywood? No.Malindi. Where the North shuts out the South using the
compliant South, sanitizing itself of its ill gotten gains and unleashing the
attack dogs of privilege on the natives they have disempowered with their SAPs
and knee pads…
Enter the tsunami. Over one hundred Somalis, ten
Tanzanians, one South African and one Kenyan meet their Maker. One statistic at
Malindi. All his poor parents could get was a Government vehicle but no fuel.
The same day the Chinese Embassy finally located them in the slums of Nairobi
and donated 100,000 Kenya shillings towards the funeral expenses, the State
donated 100,00 Kenya shillings to the S.E Asia victims, boxes of tea (Boxing
day? ) and thirty doctors.. .A case of therefore those that have shall be
I beg to differ slightly with Tajudeen and the Gandhi quote. The
issue is not just greed for wealth and power in both hemispheres! Those who have
held the world in the bondage of debt and abject poverty are ably aided and
abetted by our non tsunami compliant ruling elites whose very survival is at
stake. Why, their alienation quotient is on autopilot!
The slaves cannot
leave the master’s house until we say: Kumepambazuka!