Editorial: What if?

This past week whilst I was editing articles from our contributors I was taken aback by a question posed by Mugabe Ratshikuni who has written a very thought provoking article called The Application of the Concept of Grace in the Conduct of International Relations. He ends his article with a simple question. What if? Since reading Mugabe’s article his question what if has been playing on repeat on my mind… We feature a song titled ‘Onidodo‘ performed by musician Brigitte Sésu  (Sésu Tilley-Gyado). Brigitte is also one of F&M’s contributors she writes a very powerful article about  the plight of young African women in an article titled The Systematic “Whorification” Of The Young African Woman. Siki Dlanga is outraged about the nonchalant attitude shown when the subject  of name changes of cities and towns in South Africa is raised, she writes an explosive piece titled A Name or an Insult? Zainab Abdullah shares a poem about an African Child. Tawiah Aboagye provides us with episode two of his short story Operation Chicken Robbery Siphokazi Jonas’ poem titled The Colour Grey is inspired by the DASO poster showing a multiracial couple in an embrace. We have more articles from F&M’s other contributors. I wish to share a short story I read off a friend’s Facebook wall. A mouse looked through the crack in the wall in his home to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain the mouse wondered? He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse warned all the animals “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mouse trap in the house!” The pig felt bad so said “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.” The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said “Wow Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.” So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral and the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. What if the chicken, pig and cow had found a way to help the mouse during his time of need? What if the pig had bothered to offer the mouse a place of refuge until the farmer’s wife had given up on the idea of entrapping it? The conclusion from  the story  can be related to the state our world is in. Many of us have  attitudes which are similar to that of the chicken, pig and cow. All too often when we have an opportunity to help solve a problem of a person in our community, we turn our back and convince ourselves that it is of no concern to us.   We sometimes find ourselves in a similar predicament or are indirectly affected by the problems we perceive to be someone else’s.  Why should we wait for another person’s problem to affect us when we can do something to help as and when the problem arises?   No man is an Island, our African culture and belief system has instilled within us a spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ where my neighbours problem is my problem. What if the chicken, pig and cow had acted differently? What if we all looked out for the welfare of others in our communities? What kind of legacy and world would we be leaving for future generations?
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Kate Tutu

Social Entrepreneur,Business Consultant, Editor of Feint & Margin, a young woman who's passionate about Africa's people and development.