Discuss Solving Hunger, Ill-Governance, Poverty…
When you happily sport your new pair of shoes in the Streets of Serrekunda, Brikama, Basse, etc., only to painfully wash off the dust or mud it courts, is it the gay topic that charges at your thoughts that moment? When your cute, darling little girl emaciates on her RVTH bed, clearly waiting for her appointment with infant mortality, is it the gay discourse that charges at your thoughts that moment? When you seriously understand that, perhaps, malnutrition has been patronizing that child’s poor health, charioting her to a young grave, is it the gay discourse that charges at your thoughts that hour?
When you, with healthy eyes and intelligent reasoning tour the Serrekunda Market and interact with that local woman spreading a thin layer of fabric upon which lie symmetrical rows of fish, vegetables, palm oil, etc., all under the disrespect of the scorching heat and sad subsistence, is it the gay topic that invades your thoughts that instance? And when that woman, whose Bakary or Lamin disappeared at Jammeh’s instructions directly or indirectly, tells you that she barely makes $10 for all that patience in the sun with flies, shouts, and sometimes quarrels, is it the gay topic that sprints to your mind that moment?
When you visit a village as close to Banjul as is Kiti in the Western Division and see a pregnant woman in labor groaning not amidst the sirens of an ambulance, but the gallops of a donkey with visible ribs and wounds, yet unleashing its ATP to pull that cart while you wonder whether your eyes are moist for the thin donkey, the bare-footed hungry child driving it, or the laboring woman—is it the gay topic that comes to mind that minute?
Or when you decide to bask in the fresh breeze and sunny weather only to sadden your sight with a funeral procession of two different coffins in Latrikunda—coffins on shoulders of wailing youths for two corporeal frames who died young of malaria or some curable homeostatic imbalance that could have been reduced to a joke with a Birmingham or Chicago diagnosis; is it the gay topic that rushes to your senses that moment?
O ye that acquire pompous academics and desirous of vainglory, exult not at that which only arms you with words, and not the action that kills poverty or brings forth economic solvency. Be mindful of credentials that erect not abodes of comfort, but shrines of sententious bickering. And ye with chaste knowledge, yet with demeanor wisely carried, please espouse that which engenders topics of change—a change that solves our muddy or dusty streets, a growth that transforms that bare-footed young donkey-driver’s cart into a 21st Century ambulance of choice, an accretion that reaches the tri-stone primeval kitchen stove as to replace it with a modern cooker for our well-craved ‘Benechin’, tender-beef ‘Domoda, or ‘Palaasas’ of glee.
And when you jet back to Washington, shed all feathers of ephemeral poverty at the end of the holiday and start eating meals of choice, dishes of customizable hours at your call, and feel dwellings both electric and electronically-savvy—don’t you entertain the prospects of a close, if not perfectly similar, boon of providence for The Gambia? I bet you do—unless if you have five heads with horns!
On Gambia’s national scale of preference, the gay topic is too caudal to our more serious indices. Even if Jammeh leaves tonight, we still have a long way to go—and more “Miles to go before (we) sleep….And miles to go before (we) sleep” (Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening). Jammeh knows very well the gay topic is far from Gambia’s priorities. But let’s not use his adamantine propensity as a stage to settle personal scores.
Dida, wollaahi I admire your wont. I wish I can learn under your resourceful tuition. But my liege, Gambia cries for questions the answers to which will pique prosperity’s gaze. And of all such questions, the gay topic can seldom be paramount when a can of milk costs D18 in 2013 when it was D5 in 2002. I’ll let you handle that CPI basket!
Each time I see your contributions to or about Gambia, it fuels my patriotism. Only a denier will argue that you don’t like Gambia or living there. And only those who don’t understand western civilization from Paleolithic ages to present will bite the bait colleges and universities strategically put out. But please let our scribes direct pens to perennial issues.
You’ve lived in Gambia before I even knew two-plus-two! Doesn’t Africa’s poverty, contrasted with Wall Street’s affluence make you think, “Well, if we can’t invent marvels and sway the globe, at least we should chase away hunger or solve Nawec’s power-cuts”? As I type these, someone in Brikama is sleeping without power—and certainly, another without dinner in Barra! And yet, we want to spend precious time on gay-marriages?
I wish I can set my back against a tree and savor the syntax you commend your sentences to. Like Dida, your language plays a rare music no reverence inspired from academia can fully do justice to. But Gambia weeps for your therapy—one that guarantees a proud economy; one that corners qualitative malnutrition to harmless bearing and ill-governance to history’s janitors. See, Western interlocutors use the gay topic for political escapism.
They can’t look into the eyes of their electorates and tell them how banks fetter them with credit card debt without losing the next election. At the expense of such issues seminal to a happier citizenry, they insert well-calculated trivia to keep the masses away from thinking, let alone asking serious questions. Let not Yahya Jammeh do the same to us!
I beg, with fervor, your kind considerations to halt this conversation Gambia hardly needs. Our people are vanishing, dying, or taking turns at Mile II. If you see Dida as a Jammeh votary, you’ll be more inspired to settle scores with him. But if you refuse falling into that trap irrespective of whims or perceptions, you’ll forget this and think of how to change Gambia.
PRESS: What’s your take on gay marriages?
STUPID AFRICAN: Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!
INTELLIGENT AFRICAN: Ask or help me solve hunger first! I want to spend my precious time on things seriously troubling my brethren. When those are fixed, then ask me about gays and lesbians!