Lifestyle and Health


Crimson red rivers flowing down beautiful valleys and forests of bottle brush trees, flame acacias, and prickly thorn trees. The soils are wet, percolated by the same red liquid, yet the seeds cannot be put down, for the rains have not yet come, and our rainmakers have long lost skill. The sons and daughters of the soil are desolate, hopeless, struck with pestilence, hunger, poverty and its distant cousins disease, lack of education, war, insecurity, hatred, debts and death. Can a single change heal mama Africa? Can just one change halt the bloodshed; bring to life the dry and dead streams? Can it bring the rains back? Can it save our mothers who die while bringing life? Is one change enough to transform Africa from dependence to independence, from needy to self sufficient, from a war torn sorry continent to a haven of peace? Yes, I dare say yes. Africa will be healed by a single change.
If I were a leader in Africa, I would fight with all I have got this monster called corruption. With my blood and flesh, I will struggle to end corruption for it is the mother of bad leadership, the grandmother of disease, poverty, bad roads, accidents, political upheaval, it is the genesis of our problems, the only difference between us and our donors, the barrier between disease and good health, the end of wars will come if we end corruption. Our streams will overflow their banks if corruption is fought.
Will fighting corruption end our poverty? Yeah, because we are not so poor that we cannot afford to feed ourselves. We appear so poor because we have withheld essential services from the truly needy. Hospitals are placed far away out of reach of the truly needy, the service providers can be relied on only if they married from your clan, or if the footpath heading to your house passes through their compound or if they speak your mother tongue or better still, if you are able and willing to bribe them.
Our roads, among other infrastructure remain like patches of gardens because of skewed tender issuance, so accidents have become an acceptable mode of death. Patients suffer in hospitals, lying on hard mattresses covered in scanty sheets, groaning in their pains, the hospitals have no drugs, the money has been channeled into someone’s pocket, a pocket that is akin to a bottomless pit one that never fills. We live in perpetual fear, a fear that someone will attack us, fear that the bombs may blow up any time; our hearts skip several beats every time our loved ones are out there living. We can never be sure that they will come back in the evenings, for insecurity is as real as life itself, border security is corrupted it is undermined for a few shillings, and how do guns find their way into the hands of wrong people? The gap between the rich and the poor is gaping, marginalized areas in various African countries remain drier, dustier, its people thinner, sick, tired; all this because of inequitable distribution of national resources. Now if all hospitals are built in the city, where will the sick villagers go? You got it, to the grave. If they don’t build schools in the rural areas, why would they be surprised to find a whole village ignorant lacking a formal education?
Corruption, like a bad disease needs to be prevented, treated and eliminated from among us. To end corruption is like to start a war; you must prepare with enough ammunition, and to enjoy victory, you must not only fight, but fight hard.
Corruption is so deeply rooted in us that no clear boundaries exist between it and kind actions. People confuse nepotism and being kind to a brother. When a government is run by people of one kin, it is only speeding down the road of poverty, towards dependence on other countries for everything, food, drugs, and water.
Favoritism is as evil as bribery most of us do not seem to know. To end corruption, then as a leader, I must use the most powerful tool of this time, I must promote education. Knowledge is power. Most people, I believe have engaged in acts of corruption not on will but for lack of knowledge. By setting up a body whose sole reason for existence is to educate people on corruption focusing on the forms of corruption, the evils of corruption and how to curb corruption, then I believe we will reduce if not end the vice.
Concerning public appointments, as a leader, I will encourage competitiveness and ensure that only qualified people are appointed for jobs. By this, the quality of production and service delivery will increase, and this will contribute immensely to development.
As a leader, I will ensure that national resources are shared equally. This is essential not only because it will bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots, but also because it will ensure that resources are not duplicated. It will also increase utilization of natural resources as land.
Open and transparent tendering of public procurements eliminates the possibility of squandering the available resources and at the same time ensures that tenders are given to the best bidders with whom we can expect the best results.
Prominent people and non prominent people engage in acts of corruption. Many times, those who commit major acts of corruption go scot free or either buy their way out. This must come to an end. Culprits of corruption should be prosecuted with neither fear nor favor. Human beings learn better by example. Imposing big fines and long jail terms for the corrupt will serve as an example to others, and hence will bar them from engaging in any of form of corruption.
People are seduced into corruption because of poor working conditions and very poor remuneration in a world where there are very many needs chasing very few resources. To reduce the temptation of corruption, government workers will be paid well, and will work under better conditions.
I will ensure public avenues are set up where the public can report any cases of corruption.
Once corruption is dead from us, resources will be utilized well. Better services will be delivered, people will learn to be interdependent and wars will cease. Africa will regain peace and its richness

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6 years ago

Great piece, pretty intense at the top, lyrically contextualized in the 2nd paragraph and steadily flows right into the last two paragraphs. I like the pithiness of it. A nuanced read it is Doreen.

6 years ago
Reply to  Darius

thanks Darius…for reading and for letting me know what you think……thaaanks

6 years ago

This is an awesome piece. Was it a contest you were writing for? It looks like it’s an entry for a competition like event.

The pertinent issues have been explored well in the writing. It’s flowing, captivating and chief of all REAL.

6 years ago
Reply to  Ronedion

thanks Ronoden… is a lot of things this story

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