Sunday, September 28, 2008
Prophets of Doom
image from doomonger
Uncanny! There is something I've noticed about our Malawian culture, this thing I've noticed is bad, bad enough that I am evening blogging about it. Normally I leave all the negative comment-making to foreigners who live here or have lived here or are yet to live here. This though is an inside thing so Malawians, let me have your ears. I'll start with an example: In the past month we’ve had the Big Brother show beaming on TV’s across the continent. It IS the biggest show on Earth. 12 countries sent in representatives as housemates, 6 men, 6 women. Now, the buckaroo, not being blessed with her own TV and let alone Digital Satellite TV decoder, has been making stops over to friends’ homes where a bunch of people will gather to watch the highlights of the show, mainly the launch, the eviction shows, and the nomination shows. These shows fall on Sundays and Mondays, respectively.
With no exception, there will always be at least one member of the viewing audience who will say, “Ah, our Malawian will not make it (to the finals).” When I ask why, the response is usually something like, “When did a Malawian ever make it to the finals?” This is then followed by a narrative of our Malawian housemate’s (Hazel Warren) character, personality, and appearance flaws. Not much attention is paid to the flaws of most anybody else in the Big Brother House, after all, by virtue of them being non-Malawians, some deem them worthy of the $100,000 prize.
Upon further probing, I realize with each passing week that it’s not only my cronies but even the media and the general viewing populace that “they are all better than we are”? Why is this, why do we have such low self-esteem when we have to compete on the international arena? It seems to me that for most people, prophesying doom (for Malawian competitors) is the soft cushion that cushions us from disappointment and shame. If someone says, “Hazel is such a bore. She won’t make it.” When she does not make it they’ll be proud to say, “I told you so, I just knew it.”
Goodness me, then. What will the next generation be? I am not saying I am a Hazel fan, remember I don’t own a TV, but by virtue of the fact that she is a Malawian, there is no need for me to suffer in silence as I listen to what I hear said about our soccer team, our netball teams, our boxers, our musicians, all the negatives….where will that take our nation, I fear other countries are beginning to notice…
Stand up Malawians and be noticed. Our president is giving us an example, 2 int'l awards in 2 months, can't beat that, at least so far over here. We CAN make it, we just have to want to...