Page 11 - Msingi Afrika Magazine Issue 13
P. 11


          just brought their products to the
          market, placed pebbles close to    The atmosphere was tensed, each    Once the stranger and thief among
          what they were selling, to indicate   villager present looking suspi-  the people was removed, the
          the amount of cowrie shells they   ciously at other villagers. The    villagers breathed a sigh of relief
          expected from each item and then   elders consulted the oracle and the   that they could trust each other
          they would go back home, or to the   declaration was that, a stranger was   once again just as they had done for
          farm. Later in the evening, at the   among them. “A stranger!” They all   generations.
          close of day, they would come back   exclaimed. For they all knew each   End of story.
          to collect the money and also what-  other so well that even a strange
          ever was not sold. This was their   fly would be identified instantly.   For those who may have read the
          custom which was passed down for   But just as they deliberated on the   original version of this story, I
          generations. And so they lived in   odd announcement, a man whom      realize that I may not have shared it
          peace and trust with one another.  they had never seen before, casually   exactly the way it was written then,
                                             walked into the gathering. He defi-  but I do hope I did a good job.
          A fox in the midst                 nitely did not look like one of them
          On one particular day, each seller   and from the look on his face, he   No one reading this needs a degree
          brought their goods and wares      seemed interested in whatever the   in rocket science to figure out that
          as usual, placed stone pebbles to   gathering was about.              this story as used by me, is about
          indicate price and went home or to                                    Afrika, the village of love.
          their farms.                       The chief of the elders asked him
          Later in the evening, as was their   who he was. He narrated his story.   Afrika the lost village of  love
          custom, the returned to collect their   “I left my village in a far away land,   The womb of Afrika, as the
          sales for the day, but alas, some-  beyond the rivers, walked for many   Motherland for all of mankind, has
          thing had happened. A stranger had   months looking for a new place to   birthed much for the world and her
          entered their midst.               settle. When I got to this village,   back has carried many weights of
                                             I went first to the market to buy   humiliation while doing so. Gang-
          One of the sellers went to her     myself some food to eat, but on    raped over and over again by those
          space but found no cowrie shells   getting to the market, I found no   who sneaked in through the broken
          and that her basket of bananas was   one there. Just the goods that were   fences that we have allowed for
          also empty. She could not believe   meant for sale and some money. So   many decades, Afrika, as a people,
          her eyes, nor could she understand   I thought to myself that, the people   now need to re-think what it means
          what she was seeing. In her surprise,   of this village must either be very   truly putting a stop to the things
          she went to tell her neighbor of the   foolish to leave both their goods   that undermine her.
          strange thing that had happened,   and their money with no watch-
          but met her along the way coming   ing them or they are probably all   They keep raping Afrika
          to her to do the same!             dead. So I took some fruits to eat,   According to an article written by
          In no time, there was uproar and   some extra food to eat later, and   Father Anselm Adodo, published
          confusion in the market, for this   also went through all the shops to   in an earlier issue of this magazine,
          had never happened before. But     collect every bit of money I could   “As we speak, hundreds of  thousands
          worse still, a dirty seed of doubt   find.” He ended his tale with no   of  Congolese children work themselves to
          and suspicion was already working   remorse or guilt for what he did.  death in Congolese mines where they mine
          its way among the people.                                             cobalt, earning one dollar a day. Cobalt is
                                             The villagers where so shocked     used in making the lithium batteries that
          Just in time, a quick witted elder   that a person could do that, and   power your mobile phones and cameras.
          who was at the market, noted the   the elders where silent for a while,
          evil of distrust that was already   deliberating on what to do. After   The Democratic Republic of  Congo is the
          creeping in among the people. He   their deliberations, the chief of the   world’s largest producer of  Coltan. Coltan
          quickly called for the council of   elders ordered the young warriors   is essential in the production of  mobile
          elders. They needed to consult the   of the village to bind hand and foot   phones and tantalum capacitors that are
          oracle to find out what was happen-  the stranger, take him far away from   used in almost every kind of  electronic de-
          ing, before things got out of hand.  the village borders and throw him   vice. Approximately 80% of  the world’s
          The council of elders gathered in   out with a warning for him to never   supply of  Coltan is found in the Demo-
          the presence of all the villagers.   return.                          cratic Republic of  Congo. For the world to

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