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“So Blair, keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe!”
It is not Donald Trump who said those words. It was President Robert Mugabe during a climate summit in 2002. So peeved was Mugabe, and the rest of us who no longer supported him at that time, and the rest of Africa, at the then British Premier Tony Blair. Blair had committed the unforgivable sin of referring to Africa as “a scar on the conscience of the world.” How dare he! Despite my dislike for my president, I remember myself cheering him on as he went bare-knuckle on the grandson of an imperialist who knew what was coming, had cowardly left the summit and was no longer in attendance. I so badly wanted to see the reaction on his piggy-pink skin. Obviously, he wasn’t going to show that ugly set of teeth. There wasn’t going to be any smiling because our president was going in hard.
So happy was I at Blair’s humiliation that I missed the nuance in Bob’s speech. You see, the problem with Bob is he gets people excited, then say something that serves him. By that time people would be drunk on joy, admiration and excitement that they miss the true meaning. England doesn’t belong to Blair, he’s just one of the citizens there, but when Bob said “. . .my Zimbabwe”, the smile on my face should have frozen. He meant it, literally. He owns everything, even the oxygen that citizens breathe. This post is not about Mugabe. It is about Donald Trump. It is about his first speech at the United Nations. . .
You see Trump is a rogue. A bully. Most POTUS-es are but then Trump is an unsophisticated one. This is one of the reasons why I envy Americans (yes, the USA is America, just as Africa is a country to citizens of the USA). Citizens of the US have the luxury to elect any fool to that White House because they know for sure that the idiot won’t be a resident there forever. Of course they know that every idiot occupying that house will tinker with the economy to detriment of the poor, bomb other countries and kill innocent civilians, send naïve young marines to be massacred in foreign land and lock up as many men with a beard and believes in Allah as possible at some rented jail. However, they know that he (yes, he, they don’t elect women presidents there) will do that within a limited time. In Africa we do not have that luxury. We have leaders who believe that they were anointed into power by god. We citizens simply have to vote to endorse god’s will. Of course we do endorse god’s will. We are god fearing people and love to worship more than anything else. If one is to teach us a new way of worshiping, we try to out-do whoever taught us. If worshiping were technology, by now we could have designed a cellphone that works on no battery, no sim-card and does not require airtime . . .
I arrived back from work just in time when Trump was starting his speech. Ever since he became POTUS, I was looking forward to this kind of speech. Not that I expected it to be one that will change the world. I knew he was going to stir the pot and I was not disappointed. DT’s maiden UN speech was lit. I just didn’t expect him to refer to North Korean leader Kim as “Rocket man on a suicide mission.” I expected him to after Iran and Venezuela. I had predicted that he would come to the defence of the bully of the Middle-East and it’s prime Minister, an ardent supporter of DT to applaud his every word. Also, I correctly guessed that he won’t mention our country, which will never be a colony again, and its dear leader who was blissfully resting his eyes as trump rumbled on. How would he dare mention our country when his (Trump’s) children came to Zimbabwe to murder our animals for sport?
Like a wedding cake, DT’s speech had many layers. From the reaction, the ‘cake’ tasted differently to the different ‘wedding guests’; some finding it sweet while for some it was bitter. The speech showed all the different sides of Trump; the statesman, the proud American, the business-man and the showman. The speech contained some hard hitting truths; the UN needs reform, it needs to change with the times, the USA is paying through the nose for the useless organisation; some governments whose dictionaries does not contain the words ‘human rights’ sit on the UNHRC. I was serious and funny in some way. It contained a message for everybody; the UN, Yankees, citizens of the world, Pyongyang, Teheran, Venezuela and even his predecessor and the opposition democrats got a share. Some parts sounded plagiarized though. The delivery was 100% original.
We live in a world where fundamentalism is slowly taking root and the right-wing monster is slowly waking up from deep hibernation. With these kinds of speeches and showmanship politics, DT might be the fuel and his drunk opposite number in NK might be the match-stick that is going to light up the world into one nuclear inferno. That is my prediction. One that I wish and will be glad that I’m wrong.