Dr Tonderai Manyau| I strongly fear that we are losing it as Africans. The way we hate one another is becoming a pandemic. I have nothing personal against Dr Phophi Ramathuba, but her recent utterances about a patient straining the provincial system in Limpopo left me numb and shocked.
There is an African proverb that says, “a visitor can never finish your food”. This should teach us how to treat visitors despite their colour, race or tribe.
It is deeply rooted in the philosophy of giving and love for one another as human beings. How would we feel if or our children are denied food or water as visitors somewhere?
The problem of migration is a worldwide phenomenon and has been there for many years. There are so many reasons linked to this and we cannot exhaust them here. But, the crux of the matter is it is unjustified to dehumanise any human being based on their circumstances or migration status. Worse, denying them food, shelter or medication is more cruel. Remember we are all human beings and we should treat each other with dignity and respect always.
Our foremost African principle of ubuntu does not condone being insensitive to one another. As Africans we are all guided by this.
Ubuntu in Shona, spoken in Zimbabwe, is hunhu, in Ndebele ubuntu. In Swahili, spoken in Kenya, it is orumundu and in Herero spoken in Namibia it is omundu. The principle states that I am what I am because of others. One cannot feel better by diminishing or shaming another human being. Vulnerability is not a choice.
It is key to rethink our words and actions as leaders. Let’s use proper channels and sensible logical ways to solve issues. Attacking one’s personality or status in life is as good as attacking yourself. We are all human with the same blood and feelings and so we need to love, care and protect each other more. Unity, love, respect and being considerate among ourselves will take us far as humans.
Dr Tonderai Manyau
North West, Mahikeng