English    Swahili



Grandma, you said you will tell me the story about mirrors and how it seems that some black people were sold into slavery in return for something as silly as a mirror.

Oh yes, the precious mirrors syndrome. Ha Ha Ha.

Why do you laugh Grandma?

I laugh because many black people are still being sold into slavery today in exchange for mirrors. How so? said Nene.

How so? said the grandma. Well, to understand what the mirror represented back then and now, Nene. You have to try to get a better understanding of why the mirror was such a desirable item back then. Can you think of any reason why someone might want a mirror so bad that they will sell their kind to a white man in exchange for it [mirror].

Well, said Nene, I guess it was a piece of technology that was novel back then, it was different and perhaps expensive.

OK, but why would anyone want one? Asked the grandma. Because they want to see themselves, answered Nene. Right! Said the grandma, because they wanted to see themselves, although they would have been able to see themselves before acquiring the mirror, say the reflection at the bank of a river, a bowl of water or a shiny piece of metal.

However, what was precious about the mirror is because it allowed the owner to see themselves better. See themselves in a better light, a less distorted reflection of themselves. Having achieved that rare feat at that historical point in time, the person feels better about themselves as they are one of a very few people that are able to do such a thing at that point in time. Perhaps they might even have more friends that want to take advantage of this new technology and see themselves in a better light even if is just momentarily. True, said Nene. So the question I have for you Nene is, is this person, who now owns a mirror having sold one of his/her kind to the white man now better looking? A better person? No, answered Nene. Ah! Said the grandma. But the person felt better, perhaps, got more friends because of his/her possession of this mirror. What’s changed? Asked the grandma. I’ll tell you what’s changed, continued the grandma, the person has been able to perceive themselves from an entirely new perspective. Same person, different perspective.

Fast forward to today, are there any items or simply put, possessions in all its forms, in today’s world that might allow a person to see themselves in a better light? Obviously, the phrase see themselves in a better light is meant to be in the abstract sense, the grandma explained.

What do you mean Grandma? Let me put this to you in a different way, replied the Grandma, can you think of something that might make someone think they are now better than others because they are in possession of that item? And if you can, how different will a person who does something immoral against the black community or decided to look the other way because they are scared they will lose possession of this precious possession be, to those that sold their kind for a mirror? No different answered Nene. That’s right, so I guess the question to the people living today would be, what is your precious mirror syndrome? I guess that answer might be simpler now that money has been invented. So perhaps for some, the answer is power, status, or money that will allow them to buy today’s version of a mirror e.g. an enormous house or and extremely expensive item. They will do so, because they are desperate to see themselves in a different perspective and also because they are desperate for others to see them in a different perspective, whereas they are still the same person deep down.

So you mean that some of the leaders within our community are still selling us into slavery? Ha ha ha, laughed the grandma. You do know that there is such a thing as mental slavery as well, don’t you?

What do you mean by mental slavery grandma? Well, said the grandma, if you convince members of your community that buying products or services from an organisation that doesn’t have your best interest at heart is a good thing to do, or that by buying such a product you are indeed more special than those that can’t afford it. Then, you have just sold those members of your community into mental slavery. You know, for example the, “I only buy items from the discriminatory organisation who will charge me the most for it, syndrome”. Ha ha ha. That’s funny grandma, said Nene.

To answer your question Nene, about if some of our leaders are still selling us into physical and mental slavery, yes, there are some leaders that are self serving, however, when an entire community is in disarray, say because they are being sold in exchange for mirrors, modern or old, what you’ll find is by the time such a practice has been in place for a long time, majority of the members of the community that’s in disarray will be either an active or passive participant in this practice.

Be it, for example, that they see some thing unfair happening at work but they are scared to speak up because they might lose their job or they are the ones signing deals that will enslave their entire community, because of their own selfish interests. Truth be said, independently humans are extremely intelligent, but, due to a flaw of self interest and self preservation, humans are capable of performing actions that undermine the advantage that their natural intelligence afford them. So, yes, in addition to the leaders, majority of the members of our community are participants but they are probably not aware of how they passively or actively engage in this practice. The leaders are not solely the ones to be blamed. Let me give you an analogy the grandma continued, if two people go to a casino, they are both sitting on the same black jack table, one person wants to put in a stake of £100, the other person is going to put in a stake of £100 million. Who has more to lose? Who should care less about the bet? Of course is the person gambling £100 that should care less. Said Nene. Correct, said the grandma, so in this casino example, who do you think are the leaders of our community? Who do you think are the regular members of our community? asked the grandma. The leaders are those with £100 million to lose and regular members are those with £100 to lose. Correct! said grandma, if those that have got very little to lose, say their £150,000 job, are scared, continued the grandma, then how can they expect those with £100 million to lose, not to be scared. True, said Nene. So to sum up, said the grandma, every community that’s in disarray is in that state because majority of its members are actively or passively partaking in the causes of their failure.

Is that why Michael Jackson said if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change. LOL. That’s right said the grandma, but how many people really have the skill to take a look at themselves? How many people will prefer to see themselves in the distorted perspective that a modern mirror will give them?

You are right. How do these leaders get into power, surely, as its a democracy people would have realised that this person or that person will not make any changes when they get into power. Well, said the grandma, the truth is you can’t trust the words or actions of desperate people. Someone who can’t afford his/her next meal might say anything to get a meal, someone who is desperate to be a leader will say and do anything to be elected, including buying the vote of a desperate person in return for their next meal. It’s called the meeting of minds of desperate people.

A desperate oppressor, will back the desperate leader who is willing to do the oppressor’s bidding and the desperate leader will do the desperate action of buying the votes of desperate members of their community. These people are all opportunists, and there are more people who are desperate and opportunistic than righteous people.

Oh dear! That makes sense. So grandma, continued Nene, whilst we are on this subject I heard in the news that about 3 million Hong Kong citizens will be granted entrance into the UK. What do you think about that situation? Well, Nene, all I can say is that China has come a long way, and they are making great progress, which can only benefit the entire Chinese community in the long run. With regards to the 3 million Hong Kong Citizens that want to come to the UK, let me ask you something Nene, do you think when they come to the UK they will be treated as equals? Since when in history has that happened? Hmm… Grandma Im confused, I know all your stories have a moral lesson. But you’ve said a lot today. Well, said the grandma, if there is anything to take on board, is this, be content, envy is not a good thing, vanity and the pursuit of vanity will be the down fall of every community. Judge people by their values and how they practice their values. A society where a union between two people are created on the basis of vanity instead of values alone, the type of values that will hold the community together is eventually going to crumble. Remember values can be distorted, for instance too many religion have been high jacked for alternative objectives. Don’t trust the words or actions of those that are desperate. Be wary of those that claim to stand for something but keep quiet when they have the chance to speak up, because they are scared they will lose the opportunity to get a mirror. These are the people that are happy to gossip in secret about an injustice but will never stand up in public for that same thing, because they want to get a modern mirror. These are just people that have found somewhere to park their minds they do not believe in the value they claim to represent, these people are the ones that passively support the oppressor. Be wary of those that say you can’t question something, because when they take that power away from you, they create an environment that will enable them to give you a mirror that give you a distorted perspective in favour or those that want to deceive you. Be wary of those that don’t operate in the light. The ones that say one thing in the dark and another in the light. The ones that their actions and words don’t match and finally gravitate towards those that speak the truth. One way you can tell if someone is a good person is to pray in front of them that that person and their loved ones meet someone just like them, basically a mirror of themselves. Their reaction to that prayer should give you an incite to what that person thinks of themselves.

Grandma, Does God ever get angry? Of course she does, the grandma replied. If God didn’t why would God punish the devil, the Beast and its supporters and their offspring for eternity. Ah! What do you mean by offspring Grandma? I mean, the grandma continued, their children and their children’s, children and so on, forever. You know, kind of similar to the effect you get when you put two mirrors in front of each other, until the end of time, infinity. Remember, Nyeungana is the light.


Disclaimer of Opinion: This is a blog and is presented as such. Any suggestions, claims or assertions made is presented only as an opinion. It does not make any factual, scientific, or legal claims in anyway.

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