Wednesday, December 12, 2007

every journey has the first step

I have been nursing this headache for a while. I visited the doctor yesterday and all tests (malaria/typhoid) read negative. "Stress," she concluded. Of course i was not surprised that i had stress. Remember for the past three or so weeks, i have been literally a captive of my desk. Since this famous or is it now infamous (with reports of sweeping Ebola under the carpet) summit came to town, it meant we (media) were never going to have free time; especially the desk people. So, when two of my colleagues broke down the week after, i knew my time was soon.
But we should ask: why is man working this hard? Is the work we do worth our health? In his masterpiece anti-apartheid book, 'In the Fog of the Seasons' End', Alex La Guma narrates the tale of Old Tsatsu, who 'worked to his death in order to stay alive.' The old man, was employed at a quary and he was discovered dead amidst a heap of stones he'd been breaking.
Do we ever realise that many of us are bound for Old Tsatsu's fate? I came to this desk at 8.00am, it is now 8.00pm and am still here---with a piercing headache. Obviously all is not well. But because bread and butter must make their way to my table---this must be my fate.
But again, i beg to ask---is this our fate? should we turn into robots just because we have let the dictates of the day say so? Have we become so chained in today's unfair world that our shcakles can no longer be broken? Must i slave 14 hours a day and receive peanuts, when the guy working six executive hours pockets the 'apples and milk' like Squealer in Animal Farm?
Those caught up in my situation, i say---we have chosen to be this way. Just like we have chosen to be this way, we can also choose how we should be. Karl Marx, when making a case for the workers, said: "Rise up, for you have nothing to lose but your chains..."
The headache gets worse...let's pick on from here on the next post

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