You know the game called musical chairs, where people dance around a set of chairs and then when the music stops, you have to find a chair to sit…
This would be an open invitation to any of the 54 presidents, either singularly or en masse if it pleases their excellencies, to dine.
Firstly I would extend my revolutionary greetings and congratulations on attaining independence. I cannot begin to imagine how that must have gone, for you see I wasn’t born yet, in your eyes I am child of yesterday, born free. According to our culture, we must respect our elders, but with all due respect, I have grown into an elder too, an epolon, mudhara, mzee there’s winter in my beard, and yet the only table I can sit with you, is an imaginary one.
I am not asking for a seat at your table, though that would be a welcome change from having to be content with picking up the scraps that fall from yours; as I wait for you to finish your meal. I imagine we play an elaborate game of musical chairs; round and round I go, until the music stops and I have to find a place to sit, except that when you sat down, way before I was born, you kept sitting and now round and round I go.
In our culture it is offensive to converse with an elder who is sitting while you stand. One would have to kneel, crouch or squat and in some of the older traditions, prostrate fully on the ground; lest you see the bald patch atop their heads or the grey wisdom crowning their scalp. I don’t know if you have noticed but I now have wisdom of my own too, I should be able to sit with you as an equal and invite you to my very own table. But no, round and round I go, waiting… for my turn.
By the time you were my age, you had done some remarkable things, you freed yourselves and claimed your seat at the table. At my age I have lived my life, waiting for you to finish eating. I bite my tongue to stop myself from asking rude questions, like how much can one person eat, because from where I wait, it looks like there will be nothing left, when you are done.
I have many other things I would like ask such as how even if you owned all the suits in the world, at any one time, you could only wear one, why would you let others go naked while your suits gather dust? Of course you do not own all the suits in the world neither am I asking about suits, but if I asked what I really wanted to ask… you would not want to hear it. You surround yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear, at least publicly, you play the tune and round and round and round they dance…
Freedom is something you take, I have learnt from textbooks how you took yours, but now you turn into that which you freed yourself from. Round and round we go, playing this game of musical chairs; waiting for you to stand up so we can finally sit down…
The music stops and round and round and round we go.
If you could meet any notable Afrikan, whom would you want to meet?