A reality check for Africa’s leaders
BY Bashir Goth
24 January 2006
A SOMALI anecdote says that a mother couldn’t find anything to cook for her children for dinner so she put strange looking stones in a pot, added water and spices and placed it on the stove. She then started telling stories and singing lullabies to the children.
The water gurgling in the pot and the smell of the spices had given the children the illusion of food coming. The mother continued singing and chastising the obstinate pot for refusing to yield. Waiting as long as long as they could, the children were finally overcome by sleep and each one of them had dozed off on the mother’s sweet lullaby.
In contrast to this steadfast mother, African leaders are meeting on the banks of the Blue Nile of Khartoum to a lavish welcome with newly built villas, swimming pools, health clubs and latest fashion furniture and interior decorations imported from Europe; while they dine on gourmet food served on fine china sets specially flown from France. While millions of African children and women sleep under the open sky with nothing to protect them from the biting cold, rains and hungry wildlife looking for anything to bite, even emaciated human flesh, African leaders will sleep on beautiful linen and will have French trained butlers on standby at their door steps to respond to every groan and moan they make.
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