A log in the river will never be a crocodile.

Kata Kata

Admin | Posted On : 20-11-2022

Mũgogo wĩ rũũĩ ndũrĩ hĩndĩ ũgatwĩka kĩng’ang’i (Gikuyu)
Gogo mtoni halitageuka kuwa mamba.
Un rondin dans l’eau ne deviendra jamais un crocodile.(French)

This important African proverb is very popular amongst the Gikuyu tribe of Kenya and the Bambara people of Mali. It stresses the importance of being genuine, authentic and yourself. Simply put, no matter how long a log stays in the water, it doesn’t become a crocodile, meaning that external circumstances do not change one’s essential characteristics.

We cannot hide our true identity forever, no matter how much we try. Do you want to be who or what you are not? A log can float for a long time in the river, but that does not mean it belongs to the river; the wood is there by accident. It can stay in the river for a long time, but it will remain what it is (log), not what it is not (a crocodile or other sea animal).

On a personal level, pretending to be a celebrity or famous person doesn’t make you one; it only exposes your ingenuity and unauthenticity. A racist who pretends to be an antiracist will discover, at one point, that the pretentious wall built around them might collapse and expose their true identity. How about those blacks who bleach their skin to look White? You may damage your skin pigments, but you will never be a White person. We must have the courage and pride to accept our circumstances and identity that we cannot change.

Think of our leaders, especially politicians, who change their identities based on the circumstances. Indeed, their true identity - selfishness, greed, insensitivity, corruption, nepotism - will hardly change, no matter what they tell the masses at their political rallies or town hall meetings. Forget those who would send out pictures of them eating and mingling with the poor to convince you they are on the same level as the oppressed. Unfortunately, the electorate has not learnt to judge those fake leaders by their originality – not the impression they have created.

Pretentiousness is a problem in pregnancy. The denial of reality will only lead to disappointments and unnecessary problems. Be original so that people can assess and judge you better for what you are. Otherwise, a log in the water will never be a crocodile – no matter how long the log remains.

Photo: twitter