The Difference Of The Same Stroke.

Kata Kata

Admin | Posted On : 08-02-2024

One can hardly separate sycophancy and hypocrisy from our present religion and politics, at least in Africa. On a continent where religion and politics can be the byzantine and underhand of deceit and manipulation, it is not hard to see why politicians and religious leaders, ordinarily contrast and opposite, befriend one another and are often regarded and effectively treated as demi-gods in our modern African society. That undeserved impression has led these leaders to acquire much power and put themselves aloof from their subjects, who look up to them as their source and seem too gullible to disentangle themselves from the choking chain of their admired tyrant masters.


The amount of power a god exercises over its subject depends on the degree of respect the worshipers accorded to the gods. The power of the gods ceases immediately when the worshipers or subjects withdraw their respect. Can that be said about our political or religious leaders? 


As moral authorities, ideally, religious leaders ought to act as a shining example – and a check on the political leaders. Yes, normally. But imagine a situation where you share the same characteristics and aspirations with the opponent you want to correct. That sameness might lead to attractiveness and give no room for correction. After all, the adage that says birds of the same feather flock together seems to fit African society. Hence, when African religious leaders interpret religious texts in such a shallow way to serve their selfish motives, it becomes less surprising for them to quickly discover the goodness – and sameness - in the Devil. What an irony! Why not if the discovery or interpretation would serve one's aggrandisement? After all, the world is a stage where everyone plays their part — a dance arena with masquerades displaying their musical talents to enchant and seduce the spectators.


You would expect our religious leaders to epitomise simplicity and humility when seen as the earthly redeemers or God's representatives. After all, Christ never drove on a Mercedes car. Sorry, Christ's time was that of horses and chariots, so excuse our flamboyant, extravagant and choosy religious leaders for going for private jets instead of ordinary common transportation. The political masters are hardly different. 


Unlike their lucky political mates, who inherit the State treasury and the financial hive, in which they often deepen their rotten infectious hand at will, religious leaders might not have that luxury, but their oratory arsenal is intact. They equally never fail to shrewdly misinterpret the tithe and actively engage in praise-singerism (You call it what? sycophancy and hypocrisy?) to feed their glutted greed. Hardly do they hide their rapaciousness nowadays. Disambiguation? Sure, religious leaders are well-trained in making things clear; yes, calling a spade a spade includes speaking the truth - and revealing their true nature. The manifestation from speech to acts. What else defines humanity and its characteristics? Are we on the same page? The same stroke? Sure, why not?


The identification with a leader legitimates believability, and that credibility and validity may lead to preying on the trusted subjects. When political leaders present themselves as the solution to the subject's problems or religious leaders as the gateway to their followers' salvation and a solution to their problems, leading by example becomes the ultimate test and prerequisite. Disambiguation? But birds of the same feather flock together, don't they? If a leader (whether political or religious), the assumed solution to your problem fails to fulfil their promises or deliver, not once, not twice, it may well require a quick psychiatric evaluation or an urgent medical check-up on the part of the subject, if they still gullibly trust the mentor. That continuous trust and support of the subjects in the face of the apparent shortcomings of their leaders open the floodgate to the intellectual devaluation of the subjects. In fairness, would those leaders be blamed solely for the gullibility of the subjects?  


The manipulation, deceit, and false promises will continue unchallenged when the two unlikely siblings cohabit harmoniously in a symbiotic relationship. 

If the purpose of a relationship is mutual benefit, it goes without saying that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Likewise, any leader who fails to meet their expectations must be re-considered. The same goes for religion and politics. Any religion or political organisation that does not positively change life and living conditions must be carefully scrutinised and abandoned.  


Until Africans reason and stop being gullible, they will remain entangled in the yolk of religious and political greed, hypocrisy, flattery, deceit and lies. 


A better way not to become a victim of that societal manipulation is to recognise that the difference of the same stroke hardly makes the stroke different.