Proverb of the week

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Heri pazia kuliko bendera (Swahili).

Better a curtain hanging motionless than a flag blowing in the wind.
Swahili (Eastern and Central Africa)

This proverb is very common in the Eastern part of Africa, where it is used to emphasize the importance of consistency and steadiness in life. It is better to be with what you know than try something unknown, which could lead to uncertainties and problems.

Recently, the proverb is used to retaliate the importance of fidelity (one hanging curtain) and some degree of responsibility in personal relationships ““ especially now that AIDS is a big social menace ““ as opposed to reckless life style (flag blowing in different directions).

Looking at the biggest problem facing Europe today (refugee), this problem makes even more sense. Presently, millions of Africans are sacrificing their lives, future and all the have (one hanging curtain) to come to Europe. Unfortunately, most of these Africans do not know what awaits them on the way / in Europe (flag blowing in different directions). Not only that most of these refugees have some opportunities ““ no matter how little they could be – and hopes in Africa, they abandon them, just to face the risk of drowning in the sea, killed from thirst and hunger crossing the desert. Worse still, the trip is full of uncertainties; smugglers are becoming heartless once they have collected money from these gullible Africans. Some of the refugees are mistreated, left inside the unmanned boat heading to Europe to their fate or even murdered in the strange land.

With the swarm of refugees from Syria, heading to Europe in millions daily, refugees are now seen in Europe as criminals, social misfits and even a threat to the cultural existence of Europe; as such, the common opinion is that these refugees ““ whether from Africa, Syria or wherever – must not be welcomed. Xenophobic tendencies are now the order of the day, and far-right ideology and antagonism towards foreigners seem to be just the idea way forward in Europe. The question is: Is this trip from Africa worth the risk? Strange it might sound to many, but if I could afford to pay a smuggler a sum of 5,000 dollars, for a stillborn journey full of uncertainties and danger, wouldn`t it make economic and social sense to rather use that money wisely in Africa and help bring meaning to one`s life in Africa? I would say that the devil we know might definitely be better than the angel we do not know. Hence:

Heri pazia kuliko bendera.
Better a curtain hanging motionless than a flag blowing in the wind.