In a conversation with a friend two days ago, he mentioned something I’ve heard only too often. That many Africans have suppressed feelings.
“Its like in Malawi, there are too many problems, too many annoyances, hardship is a daily thing some people just decide to get on with it. You call them and ask them how are you, and they respond we are fine, but they are not really fine. They just don’t want to burden you with stories how they really are. They have decided the way they feel doesn’t matter”
Akuti ‘Bola Moyo’ (A note to dear reader: Bola Moyo is a chichewa expression that translates into ~ ‘Atleast I am / we are alive’ essentially the problems don’t matter because we are alive, and it could have been worse if we weren’t alive.)
I laid out why people just stay silent saying since there are so many problems affecting them where do you start complaining: the daily power and water cuts, the thieves terrorising the townships, abuse or pressure at work, the incompetence in government, the weakening currency causing an ever-increasing high cost of living, the lack of medicines in hospitals, the lack of opportunities in society, the bad customer service, debtors who don’t want to pay your money back, friends and relatives ever asking you for money or support, senseless bureaucracy … and on and on.
In the end people just suppress it. It becomes the new normal.
Except it’s not normal, and yes it matters. Those people matter. Their concerns matter. Their problems, circumstances, challenges and fears matter. They matter.
So then, my friend says
“After having grown up through all that, how can we fail to deal with these problems we meet here”