Hate the player! Hate the Game!

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Don’t hate the player, hate the game. That’s what they say. An excuse used by many to pass the blame onto the system. But what is a game without the players? For without the players, the game will be nothing. I have met and talked with a number of young individuals who have a desire to change their society whether in a small or big way. They engage themselves in fruitful debates where they discuss and provide solutions to pressing societal problems. They seek out to try and get opportunities where they will be able to make an impact. You can see that they have a fire burning within them and a passion to make things different. But time slowly passes and the fire slowly dims out.

You see, once you enter into the system, there are three possibilities.

  1. You try to change the system and you succeed
  2. You get frustrated trying to change the system and chose to be complacent about it
  3. The inability of the system and its players to change drives you crazy that you chose to leave
  4. Oh yes….you get killed while trying to bring change.

The system cannot function on its own..….it needs players. And if the players are not ready and willing to change the system, then it will continually be a case of same script different cast.

“If you want to make enemies, try to change something”
– Woodrow Wilson

African has had its fair share of political refugees who attempted to change the system but were disappointed when key players sort to deter them with threats, impossible hurdles, unlawful detentions, lack of a fair trial and thus making it impossible for them to live in peace.

After independence in most African countries, there emerged individuals who escaped or got killed because they wanted to change the system but those in power did not let them. It was time for political change but selfishness and greed blinded leaders leading them to detain, persecute and even assassinate anyone who dared to stand up against them.

Recent events around the continent show that African leaders and rigid political systems are still fighting to deal with citizens who are ready and willing to fight to change the system, but the key players are not willing to let them move. We have heard of the man Kizza Besigye who has tried more than 3 times to be the President of Uganda. This guy is to be applauded for he has not given up on his country. That is what patriotism is about. That despite the barriers placed in front of you, you still choose to run the race and finish, even if it means crossing the finishing line while crawling. But it is quite saddening that the people of Uganda fail to support him who seeks to bring a revolution to their beloved country. Change can be scary but at times we just need to take a stand. We have as well heard of Morgan Tsvangirai, whose main political objective has been to remove the man who has been in power for almost quarter of a century. Despite the hardship he has gone through, Tsvangirai has refused neither to quit nor to give up on Zimbabwe.

How do we forget Wangari Maathai? The first African lady to win a Nobel Peace Prize after daring to stand up against the then ruling President. I admire Wangari Maathai for she was a visionary leader who saw further ahead than any of us could have imagined. If it wasn’t for her holding strong to her cause and choosing to oppose the system and its players, many Kenyans today would have no idea what it means to have a public park.

And what about Ngugi wa Thiongo? The writer who is greatly recognized in the United States of America because of his literary works that spoke against the Government which provoked his arrest and leading him to flee the country. It is the players in governments who have disappointed patriotic citizens, pushing them away, assassinating them and forcing them to eventually leave their beloved country into the hands of selfish leaders who desire to run the country like their backyard. It is this reason that educated Africans have left the continent in seek of greener pastures. In seek of democratic and free societies. In seek of places where there education and talent will be utilized for the betterment of the greater good. In cases where the Government is not willing to pay its teachers and doctors a god salary, why do we then complain when they go abroad to go and find better paying jobs. There are young people who are ready to make a difference but the system seems to hold them back with all the hurdles and barriers which are put in place by the players. So why do we complain when we see our young people running off to settle in another country? Some of these are young talented educated individuals who have tried to make a difference but have gotten frustrated with the system and its players. The barriers in a system vary and it is not only just the Government that should be attacked. Private institutions are also to be blamed. Systems have been flawed due to tribalism, greed, nepotism, jealousy, favoritism, failure to award based on merit, inequality, mistreatment, underpayment, inability to open up to new ideas, hard stance on one’s own opinions. The list goes on.

Don’t hate the player. Hate the game. That’s what they say. But a game cannot be played without the players. They are the key ingredient to the game. And to each game there are rules which need to be broken because the truth is change is inevitable.

“All political action aims at either preservation or change. When desiring to preserve, we wish to prevent a change for the worse; when desiring to change, we wish to bring about something better. All political action is then guided by some thought of better or worse”
–Leo Strauss

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