Well, here we are – a year further down the road of independence. Can’t you tell?? Aren’t you walking with that swagger and joie de vivre that signal you’re the master of your fate and the captain of your destiny?? And that, by golly…nobody can tell you what to do?? You aren’t?? Well, maybe you didn’t get the message. We’ve been independent since 1966 – FIFTY-SEVEN years ago – and your Eyewitness will count some of the ways by which you should’ve known.
Before independence, the Brits used to be able to tell us what was “good” for us – and had done so for hundreds of years, cause we didn’t know better. Left to our own devices, we’d be hacking away at each other at the least disagreement – and life would be nasty, brutish and short!! You say we’re still doing that, dear reader?? Well…OK. But look at it this way: we’re hacking away all on our own…and doing things “our way” is being independent, isn’t it??
Another way we can tell we’re independent is to look at how we’re getting the benefit of our resources all to ourselves. No foreigners exploiting what Mother Nature has given us, using our labour to produce “primary goods” like sugar and bauxite, and sending it to “foreign” to make huge profits while we earn pittances!! Are you quibbling that the same thing’s going on with our newfound oil – now that nobody wants our sugar no mo?? Haven’t you been listening to all those noble, nationalistic environmentalists that we’d be polluting our dear mudland by refining the oil and some such?? Haven’t you been following the news about their virtuous opposition to the gas-to-shore project?? That’s independence, Baby!!
And then look at culture. In the pre-independence days, we’d we aping all the manners and mannerisms of the colonials. Look how far we’ve come in food, drink and dress!! Haven’t we thrown away sliced bread for cassava bread?? Piwari for beer? Suit and tie for shirt jacs?? We haven’t?? Well…we DID do it for a couple of years after 1966!! And independence means doing what WE want – even if it’s the same thing we used to do under the big, bad imperialists!! We’re making the choice, and the heck with those who say we have a “colonial mentality”!!
You can also tell we’re independent cause we’re able to trade and do business with whichever country we want to!! We’re not tied to the whims and fancies of the old colonials as far as foreign affairs are concerned!! Didn’t you see us giving the bum’s rush to the Ruskies by shuttering their Embassy that was bigger than the Americans??
Ooops!! They closed that on their own?? Well, you get the point: we’re independent!! OK??
Ahh…your Eyewitness is so touched by all the activities our schoolchildren performed to show how much they cared about their sisters – and brother, from Mahdia – who perished in that conflagration. Those were such spontaneous shows of empathy and unity with our long-neglected “First Peoples”. Your Eyewitness knows for sure these coastlander children will now stop referring to them as “Buck” – which means “wild” – cause it’s so demeaning and is equivalent to the “N” word. This will now become a taboo “B” word.
All this outpouring of grief also means we’ll be sympathetic to the fact that we’re all squatters on their land, and we won’t begrudge them having title to the portions on which they live. And that we’ll ensure they have all the opportunities available to us coastlanders to develop their land, since we now realise we’re “one people”!!
Or will we be going on with the same ole, same ole scorn and derision that’s been the norm forever?? Cause all we’ve done is virtue signalling??
The inimitable Tina Turner’s no mo. You young whippersnappers don’t know what a force of nature she was when she went on stage to belt out those hits that came out of her life of overcoming!! She’ll always be the Queen of Rock and Roll!!