An open letter to those of whom we do not speak…

Dear Despots,

Thanks to you, I decided to stay home as the world revelled on the 31st of December 2010… Yes, a rather crap year was in its last hours (The memory of the 2010 FIFA World Cup only a blur of bad debt by then), but I couldn’t celebrate… It’s not that I didn’t particularly want to. It just felt like I had reached my pit-stop, that I should take a breather before I embarked on what I hoped would be an amazing 2011.. Yes, the idealist in me not-so-secretly hoped that 2011 would be the year that the ever elusive world peace became a reality.. I needed my rest. No partying for me.

You might be wondering what this all has to do with you.. It’s not like you care much for the plight of the ordinary person anyway… Not least one whose passion is the one thing you love most to destroy: human rights… Well, that’s just it! My not-so-dear Despots.. This letter is to you..

On 31 December 2010, as many a middle-class spawn partied up a mini storm, explosions tore through Nigeria, 60 women were brutally raped by members of the military and militia in the Eastern DRC, Cote d’Ivoire teetered on the brink of collapse… As many a person partied up a mini storm on December 31st 2010, thousands across the world caught their last breath… killed, tortured, maimed… Some died physically, most died emotionally and spiritually. Their dignity stripped off them leaving them bare… As many partied up a mini storm on December 31st 2010, the world began to burn… You, the arsonists, drank your overpriced champagne and plotted your future as many lamented their present…

On 1 January 2011, the sun arose and with it a tempestuous new dawn… Ben Ali of Tunisia was toppled, Hosni Mubarak soon followed… The people had had enough… they were tired of typing out their sentiments and living at the mercy of greedy despots… they – like phoenixes risen from the ashes – got up and stayed up until their desires were met… Or were they? Tunisia and Egypt remain unstable… the rest of the region is catching fire… burning fervently and so close to the devil’s cauldron… Born of violence many shall die of violence.. so the adage goes…

I have decided to stain my satellite view of Africa with red ink… it symbolises the blood that continues to be let in our people’s struggle for their right to be human.. It marks the pain and suffering that no one should ever go through. The raw and gaping wounds that you have caused. It marks your legacy dear despots..

As the sun rose on 1 January 2011 I wondered: Will this decade usher in a new dawn? Will we rid ourselves of the choke-hold of our “leaders”… The sun has not set… When you’re gone, dear despots… we may rest… and maybe I too will party up a mini storm on the eve of 2012… One can only dream *sigh*

Yours insincerely,

Sick & Tired

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