The weakness in the power of the pen
In all civilizations and ages of existence of societies and communities, there has always been and are opinion leaders. The group largely consists of different philosophers and psychiatrists and people of a technical expertise. These were the people who back in the days created the schools of thought around all types of issues being in direct relation to the community.
The duty of the opinion leader is to propagate thought into a target issue and in the end achieve a desired result. The people that are being led- opinion wise have a task to achieve: that is the realization of the goal. Therefore it may be assumed that for slavery to become abolished there was a large role played by opinion leaders into encroaching the idea of freedom into the masses (both oppressor and oppressed). These well-articulated opinions and energized by the leader through choice of words and expression motivated a drive for change that saw many lay their lives on the line to achieve the freedom idea.
Back then, transmitting information was done through oral communication, personal interactions and work groups. The credibility of the opinion did not leave room for error or introspection of the facts of the matter. Also seeing that there is energy in the sound waves produced in speaking and to some psychological extent this is what fuels the doers. I need not dwell in the dynamics of why and how this happens as it is not the subject of the article. The bone of contention is that we have largely migrated from word of mouth and gesture to language, grammar and punctuations. And as the saying goes, “if you want to hide something from a black man put it into writing.” The oppressor will allow for newspapers to host as many opinion leaders as possible, they will even establish their (oppressors) own opinion leaders to counter whatever minimal damage is done by transmitting the articles to people.
Now the problems that make this writing business to not work in making or inciting change is that; 1-people do not read newspapers as much as we would like them to, that’s why a certain page 3 tops in peoples reference of news. 2-too many opinion leaders are easily swayed from objective to focus on appearances and relative news. There are one too many opinions about one issue in the same paper for too short a time. Most opinions take about a weak-which by that time would have appeared on each news outlet (even radio) and became monotonous enough to assist the transition to another issue and its own opinions. 3-the credibility of opinions is drowned in fear of prosecution, ignorance and general disinterest in effecting any form of change.
After one is done reading any of the papers you would realize that 60% of the issues are related and not only related but almost contradictory and this is what disengages the audience. Most of all change that has occurred, politically, policy-wise, legislation wise are done in paper to conceal their intentions. Oppressive laws by the oppressors have always seemed democratic to the oppressor and included in Hansards and minutes but the more while the community remains in oblivion to the actual implications of anything written in paper. We become deceived in writing through and through.
If anything there truly is no “right to know,” because with that may arise the “right to understand” or “right to comprehend.” Which stands to be reasoned that you have an obligation to explain whatever it is that you may tell any person. Sounds contractual but we all understand that the reason why there are lawyers is because the law is largely subject to interpretation and not every Jack and Jill may stand in court and hope to maneuver his way out of the “acts.” Opinion leaders today are busy accumulating knowledge and pointing out outstanding issues to serve the people but the people’s intake of such issue is extremely low, so low that it results in even further inaction on the issue. Psychologically in a democracy we assume the government is out for our best therefore if they know of something that is good for us they should automatically alter the government proceedings to better serve us (those who elect them and suffer the same power we give them). Opinion leaders must go back to the basics and facilitate a larger much needed and overdue opinion, “Parliamentary sessions must be aired live on national television” and repeated on weekends.
Arguably not such a debate topic, it shouldn’t even be for discussion yet we find ourselves truly in the dark about the authenticity of the legislations motions. Opinion leaders need to energize this opinion enough to accomplish the deliverable, concentration on this opinion, BTV may even become boycotted in the interests of all citizens. All government employees and all legislators and all community should realize the inevitable result of seeing our representatives in the public spotlight, something they were fighting for during the campaigning period. This issue of inclusion, remember (if aired, both official languages will need to be used-translated for all round communication. They may even hire more sign language people to add to outreach) is an integral part of democracy and development.
We are tired of laws that are made and passed as if they are household chores, sweeping rotas and kitchen rota’s. Accountability begins with visibility. Together we must strive for an all-inclusive communication, powerful verbal sentiments, understandable word communications and research data. Progressive decisions that meet objectives of even the widest variety. Laws on paper vs. Laws in action vs. Laws by society. “In a continent that celebrates revolutionaries only after the revolution is successful, that’s if they survive the chains, prisons, bullets and courts of the oppressor.”– Rodney
Extracts from my manifestos .LEADERSHIP NOT POLITRICKS
Mr. Rodney Thabiso Baraang
Pan-Africanist Liberals. Youth with progressionalist minds
Contacts- 74434063, 73531172.
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