Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Weekly Sneak: In Touch With His Inner Mother

It's been a while since I tugged on Jakaya Kikwete's sparse chin hairs. I am constantly getting into trouble with all kinds of people about being fond of the man and his suits in the first place. Defending his free speech policy has put me beyond the pale.  But it has been a few years since I called my President a cake in a bakery window amongst other things and I am still not in jail. Columnists tend to remember that kind of deliberate ignorance on the part of She State. We also get tempted to push the envelope because... well, tweaking big things is mesmerizing, otherwise who would bother with elephants and whales.

So I got a bit playful this week. Threw in a little gender bending, because why not? I believe that Tanzania and her Presidents have always had a very feminine kind of vibe, to our advantage:
"When the threat is identifiably external we have no problems rising to the occasion. But that is what the armed forces are for. They have already earned our confidence that should any problem arise, they'll lace up their combat boots right quick and proceed to plant them firmly in the face of whoever made us cry in the playground. This leaves the President free to focus on the area in which we actually crave his attention: internal peace and stability and welfare. We've been spoiled by decades of highly interactive exchanges with our leaders, we do expect them to listen to our troubles and mediate all domestic altercations without showing favoritism. When disasters happen, His Excellency has to come kiss the ouchies away and make it all better. When the economy is ailing we expect him to find a way to put enough food on the table to feed a growing nation. A large part of a Tanzanian President's job is to be Mom."
Come to think of it, this might not be unique to Tanzania. There's something about the way we revere Heads of State and expect them to be all things to all people that has a bit of a maternal fixation to it, neh? Might as well vote in a few women from time to time. :)

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