18.2.11

The king's distance

The King’s Speech is a commendable depiction of a world many of us know little about. The events depicted are separated from us by time, place and privilege. It is a world of affluence beyond the Buppie existence that we experience.

It is a film that depicts distance. The film illustrates the chasm between the world of George VI and “the commoners” who appear, fleetingly, on the fringes, on stairs and on pavements as he goes about his business.

Seventy years after the film is set our would-be monarchs still drive past us in limousines, preceded and followed by flashing lights and sirens. In the meantime we wait, trapped in traffic watching these convoys cruising past us, cursing.

The people behind the tinted windows have long forgotten what it means to be “the common man.” Upon assuming power they can no longer conceive what it means to be the person trying to get to work, school or hospital. Their sick will not queue up at UTH or their children at UNZA, their old will not be shoved into minibuses or their young fight for jobs in supermarkets.

But microcosms are never completely cut off from their surrounding environment. Banda, Museveni and even Mugabe have to stand for elections. Their campaigns will be the usual reaching out of a gloved hand to touch the beggar. It will be seeds and mealie meal, threats of impending doom and of course promises - never ending and never fulfilled promises. 

1 comment:

Masuka M said...

I love this post Mwila. Your poetic/creative writing shines through. We are always left cursing, while they drive past smiling. Indeed, it is a never ending cycle of one leader being exchanged for another cut from the same cloth.