Monday, February 02, 2009

Pinda: Passionate Men Do Cry

My son, Jedrick, found this little game of power. He thinks it is so cool of him to order people around to cry. Now and then, when we are in a playful mood (and where fimbo is not involved as a way of bringing some order and discipline); he would order me to cry. I’m typically ordered to cry when I ask for one of his toys. My cry, it seems, becomes enough to receive his mercy.

So I oblige much to his amusement. But that is just me playing with my boy.

Recently, the Tanzanian Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda shed some tears in the parliament for some serious reasons.

Honestly, that’s almost unbelievable. And I’m not trying to be sarcastic about that. It is simply hard to see men in the African context express their emotions. Well, almost all men across the board feel that expressing emotions is wimpy.

Personally, I found a hero in Pinda. Of course, assuming the tears weren’t some political ploy to keep his sweet job.

I found a hero in Pinda for two reasons – one, it takes a lot of courage to defy social norms (like a belief that men don’t cry). And courage, trust me, is a quality lacking in most Tanzanian’s leaders. Mr. Pinda didn’t whack someone in complicated judo maneuvers to acquire heroism, but handled himself with a lot of grace.

The second reason for hailing Mr. Pinda is that he expressed humility. Maybe it is just me, but political leaders in Tanzania got so pompous, to the extend they made you believe they were above reproach. Truth is – we all err, but it is so refreshing to see a person in a higher public office humble himself.

Granted, Mr. Pinda still me owe me a ton – like the Rorya thing – but I can definitely give him some kudos for walking a path that many Tanzania leaders have failed to walk, which is the ability to express their genuine passion and humility. And for that I applaud him.
Photo: Michuzi

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