The myth of Sisyphus and the curse of Nyasaland

Dear judge Mbadwa,

My Lord, I am not sure you belong to the group that subscribes to the notion that the country is at a political crossroads because a cursory look at how we have vacillated forth and backwards these years, you will notice that it has become the nature of Nyasas to wallow in mediocrity.

My Lord, while you are still pondering whether a constitutional right to demonstrate has been abrogated by the ruling of your former laughing mate at the White House before you started practising church—Jekapu NiLake—I wanted to jog your mind about the myth of Sisyphus.

You don’t need to be familiar with Greek Mythology, Homer’s Iliad or even Albert Camus to know about Sisyphus, who was condemned by the gods to the torturous life of ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain from where the rock would fall back of its own weight and the poor soul would start again the process of rolling the rock uphill.

My Lord, this Sisyphus, who is credited with being the first king of the city of Corinth, would cheat death on numerous occasions with his trickery and wicked intelligence, but he one day met his comeuppance.

The king of the gods made sure that Sisyphus should be handed an eternal punishment that would subject him to a fruitless but laborious exercise. “But every time, as he was about to send it toppling over the crest, its sheer weight turned it back, and once again towards the plain the pitiless rock rolled down. So once more he had to wrestle with the thing and push it up, while the sweat poured from his limbs and the dust rose high above his head. (Odyssey, Book 11:593).

My Lord, why am I bothering you about the punishment of Sisyphus when people in Nyasaland are yet to recover from the May 21 elections?

Well, I interpret the direction this country is taking in all sectors of life in terms of Sisyphus. I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Nyasas have become aggregates of Sisyphus who are fruitlessly pushing various rocks up the mountain of hope only for the boulders to crumble down as soon as they reach the top.

Forget dreams of this country becoming another Rwanda in the positive sense or the next Singapore when political leaders have been subjected to the torturous Sisyphus life with their parochial thinking. The opposition are pushing their rocks this side and the ruling clique are vainly pushing theirs the other side which crumble as they reach the summit.

Then we have the legal Sisyphuses who think they know the law better than the law itself. Colossal Sisyphus on the economy, development are still pushing their stones uphill and any wonder that we are becoming poorer by the day?

Civil society Sisyphuses are laboriously showing us a sweat for efforts that are hardly noticeable and that only feed their egos.

Have I said anything how the police Sisyphus and their colleagues in arms are pushing their stones up the mountain to maintain law and order which just falls on their feet? What about Sisyphus orders that boomerang on the ones who makes them?

My lord, as long as Nyasas entangle themselves in this curse of Sisyphus, the people will continue doing the predictable exercise that will take us nowhere. Let us stop being selfish and love our country otherwise we will meet our fate, too, as Sisyphus.


Mzika Yeniyeni

With Emmanuel LucianoFeedback: whatsapp 09 99 253 633

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