Hunger a weapon of enslavement …lessons from African heritage

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LONG ago there was a great famine in the world.
One day, a young man wandered into the forest to hunt for food.
He strayed into a part where he had never been before.
There he met a monster.
Its hair was like a whiteman’s.
It was silky and so long that it would stretch like a net from Cape to Cairo.
The youth became afraid and turned to run away, but the monster smiled gently at him and asked him what he was looking for.
The youth said there was a great famine at home and begged the monster for food. The monster said he would on condition the young man served him for a while.
The youth agreed and the monster gave him some meat to eat.
While the boy was eating the monster told the boy that his name was ‘Rufu’, which means Death.
But the boy was so hungry that he did not pay attention to the name.
Never before had he tasted such fine food, and he became so pleased with the bargain.
The boy served Rufu for a long time and received plenty of food and meat.
But one day he became homesick and begged Rufu to give him a short holiday. Rufu agreed on condition that the youth brings another boy to work in his place while he is on leave.
The boy agreed and went home and persuaded his brother to go and work for Rufu while he, himself, was on leave.
But hunger began to bite on the youth before his leave days were over, and he longed for the food and meat that Rufu had taught him to like so much.
So, one day he made up his mind to return to Rufu.
The monster asked the youth why he came back so early and the youth said there was so much hunger in the village and that’s why he decided to come back and taste the good meat the monster had been giving him.
Rufu was pleased with the boy’s answer and told him to go into the hut and eat as much food as he liked, but said the boy had to forgo his remaining leave days and get back to work.
The youth agreed and entered the hut and ate as much as he could and went to work at the task which Rufu set him.
The work continued for a long time and the boy ate his fill every day.
But to his surprise, he never saw his brother.
Whenever he asked about him, Rufu would say the lad was away on business.
As days went by, the youth again, began to feel homesick and asked Rufu for leave.
Rufu agreed on condition that the boy would bring a girl to wed Rufu.
The youth said he would and went home and persuaded his sister to go and wed Rufu saying Rufu was very generous and would love her very much and look after her very well.
The girl was impressed and agreed and took a girl to go and work for her as a maid.
Hunger again, began to gnaw on the youth while on leave and he longed for the meat that he had enjoyed so much in Rufu’s house.
Rufu did not look pleased to see the youth again, but he nevertheless allowed him to go into the hut and choose whatever meat he wanted to eat.
The youth picked up a bone and began to devour it.
To his horror he recognised the bone as his sister’s.
He looked around at the rest of the meat and saw that it was his sister’s flesh and her maid.
The boy was frightened and ran out of the hut and escaped back home.
There he told the elders what he had done and the awful thing he had seen.
The elders sounded an alarm and all the people went out into the bush to see the dreadful thing he had told them.
There in the bush they saw Rufu at close quarters and withdrew to the village to decide what to do with him.
They agreed to set fire to his hair which extended like a net from Cape to Cairo.
They did so and returned to the bush to watch Rufu tossing and turning in pain as he began to feel the heat.
When the fire reached his head, Rufu collapsed and seemed dead.
The villagers approached him cautiously and noticed some magic powder concealed in the roots of his hair.
No one could say what power this powder might have.
But after some thought, an elder suggested that they sprinkle some of it on the bones and meat in the hut.
They did so and to their surprise, the two girls and the boy that Rufu had devoured returned to life.
The youth who had invited them to Rufu and had enjoyed the food in Rufu’s house, suggested that they also sprinkle some on Rufu and make him also come back to life.
But there was an uproar against his idea.
Still, the stubborn youth said he would sprinkle only a little into the eye of Rufu just to see what would happen.
The eye opened and everyone fled in terror.
From that day, Rufu continues to take his toll on our youths every time he opens and shuts that eye.
But the youths would not listen.
Remember the sanctions and our youths languishing in the Bushes, Blairs and Baracks of the West!

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