Gallup conducted a survey across sub Saharan Africa between 2006 and early 2008 on hunger and nutrition. According to the findings, only 36% of Kenyans said they or their family members had never had to go without ‘enough to eat.’ . . .
. . . We’re in 2008, and 36 % of our people are still languishing at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy. That’s as stinging an indictment on our claim to nationhood as I’ve come across lately.
And it takes me right to the doorstep of something I’ve come to understand only recently: you cannot build political stability on empty stomachs. No ifs no buts. It is as it is.
Which would explain why Africa is what it is today. . .
. . . The chaos in Kenya at the beginning of this year was catalysed by botched elections, yes, but at its heart was the deep grievance of those who felt that others were feasting at the table of a ‘growing economy’ while they held no hope of receiving even the crumbs from that table.
The xenophobic attacks in South Africa have the same genesis: . . .
. . . This is not a revelation to many, I know. But it’s hit home for me as never before this year. And it’s changing the way I read the headlines as they trickle in from around the world.
Sometimes when I’m busy making my judgments from my place of relative comfort, I stop and ask myself what I really know about quashed aspirations, about eking out a miserable living from bleak to day to bleaker day and about real hunger and what it can drive a person to do. . .
For more on that gallup survey, follow this link.
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