Friday, 8 June 2012


I chanced on this pic on a random trawl through the net (can't remember the site) and it really caught my eye.

The kids are holding a Goliath frog, which places it most probably in Cameroon, and something about the stiff pose and serious mien of the middle child made this picture stand out of the thousands of images I was scrolling through. All the kids are really cute though. They don't seem very well off, to put it mildly, but then that’s Africa for you. I feel sorry for them to be growing up in countries with appalling Human Development Indices, high AIDS risk, terrible health care infrastructure, food insecurity, the list goes on.

However, in the case of food insecurity, if a way could be found to commercially breed Goliath frogs this could be a valuable source of protein.

Its awful how sub-Saharan Africa remains a perennial basket case because of endemic corruption, and how a huge portion of any aid or development funding gets diverted into lining the pockets of the latest jumped-up tribal Big Man who won the most recent dubious election (or ate his predecessor). Poor, poor kids, one can't help feeling somehow protective towards them, the future is shaping up to look a lot worse everywhere and I doubt the problems plaguing Africa are going to be solved anytime soon. In general, I feel this way towards all children (even my own son), that the world is going to the dogs and I have a sickening feeling that things are going to come to a crunch in their lifetime (sorry J.). Although I guess those lucky enough to be born into prosperous countries/families will be all right though.

There is a certain feeling that this picture evokes in me though, and it perhaps explains why I was so taken by it. It's the feeling one gets seeing children in poor neighbourhoods, lounging listlessly in dingy doorways or running about without a care and something moves inside as you know that their childhood ends quickly and abruptly and that the vast majority will be never, ever rise above their station. And one wishes for a world where there is a benign Father in the sky who takes care of the small and lowly.

Anyway I'd better stop with all this empathizing before I start menstruating (as my wife always says, whenever I start acting vaguely human I spoil it all by saying something crass).

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