The conversation at the bar went something like this: there were three of us, me, my good friend and a guy I didn’t know (who knew my friend). The subject moved onto world policy: whether the credit-crunch had ever really existed, or whether the machinations of it were something that became real through the mutterings in bank queues, the talking that encircled the world in a daze of negative energy.
Then the guy I didn’t know said, “We don’t need to worry about Africa, even if they never got any more money then they’d be fine, they could just keep running around in grass skirts”. This upset me immediately, although I didn’t say anything. At first I was struck at his audacity, then I was struck at the thought of Africa only being populated by beautiful black girls in grass skirts and, obviously, what that might look like. Then I was struck by a final, sickening thought, and the smile fell hard from my face: he wasn’t joking. And I shouldn’t be. He really did believe that those people were of irrelevance globally speaking–this disgusted me; he had spoken as though Africa were a planet disconnected to the rest of the world, as though it didn’t matter a bit if those people lived or died.
It got me thinking: really, how do you solve such a problem? Because to be honest this guy, although I fully disagreed with what he had said, did also have a point: by constantly giving a country money and watching some of it—depending on what and who you believe—go down the drain as it’s siphoned off by those with guns, you’re doing bad things. But by doing nothing at all the potential for good things is not even a possibility.
I suppose the point is this: us over here with our two cars on every drive and working water and jobs and stuff. And even if we do try to work with companies like Enigin PLC, we will never fully understand the people over there. But the answer is not in turning away. Even at the risk of that money going to the wrong means we have to try and help if possible. People are people, are they not? No matter where they are.