Sunday June 29 2014

Begging: The vicious bug

By Dennis D. Muhumuza

It is a vicious bug that obstructs progress and reduces one to a slobbering creature you would rather avoid. And some of you who think it bites only the half-naked homeless kid in the neighbourhood or the streetside cripple would be in for a rude awakening if you did some thorough self-examination.

For example if you like hanging out with the boys but when the bill is brought you start fiddling with your phone hoping for ‘a good Samaritan’ to pay for your drink, or if you are one of those ladies always expecting your boyfriend to pay your rent, it means the bug has its fangs inside you!

This bug is called the beggar’s mentality! There is nothing as stultifying. No one can be constructive or make headway in life when they have the beggar’s mentality. They are too preoccupied with the crumbs they receive that they never see the opportunities lying at their feet begging to be exploited. The poor girl is always begging for the bad boy to stay with her that she never sees the knight in shining armour willing to love her right.

I agree with Zimbabwean preacher Tudor Bismark that Africa’s problems and slow advancement stem from the beggar’s mentality of its people: “As long as we remain beggars; as long as Africa remains in a beggar mode, we will get the junk from the First and Second World and we will be pleased with it. We will have people own us. And the minute you are owned by somebody else, you prostitute your gift; you neglect your talent and ability; you never ever find out how great you are.”

It is good that foreigners are cutting aid. It is an opportunity to prove that we can make it on our own, become givers not takers, work out our visions and live fulfilled lives.