I WAS watching news the other day and it was announced that a new batch of torture victims, I mean, JKT military recruits, had been selected.
My mom, who had gone through military training herself after completing her Form Six and before getting to the University of Dar es Salaam was all for it, excited even.
“This is what this country needs, bring back compulsive JKT military training!” she said with what I thought was too much enthusiasm and excitement.
Looking at the torture victims, I mean, military recruits, I couldn’t tell the men from the women as they all had what looked like newly scraped-with-arazor bolded heads, dressed in matching outfits and were sitting on the ground under the blistering sun.
They were listening to their ‘head master’ talk with what seemed like the most intense attention I’d seen in youth in a long time.
Now, most of the time the youth turn to their cell phones within seconds of arriving at an event and turn to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is much more important to inform the world that they are at an event instead of actually listening and absorbing to the proceeding of the event.
How else are you to know they live interesting uber-chic lives? Not these recruits, they were tuned in! I’m sure a bomb could have exploded a few metres behind them and they wouldn’t have noticed.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little, but you get me. “From this point on, you are forbidden to speak unless spoken to. Sexual activity is forbidden. Homosexuality and other adventurous things are also strictly forbidden.”
I heard their ‘head master’ address the new recruits. He ended his address with, “Our decision is final and you can’t appeal. You have signed your life to the army, you belong to us now.”
There it was — commitment. The undeniable, no-going-back-now commitment. The try-to-flee-and-we-willfind- you-and-you-will-suffer-for-it type of commitment. The we-will-break-you-but-youwill- love-us type of commitment.
The till-death-do-us-part type of commitment. A brotherhood/sisterhood for life. I must admit the brotherhood/sisterhood part has an alluring appeal to it.
Sort of like a child standing on the edge of a swimming pool on a hot day feeling on the water and wanting to dive in, yet reluctant for fear of actually getting in.
Yet, it was commitment. Realistically speaking, the youth of today have major commitment issues. Everything from small seemingly benign issues to the major issues, there is so much lacking.
Everyone knows everything and this is further propelled by numerous sayings like ‘Kuzaliwa mjini ni form six tayari’ meaning being born in town means that you have already graduated A-Levels.
Lies told every day. I don’t know if it is the exposure we have had to the ways of the world or plain ignorance that leaves us always thinking there is something more/better out there.
Maybe what everyone needs is a stint at Jeshi la kujenga taifa? I know of a Bongo Movie personality who recently took on a scraped-with-a-razor bolded head that would just fit right in.