LONG MOUTH PUBLICATIONS @ KASS WEEKLY NEWSPAPER

LAND, INJUSTICE, AND THE LEGEND OF SISYPHUS

By Immanuel Lokwei,

On the issues of land and injustices, nobody would have forecast that some of Saina’s progenies would one day be bewildered by the crises that had befallen them. The late Saina – much can be said about him and still much be left untouched. 

A man had never before been so endowed with wealth and yet solemnly righteous – one of the rare qualities he is remembered for. In order not to embark on his biography, a matter of another time, we should fast-forward to a soliloquy of one of his grandson, who now, though a mere voice here, is the central figure and potential loser courtesy of the absurd reality that is splitting Saina’s household, now a home that can’t house some of its former children!

“The mighty do what they can while the poor must suffer what they must!” his self-dialogue began, paying tribute to the famous Athenian dictum.

“It is Sunday but I am not going to church. Where has banality of affected religiosity not infiltrated?”

He heaved a sighed and went on:

“My evictor is supposed to be my step-grandmother but she has the Law, God, the entire Congregation, and all might on her side while I just have these easily revocable claims of my birthright, and unfavorable court ruling to spoil my nights.”

Long before the old man passed away, everyone in Saina’s family enjoyed relative peace with the exception of a few minor dialectical turbulences that are always necessary and common in every polygamous household. But after his demise, one part of the family, by default the second-wife’s family, exponentially prospered. At the moment the family even enjoys political leverage – another of the facts confirming that economy, politics and right of total ownership of property whether whimsical, or justifiable (or God knows based on whatever bases) are paced and linked by a common synch and affinity.

The other family, the grandson being its face, has to depart no latter than this coming December from whatever premises, land being the chief cause of the blatant antagonism, that the old man owned. So the eviction notice states!

“I shall weep another droplet no more.” The grandson’s distraught mind concluded. “Where justice fails to run its course, something has to do the running.” This time it was the grandson and his family, with the eviction notice and the Law on their trail.

The second wife’s family, in all fairness, isn’t evil through and through. It is just that they have a way with these kinds of litigations; therefore a second appeal of the former appeal, if such matters are allowed in the legal world, is almost destined to flop.

One is left to wonder where can reliable mediators of civil disputes be found then? In church? But Christianity seems to play second fiddle to power and riches. Should black magic be sought or should despair substitute justice? Or should the grandson make compromise with his postulations about justice by believing, like one of Socrates’s contemporaries, that no man would be just if he had the opportunity of doing injustice with impunity; that the grandson himself would have done to the second wife’s family the same or more of what he has experienced under their fury if their places were swapped? That injustice is a pastime of the privileged.

With these hard questions, the grandson resolved to emulate Sisyphus, a legend among the Greek mythologies, who despite his fateful condemnations by the gods, mocked them with his positive mind and in so doing retained his freedom and his internal well-being. Strife only leads to a litany of strives and resentments. If only the two families, belonging to one honorable man, would realize that peace to all and for everyone is not a zero-sum game, but more beneficial if broadly-shared.

“If only!” the grandson murmured with an ironic smile perched on his face. “But for now, for the sake of my family, I shall hold unto Hope In Spite Of Everything.” Radical Hope!

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