It brought it home to me yesterday. I helped out with a spot of timekeeping at our local athletics track. It was beautiful Sunday morning. Dozens of children neatly kitted out in shorts and singlets. Many of the little ones wore track spikes and a few had tempted fate by wearing spikes of contrasting colours – you’d better be good to wear those.
The competition was hard but friendly. In a morning of four events the losers on the track had a chance to make up points with a good throw or jump. Smiles and chat all around. Parents manned the tea room whilst others cheered the young athletes on in their endeavours – not a pushy parent in sight, everyone got a clap.
The ground was pristine, the infield emerald green, good nature abounded. Little mementoes were awarded and everyone drifted happily away to lunch.
In September 2011 the excellent Jeremy Clarkson wrote challengingly on the subject of Africa
‘…the leaders are corrupt, violence is a way of life, the Sahara is getting bigger and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.’ And
‘Bob Geldof may have it in his head that I went to Live Aid so that others, less fortunate than me, might have a happier life. Well I didn’t. I wanted to see the Who.’
Visiting Kampala, capital of Uganda with his daughter. ‘’In a two-hour walk I didn’t see a single girl under the age of 18. ‘They don’t survive’ said our guide. Which, when translated, means they are either raped and then murdered to shut them up or they are beheaded by witch doctors in the daily child sacrifice ceremonies.’’
And he talks of the Lord’s Resistance Army ‘which runs about in the north of Uganda torturing, mutilating, murdering and raping pretty much anything that hasn’t already died of starvation.’
Even allowing a little latitude with the facts, in which place would you prefer to be born, your present home country or Uganda? Are there bloggers in Kampala?
A few years ago an Amnesty International spokesman told a film audience here ‘We in the West have already won the lottery of life.’
Recently The Economist produced a ‘Where to be Born’ survey. Here’s the link
A few surprises. I thought the UK would be higher than 27th – it has fallen from 7th in 1988. America has fallen from first place to 16th. A large helping of subjectivity in there I guess. But the first African nation – South Africa – doesn’t appear until 53. The survey only covers 80 countries when there are something like 207 in the FIFA (soccer) rankings.
The Channel Islands aren’t shown separately but they would certainly be top ten.
I wonder where Uganda figures? It receives foreign aid of US$1.6 billion. The President has ruled for 26 years and lives in a palace.
The purpose of this rant? None really. Only to wish yet again that people in the developed world would realise their luck, make light of their ‘issues’ and stop fecking moaning at every little thing that offends or displeases them.