THE Swiss inscription which says “speech is silvery, silence is golden” was popularised by a 19th Century writer by the name Thomas Carlyle.
A Candid date with Masola wa Dabu Dabu
The same gentleman also modified the statement to “speech is of time, silence is of eternity”. Carlyle went on to extol the virtues of silence: “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, fully formed and majestic, into the daylight of life, which they are thenceforth to rule.”
If indeed silence is golden and if it can be used as a weapon, then the people of the cursed land should not speak! The time is nigh for all those who feel wronged and cheated to right the wrongs by forming the order of the silent majority. The time is ripe to prove the potency of silence as a weapon for the disenfranchised, the dissatisfied and the discontented. Let not the call for silence leave you feeling discombobulated as the accruing results may bring back smiles.
For all we know people may find comfort and solace in this new-found vocation of verbal poverty.
What else can a people refused to ask for freedom do? What else can a people denied most basic rights do? Which other powerful weapon can the people turn to besides cowering behind the shield of silence? To their credit, people have tried almost everything that is humanly possible in pursuit of their emancipation.
They have tested their power of oration and their verbal manipulation with no favourable outcomes. Painfully crafted tunes have been sung with no people’s respite from the devil’s claws. Deafening screams and piercing squeals have all been in vain.
People are frustrated. They have left the other extreme measure in the continuum of vocalisation untested and untried. Now it could be the best time to test the other end of vocal cord manipulation — silence! Silence — a weapon more powerful and more effective than any ever fashioned — is the only stand that is yet to be tried.
As a war against hegemony and tyranny is on the offing, the people of the land have this unlimited resource to use as armament during running battles against evil. A disciplined resolve to silence is the only strenuous training required for this daunting task. This calls for the people to forfeit their right to freedom of speech and subscribe to the golden club of silence. In extolling the values of silence, the auspicious club may as well adopt the motto: “You are what you don’t say.”
The beauty of not saying anything is that no one would ever know what you are, who you are and when you will decide to explode in rage. So, the suppressed people should resist that killing urge to speak. If the people say nothing they will not be surprised by visitations from the system’s operatives accusing them of denigrating the over-rated and over-sold persona of the senile warlord. No one will ever accost them for ridiculing the shrivelled stature of the vilest one.
Silent treatment will make the establishment grudgingly reward the people with respect. Total silence will certainly frustrate the devil’s servants and flabbergast the messengers of the doomsday cult. In the eyes of the oppressors, the people would appear to be the unthinking dastards that those in powers want them to be. They will not suspect that the people are silently plotting against them.
If the forces of darkness charge the people for being silent, the people can answer back by being even more silent.
Silence seems to be our only choice because we fear the rebound. We fear throwing dirt around in case some of it sticks on us. We actually seem to be comfortable with being the recipients of dirt thrown at us. Maybe we enjoy being shortchanged. Maybe it is African to be exploited from birth to death, by fellow blacks, colonising whites, enslaving browns from the Middle East and resource-gobbling Yellows from the far East.
But then we have taken the vow of silence. Unfortunately this entails that we silently marvel at the efficiency of those who use us to build magnificent castles to nest their egos in.
We shall silently die of thirst while those who exploit our silence drink from our bleeding veins. We shall silently choke in hunger, anger, frustration and misery as cowards always do. We obviously are afraid that if we dare speak of our misery, we shall be arrested and thrown into deep and dark black holes in Chikurubi Prison.
Fellow countrymen, do we really need to give ourselves up to the order of silence? Are we going to accept economic mismanagement silently and reservedly? Are we going to offer some unspoken resistance against those responsible for our predicament? Are we going to silently eat nothing and hope our silence will nurture our starving bodies?
Are we going to resign to silence while earthly men and women disembowel our societal core? Are we going to silently wait for the violent visitation of the youthful brigands for the routine beatings? Are we going to fashion putrid appeasement in silence while our children are sacrificed on the altar of despair? Are we saying that our children are as worthless as the Zimbabwe dollar? Are we insinuating that our children can be reprinted on cheap paper and devalued like the bearer’s cheques?
No! Let us stand up and reclaim our lost pride.
Masola wa Dabudabu is a social commentator