Journalist Rachel Chipwende writes…..
“Ana is that you?” – The joke, the problem.
Over the last couple of days I have seen people making jokes about the tropical storm “Ana” that has left a trail of destruction in some Southern African countries.
The storm first hit Madagascar, then Mozambique and Malawi. Zambia and Zimbabwe have also been hit but not as badly as the the first three.
Tens of thousands of homes have been damaged and many people have drowned with and a death toll of at least 88 and I seriously do not see how anyone would joke about something like that.
Zambia has not been an exception to the threat of this storm, the Zambian Meteorological Department warned (though not sufficiently) by releasing a statement that the country would be hit and as usual when it got windier than normal and it rained heavier, people started making jokes.
This makes me think of the many warnings that people have received and never took seriously in history until the damage was done then we who hear these stories laugh.
How different are we from people for example in the Bible who were warned by Noah that the rains would come? We are even more privileged because we get to see the effects of the same storm in other countries, why can’t we for once treat things with the seriousness they deserve.
I feel like the Met Department could have done better with its dissemination of information regarding the storm. What are we to do when the storm hits? Are we supposed to just sit and be hit without being given any information on what to do when we see things pointing towards being hit. As a mother to very young child questions like that flooded my mind last evening when it poured with the scary lightening and thunder.
Zambia may not have been as badly effected as Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi as of today but that does not mean we should joke about the ordeal that has left our brothers and sisters broken and homeless. Like the rest of us they had families, life, homes and property and most of that was taken away just like that.
Instead of always joking, sometimes show some sympathy, whatever happened to Ubuntu. Pray for those affected both here in Zambia and in other countries. That’s the least you can do.
Sometimes we forget that we are not immune to the misfortune that befalls others.
It can happen to anyone.