“We don’t need no education. We do not need any thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teachers leave those kids alone”, those are some of the lyrics from the song titled “Another Brick in The Wall.” An anti-education song composed for departments of education in some countries, to create awareness about the importance of education.
The song is powerful because it starts by trying to support the believes some people have about education. Then educations go on to address them. It is one of the best ways to change the behavior and attitude of people towards something. For example, if you do not have any serious advanced thoughts, how is it possible to control them? Thus, first, get an education, and then think about thought control!
Likewise, it is not good to say you are becoming poorer if you have never become rich.
Byabagambi was a poor village orphaned boy who dropped out of school due to a lack of tuition fees. He tried his luck at farming without success. There was not enough land for him to plant crops. To survive, he resorted to visiting other people’s homes for short term tasks in return for a meal or small pay. He would dig. Clean the compound. Fetch water or even take the goats to graze. That would earn him a meal or two and life would continue.
One day he went to a home where an old man, of about 80 years, lived alone in recluse. Unknown to Byabagambi, the old man was once a powerful diplomat and had been blessed with 10 children, all of whom received the best education and exposure a good fortune could provide. As a diplomat, the old man had worked in many countries, where his children attained the best education in international schools. Upon retirement, the old man first lived in the city, however, the tough city life lost meaning for him upon the death of his wife, and decided to move to his ancestral home, “to be closer to my final resting place” as he fondly told friends. At first, the children would visit him in the village, with time they stopped altogether, preferring to hire a caregiver whom they paid monthly. As time went by, the “city-based caregivers”, found it difficult to work in the village and would mistreat the old man, upon which he complained.
After several attempts, the children gave up and decided to leave the old man alone. And that is how the man started suffering and became hopeless until the arrival of the village cleaner. Every other day became more depressing and miserable. Many of the local people knew the old man’s home as “exclusive” of sorts and would just pass by fearing to visit. When the local villagers have formed an opinion about a family, it becomes a village tale. The old man’s house became derelict and messy. He was a rich man living in poverty. Not even the grandchildren would visit. The children he had worked hard to look after, just forgot about him. He once had one of the children after a phone call, sometime in his late 70s, say “oh, this old man who does not die.” The old man was questioned about his retirement business performance. The once trusted son gave an explanation that was not conclusive. When the call ended, the son did not end the call. As he put the phone down, he made the remarks, which the old man heard the other side. It disturbed the old man and drove him into reckless abandon – just waking up to sit and look towards the clouds. Everything around him became messy. None of the children bothered to visit. Not even the village neighbours.
So, when Byabagambi, aka the village cleaner, visited the old man, he saw an opportunity –an old man living alone.
He quickly went to work. Cleaning the living room, the compound, the kitchen, and putting everything in place.
Too much poverty amidst plenty makes a sane man mad.
“At first, the old man, rebuked the young man – who are you? have you come to cheat me? I am happy alone.”
However, Byabagambi just ignored the questions, continued working, and simply replied “I just want to help you. Do not worry. I will not steal from you. But I cannot leave you like this.”
When he finished cleaning, the old man was happy.
To be continued