By Nyainda Manaseh
Good morning Society,
I hope this finds you well with all your pressures, prejudices and stereotypes. I first want to inform you that depression is real. That depression is indeed killing people out here. That depression is slowly but surely eating up innocent souls. That depression is wiping out permanently millions of lives from the face of the earth. That depression is tearing apart young families. That depression is wrecking havoc and causing untold suffering. And you know what, you are an accomplice in all these.
When you label people as failures just because they didn’t fill some empty spaces in a piece of paper correctly, you are an accomplice in this. When you normalize gender-based violence against women in marriages as a sign of feminine strength, you are an accomplice in this. When you stigmatize those who suffer from HIV/AIDS because of their health, you are an accomplice in this. When you body shame people because of their natural physical growth such as protruding breasts, then you are an accomplice in this.
You just don’t stop there, you go ahead to add salt to the injury by terming depression as madness. You exacerbate the situation further by again calling depression witchcraft, voodoo and sorcery. What you are simply doing is nurturing a cancerous tumour, a tumour that overtly eats from within. A tumour that will ultimately grow into a cancer. A tumour that will burst and release corrosive acid of self destruction. A tumour that will eventually kill.
Stories of young people committing suicides through hanging themselves or jumping into wells because they were defined as outcasts because of academic failure are traumatizing. Stories of men and women committing homicides by setting their houses with kids on fire because of boiling anger from perpetual acts of physical and emotional violence are traumatizing. Stories of children being violently defiled and grannies raped by roaming psychopaths who have been turned into beasts after being sexually ridiculed are traumatizing.
It is time to let people be themselves. It is time to let people score their academic marks and live a normal life without being christened as failures. It is time to let people make their independent career choices to end drop outs and academic depression. It is time to let people graduate at their own preferred time without being badmouthed in the village. It is time to let people marry those that they love at their own preferred age in order to raise stable families. It is time to let people live within their means without pressuring them to build bungalows and buy expensive cars just because their peers have done the same.
It is time to stop unnecessary pressures, it is time to stop stereotypic tendencies, it is time to stop unwarranted prejudices. It is time to let people be!
The unflinching son of Ngege Village.