One could see see the intrinsic  beauty in the woman. A little scrabbing with some soap is all it would require to bring it out. Were she to be dubbed in a little lotion, dusted with some powder here and there, and her lips glossed with lipstick, she couldn’t be too much out of place on a Milan catwalk.

But there she was standing outside People’s along Victoria Avenue, a suckling baby strapped to her bosom. Two young children, obviously hers, were hovering nearby, alternating between chasing each other and stretching out their arms to prospective benefactors.

When I got accosted by the two apprentice beggars, I saw red.

Come on! Of course, I wasn’t angry at the two. After all, they were just victims of circumstance. Neither was I annoyed at the mother although for the life of me I can’t begin to understand why she’s been willingly procreating children into a life of perpetual begging.

The people who make me angry are the NGO loudmouths who were so quick to proclaim their condemnation when Madonna decided to take David Banda into her material world. Our local media were awash with well fed spokespersons expressing their ire at the intended adoption. But can these self-serving NGO honchos honestly claim David is worse off in the Material Girl’s household than the streets that some kids are forced to prowl?

If they really care, why can’t they do something about these destitute children and their mothers? I’m sure they’re waiting for another high profile adoption before their well fed bodies can be bothered to alight from their expensive 4x4s to utter their condemnation to our media.

They really make my blood boil these NGO big whigs. After all they don't speak when they should. For instance, they say nought about the goings on in our parliament. By keeping quiet, they are implicitly abetting the shoving of insults and other unsavoury language into the impressionable brains of our children by forcing them to listen to live broadcasts from our parliament. Eh? It isn’t for nothing that movies, games, and even music come with ratings. Ratings are supposed to help responsible parents make informed decisions regarding what their children can watch and listen to.

In my book, our parliamentary sessions should be X-rated. Unless of course, as it now appears, we're intent on nurturing future MPs who'll be even better skilled at uncouth language.

But since parliament can't be X-rated, these NGOs should support the next best thing. They should all rally behind the ban of live broadcasts of the insane goings on that masquerade as debate in our so-called august house.

By the way, it seems to me that the sole raison d'être for many of these NGOs appears to be nothing else besides spouting condemnation at one thing or the other. In fact, that doesn’t sound very accurate. I take that back, if you please. You see, I forgot that some of these NGOs were created primarily as bread bins for the founders.

You want to start an NGO? Easy. Just aim a few well publicised salvos at the president for his dictatorial bent, a couple at the Kay uranium mine, and one or two at the conduct of the registration exercise. Don’t forget to coin a phrase or two about gender equality and or HIV/AIDS. Within days a gullible donor or two will come running with an open cheque book, demanding that you urgently submit a proposal for funding. And when you submit one, ensure that your budget lines include the latest full house 4x4, an impressive looking PC and at least five well allowanced workshops per year. 

Never mind the poor street children. They can continue being denied their right to education. After all, if they go to school, who’ll be helping their parents walk the city streets for alms? When would they hone their begging skills? You wouldn’t have the time, anyway. Don’t you’ve to run that workshop where attendees are given teas and lunch and go to their homes at the end of each day but still receive fat allowances?

 


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    Children, too, can have profound thoughts
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    The Three Little Hills (Phiris)