Tag Archives: South Africa

Humiliation of Shame

Today I bring forth an argument: To Shame or Not to Shame.

I saw a post which decried sharing acts of abuse in open fora as is the habit of social media. The reason given was that by doing so the shame experienced by the victim is further entrenched. My first reaction was to agree, but as I alloweIMG-20150111-WA0000 (768x1024)d the thought free rein, I began to change my mind.

The shame is there.

It took residence when the person was violated. It was introduced, it has infiltrated and it is resident. There is no degree of shame. Shame is shame. The only measure is the extent to which one goes to hide the wounds, the scarring.

Shame by its very nature is secretive, seeking to skulk in the shadows, its long tentacles intruding deep into the recesses of soul and psyche. It is this need to hide, to cover that allows perpetrators to go free.

I see it lurking, flickering hopelessly in the shadow of an eye, the cut lip that pretends to be a cold sore, the swagger of the fist-bearer, secure in the knowledge of his protection, that cloak of shame that will keep silence no matter the cost.

So I am not sure that it should be kept hidden from public view. I’m not convinced that it is a crime to share acts caught on camera. I tend to the opinion that an opportunity to bring into the light Mr flailing fist, Mr Macho rapist, could be the first step in bleaching that stain of shame. I imagine the relief at a burden shared, the knowledge that now, maybe the hell will end, and then that shame can begin its journey into the oblivion to which it belongs.

What do you think?

 

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I want the killing to stop!

A family of kudu - one of the noblest of African antelope
A family of kudu – one of the noblest of African antelope

I was fortunate to be invited to spend a night in Swaziland’s premiere game park, Mkhaya, recently, where I took this picture of a small family of kudu.

It occurs to me that whilst there has been a huge outpouring of horror in Britain, and here in South Africa at the killing of a famed lion, Cecil, by a dentist from America, it is just possible that there is a large mass of people out there who do not understand how aberrant trophy hunting is to many of us who live in the beauty and wonder of Africa.

The thought that sightings like these I have included might become a thing of the past makes us angry. Angry because it is mainly people who do not live here, who have no affinity for our bush, who come and callously take lives for a reason that to us is unfathomable, be it rhino horn for potency, ivory for decoration, or heads to sightlessly adorn walls. I have watched television programmes where people foreign to Africa come and claim to be “Lion whisperers” and ponce around the bush yelling and screaming at the dignified kings of the savannah, waving sticks in their faces to make them cower, showing their “respect” for the great white man from across the ocean! The utter savagery of the cheek of such egos, the total lack of regard or respect for these great cats, sets my teeth on edge.

To my thinking, killing simply for the sake of it, call it sport if you will, shows a further lack of respect for God’s creation. I know there is an argument for cows, sheep, goats and pigs too, but in the main these are slaughtered humanely, there is no question of extinction hanging over their heads, and they are killed as food, not trophies. There is a distinct difference.

For how much longer will we be able to enjoy sightings such as these in our beloved Africa?
For how much longer will we be able to enjoy sightings such as these in our beloved Africa?

The onus to stop the killing is being put on the heads of African governments, which is fair to a degree. But I think the governments of those nationals who boast the most about their killing sprees should also take some initiative. Start a register of hunters, limit permits allowing trophies to be brought home to their countries, introduce laws to protect their own wildlife and above all, educate, educate, educate about the value of the natural world around us.

I don’t know what all can or should be done, but I do know that I want the killing to stop. I don’t want to be confronted with photographs of mutilated rhino carcases, and pictures of magnificent lions, elephants, buffaloes, bears, alligators grotesquely posed with their murderers grinning maniacally in victory.

I want the killing to stop. Please!