There is an unwritten understanding that when a nation sets about designating heroes, they do not look for candidates among the living. There is always fear that today’s hero might become tomorrow’s villain.
But this country is not short of living heroes, who overcome pain and hardships to make a difference in someone else’s life: The poor peasant, who hardly has enough food on the table, but goes into an orphanage and adopts a child, is today’s living hero.
Many of these “guardian angels” (Malayika Mulinzi, as they have come to be known, have been recognised for their selflessness and generosity.
The young adult, who has cast away the demons of hate and revenge and forgiven the killers of his family, is an epitome of what modern heroes are made off.
Every day, someone somewhere is performing heroic acts that go unsung but get lost in anonymity. That is a lost occasion for the community as a whole to publicise and make humanity take root.
There is need for someone; be they in the government, civil society or even corporate entities, to move the silent heroes out of obscurity. This can be done, for example, by introducing the Man or Woman of the month award in recognition of outstanding contributions to society.
It might seem an insignificant feat compared to the national heroes we fete each year, but if each district or village regularly conferred laurels on their “angels”, the right seed would have been planted and Heroes’ Acre might somehow be too small in the not so distant future.