OUT LOOK : The senseless pursuit for recognition

Perhaps our boundless penchant for imaginary grandeur could be a major export commodity that would turn the country around! Like the Sicilian mafia, the Rwandan social scene operates on a golden rule of silence. So, we hear, speak and see no evil as fellow countrymen enact flamboyant shows so as to appear socially “right” and “with it”.

 

Perhaps our boundless penchant for imaginary grandeur could be a major export commodity that would turn the country around!

Like the Sicilian mafia, the Rwandan social scene operates on a golden rule of silence. So, we hear, speak and see no evil as fellow countrymen enact flamboyant shows so as to appear socially “right” and “with it”.

Whether faking the right appearance from the rampant lies about one’s kin in higher places or driving expensive cars we can’t maintain, it is all vanity.

Perhaps our boundless penchant for imaginary grandeur could be a major export commodity that would turn the country around!

In my social roving, I see some fellows sporting expensive mobile phones while their families go without basic necessities.

“You know I can’t do without this Black Berry!” Others often rent houses in expensive neighbourhoods, matching their rich friends, while their salaries dictate they should be living elsewhere. There are others who invade rich men’s games like golf and talk “big money” at every opportunity for the social appearance it gives them.

Sometime ago, I attended a function where no holds were barred and people’s fantasies were unrestrained. I could see some village boys, but now claiming to be city tycoons, smoking cigarettes with the unruffled cowboy poise, all for show.

They wore wide cowboy hats and had suspenders supporting imaginary potbellies. One chap even dared to puff pipe that exploded in a cloud of smoke, giving the occasion its only truly hilarious moment.

If you watch closely as I do you will see some fraudsters that live in a fool’s paradise buying rounds of drinks for the sheer accolades coming their way.

“Ur’umugabo”! (Oh, you are truly a man!)” Thus pampered, such people often overdo their ‘philanthropy’. “You ain’t seen anything yet”, they may declare and get into a buying frenzy. Never mind that they could be squandering loan money, or their children’s school fees. But a memorable impression must be made at all costs.

You could be forgiven in thinking such stunts are for people with low self-esteem. But, it has nothing to do with self-esteem.

Even people with awesome credentials get the bug. For example, a boss swaggers into a social place and find some of his or her staffers there, minding their business. He or she may reply to their obsequious greetings with an impatient wave of their hand and beckon a waiter.

“I am settling the bill of what all those people have eaten and drunk!” they may say and go away, leaving a modern fairy tale of boundless generosity behind.

You must have realised that our illusion of splendour reaches its summit in wedding ceremonies. Something always goes haywire and we lose sense of proportion and do things in a big and sometimes regrettable way.

Many a groom and bride and their handlers conspire to behave like some royalty for the day, but live gloomily thereafter. “I can’t be carried by an ordinary limo like every girl else nowadays” The bride may say, setting the tone for the ceremony.

And the groom may take a fantasy trip and order a Seville row suit for himself. Add busy bodies from both sides of the in-laws divide and the budget often balloons obscenely out of control.

In the blind pursuit of a magnificent wedding occasion, a relationship may be set for indebtedness and the proverbial rocks before it has even been solemnised!

dedantos2002@yahoo.com

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News