By Jaime Yaya Barry
The Land of Thampèreh has been in dependence for as long as the ancestors can remember. And during that long period of dependency, the faraway Dis-United Kingdom presided over the village’s affairs. Many who witnessed that period testified and documented the horrors and brutal experiences faced by villagers. There were accounts of raping the women and the Land, pillaging the village’s resources, and a total lack of freedom.
This wasn’t just the case for Thampèreh but almost all other villages in the Green Kingdom. And like many of those villages, instead of fighting, Thampèreh asked to become an independent village.
About seven hundred and thirty-two (732) moon circles ago, the Dis-United Kingdom, in collaboration with other Kingdoms, shifted its power from direct Kingdom-rule to institutionalized rule and granted Thampèreh the illusion of independence.
The formation of institutions like the Kingdoms Group Bank (KGB) and the International Monetary Fraudsters (IMF) to preside over the village’s economic policies and growth reinforced Thampèreh’s new dependency.
Even when governed by its own, the village depended on outside forces to determine what developmental actions it must take, how it should go about it, and at what pace. Instead of moving upward, the policies provided by the KGB and the IMF placed the village in a downward spiral. Despite its verse deposits in mineral resources and its potential for agriculture, Thampèreh remains one of the poorest villages in all of the kingdoms combined. The village imports everything to the extent of flooding its markets with used underwear from other Kingdoms. The only few things produced in the village are unregulated alcohol, drugs, and energy drinks sold around without any age and health considerations. The consumption of these unsupervised products destroyed the people so much that walking around some of the village’s neighbourhoods feels like walking among zombies.
But while living in dependence, the people maintained a kind of hope. Even though outside forces still influence many of the decisions in the village, the people, at least, saw that they too could participate in deciding who gets to rule them. There is a somewhat new freedom to challenge the village’s rulers and hold them accountable for their actions.
The challenge remains to have a consensus among villagers to collectively agree on the meanings of Unity, Freedom, and Justice.
And while villagers sought that oneness, many cultural events brought them together in times past. For every moon circle and ahead of Thampèreh’s in dependence day, villagers parade with masquerades, and lanterns, hold street carnivals and organize other festivals to provide a sense of ownership of the Land. It gave them hope that they would exalt this realm of the free one day because Great is their love for it. With their lantern parades, they are firmly united, and ever they stand and sing praises of their native Land. This was part of what Independence Day meant to the People despite the hardship and harsh living conditions in Thampèreh.
But there’s no more freedom to assemble in the last few moon circles, no dancing with paddles, no holding lanterns parades, and citizens cannot organize street carnivals. The hills and the valleys no longer re-echo the People’s cries for Unity, Freedom, and Justice. The land of Sugar Loaf, regent, Charlotte, Kabala and other areas now re-echo the cries of environmental destruction as they wait in fear of the next disaster. The blessing and peace sought by the people over the Land that they love now remain a place where integrity and love for nationhood no longer matter.
That freedom is no more, and the village now resembles a leper colony where the only common thing among villagers is the fear of what tomorrow brings.
Still, the prayer is that the People of Thampèreh will be ones with a renewed faith that wisdom inspires. That, they will be with a zeal that never tires. And ever will they seek to honour their Land’s name. That, the People will reap the fruit of their labour. Above all that, no harm may fall on their children. That blessing and peace may descend on them; so that they may serve the village ever alone and not themselves.