“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
It’s a famous quote that has been used by politicians the world over. It presumes that we are better off learning how to fish so we will always have something on our plates.
But in times of global crisis, we ought to rethink everything – even the essence of this quote that has probably been alive for centuries.
What if all the fish in the ocean died of pollution?
Or what if the government banned fishing and those who were spotted with fishing apparatus were arrested?
Or if the fish acquired a deadly disease
Or all the fish in the world simply went extinct and the last of their bones were displayed in museums?
So what would everyone do with their fishing skills? And all the fishing boats and fishing gear?
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What would happen to all the fishermen, and fish transporters and Mama Samakis?
In the end, the ones who survived the crisis are the ones who learned very quickly that they have to reinvent themselves.
Could the fishing boats be turned into ferries, to take young men to the other side to work the rice fields?
Could Mama Samaki turn into Mama Mboga? Or perhaps she could learn how to make beautiful furniture from hyacinth, now that there were no boats to destroy its growth?
And perhaps she could team up with the fish exporter and send some of her crafts overseas?
The best thing about human beings is that when the door is closed, somehow, they will find a window to escape through.
Happy stay-at-home Easter!
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Christine Koech, Editor, Eve