In the late Eighties, when my brains were less congested and my appetite for knowledge was yet voracious, I used to go to a library on the Pig Farm junction in Accra, Ghana.
I now do not remember its name but it was a well-kept library with well-bound books. Some leather! There was a solitary librarian who seemed vindicated, even jubilant, anytime I sauntered in. I was, it seemed, the only patron of said library.
All the books, without exception, were books on the Juche Idea. Yes the Juche Idea.
Many people today will contest me to high heavens that there is no such ‘animal’. Many will say it is but a figment of my imagination. Go ahead and check, it exists and is even more relevant today.
Juche is that variant of Communism that was propounded by Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jung Un, the Leader of North Korea and number one ‘trouble causer’ in the books of Donald Trump.
Back then, drenched in the revolutionary fervor of the Rawlings–led Revolution (you can disagree all you want), it was only natural that such material had a special appeal.
Did I not mention that I consider myself a child of the revolution? Not that I was born in 1981. I wasn’t.
I was born earlier. I remember too well the 31st of December 1981. I was in Wugingo, a suburb of my village, at a funeral, when together with my family members we beheld a furious convoy of three Peugeot cars. Speeding across the border.
Oh, for the record, my village is a little more than a spit way from the Ghana Burkina boundary line. Later we were to know that the three cars were conveying two members of Parliament and a Regional Minister, on their way into exile but I digress.
So to this library I went at the least opportunity. My sister in the meantime was devouring the Mills and Boone series. I miss those many hours I spent reading the utopian pretensions of an ideology which did not seem that distant from realization. Rawlings, in my scheme of things, has the Juche Idea to thank for the fervor of my support for his ideals.
At that age, as some of you can well relate, the mind is capable of fantasy and so fantasize I did. I evoked green parks, pristine rivers, well dressed school children, sardine and milk. Yes, sardine and milk for those were merely to be wished for. I had probably not had the benefit of a full chunk of canned sardine and my only acquaintance with milk was the ‘Condensed milk” variety which was invariably a product of smuggling-from the neighbouring Francophone countries. I dreamt sitting. I had hope for the future. I knew, in my adolescent naiveté, that the pain and deprivation we were enduring was but a necessary precursor to better times.
I loved Kim IL Sung. I loved North Korea.
Later in life, at great pains, I outgrew my utopian stupor and came to the realization that all great mis-engineerings of politics are founded on a sweet ideology. It was a wrenching rite de passage for me and I still can feel some of the pangs.
Kim IL Sung died and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong IL. He too died and the lot fell on this sapling, to superintend the massive project of “Animal Farm”-come-alive.
Nyaaba, I would not have taken issue, at least this much, if the buffoonery of the toy-cuddling demi-god was restricted to his country. I do sympathise with the hapless citizens who continue to suffer him though I wait anxiously for one, just one of them to grow balls and return the power to the people but until then we are stuck with the thumb-sucking juvenile.
My worry is that he seems to rile Trump to no end. Sometimes I wish Trump will just be Trump and make history of him but I catch myself because it may just not be that easy.
The world has bred this particular virus. A cursory course through history reveals that the West has tended to quieten any rumblings in that quarter with foreign aid, sometimes just food. This has therefore become a very profitable activity for North Korea, Make Noise, and Get Aid.
The latest round of hide and seek, however, seems to be of a different tint.
Only time will tell!