You might say it is not my business, but hell it is - at least it could be. I live here and suffer the consequences of bad parenting as much as anyone else.
Your little brat, whose mind you mess up, could very well end up being president and calling the shots in my life.
At least one child is being brought up very badly in my neighbourhood. A beautiful little thing of no more than 12 years, with ribbons in her braided head, twinkly little eyes and a cherub face.
She was playing happily with a group of other children near a car wash I was patronising last week. While the fellas were busy with my car, I passed the time listening to the chit-chat of the children playing nearby.
They talked about the serious matters of kiddie politics, until a grown man who was obviously loco, passed by. He had a large sack full of rubbish he had obviously been collecting all over. The man had wrapped himself in a blanket despite the hot weather. His unkempt, overgrown hair had obviously never been washed in a decade. He had "nuts" written all over him.
The playing kids stopped for a while, convened an impromptu meeting... whisper, whisper, whisper... then the pretty girl with ribbons picked up a stone, ran stealthily behind the "deranged" man and let loose.
The stone hit the man just above his waist, and as he put his sack down and turned to face the child, the rest of the group burst out laughing. It can't have caused him much pain, but it tore my heart apart.
At that moment, the beautiful girl had turned as ugly as sin in my eyes. I saw a little devil incarnate, but decided to give her another chance.
The old man picked up his sack and moved on.
I beckoned the now ugly duckling to come to me, and surprise, surprise, she did.
"What you did to that old man is wrong. But why did you do it, my baby?" I asked.
"That thing is mad," came her spontaneous response.
Me: "He is sick. Do we have to beat up people because they are sick?"
She: "They have bewitched him."
Damn it, this was not getting anywhere. I kept trying, though.
"Who told you so?"
"Mme wa ka (my mother)."
"But he is still an adult, and we have to respect adults."
She, shaking her head: "Ah never."
"Did your mother say you should attack bewitched people?"
"Yes, because they bewitch other people too."
I wanted to thank God that she was not my child. But then what happens if I live long enough to see the day that child becomes president...?
Heaven help us all!