How the Poets Have Addressed Irresponsibility
With reference to two poems that you have read in this section, show how the poets have addressed the issue of leaders’ irresponsibility. Give four points from each poem.
Irresponsibility is a state in which a person or a group of people is not responsible in what they are doing or carrying out their duties. The poets have addressed the issue of leaders’ irresponsibility in different ways. This can be justified through two poems DEVELOPMENT by Kundi Faraja and BUILDING THE NATION Henry Burlow.
Starting with the poem DEVELOPMENT the poet has shown the leaders’ irresponsibility through the following points:
The leaders’ irresponsibility in providing social services. In the poem we see how the leaders are irresponsible in accomplishing their duties since they promised to help the common people to improve their ways of life by providing social services but they failed to provide the social services for their people.
This is seen when the poet say:
“Man of the people
You have always been telling us What we need
Health centres More schools Clean water
Better transport facilities Better living conditions”
The above phrase show how leaders are irresponsible in fulfilling their promise.
The leaders’ irresponsibility in bringing about development. The issue of development is more complicated when we come to think of the fact that those to whom we have entrusted power are irresponsible leaders who are corrupt.
In the poem we see how the man of people is irresponsible as he is a corrupt leader who doesn’t want to bring the development. This is revealed when the poet says:
“How is development To be brought brother
When the people to whom We have entrusted power Are corrupt?”
The above phrases illustrate how leaders are irresponsible in bringing about development.
The leaders’ irresponsibility in eliminating selfishness. Most African leaders are irresponsible as they are thinking in terms of themselves, although the resources of the country ought to benefit both classes.
The poet has shown how the leaders are irresponsible as they think of themselves (being the minority) while the majority whose efforts are wasted are disregarded. Their selfish tendencies are expressed by the poet in these terms.
“I reckon the minority More sensitive to egoism
Than to national development”
The above statements revealed how the leaders are irresponsible in eradicating the issue of selfishness.
The leaders’ irresponsibility in eliminating exploitation. The poet has shown that most leaders who climb up the leadership tree are irresponsible, they have failed to stop exploitation.
This is because they are the ones who do it and due to their irresponsibility they do not care as they continue to exploit the masses. This is shown when the poet says:
“The majority plead Exploited”.
The above phrases revealed how the leaders are irresponsible who fail to eliminate exploitation.
Turning to the poem “BUILDING OF THE NATION” the poet has shown the leaders irresponsibility through the following ways:
The leaders’ irresponsibility in the Misuse of public resources. This is the situation at which the leaders tend to use government facilities for their own gain. The persona has shown how the PS is irresponsible as he uses the state properties like cars for his own interests.
The PS goes to feast/dinner using the government car, and after the feast he is driven back home. So he wastes not only the public resources but also the working hours.
The leaders’ irresponsibility in eliminating classes. The poet has shown how the leaders are irresponsible as still there is class imbalance. This is seen that there is high class that is represented by the PS exploits the lower class that represented by the driver.
The role of both classes is building the nation, but the high class has just become the parasites who feed on the national resources at the expense of the masses. They are not building the nation at all but building their stomachs.
The leaders’ irresponsibility in eradicating Exploitation. This is the act of making someone work without concerning his or her wellbeing. In the poem, the poet has tried to reveal this as irresponsibility of PS being a leader he is very busy wasting the public funds and eat lavishly and left the driver work on empty stomachs.
The persona knows about this exploitation done by irresponsible leaders and informs his fellow countrymen what is actually happening. The poet says:
“So the PS had ulcers too!
My ulcers I think are equally painful Only they are caused by hunger,
No sumptuous lunches!”
The leaders’ irresponsibility in removing Lies and hypocrisy. This is the act of pretending to what he or she is not doing. The poet has shown this as the effect of the leaders irresponsibility as the PS being a leader lies to the driver that he did not have any meal just as did the driver yet you and I know that he had a very heavy and sumptuous lunch.
“Upon which he said with a seriousness That amused more than annoyed me, Mwananchi, I too had none!
I attended to matters of state”.
Conclusively, the poets have really tried their maximum best to show the leaders’ irresponsibility. Therefore, I argue the current people who climb the leadership tree to be responsible in carrying out their duties.