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SEBOPUA

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CREATURE – The Thing

In my mother tongue, Sesotho, the verb ‘to mould’ (with clay) is ho bopa (ka letsopa). By extension, ho bopa describes ‘to form’, or ‘to create’ a tangible, inanimate object out of clay or any other similar malleable material. The objects made may be of functional, ornamental, or both values. They may also be aesthetically attractive or repulsive. And they may either be destructive or life-supporting, either by design or accident, or by intentional application. For purposes of this presentation, we shall work with the concept of ho bopa in terms of creation. In this case, creation producing a dysfunctional output, a thing, with a potential for destruction of the self and/ or its environment.

©Simon Chilembo 2021

Etymologically expanding ho bopa leads us to, amongst others, the adjective sebopua. The latter approximately translates as ‘a product of creation’ – a thing, an object the existence of which is acknowledged simply because it exists as a result of creation’s infinite creative potential. Creation gets it right most times; it screws up badly sometimes.

Sebopua is thus used to describe people of various degrees of physical handicaps and intellectual disabilities; often from birth. It may be due to birthing complications, illness, inherent neurological or genetic aberrations, and many more. The expression sebopua is often applied derogatively. It may also be used in exasperation as a manifestation of grief against a condition of hopelessness, extreme suffering for the afflicted, and the next of kin as well; including national social welfare authorities, where applicable.  

On the one extreme there’ll be a wholly physically disabled person of any age; drawing much sympathy from others: harmless, poor, unfortunate product of God’s creation.

On the other extreme, there’ll be a borderline, apparently normal person. But they will have all kinds of eccentricities. These render the sebopua incapable of functioning within socially conventional boundaries of human interactions. Much so in adulthood, people in this category tend to live in parallel universes contra mainstream social wisdom concerning how society is organized; from the smallest family units to the larger national entities.

Sebopua people break all the rules, either purposely or because ‘it is what it is’. They don’t know anything else but their unique ways of looking at the world. They cannot understand that others can think or act differently from them in given situations. They simply don’t know how to empathize: it’s their way or no way at all. Civility is a concept unknown here.

Some of human history’s greatest thinkers in all human endeavour the works of whom society benefits from even today can easily be drawn from the eccentrics above. These often tend not to be too much of a burden to society. It is those that are inclined to destruction that are a curse to humanity. Some of the most perilous leaders in human history have emerged from the latter category of sebopua, a freak of creation.  

The thing about sebopua is that they are just a thing. They are devoid of coherent feelings and thoughts expression. Sebopua tend to be one-way-traffic communication machines. Their language skills can often leave much to be desired. Talking to one could as well be as good as talking to a clay molded human figure.  

Sebopua are indifferent to the elements; they know no pain. The only form of pleasure that matters for sebopua is their staying alive at the expense of their perceived and real enemies, not understanding how anybody can be so stupid compared to their, sebopua’s superior intelligence. Sebopua brutality can be horrendous. Woe to the spineless that fall for sebopua’s deceptive charisma. Woe to non-stayer enemies of sebopua.

©Simon Chilembo 2020

Another thing about sebopua is that an eccentric sebopua is a sebopua. The condition knows no colour. It knows no race. The only difference is the relative extent of power exercised and access to weapons of destruction according to their location on planet earth. This here debunks racism as an ideology that claims and pushes ideas that some races are inferior to others. In a perfect world of the free, people group in cliques not always out of racial identities solidarity. Both for the good and the bad, people are drawn to and bond with one another out of shared mental constructs; shared world views.

There’s sebopua in a cul-de-sac in America today. The walls are closing in. I wonder what they’re going to do when they can’t breathe anymore. In England, another one bites the dust. The world must now learn to stop political experiments with dibopua (sebopua plural form) if we have learned anything from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In the old days, dibopua used to be hidden away. Or worse. Democracy is a wonderful thing in our times: everyone has the right to live. Whatever the cost. However, there’s a tipping point to everything in life. May the fair and just prevail in all holes and surfaces of the planet. May light reign supreme. Ultimately.     

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
January 13, 2022

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