Mbeki’s Stone-Age Commentary on HIV/AIDS

By Molley V. Paasewe

The Perspective

November 20, 2001

I wholeheartedly concur with Tarty Teh’s response to Mr. Mukazo Mukazo Vunda's retort to your previous article. I truly believe Mr. Vunda's response misread Teh’s good intentions in exposing the futility of learned Africans chasing the windmills of superstitions in this nuclear age.

I was shocked when I heard Mr. Mbeki's stone-age commentary on HIV/AIDS. Such remarks, coming from just any African wouldn't have mattered much, but from the President of a renaissance nation like South Africa...it was uncalled for.

President Mbeki is a good man, but his concern for the well being of South Africans equally compels him to be the last man that would make reckless comments that throw a monkey wrench in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

In Liberia, for instance, even though there are dozens non-governmental organizations and national institutions striving to conscientize the public about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, many individuals still believe that AIDS is the whiteman's invention to curb
overpopulation, by encouraging safe sex through the use of condoms.

Mr. Mbeki's comments on AIDS only served to reinforce such belief among those Liberians who will bet you their last Unity dollar that the disease is not real.
You'd be surprised by the number of educated Liberians who believe that AIDS is a figment of someone's imagination.

That is why I wholeheartedly concur with Tarty Teh’s rejoinder.

"...Of the two kinds of roosters there are, we Africans are very much like the rooster which thinks that daylight comes when it crows. But those who have much firmer grips on reality only think that they are the rooster which announces the dawn of a day"...well said!

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