There has always seemed to be something peculiar with the understanding of time among indigenous communities across Africa and throughout the world. To be specific, the impression usually is that dwellers there have time in abundance. From the basics of things like breastfeeding (it is common in these communities for mothers to breastfeed their infants up to three or more years) to more complex ones such as governance, this aspect is an ever present factor.
Consequently, where Camara Laye and those of his family and friends took weeks to harvest a rice field in observance of a series of rituals that accompanied the exercise including but not limited to the playing of the tom tom, Pr. Kakande with the aid of combined harvesters would get done with a much bigger harvest in a matter of days at Lwera.
To this end, as we observed in our introductory article, a heir of the modern age would quickly conclude that the same is no effect of anything but a lack of stuff to do. So when in an interview with the EastAfrican back in 2019 Rwanda’s Paul Kagame wished he had 36 hours in a day he probably meant no better.
And it isn’t hard to see how this notion comes about. Across the spectrum pressure compounds us to work towards achieving big and by sequel, to be someone today means doing so much as early as one can. Seeing a Dj at three in South Africa, a Professor under 30 in a European country, and a rock star at 12 in Uganda couldn’t make things any better. Is this the way things should be though?
The answer to that question is heavily dependent on whom you ask. A tour across the virgin economy would likely inspire a negative response in that regard as it would vividly reveal why time was appreciated the way it was. If one were to examine the belief in ancestors for instance_ the idea that I am because we are and that because we are therefore I am_, they would quickly awaken to the realisation that considering a different metric in those particular circumstances was rather unthinkable. I mean why would one worry that they are late in meeting a given deadline or that their country’s life expectancy isn’t as high if upon death they would still be in position to influence policy on earth?
Just to remind you that ancestry still applies in the 21st Century, let’s take our next example from perhaps the best of human accomplishments so far i.e Science; while Albert Einstein may have died decades ago, Scientists continue to scratch their heads in the hope of finding answers to his unfinished ‘theory of everything.’
The cost incurred:
A virgin economist would argue for a kind of wisdom only known to old age to buttress this school of thought. They would then likely employ an analogy from a sphere of life for which the virgins are most known for_ sexuality. “Like an orgasm requires patience…” they would guide, “so does it apply elsewhere” they would add the conclusion being that an attempt to do everything often amounts to doing nothing.
Ignoring the virgins denies one the beauty of living every moment in its entirety and the consequences that come with it. No wonder these individuals are credited to have created an environment which allowed for establishment of remarkable person-to-person bonds. Probably no illustration brings this out better than when Ben Carson writes of how he nearly died after hitting the road following several nights of work with no rest in his book Gifted Hands.
Yet rather ironically, the country in which Dr. Carson sets his book continues for years now to host the largest number of inmates worldwide many of them incarcerated because of a failure to find anything they can lay their hands on.
The last blow;
Certainly, our virgin economy philosopher still has a couple of unanswered questions to attend to which is why it necessitates that we awaken to the limitation on human capacity.
At the least of instances, a blind pursuit in a given direction may well lead to unwelcome news of efforts spent for no good reason miles into the journey. As it stands if we were to revisit Science, there is a cloud of reasons gathering in critic of whether Isaac Newton’s Laws were laws in the first place!
In the worst of situations however, it is possible to actually realise one’s aspirations yet lose them under a second. The numerous stories of billionaires falling from grace are proof to this. Let’s take one of them here. The Indian tycoon Dr. BR Shetty. Leaving his home country back in 1973, the fact that he would found a company that would go on to be the first Adu dhabi based corporate listed on the London stock exchange is enough testimony to his business acumen. Yet this milestone notwithstanding, his empire is now no more less than a decade later.
And so the virgin economy continues to sound the warning, with very little at stake in its case, all it can do is watch as its opponents cry foul over throwing away their time yet in the end throw away more than time.