I always get fascinated by comedians. I admire their ability to make people laugh even when what they say sometimes are painful jokes. These people can have the audacity sometimes to crack jokes at a funeral and make people forget their sorrows.
But those are comedians, they are professionals at that and it usually takes them a lot of time to recite and rehearse those jokes and ensure that all the innuendos that could be offensive are removed before they come on stage to entertain their audience.
Now, not all of us have the gift to tell jokes and make people laugh. I am one of them whose sense of humour is very questionable such that I have resolved to crack jokes with my four-year old niece Wezi. At least she laughs at my jokes. What do kids know, after all?
It is disheartening that most of us are oblivious of the talents that we don’t have. We go about pretending to posses what we don’t have such that oftentimes we have ended up making a fool of ourselves.
President Peter Mutharika is such one person who should know how far he can go when it comes to cracking jokes. Mutharika just like me, has no sense of humour. Simply put, he should stick to serious issues and stopping joking about serious issues.
Malawians are currently facing acute food shortages owing to drought. Even government has declared it a state of disaster. Now, that’s a serious issue. No one should be joking about it. A hungry man is an angry man, so they say. But there are some people with no sensitivities at all who go about making fun of the situation.
Mutharika has no excuse for telling such a tasteless joke to the masses who attended his rally—I am sure a majority of them did not even have a single meal on that particular day.
I know mice and grasshoppers are delicacies and sources of protein, but you don’t tell a someone who has been going for days without food to go and eat grasshoppers and mice. Mutharika might have had good intentions but that on the denotative level, but on the connotative level it’s totally a different thing. The ‘joke’ implied that Mutharika does not care about what you eat. You can eat mice and grasshoppers for all he cares, that’s none of his business. This coming from a leader is just not right.
Mr. President, don’t be surprised when you hear that Malawians are not amused with your ‘joke’. Perhaps you should stick to serious issues, mostly written down for you. That joke was tasteless by any standards.