” Benn pompiteer bu nëb yàq na pañe”
English Equivalent: One rotten potato spoils the whole sack
Don’t you hate it when you hear people chastise and criticise a group you’re a part of, based on their experience with just ONE member of that group? Yes? Me too!
You feel like screaming out loud and telling them NOT everyone is like THAT! You just want to use all of your energy to vindicate the entire group, cutting off that ‘black sheep’ of course. There are a million and one examples Linguere can give. Think about the whole of womankind tagged ‘untrustworthy’ due to a certain Kocc Barma’s experience with ONE woman; all Muslims classified as terrorists just because ONE extremist decided to blow himself up, killing other people around him in the process; the entire male sex labelled ‘unfaithful’ and ‘cheaters’ because ONE Fatou, Kumba or MaSireh had an ugly experience with ONE Dodou, Kelefa or Samba; all last-born kids seen as ‘rude and disrespectful’ because ONE thiaat* steps on the wrong line. I could go on and on but I’ll just peg the list here with this last example: all journalists tagged as being irresponsible and unethical as a result of ONE person’s blunder! This could be the case in other professions but for reasons of proximity and the convenience of today’s reference story, we’ll stick to journalism.
Yesterday, a good number of people watched as drama unfolded on Facebook Gambia. I wouldn’t go into the details because I risk throwing a tantrum and turning this post into a rant. A certain Gambian journalist had shared a photo of a Gambian model describing her appearance as ‘unGambian’. Almost immediately, comments started milling in from all corners, expressing different opinions on the photo. One group was on the journalist’s side, mainly using religion and Gambian culture as their reference points. Friends and fans of the said model jumped in, defending the photo, basing their arguments on the professionalism exhibited and the model’s quest to make a name for The Gambia on the international runways. The brouhaha continued, each camp defending their stance. I followed the drama quietly, opting to keep my thoughts to myself. However, I couldn’t ignore the many remarks on the lack of ethics displayed by the journalist in sharing a private photo without the owner’s consent. Facebookers who know him lashed out at him, noting their disappointment at his practice, despite being recognised as a journalist. A few people on another social network site threw offhand remarks on the callous and disappointing manner in which journalists go about their work. I felt like screaming, for it was wrong to tag us all with the same label. I am not oblivious to the fact that there are indeed journalists who leave the rest of the fraternity wishing the Earth would open up and swallow us; microphones, cameras, pens, papers, computers included. Nevertheless, we have all seen a fair number of these ‘informers’ and ‘educators’ do a remarkable job, worthy of praise and recognition. Give them the credit!
I’m pretty sure this will not be the last time I’ll blog on this issue. Apply it to everyday life and the actions we’re surrounded by and you just might notice the unfairness of it all. They say man is not perfect and it is natural to make mistakes. It is quite evident that some people outshine others in various departments. It is also clear that some people can never really deliver as expected. However, we should learn to refrain from generalising, no matter the situation. There will always be that one person out there, who’s absolutely excellent at what he does and thus, will be offended by the derogatory remarks thrown at his clique! A single rotten potato might spoil the whole sack, but only if it goes unnoticed. Detected at an early stage, it can be picked out and discarded, saving the rest. That way, we’re only left with a sack full of fresh potatoes, ready for your pot! Think about it.
*thiaat– youngest child/last-born
P.S: I got a couple of messages from Linguerites asking to be prompted when a new post goes up. I don’t trust my memory so I’ll direct you to the services WordPress has provided, to make life easier. You may either click on the ‘follow Linguere’ widget on the right and receive instant e-mails or hit the ‘Like’ tab on the Linguere on Facebook widget and get updates on your Facebook Newsfeed. Et voila, everything is sorted out! 🙂
~Beh benen aljuma~