Mhambi has been redeployed.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Looking for Ubuntu

Mhambi is a big fan of the BBC's cerebral Radio 4. This week, I was listening to their long running program, Desert Island disks. The week before the program featured one of my favourite DJ's the DJ-Journalist Andy Kershaw.

Andy Kershaw is famous for giving exposure to music from developing countries, especially Africa, so-called World Music. You can listen to his amazing shows broadcast on Radio 3 online here.

But he really shot to prominence when he covered the Rwandan genocide. He was the only BBC journalist in Rwanda at the time of the genocide because every other journalist was in South Africa to cover the first fully democratic elections.

But this week the Desert Island Disk's castaway (the imaginary castaway gets to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island) was the physician, philosopher, novelist and poet Professor Raymond Tallis.

Tallis's specialism is the care of elderly patients - it’s an area that he combines with his philosophical interest of considering what it is that makes humans unique - all part, as he says, of 'unpacking the miracle of everyday life'.

But Tallis and his wife has - like Kershaw - an interest in Africa. During the radio program he confided that he worked as a doctor in Nigeria, describing the corruption and indifference to human suffering he encountered as difficult to comprehend and that it effected him profoundly.

My father is a doctor. For sometime he was a senior superintendent at Laratong hospital. One night he was driving home from hospital when next to the road he saw some movement. It looked like a woman. He got out and discovered that indeed it was a woman. A woman who had just given birth.

Shocked, my father helped her into the car and back to the hospital. He asked her why she had not made it to the hospital in time. She said she had. But the officials at reception turned her away. We must try and understand why things like this happen.

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