Theresa Kachindamoto… and yes, more about Snifficus

Same thing as last time, if you would like to miss the political rant, feel free to scroll down to the heading THERESA KACHINDAMOTO

Saturday night I head out with a friend to prop up the bar at Taix, a French restaurant in the Echo Park/Silverlake neighbourhood that’s been around so long even the French would refer to it as historical. We catch up on all the gossip; analyze the intricacies of dating today compared to years ago when people looked into one another’s eyes and did things like touch each other’s limbs and backs (you know, the safe spots not covered by a bathing suit), as opposed to trying to find the perfect emoji. Then we move onto the Oompa Loompa and his Baboon Brigade (I am still having name-calling problems)…. Obviously this conversation took up the rest of the night, there is just so much to say.

If anyone had hopefully brushed off Trump’s prejudiced ideologies as mere election rhetoric “He doesn’t really believe that, he’s just saying it to draw attention, get more votes,” then we only need to look at his cabinet choices to realize that we had overestimated him. Whilst that may seem impossible – over half the population have an opinion of him so low, sea slugs on the ocean floor are getting vertigo looking down on it – it is apparently the case. Snifficus has chosen a merry band of openly homophobic, openly racist, openly sexist, avaricious dinosaurs to be the most powerful people in the country. There have been one or two exceptions suggested, Elaine Chao for example, the person touted to be transportation secretary, is actually qualified to do the job and a logical choice! But the exceptions have yet to be confirmed.

I think that everyone had hoped, given his own lack of any shred of government experience, or experience at being a law-abiding citizen, that Trump would surround himself with a knowledgeable cabinet, qualified to do the job in hand.

A hah ahahahahahahahahahahaha ha.

Ugggh.

So great is the dread of what will happen to the human rights in the USA after the inauguration, that discussing the horrendous plans for environmental policies and climate change feels positively lightweight by comparison.

It was never a surprise that Trump would denounce climate change as a hoax, that he would plan to pull the US out of global agreements, that he would repeal federal funding for any green initiative. Never was it a surprise, because he has shown every intention of breaking the law and making money beyond his salary from his position as president. (Let’s not sugar coat this, the country has elected a criminal to be president.) He and his buddies are part of an archaic group that cling to those old money makers oil and coal, therefore that’s what they’re going to promote.

Fucking dumb move though isn’t it? Even for him, this plan to undo all the ecological advances made in the last 8 years is monumentally stupid.

Forget for a moment that green technology is good for the planet and living organisms, and instead look at this from a business perspective. Green technology is the new big thing. All around the world countries are accepting that this is where they should be investing their resources. Ecologically sourced products, sustainable clean energy, this is what consumers want now. Manufacturers are going green, not just because it’s the ethically responsible thing to do, but also because it’s the thing that’s going to make them wads of cash. Innovations in green technology are springing up left, right and center round the world because designers and inventors aren’t wasting their time looking at things which aren’t environmentally responsible moneymakers.

Trump is clinging to dying industries, and not only is he going to waste the country’s resources into something that a couple of decades down the line will have no option but to fail, but he is also keeping America in the 20th century. We will be left behind, we will not be a driving force in the global energy industry. We will have a dwindling group of friends that want to play with our fuel toys.

You’d think that someone who sees himself as a business man would understand the concept of an industrial revolution when it smacks him in the face with its wind turbines.

But he’s not a great business man.

 

Alright, enough. Time for someone who really cares about her people.

 

THERESA KACHINDAMOTO

Theresa Kachindamoto is the chief of around 900,000 people in the Dedza District of Central Malawi. Kind of a big deal. Certainly it puts my three month stint as Third Year Form Prefect in the shade.

Anyway, Chief Kachindamoto is all about making big changes in human rights. Malawi has a history of child bride marriage, over half of the girls are married before the age of 18. The law was changed in recent years to raise the marriageable age to 18, but the law can be disregarded if the parents give their consent to an underage marriage. Obviously this loophole opens the door to marriages for profit, or marrying off daughters to ease the financial burden of having extra children at home. There are also – and this is vomit inducing – sexual initiation camps that girls as young as seven attend as part of pre-marriage ‘cleansing’.

I can remember learning how tampons worked around age 8, and it shocked me to my pigtails. My little pal from across the road showed me what happened when you immersed a tampon in water – WHAT!!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO PUT THAT WHERE?!!!

I cannot even begin to fathom how horrifying and terrifying it must be for a child to be sent away from her family, to a camp to learn to have sex with adult males.

Kachindamoto working to eradicate these camps, and to raise the marriage age to 21.  Furthermore Chief Kachindamoto has annulled 850 child marriages, and is sending all of the children from those marriages back to school. If the parents cannot afford the fees she either funds the education herself, or finds other sponsors who can. She also ordered her sub-chiefs to sign an agreement ending child marriages, and when some of those chiefs flouted the order, she fired them, only agreeing to re-hire them when she had seen proof that they followed through on the annulments.

Not all people welcome these changes, the chief is facing opposition and even death threats for her actions from members of the Dezda community. But to the children she liberates, she’s a superhero.

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