The speech below was circulated last night as the whole world prepares to commemorate World Malaria Day today 25th April 25, 2017, with a renewed determination to defeat malaria, a disease closely associated with mosquitoes.
The speech will be delivered at the ceremony today by General Anopheles Mosquito, on behalf of all mosquitoes.
My name is General Anopheles Mosquito, popularly or quite notoriously called Maskita in this small part of the world. I’m the Commander-In-Chief of all the mosquito squadrons deployed in the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, in the West Coast of Africa. I speak on behalf of all mosquitoes living in the African Continent. I want to start by thanking the organizers of this all-important ceremony for giving us the opportunity to make our position clear on what has over the years literally and figuratively become a horror campaign against our race. Perhaps a brief account of our life as mosquitoes will put you in the right frame of mind to revisit your current agenda.
I grew up in the famous Samba Gutter, together with my colleagues- Tiny, Skinny, Mut-mut, Ski and Fly. We used to wander away from home to blocked drainages, pools, gutters, ponds, edges of streams and all those wonderful places where water settles for sometime; garbage heaps, tins, abandoned water tanks and other containers in search of food! We used to go away for months and our parents would desperately go in search of us.
That was a long time ago when things were really hard. Now, thanks to the generosity of the Ministry of Health & Sanitation, the Freetown City Council, the Freetown Waste Management Company and Masada, we can now boast of low-cost villas scattered all over the city. Many thanks specifically for the Bomeh Five Star Hotel at New Road.
We live specially on human blood. We suck your blood when we have the slightest chance to do so. We don’t joke with that opportunity. Since we began sucking human blood we don’t know how many drums of that precious liquid we have consumed. But you don’t see that in our statures, because we keep watching our weights.
We use our proboscises (our mouths actually), which are sharper than a needle’s point, to pierce into your skin and suck your blood. Before we suck in your blood we inject our saliva through the tiny hole our proboscises went through. Our saliva prevents your blood from clotting or spilling outside. So you just feel a little but painful pinch which usually makes you angry and wild. How do we know that? Well, I personally can’t remember how many times I’ve narrowly escaped those angry slaps of yours.
Your so-called doctors say our saliva contains a deadly parasite called Plasmodium which they say causes Malaria- a dreadful bad health they continue to associate with us. They say we have caused the deaths of millions and millions of humans (especially children). They also say we pass on other diseases like Yellow Fever and Elephantiasis from one sting to another.
My father, before he was slapped to death recently, used to tell us stories about our great, great grandparents who lived in the tropics of the West Coast of Africa less than a century ago. He said they were equally accused of killing an average of five Europeans (who came to explore our beautiful coast) everyday and the Europeans hurriedly fled back home. For a long time, father narrated, the Europeans never came back to the coast. “They labelled it the Whiteman’s Grave!” he had told us, laughing cynically.
Why am I saying all these? At least as little as we are, we want to be honest about who we are and what we do to survive. Now there’s a great campaign going on to extinguish us from the face of the Earth juts like Adolph Hitler attempted and almost succeeded doing to the Jews. We won’t call it racial discrimination or xenophobia or genocide against the mosquito race. We’ll call it world hypocrisy of the highest degree! Yes, that’s what it aptly is.
Every April 25, mosquito haters all over Africa, and the world in general, come together and spending huge sums of money to map out strategies to get rid of the Malaria disease simply by killing us mosquitoes. One poster made me shiver. It went like this: “Kill the mosquito….Clean your compounds daily… Clear all drainages….” The campaign is called ‘Invest in the future, defeat Malaria’; whatever that means.
One fundamental thing we must all be aware of is the fact that there’s a thread that runs through all of us- human beings, animals, plants, insects, reptiles, etc. etc. That thread is called life. It’s called existence. We all exist. When God created the world he blew life into all of us and we became living things, and I believe God created us all for different purposes. We do not just bump into planet Earth by some weird scientific experiment that went wrong. We all have a right to be here!
You humans should be ashamed of yourselves. You kill fowls to survive; you kill sheep, goat and cows; you kill in order to survive! And nobody is holding you accountable for your actions against other living things. And when we suck your blood to survive you go crazy and cry foul. Isn’t that clearly ridiculous?
We are all creatures, aren’t we? We all have the right to occupy and live in this planet, don’t we? Why should one set of creatures decide to wage war against another, just because they feel threatened by their mere existence? We are living in a world of interdependence. We depend on you and you depend on others. We are part of the cycle of life. So we must co-exist peacefully. That is our appeal. We therefore call for the immediate abandonment of all your strategies and the destruction of all weapons of mass destruction against the mosquito race.
In this 21st Century, every common group is fighting for its rights; from human rights, women’s rights to children and animal rights. Today we demand Mosquito rights! We demand it because it’s our natural right!
On behalf of my colleagues out there, I wish to appeal to human and animal rights organizations, both local and intentional, to support us in this noble cause- Forum of Conscience, National League for Human and Animal Rights, Amnesty International! All of you, do something now! We are an endangered species!
To my colleagues, I say this is the time we must all unite! This is the time we must be each other’s keeper! Because nobody actually cares!
Long live Mosquitoes!!! Long live all living things!!!
I thank you all for your attention.
Note: This work of fiction was inspired by actual events, but is otherwise a product of the writer’s imagination. TICHA LEMP LEMP 2017.
Maskita – means mosquito in Sierra Leonne Creole
Samba Gutter – One of the oldest drainages built by the colonists in Freetown
Mut-mut – talkative in Sierra Leone creole
Bomeh – one of the waste disposal sites in Freetown
According to WHO, in 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429 000 malaria deaths. Increased prevention and control measures have led to a 29% reduction in malaria mortality rates globally since 2010.