OPINION -In Malawian society, a person who is always on the road travelling around is touted as somebody who may have once eaten a dog’s bottom. People would say ‘ameneyu amangoyendayenda ngati anadya matako a galu‘ (literally translated; This person travels too much as if he or she ate a dog’s bottom).
Dogs by their nature are always on the move. They are hardly in one place unless they are put on the leash. What then happens is that while moving around, they end up neglecting their responsibilities.
In Malawi, dogs are kept for security purposes. So if your watchdog is hardly around, security of your property is compromised as thieves could easily come and steal without the dog intercepting them.
If it’s a she dog nursing some puppies, she can even end up losing the off-springs to prey while the mother is absent. That is why Malawian society detests stray dogs and people who behave like them.
Being described as behaving like one who has once tasted a dog’s bottom is a ridicule nobody would want to be subjected to. If one is described as such in the village, it means their travelling is affecting their roles or duties in the house or society.
If it’s a wife, the home would look abandoned with people eating poorly-cooked food and children looking unkempt due to lack of mother care. If it’s a father, there would be too much disorderliness among children and other people around the home as there would be no father-figure around to enforce discipline.
Just like a homestead, a company or a country needs managers or leaders who spend a fair amount of time in the office attending to strategic matters in the office. That is why a company hires field or factory workers to do the donkey work out there while managers are in the office attending to policy, planning and other broader matters of the country.
When the chief executive officer decides to completely abandon his office and instead spend time operating the production plant, there is definitely a serious problem somewhere.
In the military, generals usually keep away from theÂ frontline during battle as no squad wants their commander to be the first one to take a bullet as that will leave them without a leader.
In the case of a government, community workers, extension officers,Â health surveillance assistants and many other field workers â€“ supervised by the district commissioners– are there to execute government services and support at the grass-roots level.
A general or a CEO can once in a while get to the frontline to appreciate how things are done there. But staying there for too long could put him or her at risk of taking a bullet and leaving the ship without a captain.
Or indeed many other important matters in the office would remain unattended while the boss is extensively out of the office. A thumbs down to anybody in our midst who behaves as if they had once eaten a dog’s bottom.
Tags: Joyce Banda