I am Terrified! (2016)

Copy of #TheSafeSpace Column published in the Times of Swaziland dated 15 June 2016:

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The state of today’s world makes me cringe and deeply terrifies me, not just for me personally but for my family and friends as well.  These days, terrorism and extremist behaviour is so commonplace that it is really anyone’s guess when, where and how the next form of terror will manifest itself. When I switch to the news on TV and I get lucky, I will most probably run into a feel good news story about a cute little Panda that was rescued from a compromising position.  Unfortunately that story will not last longer than 120 seconds.  After that I will be bombarded with buzz words that raise my blood pressure to unhealthy levels; ISIS, Islamic militants, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the infamous ‘lone gunman’.

In today’s world, terrorism is quickly achieving its overall mandate of ensuring that no matter what we do, we are always afraid.  What used to be daily or routine tasks have now modified into headaches because one cannot be sure if there are men in a basement in your city planning some nonsense.  In this regard, Africa has hardly been spared in the merciless killing of innocent civilians.  Terrorism has made it difficult to go to university without fear of armed gunmen barging in and shooting on sight.  Shopping malls have been turned into war zones and hotels are ripe grounds for multinational hostage situations.  In many parts of this beautiful continent, raising a daughter is a deeply terrifying feat since you never know if she too will become a victim of savage thugs that will abduct her in the middle of the night.

Our Western counterparts also face grave challenges in living out their lives.  Coffee with friends can easily turn into a side order of bullet holes and if you are lucky enough to arrive safely at an airport, you don’t want to spend too much time at the terminal building because it can blow up at any time.  No place or time is off limits for these maniacs with explosive devices and automatic rifles.  Any attempt to take your mind off this crazy world and go to the nightclub can easily turn to disaster when a nut case enters the vicinity and slaughters 50 patrons.  The world stresses me out so much and at this rate, it is even scarier to imagine what type of world future generations will live in.  Allow me to take this opportunity to send condolences to family friends of victims of various forms of evil across the world; Bamako, Westgate Mall, Ankara, Chibok, Paris, Garissa, Orlando, Baga, Kabul and countless other locations across the globe.

Feel free to share your comments with me through Twitter (@chr1sfleming), blog (www.chr1sfleming.wordpress.com) or email (christian-fleming@outlook.com.  Until we meet again, goodbye.

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