Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Flaming Flamingoes (Part 11)

Stories are all works of fiction. Names, characters, places and events are the product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events and places is totally coincidental

Scoring a deliberate own goal in soccer is practically unheard of, especially if there is no obvious financial gain to the exercise. The stunned silence that followed my action soon evaporated, my team mate's shock and amazement galvanised them towards me before any of the spectators could react to what I had just done. 

Some of the spectators found it funny, others found it intriguing but many were furious, especially those who had invested money with the smart-ass because they were sure of a return on their investments. Many were dumbfounded but amused at the reaction around them. Of course, all I wanted was to get out of that place, pronto. As soon as my guys got to me, I advised them we should stick close together and not let anyone separate us from each other. We headed out of the area as quickly as we could.

Fights and arguments were going on all around the pitch, confusion and mayhem reigned all around us. The gangsters were more interested in collecting their winnings from the bookie, he was arguing and refusing to pay them out. As crooks, they obviously had money to burn and they had placed big money bets with the enterprising bookie. Convinced that he would make some quick and easy money off them, the smart ass had greedily accepted those bets. He couldn't pay  them out and he was now being beaten to a pulp by some of the bad guys. This smart-ass was fast realising he would have been better off remaining a jackass.

We'd left the pitch and were about seventy five yards away from the mayhem, our transport was still about fifty yards away from where we were at. As we started to relax our vigilance, a group appeared from a side street and surrounded us. Some from this group though angry, wanted me to explain my actions and were basically blaming me for causing a riot in their area, the others were not interested in explanations and were encouraging their friends to beat us up. Cut off from our vehicle, we didn't stand a chance with this mob. I was already resigned to the fact that we were going to have to fight our way out of the situation, when a shadow fell over all of us.

He was a giant of a man, at least seven feet tall and built like a tank. Dressed casually in a chequered blue and white short sleeved shirt, his biceps looked like they would split the hem of the shirt any second. A path magically opened up in front of him as he strode uninterrupted through the circle toward us, his beige trousers were tucked into what looked like army boots ready made for kicking ass. It took just a look from him for the path to get wider as he ushered us Flaming Flamingos through the now dissipating mob who a few minutes before were intent on doing us harm.

Hostile glares followed us as this guardian angel shooed us toward a silver Range Rover with tinted windows. Inside the vehicle sat a smiling Dan and a relieved looking Jackie. Following their instructions, we quickly got into our ride and left the area with the Range Rover following close behind. I felt a massive weight lift from my tiny shoulders, and a sense of gratitude that I was lucky to have such a good friend as Jackie.

My team mates were in high spirits, joking and laughing about what we had just been through. I was now confident of my team and although I had deliberately thrown that last match, I knew my fellow Flamingos would follow me through thick and thin. WE had all faced a dangerous situation and had stuck together. I was totally confident that I had a team that was going places, ready to kick ass and do our sponsor and our fans proud. The big guy that had extracted us from the mob was Dan's driver, Rab, who sometimes doubled as his bodyguard. I was so glad that Jackie had somehow found out about my trial game, got concerned enough to bother his uncle and both had come looking for us.

(To be continued)...


'Bodederek

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Monday, 29 October 2012

Joseph Koni, What is Happening?

Prior to my post of 7th march 2012, I had heard sporadic stories about the group that called itself, the Lord's Resistance Army. A lot of atrocities, some with a supernatural twist accompanied a lot of the reports. The abduction of children dominated a lot these, together with reports of torture and mutilation of the civilian populace by the LRA who were led by a man called Joseph Koni. These crimes by Africans upon fellow Africans from the same region outraged and saddened me.

Jason Russell's slick documentary on behalf of Invisible Children Inc., to address the outrage and focus world attention on Joseph Koni on 20th April this year seemed an ideal solution. The documentary went viral on YouTube shortly after my blog post and a lot of famous people and celebrities in show business joined in the campaign to bring the issue of Koni to the attention of the whole world. 

There have been different reactions to the documentary and the campaign to make Joseph Koni famous. This campaign was subsequently derailed when Mr Russell had a breakdown of some sort and was filmed wandering around stark naked on the streets of San Diego. Public attention and perception now seems to have changed, relegating the campaign to stop the brutalizing of the children of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic to the back burner. Although some argue that Koni is dead, the problem of war and child abduction still exists in that region of Africa. So what exactly is happening?

Below, is my post of 7th March 2012: 


The campaign earmarked for 20th April 2012 has been designed to stop the leader of a sinister rebel group who call themselves the Lords resistance army. This group has been operating in the Ugandan bush and its environ for years. Their leader Joseph Koni enjoys a reputation for brutality and mercilessness. The main stock in trade of this sinister group has been the kidnapping of children who are then turned into child soldiers. The continued existence of Joseph Koni and his bloodthirsty agenda is amazing to me.

In an era of enlightenment, thanks to the advancement of technology whereby our planet seems to have shrunk, I find it hard to believe that one individual can escape being caught and put on trial by the international community for crimes against humanity. There is a campaign that is gradually gathering momentum and will reach a climax on the 20th of April, this year to bring the world's attention to bear on Mr Koni and his rebel army. In short it is to make Joseph Koni famous.

The legend of Koni and his group surfaced many, many years ago when they acquired a reputation of possessing supernatural powers. The people of the region believed that the Lords resistance army had charms that could stop bullets, and also that the LRA soldiers could disappear at will from the battlefield, thereby making them immune to attack from the Ugandan national army. Of course this type of reputation is worth its weight in gold and it could only have helped this rebel group.

Nobody really knows what the LRA is fighting for or against. It has been said that Koni claims to have no ideology or cause and it is believed he just revels in creating havoc. I suspect there is more to learn about the LRA and there are people in the shadows, who arm and finance this group. Who are the bankers and suppliers and what are their motives?

I worry that even if Joseph Koni is stopped, somebody else will step into his shoes and continue the brutality. There seems to be a lot that we don't know about the LRA and what makes it tick. All everyone seems to know is their brutality. I support any moves that will bring peace and stability to the continent of Africa and solutions must include blueprints and plans that will ensure that situations as these do not occur again or rear their ugly heads elsewhere.

How I ask myself, do the arms dealers who arm Mr Koni make contact? How are they paid? Where do the rebels get the funds to buy these arms? Who are the people who have the most to gain by the destabilization of the region that these rebels operate within? If western intelligence agencies don't have the answers to the above questions, they should. Someone out there, is modifying assault rifles to fit into little hands (i.e. children).

Most of the arms used in conflicts in Africa, are manufactured outside the continent. The world must be serious in pursuing and exposing those that arm the likes of Joseph Koni and his army. Anyone known to be promoting the agenda of the LRA should also be exposed on 20th April

Peace to all,


'Bodederek



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