Silence is golden until it loses its voice and becomes a killer. Some incidents in the society have birthed grave consequences due to complacency and the passive belief that we are not directly affected and should mind our own business. The African setting was historically social with collective responsibility and love for one another being the reason for development within a community. However, there are issues categorized within the “mind your own business” bracket that need to change. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Realistically, many lives have ended because of the silence we have adopted when it comes to things that matter, simply because they do not directly concern us.
Some of the incidents people tend to be quiet about include; domestic violence, gender-based violence, child abuse, human trafficking, torture, sexual abuse and harassment. This silence usually happens when they are not the victim or in any way related to the victims. It has killed and continues to kill many people who could have been saved by one thing; our voice.
Indeed, we are many times afraid of society and the repercussions that we would have to bear when we speak out. There is also the shame and fear of the stigma that comes from people which causes us to remain silent even when we know it is in our power to shout out for justice. We need to understand that sometimes within the period of our silence, victims of abuse are contemplating suicide or are at the verge of death due to the effects of whatever form of abuse they experienced.
That complacency must stop, sometimes all we have to do is pick our phone and make a call that could bring help to the victim, and no one will know that we are the whistleblowers. There are times when we must directly intervene and say no to injustice, no to social tolerance and no to abuse. Break the silence and let justice prevail.