I am developing an interest in anthropology and particularly in a new breed of being, which I have named Grabiosis africanopathis. The broader species of the fictional genus Grabiosis are to be found everywhere in the world but their presence in Africa as the Continent continues to seek meaningful economic development and especially in my home country Kenya which so aspires to leap-frog ‘third world’ is disturbing.


I am not sure from where these species emanated. I do not recall such multitudes in my youth! Perhaps I had eyes that did not see, or I was exceedingly naive. More than likely however, Grabiosis africanopathis were neither as multitudinous as they are today nor as relentlessly parasitic.


We have a growing contagion and I am keen to understand what this portends for our future as a people, a country, and a continent!


The Grabiosis species look like you, speak like you, but are not quite like me or you. More often than not, the convoluted parvenu that they are exist off ill-gotten wealth that is spectacularly acquired. They live in the best-heeled suburbs; have masses of real estate; possess multiple off-shore accounts and hide money in stuffed mattresses. They drive ever bigger, ever newer cars; dress in designer clothes and numerously holiday abroad. Once they greedily counted their wealth in millions, then billions and now contemplate the thrills of countless more zeros! They are a frightening species!


Ponder on this recent newspaper headline: "$700 Million Raw Cash Found In The Home Of Nigerian Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke"

It sounds like the stuff of fiction, but it is not. Numerous similar stories pop up by the day.


Interestingly, and this is what I found most curious about the species, we started off the same whether some grew up in villages or the city. We went to the same schools, were taught by the same teachers, and grew up in the same homes. We breathed the same air, ate the same food and played the same sports. There must however have been some fundamental differences lurking expertly beneath the surface because these are truly a breed apart and now that I ‘see’ them, I am amazed by the hawkish look in their eyes, the unfailing sheen of their faces, the confidence they exude despite the various attempts at masquerade.


Although not exclusively, the majority of this fascinating people make a living from their affiliation to the flag. Consumed by an energy not humanly possible to comprehend, they have a singular determination - to ask ‘what my country can do for me’. They gravitate and find professional homes in the public sector where public coffers offer numerous opportunities to loot from the sweat of citizens and the collective future of their brothers, sisters, children and children’s children! Whether private consultants offering services to governments or public sector servants emptying their employer, their fodder is tax payer remittances intended for the building of schools, hospitals, roads, and the development of an impoverished country that haplessly dreams of meaningful economic emancipation!

Grabiosis africanopathis distinguish themselves in several ways:


  1. They mysteriously acquire colossal wealth within very short periods which is used to elevate them to high places in society.
  2. Wily kleptomaniacs, they have a burning ambition that cannot ever be assuaged. On close inspection you realize that the ambitions are driven by dark forces and that each time they loot, Lucifer or one like him ‘blesses’ them with more thirst.
  3. They have a relentless desire for the good things in life and clearly strategic, can be incredibly inventive.
  4. Sadly, they are of above average intelligence, no matter how well they play the fool.
  5. They speak in tongues, spewing out eloquent sound bites that in the end mean nothing. Notoriously evasive when asked direct questions on their circumstances, you wonder how they developed this expertise.
  6. They justify their misdeeds, especially to themselves. Oh, I came from the village and have never had enough. Oh, it is my turn to eat. Oh, if I do not collect now, the opportunity will pass. If I do not partake, others will anyway. Oh, my days in this office cannot be predicted so this is my opportunity. Oh, I need votes, so I will plunder to pay off those who must vote for me. Oh, people will call me stupid if I do not leave this office rich. Oh if I am caught, I will simply bribe my way out so why worry....on and on with the stupendous justifications!
  7. They are expertly adept at weaving and believing in their own lies.
  8. They have no moral compass and no conscience and in their warped minds, feelings of guilt must be for the privileged, the stupid or the yet to be initiated.
  9. Some live and die and are never caught. They pass on their ill-gotten wealth to hapless children who either destroy themselves in the spoils; retreat from society and peering eyes or carry on the traditions of the parents.


It goes without saying that Grabiosis africanopathis are closely related to mentally ill psychopaths who often demonstrate the most dangerous antisocial personality disorders often manifested in the complete disregard for laws, disdain for the rights of others and the abject failure to feel remorse or guilt.

Grabiosis africanopathis are lethal and because the collective will to bring them to book does not exist, they are the biggest impediment to Africa’s socio-economic advancement.


Level 19 (XP: 18000)
Belinda, I think the fight against Grabiosis Africanopathis must start with civic education of citizens. It is a long term remedy, but once citizens know that they are the bosses, not the other way round, you will begin to see the parasites fall off. Education is not enough though. Economically empowered citizens will become less dependent on the crumbs that this species throw at them.

People like you who have strong and respected voices in Kenya have the opportunity to lead the way. Not easy, but achievable. We must keep hope alive.
Level 1 (XP: 10)
7 years ago
Spot on couldn't have been put better!!
The million dollar question that plagues us is how to obliterate this Grabiosis Africanopathis?
It's been proven in Kenya that not voting-in this breed of humans in future cycles of elections doesn't work as a new crop just comes up, seemingly more vicious than their predecessors!
Muniini K. Mulera
7 years ago
Brilliant piece, Susan. Your diagnosis is spot on. Members of this species sat in the Ugandan parliament the other day and passed legislation to exempt themselves from paying taxes on their allowances. A Ugandan MP's financial package is larger than that of his/her Canadian counterpart. Sobering.

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