For people who don’t have time to bathe or access to fresh water, a South African college student has a solution: a shower gel users simply rub onto their skin. One small packet replaces one bath, and users never need any water. Ludwick Marishane’s inspiration was a lazy friend, but his invention will be a boon to people who live in areas where clean water is in short supply.
“I was raised in a Christian family, and I asked the minister one day, ‘How can Jesus save me?’ His reply to me was, ‘You shouldn’t be asking questions like that—you sound like a no-good-managed boy.’ I went home and said to my father, ‘You know, daddy, I’m going to leave the church and find out for myself if there is any such thing as God. “And what I found out is that there is a God. I’ve been shot at, I’ve been cut at, I’ve been knocked down, I’ve been stomped on, and I don’t have a scratch on me. A guy walked up to me one night, pulled out a gun and said, ‘Nigger, if you don’t get on your knees and beg me for your life, I’m gonna kill you right here on the spot.’ Something came over me and said: ‘This man is not God. You can talk your way out of this.’ So I did. Then I grabbed the gun, put it to his head and pulled the trigger to kill him—but it jammed. I looked at it and realized it was a pellet gun. I’m thankful that I don’t have that blood on my hands. “I’ve learned over the years to be slow to anger and swift to knowledge. Life is good, and it’s too short to find yourself on the side of foolishness. I’ve learned to get up and leave if I spot trouble coming. There is enough trouble going on in the world—I don’t need more of it.”
Dakarai Molokomme, a 15-year-old starving child from a small village in Zimbabwe, has just told Madonna, one of the most famous pop stars in the world, to go and f*** herself, the local media are reporting exclusively.
“Yes, it’s true, I told Madonna to go f*** herself. Do you want to know why?” Dakarai asked. “It’s the same thing every time with these snobby rich Americans. Every once in a while they come to show us their support for the so-called eradication of poverty by adopting a child from a starving family, but they actually do more harm than good. Transracial international adoptions are part of the white savior industrial complex,” Dakarai explained.
In further discussions with journalists from the media, the kid stated that “none of the children here actually want to be taken away from their family and friends so they can be displayed as some kind of trophy in the homes of self-righteous singers or actors who want to score some points with the media and Oprah.”
“If they really want to help us, they should get Big Pharma to ship us some anti-retroviral drugs for the AIDS epidemic, or build schools and hospitals. If they don’t want to do that, then they can all go f** themselves!” the child told reporters.
The 15-year-old also stated that he would say the same thing to any one of those American or European “faux humanitarian posers”, except for Bono, whom he said he would also kick in the groin.
“Bono’s efforts to save the African savage from itself prove that the colonial imperative is alive and well,” Dakarai said as he walked with other village children collecting sticks to build a tree fort.
“When I was younger, I believed that I was my own person, free to shape my character and do whatever I wanted to do. Recently, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m more a composite of my parents, who are so different from each other that I wonder how they could have ever been together. I know them well enough to see their shortcomings. The older I get, the more I realize that the things they struggled with I struggle with now, and have been my whole life—I just never knew it. “On one hand, it’s a really depressing idea that you are doomed to be your mom and dad. On the other hand, I think that while I’ve inherited those struggles, I’m probably more able to overcome them than my parents were. It’s like a vaccine: it gives you just enough of the virus so your body can resist it. I got their shortcomings, but just enough that I can overcome them if I am determined. Still, it’s a difficult thing to do.” “Which feeling prevails: hope or inevitability?” “I tend to be an optimist, so I think that I can overcome my parents’ challenges. But maybe that’s not true. Maybe I’m doomed. Maybe that’s just how the world works: we’re doomed to live our parents’ lives over and over again, from generation to generation.” “You said they were very different from each other.” “Yes, my mom was a single parent and always worked but remained poor. My father graduated from Harvard, and he’s been quite successful. Everybody thinks that I’m trying to be like him—I also graduated from Harvard. For most of my life, I’ve wanted to live up to the ideals that my father created, to prove that I have it in me even though I grew up in more modest circumstances. So I chased after certain things, but now I think, ‘What am I doing? These things aren’t even truly valuable.’I realize now that what my mother gave me was much more valuable. “I’ve only recently—in the past five years or so—had a relationship with my father. I moved here to take care of him when he was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. That’s how I got to know him: those noble, virtuous qualities that I associated with my father weren’t there, replaced instead by underhanded, manipulative, cowardly characteristics. The more I get to know him, the more I realize that I’m thankful that my mother raised me. He’s one of the worst people I know—I don’t want to be like him at all. “At the same time, I also wonder how it makes me look to think such things about a man who has accomplished so much.I feel strongly, yet I’m very reluctant to talk about it. My dad is very sensitive, and if this dialogue becomes public I know that he will be hurt to realize that I didn’t blindly worship him. Even though I have my issues with my dad, I still want to protect him.” “You haven’t spoken very harshly of him—I don’t think that you hate him.” “Well, to go back to the beginning, I’m a composite, so I can’t hate him without hating myself. In a way, I see myself in him. That’s what makes it so complicated and confusing: I identify with his undesirable aspects. I have to embrace and work on them because they’re in me, too. The same is true of my mom: she was super loving and giving, but she was also a drunk and a drug addict. I play up the love, because that’s desirable and allows me to embrace the idea of her. “I want to protect my parents because their qualities are a part of me. They are seriously flawed human beings in very different ways, so I have no clear role model to follow: no one to ask for advice, no compass. I feel that I’m at a crossroads, but I don’t know what I should be pursuing. That’s what dominates my life right now: what’s valuable? What’s right? I’ve had this hodgepodge of life, and now I’m confused.”