TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI
IT is clear that Facebook has a way of adding vim and vigour to people’s lives, especially when it comes to expressing themselves in selfies and telling us all about their things.
Obviously, everything is about things nowadays. It seems you’ve got to have things to have a better caption for your selfie.
In case you are wondering, the word ‘THINGS’ seems to be a common catch-word used on Facebook by some people to express experiences they cannot name specifically.
Of course, things can be anything, objects or state of affairs at a given time.
If one posts a selfie from her office, she would write a caption saying, “Office things”. If written in nyanja language, the same caption would literally mean, “Vinthu va mu office”.
Perhaps the context in which the word things is used in such captions is meant to capture the mood in a given environment and how the person in the selfie blends with everything around him or her.
At least some working-class people like posting selfies captioned “Office things” to share their experiences at work with friends.
I wish sex workers could do the same from their workplaces to share their experiences with the rest of the hood.
Well, it’s not that they do not have things to talk about on Facebook, the thing is, it’s taboo to talk about their things in the open.
Imagine a sex worker at her office, which is, let’s say, a brothel posting a selfie captioned “Brothel things” or worse still “Sex things”.
Definitely, Tasintha, a non-governmental organisation set up to reform prostitutes in Zambia, would be horrified by such openness.
For some call girls in the hood, sex work is considered a life-long secret. They are selective about whom they share their ‘Brothel things’ with.
Maybe some do not want to get into the THINGS craze on Facebook because their work is inherently degrading.
Others don’t want to suffer the stigma that comes with posting paid-sex things on social media.
Like I said, it seems the “Office things” expression stands out with some measure of dignity and selfies with such captions portray satisfaction in the lives of individuals obsessed with their things.
But what if someone in the hood takes a selfie in front of a pit-latrine and posts it on Facebook with a caption reading “Toilet things”?
What if a broke man in the hood takes a selfie with a big buyer at a tavern and posts it on Facebook with a caption saying “Lwanda things”?
Now that we are encouraged to go for mandatory or is it routine HIV testing, I would love to see someone send a selfie from the hospital laboratory captioned “Tipima things”.
Certainly, the vim and vigour in the caption would change the way people in the hood view the issue of mandatory HIV testing.
What if a captured thief sends a selfie with a cop behind a police van captioned “Kugwiliwa things”?
What if a commuter bus driver whose bus is impounded takes a selfie with a traffic police officer at a roadblock and posts it on Facebook with a caption reading “Nchekeleko things”?
What if a retiree playing a game of nsolo outside a community hall posts a selfie captioned “Nsolo things”?
What if a marriage counsellor from the hood takes a selfie with a couple and posts it on Facebook with a caption reading “Alangizi things”?
What if a bus conductor takes a selfie with passengers and posts it on social media with a caption reading “Kulipilisa things”?
Obviously, the world would know a lot of things about life in the hood and how people are free to talk about their things.
I am not sure where this things craze came from, but I may as well take a selfie and post it on Facebook with a caption saying “Writing things”?