EDITOR’S NOTE ON THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT SYNDROME

Editor

Monkeypox lesionsFor over two years now, the world has been captivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the unwelcome guest we would so badly wish to go away soon, the virus keeps rearing its ugly head in different forms. Believe it or not, we are now getting mutants of mutants, partly because some people are obstinate about being vaccinated or have no access to the vaccine, thus allowing the virus to multiply and mutate. As if that is not a big enough problem, we now have a new virus with an ugly syndrome, the monkeypox virus, making its round in several countries in Europe and America. The good thing is that the virus is not as dangerous as COVID-19 in terms of infectivity and pathology. 

Of course, in the last year, many people thought they would not be affected by war in a far-flung place like Ukraine, but, lo and behold, the world is now discovering that the negative effects of war, rising fuel, and food prices, etc.  have no respect for distance. The consequences of the Ukraine-Russia war also remind the world that we are far more inter-connected than many people realize.

The May Edition the Nile Journal is dedicated to what I call the Blind Men and the Elephant syndrome. Many readers will recall reading some versions of the story in elementary or primary schools. The story which originated from the Indian subcontinent is about blind men who were asked to describe the elephant after touching it.

Naturally, each man’s description differed from the others based on which part of the elephant he touched. In some versions, they subsequently came to blows because they thought the others were lying or everyone thought the others were accusing him of  a falsehood. Other versions emphasize how to resolve differences as they eventually agree to assemble their evidence to paint a more complete picture of the elephant, etc.

Anyhow, the different articles in this month’s Edition show how the blind man and the elephant syndrome manifests itself in different situations. The first article by the Editor is about the demise of the late Speaker of Ugandan Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah; one from South Sudan by Dr. Akec about the Jonglei dam construction which you might not have heard of but has important lessons to learn from; one from Sweden by Ocaya p’Ocure informing us on what has pushed Sweden to abandon its neutral position to apply for NATO membership, Dr. Birara reminds us of what drives Western governments, non-governmental organizations, and media to propagate false narratives about the Ethiopian war which deliberately ignore recent evidence of who committed what atrocities in Ethiopia. Finally, Mr. Acemah shares his prediction of who will win the upcoming Kenyan presidential election.