Far away in a land called Bakukuland of the Ganis people, appeared visitors called the Itwa. The Itwa visitors were endowed with two unique aspects that awed the natives of Bakukuland; magical sticks and a grey matter hidden deep in their heads. Their magical implements spitted fire and smoke, capable of exterminating life. Their grey stuff safely tucked in their heads had the magic to manipulate Ganis’ minds. The Itwa had the power to penetrate a Gani’s mind and change its direction of thought. On this particular day, they showed up, smiling to the last tooth, armed with presents.
Some of the presents the Itwa delivered were magical items; a “book” and a mirror. The Ganis were offered the mirror to admire their faces and the book to solve all their problems. Happy Ganis feasted their eyes and soul on these gifts, evenly becoming preoccupied with the same. Unbeknownst to the Ganis, as they were getting high off the Itwa’s supply, their visitors were equally feasting on their few earthly possessions. By the time the Ganis were done indulging in their gifts, albeit with an enlightened and literate mind, their possessions were missing.
But it was all good; they were consoled by the fact that they still had the book, with the added advantage of perusing it and understanding every sign and symbol indicated therein. After all, they can always find refuge and solace in Itwa’s book, so they were made to believe. Several seasons later, the Gani have become accustomed to the Itwa’s ways. He can speak, act and dress like him. The Itwa had resorted to using violence to tame the Gani for their resources but have now decided otherwise. They find violence way too inconvenient. Besides, they have discerned that violence is not always the solution, so they gathered after engaging in a little tug of war with their perceived foes. Itwa understands it is better to penetrate the Ganis’s heart with thoughts than with guns.
As for the Ganis, he is still preoccupied with his book and mirror. Itwa knows how to keep them busy. His leash on Gani man must be maintained. Their value is way too high to drop. Every day the Itwa must find new methods to keep his stooges attached. He keeps gifting them unique presents while smiling, as usual. Fortunately, the Itwa has a tight rein on the Ganis’ leaders. They do most of the work for them, regarding the Ganis, as long as they are gifted. They make work even much easier for the Itwa. Once again, the mirror game is in place. It’s more convenient than violence. It is effective. Very silent. Has far-reaching consequences. So, the Itwa innovates the mirror and adds magic to it. The Ganis are, once again, gifted the magical mirror. The new version not only reflects images but also accords the Ganis all his mental needs that the Itwa carefully curates to reflect their desires for the Ganis, for it is evident that the Ganis does not know what they want for themselves.
The Gani admires himself in the magical mirror. Soothes his ego on the magical mirror. The mirror becomes his new friend, the new brother, mother, sister, and lover. Partakes in all kinds of perceived taboos in the mirror. The Ganis’ women expose themselves in the mirror, a highly taboo practice in Ganis’ culture. The Itwa says it’s okay; he says that is a “form of expression.” They have the freedom of expression; as long as the Ganis agree to Itwa’s lists, they have freedom of expression. Itwa says it’s okay to abandon Ganis’ identity and embrace his. Itwa says it’s not okay to have an independent mind. Itwa says it’s not okay to be normal. There are a few grumbles here and there, and a few misguided elements prefer their old lives, but it is okay.
Itwa takes note of the few grumbles. He is sharp and identifies every emerging element in his environment. He knows a small thorn can cause the lion significant discomfort. He decides to change his tactic. He targets the heart, the backbone, the foundation of the Ganis society: women. He knows they are easily convinced. A very close friend of Itwa, Mr Natas, taught Itwa this trick. Apparently, in the faraway land of Nede, Natas disguised himself as a snake and convinced a woman. The act can be replicated. So, the Itwa gives Ganis women the magical mirror and convinces them it’s okay to do as she wants. It is their right. She has the right to feel like Ganis men. She finally has the freedom to do as she wants. Unbeknownst to the Ganis, amidst this whole distraction, the Itwa is embarking on a new course of his life. Some tell-tale signs indicate he is tired of the world. He is talking about visiting a new world that the Ganis see on the sky. How he will get there, who knows?
These rumours make their way to the Ganis, but they quickly laugh it over and dismiss it as a mental issue. They are crazy; they said while smiling and looking into the mirror. If the rumours turn out to be accurate, they can always be gifted by the Itwa. Their leaders think so. In a faraway land of the Aneshi, it is said they are exhibiting similar Itwa tendencies. The Gani continues admiring his face in the new magical mirror; he does not mind the new development or the problems he is undergoing. But he is happy with the new magical mirror. The world continues spinning. A deity looks up from the cloud. The Ganis’ ancestors look up from their high place. Together, they cannot all help but wonder whether it is the Itwa’s fault for doing what they can to survive or the Gani’s fault for not doing anything they can to survive.