The Power of Information

By Neema Mbararo

In a village, there was a person who used to sell gold as his life occupation. He started this business when he was still unmarried, to the time he got married and his last born of the seven children got the age of 10. All the time he worked on the gold before selling them to Europeans, the guy always instructed all his children how to clean it. He could even take time to introduce his first born to the Europeans who were his customers in order to let them know that the son could continue working with them the times he could not show up.

One day, the gold businessman went to meet his customers in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi, together with the gold he was going to sell to them. But before going there, he left some other pieces of gold to his children, saying that if he took time to be back, they would also have given the pieces to some shopkeepers in order to get money for food and other family daily needs.

When the man arrived in Burundi, he met the customers and sold the gold to them. At that time, the man used to illegally cross the river separating Burundi and D R Congo for going and returning to avoid the Burundian soldiers who always secure the borders. The man successfully crossed the Ruzizi river and accomplished everything in Burundi as he planned. After selling all the gold he had to the Europeans, he started his way back to the village using the illegal process of crossing the river at night.

As usual, before starting swimming, he took time to pack everything in one plastic bag at the riverside in order to easily move with it in the river. However on that day, as , he was packing, unfortunately, the Burundi soldiers came and ambushed him. When he saw them coming, he tried to run away without responding to their calls, and this made the soldiers angry until they shot the man to death.

The children of the dead man continued living without knowing that their father was shot to death because no one could reveal this, because it was done at night by the security force of another country. When the children noticed that the father had failed to return, they therefore remembered what he told them before going to Burundi.

One week later, the eldest of the family whose name was Emmanuel took the pieces of the gold to a shopkeeper in order to exchange it for some food and other stuff. The shopkeeper refused saying that they were less valuable than the food they needed. This child did the same to many shopkeepers without getting what he needed. He finally returned home to tell his siblings about the failure in order to think about what to do. During their home meeting, each child proposed something to do, like sending one of them to Burundi, reporting to the police and so on, but they all agreed with the idea to go and live together with a poor villager who used to help their father in the farming work.

After failing to exchange with the shopkeepers, the children went to that villager who was poor–but had a lot of information on gold and its value. Being at the villager’s place, the children explained their problem to the villager and showed him the pieces of gold that the shopkeepers refused to take. When the poor village saw the gold, he felt very happy and pledged to continue assisting them with food and things for their every need once they could give him the gold.

Because the children had already failed to find someone to buy the gold, they readilyagreed to give the gold to the poor villager and this one also took the gold to some Europeans that he knew. In doing so, the poor villager sold the gold at a good price that made him to get much money and became a millionaire thanks to the gold from the orphans he accepted to help. As the villager had pledged, he continued to live with the children and took them to different schools where they graduated and also became employees in the company that the poor villager bought.

What made the children suffer was the lack of information on where to sell the gold and its value, as well as the shopkeepers who also lost the chance to increase their wealth due to the lack of information. The shopkeepers refused the gold because they had no information yet they were rich. But the poor villager who had the information on it became the wealthiest in the village thanks to the information he had.

10 November, 2023