My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
It is not unusual for powerful political entrepreneurs to launch self-serving, acerbic attacks on the black middle class for daring to comment unfavourably about the ruling elite. It is also common for the same politicians to launch racially charged attacks on so-called white capital while accepting back-handers in the form of lucrative business opportunities from the same purported enemy. They use their proximity to power in the ruling party and the state as a lever to gain access to these opportunities, while fooling the public into believing they are in a war on behalf of the poorer classes. In short, the convergence point of political, business and social interest of the elite is nothing more than a marketplace in which influences get traded for personal gain under the guise of social consensus. This situation is unsustainable and needs to change if this country is to achieve the level of the cohesion required to make great strides in social, scientific and economic development. – Zongezo Zibi in Business DayBACK TO TOP