What did we do?

We watched the news for weeks in disbelief. What is this thing that has taken hold of famously thriving countries?

We watched the news.

These poor people, this is unbelievable. We went to work. We watched the news.

It’s not here, it’s far away. We watched the news.

Did we do this? Did we violate a natural order?

Who do we blame…

We scrambled, crabs on an evening beach disturbed. We berated each other on any platform possible for our hoarding behaviour, pushing, shoving, mocking.

This too shall pass.

We watched the news. Lockdown. What did we do?

We repaired our roofs, washed our cars, repaired our relationships, stocked fridges, stocked staff and then we sat, guilty feeling a strange excitement at this extraordinary set of circumstances. Or is that dread? Can it be dread?

It’s here. What did we do?

We watched the news.

This is bad…how will we pay? How will we pay?

With our lives if we don’t comply, if we defy?

We watched the news. What did we do?

We learnt from the famously thriving countries…there’s a shortage…

What did we do?

We got busy… we remembered we are African. We are told it doesn’t discriminate. We are African, we know this way of life, we know our hearts, we know we are one heart, we know love, we know help.

What did we do?

We switched off the news. We switched on a sewing machine…a sewing machine? Who still sews? Hundreds of us. Thousands.

What did we do?

Something. We made masks, we made a thin barrier of protection created by thousands of fingers, cutting, stitching, folding, giving late into the night.

We made hundreds. We made thousands.

We are making hundreds and thousands of little barriers, I want to protect you, I want you to protect me.

We’ll need more. Millions more.

10MillionMasks more. And then we will do it again.

That’s what we did.

That’s what we are doing.