African Dictators: Portia Spiders
By Belayneh Abate
Portia Spider is a jumping spider with unique deceptive behaviors. The Portia Spider by nature is araneophagic, meaning it eats other spiders. To kill its prey, the Portia spider uses different mechanisms. The first way is to mimic the vibration of the other (regular) spider’s prey. That means if the regular spider eats flies, the Portia spider vibrates like flies to attract the spider it wants to devour. The second hoax the Portia spider utilizes is modifying its morphology. The Portia spider changes its look, for example, to a kind of debris when its victim suddenly looks at it. As soon as the prey passes by the “debris”, the merciless Portia spider jumps and consumes the unfortunate spider. In one or another way, the Portia Spider lives devouring other spiders by utilizing deception and coercion as its instruments.
Similarly, African dictators look homophagic (human-eating) in nature. Observing the number of innocent people dying and suffering every day under direct or indirect actions of African rulers on one hand and the luxuries lives of these rulers on the other, one can conclude that African despots live eating callously their own “species”, namely African citizens. As the universe understands, the despots assume power via direct killings and/or through their unique specialty known as vote- rigging. Then, just like the Portia spiders, they utilize variety of hunting methods and tools such as webs of spies, well fed armies and police officers, kangaroo courts, bogus election boards, marionette ministers, conscienceless individuals and so on to hunt their victims . However, African despots are a little bit cleverer than Portia spiders. When their victims (ordinary Africans) suffer from starvation, famine and communicable diseases resulting from tyranny rules, they bow towards the wealthy nations for dollars, pounds and Euros to facilitate their luxuries lives further. In other words, unlike the Portia spiders, the African despots utilize their victims in multiple ways to prolong their lavish lives.
Most Portia spiders live only one or two years unlike African dictators (bad luck for my fellow Africans!). A Portia spider eats approximately one spider per day. An African dictator on the other hand could kill (using weapons, starvation, diseases or other means of atrocities) thousands; imprison and subject to torture tens of thousands in a day. Pick up your calculator and do the math! How many lives could a dictator annihilate during his life span sitting on his blood-stained chair? How seriously could he hamper the developmental prospects of the future generation? Well, it depends on the number of years he stays in power. By the legacy of evolution or the will of God, the victims of Portia spiders have been trying to develop methods of protecting themselves. For example running away, hiding in the nest, and fighting individually. Similarly, the victims of African dictators have been trying to protect themselves by hiding themselves, living in exile, reacting individually or in groups. However, running, hiding and reacting individually or in smaller groups are non-effective methods of surviving. Africans should stop playing the role of individual or small group victims. Instead they should unite themselves and remove these Portia spiders in order to live as humans and citizens with dignity. Thank you!
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org