KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinean society has changed rapidly from good to bad and with it people’s ethical behaviour. The Pidgin English language has changed too.
The betel nut and mustard markets and the dens of the drug addicts are also factories where the latest Tok Pisin is manufactured.
Old and young alike are now savvy in manufacturing words and there is no keeping adult-only language away from kids.
Coarse language, sexually explicit songs and dirty jokes are aired freely in the internet and social media, in ordinary conversation and on radio stations [referred to as Tok Pisin Kilim Ol [‘having infinite vocabulary in Pidgin’].
In this overwhelming melee of information, Kenyan money schemes and Filipino global money pyramids send chain emails and Facebook messages to lure people into false wealth arrangements.
Some smart people in PNG have also learnt a few tricks from these money scams and devised their own swindles to make money, acquire mobile phone credits or have sex on dinau and flee without paying.
The words manufactured and used by con men, pimps and drug addicts inundate villages, towns and settlements. They are words cooked up to massage educated fools and wannabe politicians to ego-climax even as their money is siphoned off.
Strangely, it’s a tactic that is somehow tolerated and has taken hold on society. Maybe desperate people will believe anything.
In Simbu, some of the fabricated titles are Daddy Boss, Fada, Paps Mahn, Senior Mangi, Yalkuru, Leader, Apkuru, Chief, Fitman and more.
If an educated man goes into a pub or some con men’s den, one of them will politely stalk him and then minutes later a crowd will circle and start bestowing him with titles.
“Chief, when did you come? Oh, please, some extrasensory wiring in heaven must have been switched on between us when you contemplated coming here.
“I actually uttered tributes about you yesterday to some people from the other tribe. Chief, you can ask Tom, Dick and Rose and they will confirm what I just told you.”
Rose will loudly lecture fellow pimps, “Paps Mahn actually schooled to the cliff-edge of knowledge. There is no more left that he can study”.
These and more feel good sermons flow uninterrupted until the addressee’s legs grow longer and head bigger quick time.
Only a handful of educated people and village tycoons tell these scammers to shut up and vanish but many with leadership obsessions and scholarly egos unfortunately do not sieve genuine conversation from the gibberish of vanity stroking.
Many targets succumb to the bait of the con men and women and squander their hard earned cash. In fact, many believe this foolish talk and resign from good jobs or halt their entrepreneurial ambitions to run for elections, unfortunately going bankrupt in the process.
In last year’s national election, for example, the con men, pimps and drug addicts targeted Simbus in the diaspora who were returning to contest one of the province’s seats.
Most of these outsiders who came back to join the contest possessed wealth and highly credentialled CVs and were subjected to a range of scams and gimmicks to siphon off their wealth.
And what happened at the polls? Well, the people voted for Simbu-based candidates and not a single person from the diaspora was elected to any of the seats in any capacity at all.
At that point they realised they were in fact not the heroes they thought they were in the pubs and addicts’ dens.
Many of those fooled and duped are now themselves smoking marijuana and sipping homebrew with the drug addicts.
Others are back in Port Moresby looking for a big contract or following politicians around the corridors of power seeking to amass some wealth, presumably so they can return to feed the pimps and savour more ego-inflating titles.
To many people, the best music to their ears is not hearing the great Pat Siwi or Tom Lari but hearing their own name on the lips of another person. Especially if it preceded by Daddy Boss, Fada, Paps Mahn, Leader, Chief or some other honorific.
The truth is that names are a part of every culture and they are of enormous importance to the tribes and the people who receive them.
There are no lesser names in a tribe; all names are to be revered and these are more important than addressing a person with manufactured titles.
Aspiring leaders and educated men should be able to sieve genuine sentiments from gibberish and ego stroking. They need to tell these con men straight to their face to call them by their mothers’ given names and nothing else.
Aspiring leaders and educated people have to know how to communicate, interact, bridge and bond with genuine people in the mountains and valleys if they wish to successfully pursue their political or other ambitions.