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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

When proselytes ask Lulu to abandon acting, ditch all friends

22nd April 2012
Elizabeth Michael, famous as `Lulu`

Reports have been circulating in newspapers that some prayer groups operating in some remand prisons have descended on Elizabeth Michael, famous as ‘Lulu’ now in serious problems, to take her on a different course of life.

One such narration said the young actress was taken through what is called a ‘repenting prayer’ where she would promise to abandon her previous lifestyle, dubbed as inappropriate and obviously it also explains her problems, for a new course in life. There is no outline of what career that is.

There are positive and negative ways of interpreting this initiative on the part of the prayer groups, depending on where one stands in relation to the very phenomenon of that special prayer, where one promises to lead a new life.

The issue hinges on attitude to such prayer from a religious point of view and then attitude to Lulu’s career from an aesthetic or media point of view – as not many people regret the part that Lulu has played in the local film industry.

That feeling isn’t definitely shared by proselytes, thus the initiative. What this repenting on the part of Lulu comes to is to press her to the fundamentalist view that all film is bad and her part in it angers divinity, and thus it is good for her to get out of that industry once she leaves remand prison.

This effort reminds one of a recent BBC report, in one preliminary reporting towards the London Games in a few months that an Algerian woman1500 gold medalist had to leave the country and participate from safety in Germany. Local preachers could not stand a woman in athletics gear with her body exposed to ‘non-permitted males’ to see, contrary to their most important values.

There is only a slight difference from hating athletics and hating the film industry, as in the former it is believed that merely seeing a woman’s body is contrary to scripture, and in the latter it is assumed that acting leads to having multiple relationships. That clearly is unacceptable and for that reason it is better that the film industry should close down, as young women like Lulu are being misled in life owing to that industry. Still one would pose the question, that suppose a young woman had different relationships without acting, what could the proselytes do? Is this not just seeking a key hole to insert a prayer?

Examining things at close range one finds that all this proselyte imagination is faulty, for it believes that if everyone abandoned ‘sinful industries’ like alcoholic beverages, music and the film industry the country (or the world) would be a better place.

This is to show a profound lack of comprehension of the violence embedded in human nature, and how games and other performance arts – or mind-dulling drinks and inhalation – are often the only way to keep sanity in its place. When dozens of people fainted at the funeral of Lulu’s close friend Steven Kanumba, it is because he gave them meaning to their lives and feelings that no proselyte can cover that gap.

They have a point in how life could be improved, but they should be humble enough to admit they don’t really know everything.


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