Do you remember this day during the #COVID19 global lockdown?

When the word “essential” became very dangerous?

I do and that day remains marked in my head forever!


Photo credit: Bureau of Labour Statistics


It was around the second and third national address that the president here was making about COVID19, that I first heard that word.

I kept on wondering what they meant by “essential workers”.

Until someone explained it to me. That was when the lid to my brain was blown off!

I was mad!


Photo credit: UNICEF


Who ever sat down and decided that some peoples’ work is more essential than that of others?

Who ever sat down and decided for us that some lives are way more important than those of others?

Who ever came to me and consulted me about the importance of my life and what I do with it?


A car stops in front of a roadblock in Kampala, Uganda. The government has imposed restrictions on transportation as part of its effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.


In so many corners of the world, it meant that if you were labelled as a “non-essential worker”, then your respective government would look into your life last!

That meant that so many people would lose their lives over the mere fact that a certain word was not defining them in that moment to those in the corridors of power at the time!

In some corners of the world, it meant that people had to fabricate and forge stickers and permits that allowed them to access towns and areas filled with resources necessary for their survival!


Photo credit: Al Jazeera


When I say that the government would look into your life last, I mean you would be receiving the life-saving vaccines and medications you need whenever the government would deem it so.

Hunger would literally finish you off if you did not have some money or good credit on you to buy some food!

The evenings and days were determined by a game of survival for the fittest; whoever could get their hands on another’s property would turn out to be a monster to everyone else (evidence bag: the crime report from your area).


Photo credit: Los Angeles Times


I always think of the people who were branded “non-essentials” or “non-essential workers”.

I always side with them.


Photo credit: The New Leam


Valuing work and peoples’ effort commonly known as labour is something so dear to me.

The day the word “essential” became very dangerous opened me up to more insight on work and labour!