By: Humphrey .M. Kiingi
Anti Counterfeit Network Ltd (ACN)
Common to both the Quran and Biblical scriptures, the ancient story of Moses and the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt is told. I believe that some relevant insights can still be drawn from this story today, as we’ll realize shortly.
Upon his arrival before the Egyptian Pharaoh, Moses drops his stick and it turns into a snake as proof that he was sent by God Almighty. Interestingly, the Egyptian magicians drop theirs and they turn into snakes too. Now ordinarily this would seem like a draw game; and based on this one occurrence, the stage was set for the Pharaoh to defy Moses and his God. If He was making snakes out of his stuff and the magicians were doing the same, then surely he shouldn’t be any much better of a god than the magicians.
As it were the serpent or snake, as we better know it, from Moses stuff ends up swallowing all the magicians’ serpents. But Pharaoh’s heart is already hardened by the first appearance of sameness. Much as the hand of God is believed to have been behind this hardness of heart, the apparent power of the alternative gods showcased by the magicians went a long way in facilitating and emboldening the Pharaoh for this stand off against Moses.
As a result, the apparent sameness between the true God of heaven and the small counterfeit gods of the magicians caused an entire nation to suffer 10 dreadful plagues including country wide darkness, bloody waters, frogs, fleas, boils and nationwide deaths in every single Egyptian household! But the story doesn’t end there either. There is still more loss to come:
In a desperate attempt to stop the slaves he had resentfully set free, the Pharaoh gets an afterthought to pursue and either destroy or recapture them. But as the story unfolds, the attempt is yet another unforeseen disaster. Seeing the followers of the genuine God miraculously walk across the Red Sea on dry ground, the Pharaoh’s army tries to follow suit not realizing that their counterfeit gods were incapable of such a feat. Long story short, an entire army drowns in an instant!
That exactly is the danger of the counterfeit culture. Its danger is not in the appearance of things. In fact, quite often a counterfeit looks very much the same as the genuine product on the market out there; sometimes even more attractive. But the actual quality and safety of the fake product is always uncertain.
The salesmen being like the magicians in the analogy will also showcase these fake products, as though they were the genuine; sometimes even hiking their prices artificially, to make unsuspecting consumers believe that their price is a reflection of their quality.
Over in Uganda where I hail from, the phrase, “…kikola nga…” (Meaning: … it works the same as…) is not all together unfamiliar. But that one phrase of presumed sameness is the hinge on which counterfeit gates swing; wiping out entire populations!