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On freeloading scumbags and love scams

Keletso Thobega

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I recently caught wind of a case involving some Kanye chap who apparently swindled a Japanese woman of P100, 000. The handsome yellow-bone promised to marry her only to later ditch her after getting the money. Mmh…Gatwe ‘Mongwaketse’ a bo gotwe tuu! There are many local women who have been cleaned out by guys under the pretext of love. In worse scenarios, some women even married themselves: the dude coerced her to foot the wedding expenses while he “sorts his finances.” There is a growing trend of men who sponge off women. It is perhaps one reason that some men are usually quick to ask a woman “O bereka kae?” Several celebrities and socialites have posted on social media about the guy in town, who will make you pay his booze bill, ask for petrol money or cash for one pressing matter or other yet never pay back.

I understand that this guy is a smooth talker who seduces a woman out of her last Pulas. The modus operandi is to proclaim their undying love and come up with stories that would lead to the woman giving him her hard-earned money. In my time, such guys were reffered to as ‘scrubs.’ I don’t know what they call them nowadays. I don’t think there is any guy who would leech me. O a go simolola ha kae? Men give me money, not the other way round. But never say never. I suspect that the women who were scammed in the name of love never saw it coming. If a man can pretend to be interested in you in order to shag you, why wouldn’t he fake a relationship to fleece off you? And men know that women are crazy about being in love, and that some women are naive and impressionable. When a man tells her he loves her, she gets excited and starts opening everything: her legs, her home, her purse…ales! Conmen are always quick to declare love and sing never ending praises for their target.

Playing someone is an art – you identify their weaknesses, study them, figure out what they want and act like it. Think of it as being on a soapie set. I understand that nowadays these conmen co-habit with their targets. He starts off leaving his wash cloth that looks like a piece of biltong in the bathroom and soon a bag, and the next thing he is the man of the house (who doesn’t bring the bacon to the table). Ba re ba ipereka, motho wa teng o tlhola a kaname a lebeletse TV a ja mopako wa bana. Ke raa… dilo tsa GC! The dynamics of any relationship change when money and materialism are the crutch. Issues of abuse and infidelity often emanate from there. Gone are the days of the man who took pride in being breadwinner and working hard to make ends meet to ensure that his family leads a comfortable life. Nowadays there is a rampant disturbing culture of laziness and short-cuts.

Some people just don’t want to earn their keep and find it convenient to get ahead at the expense of other people. When it comes to dating, some women ignore decent men and run with the ‘men are trash’ variety. For a strange reason, some members of the female species believe in turning men into projects – they see him for what he can become, not what he is. But these same chaps use and spit them out like phlegm… And basic common gents have no mercy. Ba kgora jaaka batho ba ko ditsheng ba kopane le phitlho ee nonneng!

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Ag, shame Kgathi!

Ernest Moloi

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How the mighty have fallen! This past weekend’s Botswana Democratic Party’s Bulela Ditswe primary elections were a demonstration of democracy in action. We need to get accustomed to the painful truth that in life you win some, you lose some!

But somehow, we have built a culture that of anti-change, we equate change with collapse, destruction or maybe it’s because we fear the unknown. Like our good MELS president would say, you move from the known to the unknown, but somehow that statement rings hollow for him considering the length of time he’s been MELS’ president!
Domkrag has been in power for over 50 uninterrupted years. By now it should have built a critical mass, a pool of leaders from which to select in the wards, cells, branches and regions. Democracy is a work in progress, being perfected every time.

Like our late former Vice President the General, Mompati Merafhe would say, “No one has a monopoly of knowledge.” The BDP must take heed of this counsel if it is to survive post Bulela Ditswe. The Old Guard must remember, and take the cue from people like the Mother of the House, Mma Venson-Moitoi, who has served this country diligently but is wise to know when it is time to hand the baton to others in this relay called politics.

In the same vein, the Young Turks, in their brash and radical ways must learn that there’s absolutely nothing new under the sun! They must learn to bide their time and do their bit when their turn comes. They should never think they are reinventing the wheel. Like we’ve said, democracy, like any other political system, is a work in progress.
But the vainglorious and big-headed don’t see this. They are self-centred, conceited and arrogant. They despise the mass of their people. They neglect their constituencies, only visiting them when elections are due and thereafter go on with their lives without a care in the world!

Worse still, their political parties also influence this attitude in that in some instances candidates are selected in Gaborone and dispatched to go and represent their respective native villages. This is not good enough and can never be a solution. We need home-bred leaders, we cannot be importing leaders from Gaborone! My best wishes go to all the runners-up in the past weekend’s primary elections. These men and women showed character. Certainly I feel very sorry for Shaw Kgathi because he was de-campaigned by BaNgwato Kgosi, Ian Khama. I am afraid this is a clear indication that BaNgwato hegemony in some parts of Central District remains entrenched even in the 21st Century.

But, the victor must tread carefully. I think it’s too early to raise Champagne glasses! A fractured BDP may become easy picking for Botswana Congress Party in 2019 in this constituency especially if UDC comes to the party! My sympathies also go to Biggie Butale and Tirelo ‘Scania’ Mukokomani in Tati West who I understand were floored by a Young Turk, the president of the BDP Youth Wing, Simon Mavange! I think both gentlemen can still be useful in other enterprises outside politics!

There was also my good friend Itumeleng Moipisi in Kgalagadi North losing to transport magnate, Talita Monnakgotla. I am not sure why Talita would want to go into politics, all I know is that she’s a savvy businesswoman, but as for Moipisi, I think we have lost a wise man in government. I won’t say anything about Nonofho Molefi. We all know the mastermind behind his demise. He dug the pit that would swallow him up the day he dared to challenge then Vice President, now President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the chairmanship of the ruling party.

When all is said and done, I am very happy with the outcome. I know some are worried that too many loyalists of former president Ian Khama have won and that this could somehow resuscitate his hopes of gaining influence in his father’s party and ultimately government if BDP wins in 2019.As for me, I say the sun has set on Khama’s political career. He must just continue with his charitable and altruistic cause. It fits him perfectly especially that he’s also a Kgosi. He must steer clear of dirty politics and do all within his power to dignify the seat of tribal power!

After all is he not the one that taught us this dictum? BaKgatla will be celebrating KgosiKgolo Kgafela’s 10th Anniversary this September in Moruleng and I suppose in Mochudi. It would be an honour to have Kgosi Khama grace this occasion; after all he is the one that installed Kgafela back in 2008 and draped him in a leopard’s skin!

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Of today’s men sharing beer with women and children

Matshediso Fologang

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The world in which I grew up is no more. This weekend I met with my boys – most of whom are now senior citizens – at the usual Motswere tree. I am not known to imbibe in alcoholic beverages of any kind, but every time I find myself with these boys, each will have brought himself a bottle.

Where we are all very broke, we contribute towards the drinks using the motshelo model. We make contributions to be used to purchase a few litres of traditional beer commonly known as maswe a dinala in Ramotswa, or mukuru as in Serowe. These meetings with the boys have become regular and because I am always there, a lot of people who are not my close friends have always wrongly assumed I also take the stuff.

As we have always done without fail, we were at the Motswere tree again recently. The mood this time was triggered by an activity at Tashy’s Gardens near Boatle. The Speaker of the National Assembly was host to the CPA Africa Region Conference in Gaborone. As part of the activities they were treated for a culture day at the gardens. Our culture has this thing of bringing us together through music and dance. Also in our tradition, there is always a lot of eating. Actually we like our Basotho cousins who believe that “mokete yo o senang nama ga se mokete,” literally meaning that a feast without meat is no feast at all.

Eating at this CPA outing was in typical African fashion. The diverse nature of our society through food, music and dance was on display to the excitement of the guests. Groups from across the length and breadth of this wonderful country were there to display their talents and styles. Truly the CPA Africa Region delegates went back mesmerized. This is however what was in our minds this weekend at Motswere tree. It was just a coincidence that we the boys from that area were part of the traditional groups specifically asked to entertain the guests. In our group we always have to end the day with lots of bojalwa, which was in oversupply on the day.

On the day, quite interestingly, my guys waived a lot of ‘protocol observed’ in the consumption of the holy fawn stuff. In the days of our growing up, young maidens could not sit amongst men to freely drink. We have as a group agreed that we should accommodate modern things. Some young ladies joined us and asked that we fill their bottles with the bojalwa. It was just wonderful that there was no single objection to this. Women and mostly from our neighbours South Africa, wanted to taste the local traditional beer. The stuff was frothing which is always considered good. All and sundry praised the stuff as the best.

As the day ended, we the Motswere boys asked for an extra provision of 60 litres of the bojalwa. We then ferried it to our secluded Motswere place, where we would later spend the evening freely singing our traditional festive music. Despite having allowed women earlier to freely drink during the day at our fort, we resorted to our practice of not sharing bojalwa with children and women. It will take us long to understand gender neutrality at Motswere tree.

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