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.
Ladies, go ahead and spoil your kings
FEBRUARY is the month of love and the hopeless romantics must be looking forward to nothing but love, romance and a little chocolate indulgence and all the good things.
On Valentine’s Day, observed on February 14 each year, lovers spoil each other and express just how much they love and appreciate their better half. Often times, as women we are the ones that get pampered. It’s as if the day belongs to us. Let me challenge my sisters to put their men first this Valentine’s. There is so much pressure on our men to make us happy. Why not spoil him this year? I will assist you with a few ideas.
Simplicity goes a long way with men. Women like diamonds, and sparkles, but men like kindness and thoughtfulness. When out with your friends and his coke and cup come, open it up for him and pour his drink, put some napkins next to him, add the sugar to his tea. The man’s sole job is to take care of you in life, why not take care of them in whatever way you can? The most important thing a woman can be to a man, is that bright ray of sunshine in his life. After a long’s day work, men want to come home, or meet someone smiling with a positive attitude to lift his spirits.
He most definitely doesn’t want to meet a nag. Spoil your man and make him feel adored and be the smile in his life. The moment he sees you he puts that work worry behind him for a few hours and focuses on you. That way both of you gain out of the relationship, as opposed to coming home to a heated argument and sleeping mad at each other. You will just wake up more frustrated and the awful cycle will begin.
Men love soccer, basketball, or whatever sport seems to be trending nowadays. A super easy way to spoil your man is to pay attention to his favourite player and team, because that way you can personalise something meaningful to him. Opt for his favorite player’s jersey, instead of a perfume or a regular shirt, and print his name and lucky number on it. Just like we like jewellery, they like jerseys. When two people meet, there is a period in which he meets your friends, you meet his friends and the little acquaintances begin.
Why don’t you exert the extra effort and spoil your man by building a relationship with his close friends? Before you came along, these people were very important to him, and if they are important to him, they should be extremely important to you. Men love to see that their women care and appreciate. If he is picking on weight, go to the gym together. Be his motivation. Use words of affirmation to show him you’re his girl. Speak about progress and results.
Tell him you are thankful for the way he executes his fatherly duties, his providing for you, his efforts to make you happy and assure him of your support. Be his number one cheerleader.
Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
It’s a shame: Death has been commercialised
This past weekend there were five funerals in the village part that I live.
Men, women and youth thronged the homesteads and the graveyard where funeral rites were conducted. As I sat amongst men old and young, I could not help but recall the phobia that I had of death and all the funeral rites that followed. Through the ceremonies I watched the mannerisms and the accompanying conduct of everybody around. I recalled how revered these ceremonies were in my youthful days. The adult men sitting near me expressed concern over the current generation’s funerals and associated rituals.
In the days when I was brought up certain things that are done were unheard of. The way people behaved was far different from that of the current generation. In the early days death (loso) was observed and conducted with much order and respect. The rituals associated with the burial ceremony were conducted with awe. These days things have changed. This time it would be unfair to blame the young people for the change in our practices. When I grew up then there were no mortuaries and funerals were done immediately. The ceremony was simple and conducted with less costs. Those of the family who were outside the village would always find the funeral done and completed.
In the current era funerals have to be carried out after all the relatives and the entire extended have been informed. As they wait for the arrival of far-off relatives, there is a feeding and catering to the entire village. This is an extra burden on the family. In the days past, whatever catering and food preparations if any, were minimal and cheap. Whatever was prepared for the people was given to the deceased family. The whole village shared the processes leading to the burial.
Death was a communal activity. This time things have changed. The funeral preparations and associated ceremonies have become very costly. The costs associated with death are far exhorbitant than those incurred by our parents. As families wait for a week or so before the actual burial it means they alone have to bear the burden. What has changed is the expense relating to the coffins and the use of marquees.
The families have begun a culture of hiring all the other things that were not known as I grew up. Death has been commercialized. As the families want to do what the “Jones” do next door, people have been lured by insurance companies and mortuary operators to join schemes that will provide for all the necessities for a well-funded funeral. This has the tendency to stretch people’s budgets. There are no longer simple funeral ceremonies.
What is even worse is that these modern funerals have also in a way become fashion shows. People come to the funerals dressed to kill and therefore unlike in the past many come there to show off their “labels” and the latest gadgets. The attendant burial activities at the graveyard are now a thing for the less privileged. The fashion mongers just look on from a distance while their heads are dipped into their phones. Yet these guys are the first to disregard protocol at feeding points once the burial has been concluded. Shame on us!
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