Unlike it was the case in the past, we, the 21st century parents, no longer play a role in the upbringing of our children in the community.
And these children thrive on knowing that of our failure to act jointly in their discipline. In the months of July and August last year, Ramotswa residents were traumatized by some marauding youth gangs that were made of both boys and girls. These groups – one known as Boko Haram and the other Mathembisa – were known to target commuters to and from Gaborone. There were, of course, other smaller groupings that meted terror on people, but these two were the more prominent. Initially they snatched hand bags from innocent men and women. There were stories of some people being forced to part ways with their laptops and other gadgets including mobile phones.
As if their terror on villagers wasn’t traumatic enough, these groups started to fight over territorial space. The battle lines were drawn and defined. The Boko Haram and Mathembisa were more prominent and each group was expected to stay in their territory. The village was not safe, and, unfortunately, all this was evidence that many parents had dismally failed in their duty to discipline their children. As the thing worsened, the traditional leadership was duty bound to act, and act they did.
Traditional mephato were mobilized. The action taken was marvelous as they managed to successfully round up these wayward young boys and girls. As the Setswana adage states: “Thupa ga e bolaye, e bolaya peba” – these young people were flogged in the presence of their parents. Some parents were grateful for the action taken. Sadly others were against this. The worst hypocrisy was when some cried and claimed that flogging was bad.
The village has in the weeks leading to the festive period had yet another act of youth indiscipline. The 24-hour Siga clinic staff were terrorized by these youth. These marauding youth forcefully gained entry into the facility and helped themselves with items including mobile phones. Everyone in the vicinity of the medical facility knew about these acts, but sadly the parents living in this area never took any action.
We have chosen to abdicate our parental responsibility and expect someone from outside to guide our own children. Youth indiscipline is not only about stealing – it includes even total disrespect for the elderly including one’s own parents. Sadly we have abdicated our parental responsibilities to government and teachers. We as parents have instead chosen to talk of children’s rights. I took a walk around this part of the village in a mission to understand what could have gone wrong.
I grew up here with an understanding that any elderly person could discipline me and my age mates for any deviant behavior regardless of relationship. We were brought up that way in the village. Whatever has gone wrong? Today’s parent doesn’t have time for his children as more time is spent at a variety of drinking holes. In this area we have homesteads that are known to sell traditional beer on all days of the week.
There are Bo-Mma Sontaga up to Mma Sateretaga. Adults move from one lapa to the next drinking bo Setiripa-kgosi and never return home sober. Meanwhile at our homes we have children who lack role models. The children grow up knowing that lawlessness is the village order. The modern parent should look back and introspect – think of why he or she grew up disciplined while the children are so wayward. Society is full of evil children nowadays and it is us, the modern parents, who have molded them this way.
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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