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You surely kept us on tenterhooks my dear Jan.

Joe Brown

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Dear January

Allow me to pass my condolences on the sudden passing of your bosom buddy December of 2018 with whom you conspired to eat and drink us off our hard-earned money.

The way things were going with that December lad – the parties, credit card-swiping, the cheating, the picnics, the beer, the recklessness, the adultery, the show off – he was never going to last longer and it is no wonder he is now gone and sadly forgotten after that sudden death that happened at the height of exaggerated excitement and jubilation.

I’m awed though, at the frenzy and pomp that met your baton take-over. For a moment everyone had suddenly forgotten that the blissful December of double salaries and fruition of metshelo was gone – and in was you Jan, bringing with you the burden of reality, where the rough financial reckoning of school fees, job hunting, debts, loan applications and the daylight robbery that is ‘development fees’ stare us all in the face.

Now as has happened to your elder brothers who lived in the years past, here you are – lonely, despondent and uneventful as ever, with very little carousing to shout about as all the glitz and swag of 2018 went away with the dearly-departed December.But I must say I am impressed at your improvisation, ensuring that even as you bring with you these agonising regulars, you are not as boring as your other January brothers of the past.

You of the 2019 generation have ensured we remain on tenterhooks with each passing day of your being. There is so much to consume in a very short space of time thanks to your warmth and calm following the December craze. I mean, from the word go you were lit with intriguing stories of Hollywood proportions. From the circus of Kamal Jacobs and his blood-sucking cheerleaders to the blockbuster arrest of Isaac Kgosi, you, dear Jan, have dished more than we can chew and swallow already.

You have in a short span of your life already shown us things we never could have thought would ever visit our peaceful country. December never really knew what your pregnancy carried, and now dikgang le ditiragalo tsa gago di matsorotsoro. I mean, way back in the infancy of your being, we were entertained by the circus that involved that Kamal chap who chanced on Sisiboy and reportedly acting in the interests of the new Israelis of New Jerusalem and their godfather Kgosikgolo in their bid to test the waters on whether or not the legitimacy of the sitting president could be challenged.

The guy was brave.
Or perhaps even foolish, knowing that his godfather had long set that notorious presidential immunity precedent through the Motswaledi case. Of course his lawyers made away with his money – kana bone they were bound to pocket handsomely whether Kamal won or lost. He should have known better, even after he was given hope that he could get things his way.
The circus continued when it emerged Kgosikgolo and his lawyers were now distancing themselves from his case. I guess wherever he is he must be cursing your barrenness and wishing you disappear fast to herald a more hopeful February.

Never one to disappoint, January, you dished even more of this unfolding plot to oust SisiBoy. We learnt of the millionaires in South Africa who were willing to financially back efforts to dispose of the sitting president.

It surely looks like these guys are hellbent on running this country through a captured presidency. I remember that December revelation of some Venson-Moitoi woman who laid bare her intentions of taking over party and state presidency come this July. I tell you that woman is not acting out of genuine motives. A cabal of those with selfish interests is using her. Not the MmaV I know. That’s why I feel that after SisiBoy, we are going to be run by a captured President who will be serving the interests of somebody else and not those of the nation. It actually got worse when it was also announced at the height of your continuing reign, dear January, that Kgosikgolo too, was out on a fundraising mission in London – just to ensure his grand plan to oust the sitting president is well-oiled and will not encounter financial hiccups.

Assuming the funds eventually help remove Masisi, the financiers will be expecting their cut in the deal, and our land could be sold for a song. Le ene Sisiboy must be having a dangerously-inflated confidence. Where does he get the nerve to go on a private visit to Mozambique while his enemies at home are plotting his downfall? Unless maybe he was out there on a truly private mission to seek a counter attacking strategy and plan from his counterparts who are known to have fought fierce territorial battles to protect the presidency against marauding rebels.

And talking about rebels, it was again this month, January, that we learnt of a plot to expel BPP from the UDC for what is deemed some rebellious conduct. I hear they cannot be fully trusted as they have been sympathetic to the BMD. I just do not understand how this UDC thing works really – in the recent past they expelled BMD after denying for months that they were plotting that expulsion. Similarly, they are denying they will be expelling the BPP as well and given their history of denials, I shudder to think where we will be in the coming months with regards to this obscure party of the north.

As things go, I am afraid one of these months the UDC is going to expel either BCP or BNF or even both. It is a party slowly feeding on its body parts and I pray that their denial of wanting to expel the BPP holds water. We can’t afford a hollow UDC that could soon be competing against its original component parties instead of consolidating efforts to defeat the crumbling BDP. It was this month that we again learnt of this BDP’s imminent loss of Shima Monageng who is believed to be on his way to Ndaba’s purple movement. I bet he will promptly become their parliamentary candidate in Molepolole. Kana ko AP when you join, you are assured of a council or parliamentary seat.

I don’t know why Kamal couldn’t just go there and be assured of a platform to fight Matsheka ko Lobatse rather than waste his money on a lost cause. He should learn from the likes of Monageng who just kept their cool upon losing, while plotting their next move. And now when such longtime loyalists of the ruling party are jumping ship, the UDC on the other hand continues to weaken itself. Akere they recently expelled Pilane and part of his party! Now they want to finish him off with some tape and video leaks.

This January surely has a lot of tidings to digest. For some reason, that lady of the threesome fame with the city Mayor is at it again. After a recording was leaked of Pilane asking the lady to drop the rape charges against the Mayor, now the UDC in cahoots with their partners in opposition party politics are gunning for not only Pilane’s head, but also for his burial. It gets worse when the lady in question even spills the beans on the insides of how Pilane cheated his way towards winning elections to lead his party. She continues to chirrup like a city robin that one, and seeks to be forgiven for dropping the charges in the first place, yet ene o setse a jele cut ya 20grand.

They want Pilane to be prosecuted, but they are silent on what should happen with their UDC mayor chap who Pilane was protecting. Politicians! They will humble you. It shows exactly what they mean when they say in politics there are no permanent friends and enemies. Another January 2019 episode proves this. And in this instance, Isaac Kgosi will know better than to meddle in political issues, because there people you thought you knew and trusted can turn against you in an instant. Not even one of the DIS agents could at least give him a tip-off on his imminent arrest.
In fact, they are the ones who executed the arrest – on their former boss, although he claims he doesn’t know any of them. Le ene he has been a major talk of January. From tax evasions and shady dealings to his movie-perfect arrest, Kgosi has been the in-thing this January. There was a time this January, when attention was on the reactions of Kwelagobe, Kedikilwe, Mogae and Molomo on the conduct of Kgosikgolo, but Mzico’s arrest quickly overshadowed what these men had to say.

The nation was in a jubilant mood – except for the UDC leaders who expressed disdain at what they termed a Hollywood arrest. And not to be beaten in expressing his disgust was Kgosikgolo himself. This week he was telling The Argus Online that the current president is two-faced. He says he does not know the current President of Botswana whom he feels is stressed by being President; he only knows his last Vice President who was more dependable. It would have been a shocker had Kgosikgolo remained silent on the arrest of Mzico.

He wouldn’t wait for February to air his views. He wanted to be a part of these January stories as well. As a retired Number One, he is very quick to respond. In the past, things would have happened and he would have gone on his walkabouts in the bundus as if nothing was happening. He is a new man indeed.

Just like you January. Everyone is on and on about this “New year, New me” thing, and they will be making some resolutions. I wonder what Kgosikgolo’s resolution is. Obviously he told you Jan, in the privacy of his home. And I hope whatever his new year resolution is, nothing from it will be at the expense of the peace we have enjoyed all these years. Goodbye January. You have been both a handful and strangely eventful. You have been a good month, more than the others before you. We all like you for the hope you bring for us, always telling us we still have a chance.

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Ladies, go ahead and spoil your kings

Yvonne Mooka

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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
Email: yvonnequeen2003@gmail.com

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It’s a shame: Death has been commercialised

Matshediso Fologang

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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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