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You surely kept us on tenterhooks my dear Jan.

Joe Brown



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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Of Kings and Pawns: Tlogela malele ao Mma-V

Joe Brown



Dear MmaV

MmaV, akere I warned you about the people whom I said did not really care about you but were using you to push their own agendas?
Where were they when you needed them the most last Thursday and Friday at the High Court and in Kang respectively? Didn’t I say in my previous letters to you that their exaggerated support for you was fake and only self-serving, and that you should disassociate yourself from them?
And did you listen MmaV?
You see now what they have done to you? They deserted you during your hour of need and did not want to be seen around you both at the High Court and even later in Kang on Friday.
And I tell you, now that the dust has somewhat settled, they will think you have forgotten about how they deserted you and sweet talk you into thinking that it was just part of a strategy to a bigger picture.
Going towards the congress, they were already dismissing your chances, especially after a number of MPs and councillors you always thought were on your side revealed at the eleventh hour that they were with SisiBoy.
All the other reasons they give for not being by your side are just lies. They did not want the embarrassment of your loss to hit them on the face, especially right under the noses of such flambouyants as that Balopi chap and the Tebelelo woman that you seem to loathe with a passion.
Your so-called allies just couldn’t stand the heat and did as I had always warned you – leave you to burn in Guma’s hot kitchen alone. You should have listened to me MmaV. See how you had to then throw in the towel in shame although you tried to hide it with those flimsy excuses you projected as reasons for your chickening out?
You really disappointed me MmaV. You disappointed even those who supported you. You disappointed the delegates and all those who had prepared a vote for you. You disappointed the masses who were looking forward to an epic contest of numerical supremacy.
You disappointed the opposition party cadres who were rooting for your victory in the hope that you would be easier to beat in October than SisiBoy. You actually even disappointed SisiBoy himself, who must have been looking forward to the contest.
The result would have allowed him to gauge the level of dissent and dissatisfaction against him within the party. Now he will never be sure. You could tell from his facial expression the first time it was announced you had asked your name to be removed.
The way he shook his head, you could tell he was not amused you pulled out. He must have relished the idea of humiliating not just you, but his nemesis Kgama whom he knew all along was the real deal in this contest. And more than anything else, he must have thought: What a waste of resources for nothing!
I mean, imagine the millions you guys put into this campaign. Your combined financial power would have been channeled towards your party’s success at the national polls coming this October. I guess your financiers must be disappointed too, although I have no pity for them because they never stood with you for the sake of You, but for their own selfish reasons.
They were just using you to try their luck at blocking SisiBoy from becoming State President. I hear they now have quickly moved from you to their Plan B of funding the opposition in the same hope of accessing our tourism and mineral wealth in return.
Akere gatwe they realise SisiBoy is introducing economic reforms that will leave them in the lurch and keep them at bay from exploiting our resources? They had hoped your victory would deliver them to Kanana, but as soon as they realised that it won’t work with you, they moved on.
They never really loved you MmaV; they never really believed you could make a great President. And the smart woman that you are, I am sure you knew this too – that these guys didn’t really believe in you.
It’s just that you couldn’t show it. You were already too deep into it that you could no longer hit a retreat of thoughts. Otherwise the nation would have laughed at you, wondering what you thought you had in those two gentlemen in the first place.
That’s why you neither thought much about them when you decided to withdraw from the race. Truth be told, your withdrawal was never really about the race being unfair akere MmaV?
You just had to pick that line for political expediency. The truth is, you saw that the people who had motivated your decision to stand for the position of President were no longer there with you.
Clearly they had realised you stood no chance against SisiBoy and they decided to hide from public humiliation. They couldn’t risk their reputation of being master schemers and perennial winners being trampled upon.
Remember the two guys always see themselves as winners – that they have never failed in any of the contests they have engaged in before. I mean, do you really think Kgama would want people to realise that he is human after all? That he can lose a contest?
He had invested too much into your campaign, wanting to prove that he was more powerful and popular than SisiBoy, and when he realised he was going to lose this one, he hit a strategic retreat.
Otherwise he was going to lose the mental warfare, and people who have always seen him as an invincible would finally realise he was in fact a mere mortal like just like you and me. Now I hear he is sponsoring your refusal to extend an olive branch towards SisiBoy.
Again you are allowing yourself to be used MmaV. For how long are you going to allow yourself to be played by these men? Can you imagine a lot of women saw you as an extension of this patriarchy narrative that has divided national opinion?
Women felt you were pushing the agenda of men and that you had no moral ground to disparage other women for not supporting you. And it got worse when those Sunday Standard guys exposed the grander scheme being put together behind your presidential campaign.
That revelation was bound to damage your campaign MmaV; ke gore there was no hiding from what really was going on. That’s why some of the people who had pledged support for you started backtracking.
When Polson, against all expectation, rallied people to support your rival, the writing was on the wall. Your behind-the-scenes schemes were exposed and many of your people did not want to be a part of the scheme.
But of course your guys read the mood and they quickly slid into hibernation, leaving you to bear the brunt of the cold at the High Court and in Kang alone.
I suspect you might have thought you had it all figured out, only to realise later that your backers were just amateurs in the game, perhaps even playing you to meet their own selfish interests. But I have said this to you before MmaV – tswaa fela mo dilong tse and take a well-deserved rest after your illustrious service to this country.
You don’t want to be remembered as a bitter has-been MmaV, not after the colourful career you have had in both government and politics. Perhaps you feel that this country owes you something for your selfless service – and I believe it does – but at the rate you are going, you will end up being seen as nothing but a selfish and insatiable leader who refuses to let go of power.
And questions will be asked gore why o tshaba go tlogela. Kana the others bone we know what they are scared of. They know what they have done and that is why they want someone – a president – they can control so as go tshaba molelo o tlang. And they chose you to do their dirty work.
And you agreed.
Now that things did not go according to plan, they are on another mission and you will be going back to help push their plan? Nnyaa MmaV, tlogela malele a o ikhutse with your dignity still intact.
Remember you are the one who called this whole thing ‘malele.’ Just as you opted to ‘recuse’ yourself from the malele presidential race in Kang, recuse yourself too, from dintwa tsaga SisiBoy le Kgama, and don’t get yourself involved in the reported dirty schemes of foreigners seeking to plunder your country’s economy. You can’t want to be associated with boBrijete who clearly have a questionable agenda with their backing of Kgama. The way they have dedicated and committed their time, energy and resources to backing Kgosikgolo with anything he wants, ba tlaa go golega MmaV. Tswaa mo go bone before it’s too late. There really shouldn’t be much more to say here MmaV – a word to the wise is enough.

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Enlightening lessons from losing a loved one

Yvonne Mooka



Last week (April 7) marked three months since my brother Moagi Ditlhase passed.I keep writing about my personal journey with loss in my diary and share it with my social media friends #DiaryOfAGrievingSister.

I agree we handle grief different, and with me, writing really helps.The reason I feel it’s so important to touch on this topic, is because grief, at some point or another, greets all of us. Each of us on this beautiful adventure we call life, encounters loss and pain. The kind that leaves you raw and tender for years. But today I want to share what I have learned from my journey. While we are thrust into the grief, the choice to carefully extract from the pain the very lessons we are destined to learn creates the true beauty. A true human experience. I am still learning. I am a work in progress. Here is what grief has taught me.

Life is short regardless of the number of years. And the small things you get so worked up about are really meaningless when you look at the bigger picture. Life can be taken away from you in less than a second and this thought makes you loosen your grip on life and stop wasting so much time trying to control everything or get so disappointed if it doesn’t go your way. Life is impermanent and so is control.

Like the wisest man in the Bible once said – ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ You realize the importance of memories. And how we should make as many of them as possible with the people we love. It is the only thing that will be left of them and you will want to celebrate their lives when they are gone. Memories are the only way to bring someone back to life. They will always remain. I look at my brother’s photos with a smile every now and then.

A little compassion goes a long way. Others are hurting all the time. You don’t have to look far to see heartbreak and loss written across someone’s face. I cry during Worship most Sunday mornings at church. I am okay with that. It’s my time to let out the emotion, and thank God for the ability to understand that others are hurting, too.

We are all in this together. Lastly, blessings abound. You just have to open your eyes to them. It’s the much needed breeze on a hot summer day. It’s the smile of a child as they run to the car after school. It’s a friend asking if you are okay today. It’s a friend not asking questions but bringing flowers just when they are needed. Perhaps it’s just knowing that you have love in your life.
Or that you were able to truly help someone in need. Praying for you that your faith shall not fail.

Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
Twitter: @yvonnemooka

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