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Venson-Moitoi: Either very brave, or very foolish

Joe Brown



Dearest Venson-Moitoi

Mma-V wee, today I am just going to bite the bullet and risk the wrath of your fanatics by asking you to pull out of this presidential race thing you have thrown yourself into.

You see, I know your backers will find this queer, but before they have any opinion, they should know that this is between you and I and that no one is inviting them into our engagement. As I intimated to you maloba, I have no qualms with you contesting to become Botswana’s next president – yes, Botswana’s next President, not BDP’s. The BDP will obviously win this general election – ke bontshitswe – and that automatically will make you State President should you eventually beat SisiBoy at the party congress of July. And that will be a good thing – to have a woman State President for a change in this country. It will surely show that our democracy is the real deal, and knowing you, Batswana will know what it means to have a no-nonsense leader.

Kana wena o sengangatlela – once you have put your mind to something, that’s it! Nothing else matters. And usually you don’t give a damn, whatever anyone else says! That’s the kind of State President we will have. Somehow you have those mean traits of the old Mogae who could tell the voters to their face, on election year, gore ene gaa rapele ditlhopho and that o tlaa kabolla bomaipaafela ba Mogoditshane ditshoka! Such bravery you have Mma-V, and that is why it took ONLY you to break from the ruling party norm and challenge your party President on election year. I know of course that some may mimic what former President Masire loved to share with us and call you ‘either very brave or very foolish.’ And yes, nna I know you to be brave. Very brave actually. Tenacious. Unflinching.

At least these are the few traits I have known about you from before. Foolish??? I have no recollection of anything you said or did in the past that I would say was foolish. Nothing that comes to mind right now. Maybe later. But I have to say this presidential tussle you have plunged yourself into is very foolish. If indeed you are a moDomi wa motia as you described yourself on Saturday, you should as a party elder be encouraging harmony and unity within the party, especially at this crucial time of general election. On any other year I would fully back your candidacy for party President Mma-V. You can make State President actually, because you are one of the few tried and tested politicians this country has.

Very intelligent even. And I fully support intra-party competition as it connotes the very essence of what a true democracy should be. But Mma-V wee, timing is everything. Now is not the time to be making your party people to drive in different directions. Especially, when already, there is that other chap who has been busy doing everything to drive a wedge between the party faithful. In an election year where already, tension has been unleashed on the leadership of your party by the former leader – who disliked you – you then choose to help put more strain through your decision to challenge SisiBoy? Where is the wisdom in that Mma-V? After the July congress when you have won against SisiBoy, do you honestly believe your party will be ready in just three months, to ward off the fierce competition coming your way from the combined forces of opposition?

Nna tota I feel that by the time this thing comes to an end, you would be physically spent. Fatigued and perhaps even hovering dangerously over depression. Already, the past week has not been encouraging at all. In that week alone, you have made two contradicting statements – that you were promised the vice presidency, and that you were never promised the vice presidency. You see, this thing is taking a toll on you already. You look tired already. You look troubled. And I am sure even those genuinely close to you by blood and association, are troubled by all this. And assuming that on the contrary, you are as energised as ever, one wonders what exactly gives you the spur to carry on.

Obviously there must be something; someone; some entity lurking in the dark, pushing you to keep keeping on. You have denied gore wena you enjoy the emotional and resource backing of that New Jerusalem cabal of bitter losers and looters. What then is giving you the bravery to be assured of victory both against SisiBoy and later against Boko and his opposition associates? And nna tota even as I could put the issue of timing aside, I would not encourage you to let the nation and your sympathisers see you to be in the same corner with that cancerous New Jerusalem Cabal. Batho bao ba tlaa go senyeletsa. Batswana ga se dibari.

They can see through a number of those losers gore theirs is just the bitterness of being ignored and the discomfort of knowing that under SisiBoy, they will soon have to lay bare the things they fraudulently own. Akere bone from the time Mma Phumaphi of the BDP called for this declaration of assets law, they have done everything to ensure it does not come to pass. Even when later Saleshando of BCP joined parliament and pressed for the law, they dismissed him as a lunatic! Now that SisiBoy is amenable to the idea and has pledged that declaration of assets law will happen under his leadership, they see him as a hindrance to their plunderous tendencies. Their support for your candidacy is THAT fake Mma-V. Mo ga gore hee wee emang basadi, hee wee democratic right what-what, ke maaka hela.

They are supporting NOT you but your candidacy for their own selfish reasons. That’s why they are prepared to spend money they attained fraudulently to defend their interests. If anything, they would rather have the BDP fail to take power under SisiBoy. They have no party interest at heart, and they are using you. I know you have denied you are anybody’s proxy but I tell you, that is how all on the ground see it. If you want to win, se inyalane le Kgama mmata. Le wena hela you know gore everyone feels gore he is using you to return to power. But most of all, Mma-V, do not sell your soul to the devil. Take away all the strain and stress that you have brought unto yourself and perhaps even on those genuinely close to you.

Once again the family resources are at stake here. And for what? To eventually bring back a dictatorship that once degraded you and treated you as an outcast? And apart from your bitterness that you were not made Vice President, what really motivates you to want to challenge SisiBoy? As I said last week, it is not the desire to be State President. There is something else. And why do you not pick anything from the fact that even all party veterans are disturbed by what your candidacy really aims to achieve? They say a leopard never changes its spots – you will win and get this presidency for some people. Yet, as I said, it is not a secret one of them thought lowly of you.

He despised you and never had any confidence in you. He never held you in any high regard. At some point he even dropped you from cabinet, essentially saying you were not fit to serve in his government. He demoted and humiliated you when you were minister of education, a go dira a civil servant of some sort o bitswa ka maemonyana a e leng gore even today ga re itse gore e ne ele soo-mang. Even when you campaigned for that AU Commission position, he never really backed you – he just didn’t care. I tell you, Rre Kgama never really loved you. He just enjoyed toying around with you. He made you a toy with which he could do as he pleased.

Yet you would amaze everyone when you defended him and his actions, especially against you – and people at the time would wonder why you behaved that way as if you owed him your life. Remember, I said I have no doubts you can be President, but I have doubts your intentions to challenge Rre Masisi are genuine. I doubt it came from your heart. Not that ke nyatsa your integrity and independence of mind, but this whole thing you do does not make sense. I know you always say in politics there are no permanent foes, but seeing you allow yourself to be endorsed by that Guma guy who even beat you to the position of party chairman while enjoying RreKgama’s support against you? Despite Guma having freshly arrived back from the BMD? And RreKgama still trusted him more than he did you? And today you think you can trust them with your political life? Mma-V? Some are even trying to play the gender card but are clueless on the larger scheme of how things have turned out in your political life.

The gender thing for them is just a convenience – a facade. They don’t really care about you. They too know that what you are doing is incongruent with the history and culture of the BDP, but then because they have their own hidden agendas and egos to feed, they shout gender equality and constitutional right. Hypocrites! And if indeed it is about gender, wasn’t it at the Women Wing’s congress that a consensus was reached to support the sitting president to avoid distractions during election year, as has been tradition? Please wise up Mma-V. Just do the honourable and noble thing and withdraw from this taxing presidential race thing. If not for party unity on election year, at least do it for your own sanity; your own health; your own peace of mind. Only the bitter and the evil will despise you. And why should you care? The wise and the progressives will respect you. I love you Mma-V.

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Ladies, go ahead and spoil your kings

Yvonne Mooka



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

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It’s a shame: Death has been commercialised

Matshediso Fologang



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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