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On bad jokes, taunts and not sweating the small stuff

Keletso Thobega

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Amidst the recent brouhaha of the ruling party presidential race, I came across a jibe at Mma V online that read, “A re go rileng yo pelekaneng matlho yo.

She appears to have a form of strabismus called esotropia (‘cross-eyed’). I thought to myself, what does it have to do with anything? She would later comment on one platform that she would put to task anyone who mocked her eyes. I hope she was being sarcastic. If not, then maybe she should take a leaf from advocate Pilane’s book and act deaf to mockery. He has been ridiculed over his head but he never sulked. Why worry about something you cannot change?

In my case, some people poke fun of my height, weight and other personal stuff that they think they can use against me. Batho ba tlhola ba re ke na le figure ya leburu, ba bangwe ba mpitsa lemponyemponye, mme ga ke ngale. Yes, I sometimes get upset because I am human but let it go because my self-esteem is intact – ga ke itshabe.

But then again, some people taunt as opposed to teasing. Humour also differs. What is funny to me might not be to you vice versa. It is sometimes difficult to strike a balance between being funny and offensive. Sometimes people use “jokes” to demean and mock others. Furthermore, some people project their own insecurities and fears, or try to make themselves feel better at the expense of others.

Intention is key; you can tell when someone is being humourously light-hearted, someone is using the veil of humour to hurt or ridicule someone. The trick with humour is to steer clear of jokes that ‘hit home’ and avoid making fun of people’s disabilities, illness, looks, background or anything else they don’t have control over. Also, when you notice that someone is offended stop it or apologise.

I have a sense of humour and enjoy sarcasm. I also like to tease people I am close to. I don’t fool around with anyone because some people are too sensitive and uptight. O kgona go rumola motho, o tshameka, a bo a ngala. Motho wa teng o tla bo a budologile e ka re segogwane se ithwele. Ebile le go go tshwara ka pelo o ka nna a go tshwara ka pelo!
But at the end of the day, you cannot take everything personal.

I recall a few weeks ago I had my natural hair in an Afro, and went out for breakfast like that. As I entered the restaurant, one white lady seated nearby quipped to her companion (loud enough for me to hear). ‘Macy Gray just walked in.’ She had a pixie cut, saggy skin and red lips so I just as loudly exclaimed to my friend: ‘I see Mick Jagger sneaked into Gabs!’ I had a chuckle as her face turned pink. I wasn’t necessarily offended because I do not look like Macy Gray; I was merely playing along but if looks could kill I would probably be six feet under because she gave me a Cruella glance.

Ironically, people who tease others often take offence when they are teased. But sometimes it’s best to give someone a taste of their own bitter medicine. I am reminded of the legendary “fall-out” between former Parliament Speaker Margaret Nasha and Roy Sesana.

Apparently at a function, after having a few drinks Mr Sesana said: ‘Ija, fa o bona bo Mma Shana ba nna bantle jaana, go raya gore motho a ye go robala!’ Mma Nasha would apparently hit back: ‘Hey, waitse fa e le Roy Se-na-na yo dinaka mo tlhogong yo!”

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Of Kings and Pawns: Tlogela malele ao Mma-V

Joe Brown

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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

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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
Email: yvonnequeen2003@gmail.com

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