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On marriage wrecking and the “allure” of illicit affairs

Keletso Thobega

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My dear reader, let me tell you about a guy who turned into a cat in two minutes. This guy was a tall, dark and muscular charming philanderer, who probably thought he was God’s gift to women and chowed them as if it was his calling in life.

One time he met a married curvaceous yellow-bone and tempted by her wobbly buttocks and petite waist, pursued her. It seems the two were cut from the same cloth, because the lady agreed to an affair. The husband sometimes worked night shift, and this was their chance for hanky panky sessions at the lady’s matrimonial home on the couple’s bed! The sneaking man would leave in the wee hours of the morning, but on a certain occasion, he overslept. Kooteng mabebeza ne a mo tefula, mogoma a kgotse e ka re tlhware e meditse podi.

They were awoken by the gate opening and the loud thud of the car door, as the man of the house arrived. The terrified man grabbed his clothes and shoved himself through the back as the husband was unlocking the front door. When he got outside, the family dog, upon seeing a naked strange figure lurking by the kitchen door, began to bark madly: woof, woof, hau, hau! The husband loudly wondered what the dog could be barking at. The man outside was perspiring heavily and could feel his sphincter muscles weakening. He knew that if he were caught, he would be shamed or probably reunited with his ancestors if the man had a weapon. He had to think fast, and in his best impersonation voice, the man went: “Meow, meow!” Khi!
The life of habitual cheats must be a hectic one, I tell you. Letimone la boaka le ba apeile– spirit of lust.

And no one likes to be cheated on, even if you think you can tolerate it, motho wa teng o felela a go sulafalela. O kile wa utlwa gore dijo tse di kgotlha kgotlhiwang ke mongwe le mongwe di nna bosula jang?

It is disturbing how some people do not respect marriages and relationships; their own and others’. Go ratiwa bonyatsi, aaah!
Infidelity and marriage wrecking are contentious issues. For some, it might seem like an attempt at “policing people’s private parts and what they do with them.” Sometime last year when handing down ruling in a divorce case, a certain high court judge reportedly said that in light of the changing morals of our society, the claim based on adultery pertaining to a civil marriage lacked constitutional and common law validity. A few months ago, yet another high court judge, fiercely argued that marriage wrecking was a punishable transgression because marriage is a sacrosanct union.

It is unfortunate that marriage wrecking is argued in high courts and not customary courts, but by virtue of judicial having the duty to protect or expand individual rights and protect the nations’ social and even moral fibre through law (marriage wrecking comes up when absolving marriage) becomes a worthy engagement because marriage wrecking brings conflict and disease, affects families negatively and erodes communities’ moral fibre.

But in marriage wrecking cases, both the cheat and third party should be brought to book. Mind you some married people are far from ‘holier than thou’ and seem to think that being married is license to run around having affairs. Cheating is a choice and decision. With that in mind, the married cheat should also be liable to a charge. Whose fault is it that they have an itchy crotch and do not seem to have ‘No’ in their mouth?

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Ebenezer!

Yvonne Mooka

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This year marks my 10th year as an employee of The Botswana Guardian and The Midweek Sun newspapers, under the CBET Pty Ltd company.

I still remember one afternoon of 2010 when I was in Francistown. I was waiting for my graduation from the University of Botswana where I did Bachelor of Media Studies. I had just started a freelancing job with Mmegi in the Ghetto when one of the Guardian/Sun managers Tlotlo Mbazo called me offering a job opportunity. See, during our time, UB newspaper- then known as The UB Horizon was hyped and big.

We distributed it across newsrooms in the country. In addition to this, one of my former Journalism lecturers Julia Cass had advised us to always cut our articles and keep portfolios and later send them across media houses for opportunities. So when MmaMbazo called me about an opportunity that had come up, I knew she had seen my work that I had submitted a few months before closing at UB.

Coming into the Guardian/Sun newsroom the first days was exciting yet challenging at the same time. I found many male colleagues that were also very loud and pushy. Intimidating. At times, annoying. Some were old, reminding me of the set up in international newsrooms where journalists are older. The 24 year-old me then was timid and emotional…but zealous and curious. I was impressed however by the female journos that oozed energy and passion.

The truth about the media industry is that there was a time when it was male-dominated. Women were thrown into light beats and strong ones were tackled by males. Though it was the case with Guardian/Sun then, seeing the likes of Phemelo Ramaribeng nee Ramasu pursue News was encouraging. Her human interest stories to a larger extent  contributed to my love for Human Rights issues.

I worked under the leadership of great men who all shaped my career in special ways. The likes of peculiar Mpho Dibeela who has since gone into newspaper ownership; Mike Mothibi, the sophisticated writer with a passion for farming; courageous Abraham Motsokono who called a spade a spade and not a big spoon; fatherly Ernest Moloi who helped build resilience in me; Mbazo, woman of the board who leads tenderly but with a stern posture; Justice Kavahematui with a very calm demeanor; Joe Brown-Tlhaselo the perfectionist who pays attention to every detail in the paper – in fact it was Joe-Brown who welcomed me the first day by offering me a chair and lunch! And then there is  Boitshepo Balozwi, my editor-turned-friend who every now and then blesses me with pearls of wisdom when ‘the devil wants to lie,’ as well as Dikarabo Ramadubu, our moving encyclopaedia.

Still under this list falls Beatrice Mbulawa, the magnificent General Manager who came with a unique style of managing a media house as a finance-steel lady. Joel Konopo and Ntibinyane Ntibinyane have always been deep hence their now establishment of the bullish INK Centre for Investigative Journalism. In 2012, they took me to Amabunghane Centre for Investigative Journalism in South Africa where my mindset changed altogether. That was an investment that I will always use in my Journalism. Douglas Tsiako also deserves recognition for always believing in me. Special mention of Ditiro Motlhabane for always putting me on my toes about my stories as my News Editor.

My colleagues across every department in The Guardian/Sun throughout the decade, both new and old, have been fascinating. The team is a rare, winning breed. Group dynamics is as real as it gets but I can say unfazed, that I learn a lot from every single individual in our newsroom. The energy here is right. It’s amazing.

So much can be said about my decade in our newsroom. Perhaps, my number one lesson is that of servitude. Journalists are servants. They should serve. At church we say EBENEZER – Thus far the Lord has brought me. Thank you.

Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
LinkedIn: Yvonne Mooka
Twitter: @yvonnemooka
Email: yvonnequeen2003@gmail.com

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The thrill of being boys in the fields of plenty

Matshediso Fologang

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Boys will always be boys. This weekend after a long time I took a walk from my maternal ancestral mekgoro/ditlaagane to the southwest, much along the recently ploughed masimo. In this journey all memories of the early 1960s came to mind.

Then boys were generally a law unto themselves as they could move all over and invade the masimo and take ripe magapu and nche (water melons and sweet reed) without the owner’s consent. Such was known as “go itaya khutu.” It was never considered stealing but helping our boyish greed. This weekend as I traversed these fields with green ripening products I couldn’t help but reminisce about my youth. The things we did then?

We could just raid a field and help ourselves with whatever was ripe. Such acts were punishable by caning of the wrong doers. Still such did not deter the boys from the adventure. Such was the things the boys did with such impunity. Such acts of thuggery were only lessened by some fear of certain fields that were known to be owned by dingaka (traditional doctors) and baloi (witches). We had serious superstitious beliefs that we knew we could become crippled or die if we dared help ourselves with produce from such masimo.

Walking through these masimo, I went deeper into the area and started remembering the past like it happened yesterday. Activities I was part of just came back to mind like these happened yesterday. I recalled one such day we were herding clan cattle and goats. Around midday we realised our morning fill was no more. We were a bit hungry. How could we be hungry in the midst of plenty? Boys being boys, we raided the next nearest tshimo. We helped ourselves with water melons.

We carried our loot into the bushes nearby. We had a feast.  Just as we were ready to leave, one of us came up with a story that the old lady whose field we had raided was a moloi. It was revealed that she would find out who had stolen her melons. Panic and fear gripped us. She was going to get us all dead. She would just doctor our footprints. Such stories we had heard in our daily lives but for us to be potential victims was the worst nightmare then.

Living in a superstitious society then, the things we did then make me just laugh today when I look back. On this adventurous day we drove the cattle and goats up to the nearest hillocks. Something bad happened. As we had almost forgotten the earlier fear, we now raided the trees for indigenous fruits. We climbed up these trees to pick the fruits. One of the boys accidentally fell down and injured his back.

Being products of a superstitious clan the only explanation we could make for this accident was the curse (boloi) of the owner of the melons we had earlier stolen. The next problem we faced was to explain the visible pain our colleague endured. Tradition had it then that anyone who had fallen from a tree would eat his meals from a bed pan until he healed. We all bullied the victim not to show signs of pain.. We were cruel and it was all about being boys. Such was being boys.

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