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A nation divided by a tattoo

Under pressure from many of his MPs and some sectors, in January 2013, British Cameron announced that there would be an in–out referendum on EU membership before the end of 2017. Sure enough the referendum happened last month. The group advocating for the exit won the referendum in June.

In a little under three months the United States (US) will head for the polls where they will choose, as their next president, one Donald Trump or their former first wife Hillary Clinton. The heated campaigns are now at their peak.

In the neighbouring South Africa, municipalities held their closely contested elections just two days ago. Counting of votes continues and just like the UK and the US, we are all watching this one with keen interest. That’s the beauty of democracy. Because most claim to know the meaning even though they don’t.

Democracy would be a form of government in which power ultimately comes from the people who are governed, whether through direct voting or through elected representatives. In its truest principle, it  follows that the people shall not be made to do what it does not like, is taken to mean that it shall never be required to tolerate what it does not like. Story of the hidden pots that could not be made to be done? Confusing English? 

It shouldn’t be confusing to anyone. What should be confusing is that while some countries take democracy seriously and participate in actual democratic processes that ultimately change their lives for the better or for worse, it is not always the case in our beautiful Botswana.

Last week Friday a beauty contest was held in the capital city of this country. Very few people even knew about this contest, some knew but didn’t even care. The day was uneventful, everybody just went about their personal businesses and life was normal as we know it until just before midnight that Friday. The pageant was beamed on our national television and some of us watched the show.

Two hours later the new queen was crowned and a moment that will now go down in our history as the most confusing ever, well since a lone Buffalo was found in the Kanye area, unfolded. While in other countries people get concerned about bread and butter issues, issues that have affect their lives, a senseless tattoo war erupted in this country!

A week later, it does not look like it will go away anytime soon. I should not take it for granted that everyone knows what I am

on about. Because let’s face it, though we are fast gaining a reputation as a country that is becoming reactionary, petty and vindictive, there is still a few decent and fair people out there who really still cannot be bothered about this ‘issue’. So some people would be genuinely oblivious to the crazy week we have just had, bless them!

Believe it or not, it all started with an answer given during the Q & A section of the pageant by the girl who was later crowned queen. Some people were not amused by the answer while the other group saw nothing wrong with the  answer, because like they say, there’s never really a right or wrong answer. It just depends on how you view the world and issues. Just when it looked like the two groups were finally agreeing to agree on the answer, real noise started.

Soon the noise turned into anger, mocking and before we knew it, the issue was now a hot potato especially on social and mainstream media. And just when we thought sanity was starting to prevail, in came another twist to what has now truly escalated into a full blown national hot potato, stuff national referendums are made of!

Worse was to come because a day or two later the issue took another bizarre twist. The issue of the wrong/right answer was forgotten because now someone blew the whistle on two tattoos the queen allegedly has on some part of her body, something they swear is a no-no at Miss World! Oh boy, we are really up in arms over a tattoo! This year has been declared a drought year but no, we no longer care about that, a certain tattoo is now a matter of national importance.

BTCL shares are not selling as expected but hey, cut us some slack we demand to see the tattoo! Our legislatures are wielding Okapi knives in parliament, who cares about that, the queen should to strip down for a radio presenter and show him her tattoos! Food prizes are going up by the day, purchasing power is nil, the heck with that, show us that tattoo already! What a sad, petty nation we have become.

Tumy on Monday



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