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Martyrs are dead people

TUMIE MODISE
Although being unique is one of humanity’s greatest gifts, it also seems to be man’s greatest flaws. When two parties have different views on a certain issue they often engage in a conflict. This conflict is what it is termed “fighting.”

Three weeks ago the country watched in total disbelief as members of the same political party (BMD) took each other head-on at their gathering in Bobonong. Truth is we all saw this coming, no one was really surprised, maybe the choice of arsenals used in that fight is what shocked most people. We didn’t exactly imagine they would go there armed with Bibles then start throwing verses at each other but still, they caught all of us napping. For the benefit of those who were still at kindergarten in 1998, a similar fight once took place in at a BNF congress in Palapye. The choice of weapons at the time was good old fists, and for the ones not gifted in left and right hooks and uppercuts, legend has it that desks and chairs became their salvation.

Until Bobonong happened, I never knew or imagined that a catapult (seragantshwane/rekere) could ever be used around people, in open spaces to aim and shoot at fellow human beings!  Growing up, and I have used it myself, that thing was very effective in shooting down birds. That was its sole use. You only ate a bird you shot down yourself, that was a rule.

Fighting because of differences is a common phenomenon, and it is not limited solely to human beings but it is also observed among animals. The human psyche is both predetermined and groomed to be different. Early that Saturday morning, reports came in thick and fast that members of the other faction were marching towards where the other faction was. Prior to that, some media houses had reported that the leader of the marching had pleaded the previous night, with his troops not to use force at the gate, not even minimal. If they were denied entry, they should peacefully disperse. They defied him anyway. They must have been sprinting because even before I could make a cup of coffee reports came in that a fight had erupted at the school gates. If you were around in the early 90’s, you should have heard about the bloodbath that happened outside the gates of Baghdad.

Our minds are pre-wired to believe that we are doing or saying the

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correct thing. People are born to think that they are right in whatever they choose to say or do. This tendency is colloquially termed as “pride.” One cannot always be right about everything.  Naturally, pride takes over and prevents us from admitting that we have been mistaken, even if we realize that we really are. The two groups are guilty of that.

I have had dogs around me all my life. That a dog is man’s best friend is no exaggeration. A dog, if treated well, will watch over you with its life and love you unconditionally. Little wonder some fed up people even prefer dogs over relationships. A dog was never meant to be used as a ‘weapon’’, not even guard dogs. What I saw on that video footage of Bobonong that day shocked me right out of my boots. I honestly never knew a person could outrun a dog, this country is blessed with short distance runners without a doubt. As the rocks started raining at the gate, people, even elderly women showed dogs clean pairs of feet as dog and man ran for dear lives.

When a person reaches his or her limit, believing truly that one has been wronged, then the person breaks and lashes out. On the other hand, the contender or the perceived offender would also think that he has done nothing wrong, would see himself being wronged and being lashed out for insufficient reason. Bobonong rings a bell.

Politics aside, simple arguments such as “who gets to control the remote” can sometimes lead to fights, which can similarly evolve into a full-scale battle. With over six billion people on earth, it is essential that conflicts are resolved immediately before they become wars among countries. This should be addressed in relation to the concepts of human pride and differences.

But then again, reality is that for some people, it’s just in their nature to be confrontational. Pushing other people around makes them feel big. It’s okay to live under this illusion, the only problem is when other people don’t take kindly to that, then they come at you armed with dogs, cats and stones. A martyr is a dead person.



Tumy on Monday

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