Mmegi Blogs :: Gaolathe is popular, but Pilane is powerful
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Tuesday 13 November 2018, 16:21 pm.
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Gaolathe is popular, but Pilane is powerful

In my humble opinion, and mine is just an opinion and nothing cast in stone, Pilane is in fact more powerful than Ndaba. In case you have been living under a rock and totally oblivious to the latest on the domestic political front, for months now, these two gentlemen have been tussling, at first they were shy, for the control of this other party, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
By Tumie Modise Mon 21 Aug 2017, 16:31 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Gaolathe is popular, but Pilane is powerful








And just in case you were not in this country some six years ago or politics does not interest you, this party was conceived after the founders were booted out of the ruling party. At the time, the founders were labelled as  ‘power hungry, rogues’ and all words you can think of, words which school principals used during assembly time at school, before reading out a list of school trouble makers.

There is a difference between being popular and being powerful. Unfortunately, these two concepts get jumbled frequently. Powerful people are often very visible and sadly too many people confuse “influence” with basic popularity. But being popular doesn’t mean you necessarily have a comparable amount of influence within a particular niche.

Why do I say Pilane is more powerful? Because indications are that indeed he has wrestled the party from Ndaba Gaolathe, it is over. If you have ever been mugged you will relate. That feeling of helplessness, where everything happens in a split of a second and leaves you totally dazed. Where one minute you are walking down the street then the next your purse gets snatched from your hand, you did not even see the snatcher’s face and you stand there helplessly and watch as they run then disappear into thin air. When the purse snatcher finally disappears, only then do you snap back to reality and shout ‘legodu ke leo!’, and if you are like me, that would be too embarrassing because then you bring unnecessary attention to yourself.

Gaolathe must have felt like that at Bobonong. He must still feel like that even now. But unlike the usual muggings, he was fortunate in his case the mugger was kind enough to warn him before hand; gave him the date of mugging, alerted him of the choice of weapons to be used in the mugging, the date and time and guess what? He still honoured the date! After he was mugged he now realises, perhaps in hindsight, that he shouldn’t have turned up or that he should have come well prepared. Something tells me he still relieves the memories, even laughs about it at times, though it is far

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from amusing. People in power never want to relinquish power easily.

In the Art of War, a book Gaolathe must now make part of his collection, it is stated that; “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

Now this popularity thing can also be very grossly misleading. When you are popular you think that your fans would always look out for you, protect you from danger and harm 24/7. We cannot say his fans, or ‘masses’ in political lingo, did not try, well credit to them they really gave it their best shot in Bobonong, it is only that the other side came prepared while they only assumed that ‘numbers’ and nothing else would save them. They came to a war of wits armed with stones. The only problem is that you cannot wrestle power by pelting powerful people armed with laws (constitution in this case) with stones. Such primitive warfare means may have worked back in the 18th century when powerful nations conquered weak ones armed with rocks and spears. Wars were won like that back then.

I will be the first to admit that I never imagined this, not even in my craziest of dreams, that after their congress, Pilane would come back victorious but he did. Politics as they say, is a game of wit and numbers. So it goes without saying that Pilane outwitted and outfoxed Gaolathe in Bobonong, and as we speak, he is the new party leader.

Influence involves more than numbers. It involves your ability to influence outcomes, actions, and opinions. In my view, the reason why Pilane has managed to wrestle the party from Gaolathe (he has) is simply because he yields power while Gaolathe only boasts of popularity or numbers. The lesson I am taking from this fiasco is that being treated like a rockstar doesn’t always equal influence.

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