I do not know where I will be at Christmas. I could be anywhere between the north and the south-pole. I wish I could be in Mahalapye though.
There is nothing I cherish like the love of the common people. I wish to sit with the village folk and hear about everything that happened whilst I was away. I want to speak my mother tongue. I love life in its simplest form and for me, the festive season offers an opportunity to take a journey back to myself.
Somehow I hope that will be possible. There is just too much happening in this country and it is not funny at all. A president comes to office hardly a year ago, and suddenly, there are firestorms all over the place. He is accused of a thousand unfulfilled promises, scandalised in every manner possible and his removal is sought with expedition.
A powerful party faction brandishing a tribal card, seeks to have him discredited and displaced before he says “good morning”. It is all a result of our warped up democracy, where two friends, both unelected, can decide a nation’s presidency over coffee. The truth is, we only have ourselves to blame for our miseries. We nourished a Frankenstein monster and the chickens are coming home to roost.
Sometimes I sit back and wonder where our nation will be in ten years. I do not wonder where I could be, I have no control over that. There have been times when I have wondered if somewhere, there is not a bullet with my name on it. But frankly, I am not bothered. Some things, you must just leave to God. No one is getting out of this life alive. There will be no chariot of fire to spirit anyone away. To borrow from Shakespeare, “we each owe God a death and let it go which way it will”.
I am presently facing career ruin for the positions I have taken and things I say, which is fine. There is a price to pay for principle and pay, I will. Next year, I will be shouting louder than I did this year. God alone, holds my future.
But hey, it is not about me. There is something more worrisome. We are leaving children behind and must ensure that we leave them a better country than the one we received. From my early years, as has every man my age, I was pampered with political freedoms and a relatively generous social security net which guaranteed me a fair shot at life. Tomorrow’s child might take his shot in nasty conditions; in too much windage, too
The future is bleak and every price is worth paying. In the end, we must all be guided not by the love of man but the love of country. We do not owe any man or woman anything. We must do what is right, because it is right. We must speak boldly and without fear whatever the repercussions. We must fear no man, but God. God forbid that our children must, look at the ashes of a once glorious country and say; “they failed us”.
I do not pretend that it has all been doom and gloom.
Dignash kept us laughing; P50, 000 was found in a dustbin someplace and no one has come forth to claim it; former President Khama got his maids back; bars open longer hours; more babies were made, and Indians and whites made more money from diamonds and tourism. Somehow, we have managed a few laughs along the way. As a general proposition, we are not a basket case yet. Almost there, but not quite yet. It’s the coming months that will set the trajectory of our great nation and we have it all to do.
So let us go for Christmas with a firm intention that our nation shall not perish under our watch. Let us resist every weapon fashioned against it. I remember the words of James Russel Lowell, in his poem, “The Present Crisis”. He spoke at a time of crisis when America was grappling with the question whether slavery should be abolished. It is his kind that inspire me and give me hope. I will quote him in part;
“Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side.”
The good poet would go on to say;
“Truth forever on the scaffold
Wrong forever on the throne
Yet that scaffold sways the future
Behind the dim unknown standeth God within the shadow;
Keeping watch above his own”
Christians; let us pray for our leaders, that God may grant them the wisdom to deal with all the challenges our nation is grappling with. Let us pray for political stability and economic prosperity, remembering as we should at all times that faith, without works, is dead. And let every citizen stand up not for man or woman but for country.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.