An ode to Tom

Dearly departed: Tom – the music man PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Dearly departed: Tom – the music man PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

I can still hear his sound. The ripples of a carved bow scratched rhythmically with a small wooden stick. The mogwana bow, held together by a palm leaf string that he softly blows onto the melancholic hollow whistle, produces that haunting whirring sound. That was the sound of Thopo ‘Tom’ Retiyo’s music instrument called seworoworo.

Last Friday morning, an angry elephant came trumpeting and trampled on Tom at his fields at Mbiroba, near Seronga and ended his life at 53-years-old.

My path and Tom’s came together about seven years ago. We were brought together by the Okavango Delta. Tom was not just a traditional musical virtuoso who told Okavango stories through songs with seworoworo, he was a legendary mokoro poler. He was one of only four Batswana who have travelled by mekoro the entire length of the Okavango River basin from the source lake of the Cuito River in the highlands of Angola through Namibia and to where the water ends at Lake Xau, in the Makgadikgadi Pans area.

Editor's Comment
CoA brings sanity to DIS/DCEC long-standing feud

This decision follows the raiding of the office of the former Director General of the DCEC, Tymon Katlholo early 2022 and his staff officer by the DIS operatives who reportedly took files that they had targeted.After all back and forth arguments, the CoA has set the record straight giving an invaluable lesson to the DIS that it was no super security organ and it does not have any powers to cogently supervise other security organs including the...

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