As I see it

Staff Writer
Basarwa persecution may come back to haunt us
George Goch a small black township East of Johannesburg nestles at the foot of old mining dumps; there, black families among them the Kolobe family, distant relatives from Bobonong, my home village, resided.

The residents commute to their respective places of work in the city by train during the week;  at weekends they engage in various illicit pastimes to augment their meagre wages besides hosting and entertaining a motley of visitors including mineworkers from the nearby mine compounds. Decades ago while  at an ANC conference in the township with my  comrade-in-arms  Adolphus 'Dolly' Mvemve, who was to die (RIP) by parcel bomb, in exile at the ANC Lusaka office years later, while I marked time on Robben Island, I invited him to meet the Kolobe family, hoping for a free lunch. 

After introducing Dolly to my sisters and auntie Mma Sofanyana, it was their turn to introduce the few clients we found in the living room enjoying forbidden white man's liquor. The first client whose cheekbone features betrayed his clan fell on his knees, wringing his hands in subservience and went on an incantation, 'mong'ame, mong'ame,' (my master, my master)! Utterly embarrassed, I didn't know where to hide my face from Dolly who only knew me as a militant ANC cadre whose religion was human equality; he was amused and flabbergasted to catch the fleeting telescopic background view of relations out in Khama's country. I tried to cut short the grovelling episode but in vain. Dolly was besides himself, sniggering while watching me squirm in embarrassment and the futility of trying to stop the ritual. A fellow countryman was inadvertently exposing the cynicism of my fight for equal rights in South Africa! As we left the scene, back to the conference hall, Dolly expressed disbelief that while I'd be executed before I addressed any white man as 'baas,' Basarwa were still sub-species, falling on their knees before me!  Dolly was unfair to me personally; dad had cured me of the uppity I had held about Basarwa.

I must have been five or six years when we (children): me, Kabelo, younger brother and our kid sister strapped to mom's back accompanied our parents to dad's cattle-post, by donkey sledge. I remember  Kabelo and I frolicking across Motloutse dry riverbed a couple hundred metres from the cattlepost, welcomed by the cowbells, mooing of cows and barking of dogs as the herdsmen drove the cattle herd,  with shouts and whistles. We had arrived! I had been to the cattle-post before with my uncle, but this trip was to be the most memorable. We went to bed under the star-lit sky listening to hyena and jackal howls through the night.  I woke up in the morning in high anticipation of my favourite legala dish (sorghum meal cooked in


Kabelo and I were ordered to join the herdsmen in their milking chores, our duty being to keep calves away (re kotela) while the milkmen played their part. Milking done I was handed the milk-pail to enjoy the fresh milk. I shook my head in polite decline. Kabelo, fond of milk like a cat, mother would say, planted his snout on the pail before asking me why I had declined the milk.  'Basarwa are dirty' I had explained my phobia. When we got to our parents, Kabelo boasted how he had enjoyed the milk in the kraal and without prompting, innocently prattled on that I had refused to drink the milk alleging it was dirty because Basarwa were 'dirty.' Wow! Dad was furious."Did you say that? Who said they were dirty? I know they wash their hands before they milk the cows........"  The cross examination was vicious and relentless. Without answers, I could only bow my head in shame and fear of the impending parental wrath. The Mosarwa milkman was summoned and ordered to give me milk in the same pail he had used for milking. "C'mon drink, that milk!" ordered my father barely suppressing his temper.  I gulped the milk until I felt my tummy stretch beyond the comfort zone. A plaintive look at dad informed him I had had enough. With a stern warning never to repeat the insolent remark I was let off, but made aware that Basarwa were no different from Batswana.

At George Goch with Mosarwa grovelling at my feet, the spectre of my indignant father haunted me.Twenty years after the demise of apartheid, the most heinous policy begotten of Nazism - which plunged the world into unprecedented bloodbath, the racist policy survives in Botswana as reflected in Basarwa persecution in CKGR and Ranyane where Khama's unconstitutional policies and racist programmes are vigorously  pursued by the regime apparatuses - Wildlife officers, Presidential  spokespersons and cronies. The saga of Advocate Gordon Bennet playing itself here in Botswana shows how undemocratic, backward, reactionary Botswana government is. Botswana constitution doesn't condone persecution nor discrimination of Basarwa.

Denying them the right to choose own legal representative on the pretext of late visa application by their advocate is tantamount to callous persecution, fabricated on a tissue of lies and authoritarian intrigues. Unfortunately this conduct doesn't reflect on government alone but on all of us, Batswana who look askance at the goings-on.Remember, unlike the time when Basarwa's pathetic subservience made me stew in tribal guilt, they now know their rights and the world, not Survival International, is behind them!

Banners ?>


Mr. Kennafela. What prompted you to be a politician?

Latest Frontpages

Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper
Adana Escort
Adıyaman Escort
Afyon Escort
Ağrı Escort
Aksaray Escort
Amasya Escort
Ankara Escort
Antalya Escort
Antep Escort
Ardahan Escort
Artvin Escort
Aydın Escort
Balıkesir Escort
Bartın Escort
Batman Escort
Bayburt Escort
Bilecik Escort
Bingöl Escort
Bitlis Escort
Bolu Escort
Burdur Escort
Bursa Escort
Çanakkale Escort
Çankırı Escort
Çorum Escort
Denizli Escort
Diyarbakır Escort
Düzce Escort
Edirne Escort
Erzincan Escort
Elazığ Escort
Erzurum Escort
Eskişehir Escort
Giresun Escort
Gümüşhane Escort
Hakkari Escort
Hatay Escort
Iğdır Escort
Isparta Escort
İskenderun Escort
İstanbul Escort
İzmir Escort
İzmit Escort
Karabük Escort
Karaman Escort
Kars Escort
Kastamonu Escort
Kayseri Escort
Kıbrıs Escort
Kırıkkale Escort
Kırklareli Escort
Kırşehir Escort
Kilis Escort
Kocaeli Escort
Konya Escort
Kütahya Escort
Malatya Escort
Manisa Escort
Maraş Escort
Mardin Escort
Mersin Escort
Muğla Escort
Muş Escort
Nevşehir Escort
Niğde Escort
Ordu Escort
Osmaniye Escort
Rize Escort
Sakarya Escort
Samsun Escort
Siirt Escort
Sinop Escort
Sivas Escort
Şırnak Escort
Tekirdağ Escort
Tokat Escort
Trabzon Escort
Tunceli Escort
Urfa Escort
Uşak Escort
Van Escort
Yalova Escort
Yozgat Escort
Zonguldak Escort
Alaçatı Escort
Aliağa Escort
Alsancak Escort
Bornova Escort
Buca Escort
Çeşme Escort
Çiğli Escort
Gaziemir Escort
Karşıyaka Escort
fethiye escort
iskenderun escort
iskenderun escort
iskenderun escort
iskenderun escort
iskenderun escort karataş escort ceyhan escort ankara escort etimesgut escort çankaya escort altındağ escort mamak escort keçiören escort