This week the BBC carried a very interesting news item, about the impeccable talent of a Motswana diamond miner, a certain Tiroyaone Mathaba, who found the record-setting diamond, Lesedi La Rona, which is the size of a tennis ball, and said to be worth over P700 million.
It has surfaced that the youthful Motswana had also recovered an amazing 239-karat diamond two years earlier in the same spot at the Karowe mine. Management of Karowe mine has quashed suggestions that the young man deserves a big reward from Karowe for such a find. The argument of the mine management is that the huge profits realised from the sale of Mathaba’s find would rather be spread across the entire team, as bonus.
Karowe needs to wake up to reality and realise they have a rare diamond find in Mathaba whose special, unique eye for rare gems have nicked them not one, but two gems of special quality.
While we now know the name of the talent behind the discovery of two of Karowe’s special diamonds, it is a pity Mathaba’s name seems to have surfaced as an after-thought, months after the discovery of the find of the century.
Even when his name surfaced, it was not for purposes of honour, but to make it publicly clear that he does not deserve any special, monetary recognition, and that, if at all that honour should exist, the rightful beneficiaries
Karowe mine management should be the first to acknowledge that it takes a special eye, a special talent, to find a special diamond, and that Mathaba belongs to the rare kind of talent that perhaps like his diamonds finds, also comes once in a long time and therefore is more than deserving a fair share of the reward, in the form of millions of Pula; to say, we value your special eye, we honour your special talent, you have made us very rich, we are so proud to be associated with you, you are Tiroyaone Mathaba, the source of not only our pride, but our wealth, and we want to reward you with amazing wealth, hopefully you will continue to find us amazing things in this soil of Karowe!
Maybe Mathaba doesn’t deserve this because he is a poor young man of Botswana, who knows nothing about millions. Maybe that is Tiroyaone Mathaba’s curse. We wonder, if he was of a different skin colour, whether Karowe would still have shunned rewarding him appropriately.