"Yes Mr. Jim, I will definitely return all the gifts I have collected from Batswana. As I matter of fact I will even give away my retirement package. Plans are already in motion for the establishment of the Lt. Gen. Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama Foundation."
“They always tease my many names, but I simply tell them that the names resonate with my many plans for the improvement of their livelihoods. I don’t have biological children so I regard every Motswana as my child. Therefore this foundation will go a long way in helping my children,” said His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana during my chilling session with him.
After a long hot day tilling the soil, I finally arrived at my favourite drinking spot. It was the only bar in Ranaka where you could peacefully drink, unwind and interrogate your demons. The barman long spotted me from a distance and went to the fridge to draw out the most chilled bottle (he knows how I like it.)
I took the bottle and went to sit alone under the shade of the Mogonono tree that has proved to be the best listener of all sad and jolly stories for years. As usual, I was the only customer there. As I swallowed the second gulp of the crispy gold crafted water from the 750ml bottle and lost in memory of my hardships, I was brought to life by a loud engine roar.
I took the third sip and reluctantly laid my eyes on the roaring engine besides me. It was a motorcycle. The only time I saw that “big” motorcycle before was in the movies, The Expendables to be precise. On this motorcycle was this huge figure. I could see the figure was wearing military-like boots. There was a smile from the helmet.
Then I remembered it was Valentine’s Day, so I took a long swig, the fourth, so I can see well the figure behind this smile. “Today might be my lucky day,” I soliloquized my observations to my bottle. In what felt like a decade waiting, the figure finally took off the helmet.
I nearly choked in my excitement upon realising who the figure was. I first identified the figure through his unique hairstyle. I couldn’t believe my eyes, “but I just had four sips,” I said to myself. He sat beside me and said “yo ne e nwa dikhote mme ga ya reka dithunya.” It turns out I am not yet drunk after all, beside me was SKI, the General, the good Doctor, His Excellency himself.
I could not believe that I was happy to see the President whose government has failed me on many occasions. The guy was charming and not as tough as they made him be. I looked around slyly. To my surprise there was no sight of his security detail.
Just people walking around hand in hand. “Or maybe he has placed snipers all over the village hills,” I suspect to myself. For a moment, I glanced at my quart and regarded it as my weapon should things take a nasty turn. The man was a mind reader, as he quickly told me to relax as he wanted to have a civil chat.
I was intimidated by his boots though. Nonetheless, I took a gorilla sip just to taste the waters. He kept his composure, I stayed calm. I took another sip so I can sequence my words well. I told him how his security once threatened me during one of the graduation ceremonies while I was still employed, only
He asked me about my perceptions on his government; “Mr. President, people are hopeless, hungry and angry, I am hungry! Your policies are rarely evaluated, your people have for ages paid the plastic levy. Where is that money going? The taxpayers money went through the stinky drain at Palapye Glass Project, Morupule B.
I cry with the BCL employees because I know the pain of being told “do not come to work anymore,” when you have many plans ahead of you to execute. I have been waiting to be allocated a residential plot in this rural village for six years now to no avail. The unemployment rate is unbearably high. Maybe this is why there is such high crime rate.
This alcohol is very expensive. Maybe that’s why there are so many incidents of illegal drug use. Is the alcohol levy serving its purpose or it is misplaced?” I took another gorilla sip, he kept his head down.
I told him that I am too poor to talk about the NPF scandal. “Like yourself Mr President, I do not like politics so I will not comment on the issue of EVM’s.” He took a deep breath and said, “I am sorry you sound disappointed with my government. Reality is that you cannot satisfy everyone and...”. I chipped in, “but Mr President you are satisfying just a small fraction of Batswana.”
I could sense he was losing his composure so I took the last sip and tossed the empty bottle aside. “If Batswana were not satisfied with my rule they would not be giving me many presents and positive speeches. This is a sign that I did a sterling job contrary to what you are saying. I still have many plans to take Batswana out of poverty.”
I asked him how he will take us out of poverty when he was left with five weeks to exit the presidency and yet he continues to impoverish his people by accepting many gifts from them. “I wish you could do the honourable thing and return those gifts Mr. President.Some students go to school barefooted yet their parents donated some beasts to you sir,” I sternly told him.
His smile came back and he said, “Yes Mr. Jim, I will definitely return all the gifts I have collected from Batswana, as I matter of fact I will even give away my retirement package. Plans are already afoot for the establishment of the Lt Gen Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama Foundation. They always tease my many names but I simply tell them that the names resonates my many plans for the improvement of their livelihoods.
I don’t have biological children so I regard every Motswana as my child, therefore this foundation will go a long way in helping my children and I came here to tell you that you will be appointed the Communications Strategist of my foundation”.
While I was still in awe, he reached into his wallet and gave me a P20 note and told me to buy another bottle. I stood up to go buy another crispy gold crafted water. I fell from my bed miraculously.
By Keabetswe Jim: BA Media Studies student at University of Botswana