Fare thee well Sheriff

Oduetse Botshelo
Oduetse Botshelo

It is hard to come to terms with the news of your demise. Oduetse Sheriff Botshelo was my classmate (1983-1987) at the then prestigious academic and farming institution of Moeng College in the hills of Tswapong. He hails from Goo-tau. We grew under the tutelage of our inspiring principal, Professor Bernard Moswela.

Sheriff was a good student, a good man, and a likeable person with an outgoing personality. He was always at peace with himself and other people from all walks of life. From college, he proceeded to attain a teaching qualification, which landed him a teaching post in various secondary schools. It did not take long for his superiors to notice his managerial acumen.

He rose through the ranks from teacher to school principal and finally assistant director under corporate services. Being the visionary he was, he never wanted to die in the public service. He left the public office on his own accord and with unblemished record to pursue his passion–business and service to the sovereign Lord. He was a brave man who left the comfort zone of an air-conditioned government office to get into the rough and tumble life of business.

Some of his age mates are still contemplating leaving the public service to pursue their dreams and perhaps respond to their calling. But courage is always eluding some and they might suffer the indignity of departing the world before doing what God created them to do.


But Sheriff somewhat accomplished those things which some of us are aspiring to do. You left at a wrong time when everybody seems to be preparing to go that side. We used to cry in times like these when we still had tears in abundance. Now our tears have dried up. You picked a wrong card to leave us now we are not able to openly express how sorely we miss you, and how deeply we loved you.

Quietly, we are hurting but who will believe our sorrow when we cannot publicly express sorrow, when we have no more tears to shed. How sad that you chose to go at a time when so much had already emptied our fountain of tears. We no longer have tears to shed but only left with enduring the pain of hurting inside. Silently so and doing so unnoticed. Our wounds are deep and not so obvious because we have no tears. Happy are those who still have tears for they have a fall back position. Crying is a powerful force that takes away much of the pain, refurbishing the mind, soul and body.

Crying is life itself, a sign of existence of life while tearless-ness means lifeless, it so human to cry, so human to weep for a fallen hero and so less human to weep not and cry no more.

This excruciating pain you bequeathed us Sheriff may refuse go away easily because the tears created to mop up and cast this pain into the sea are refusing to come out our crying no more is a silent killer. We cry no more and heal no more. You know our tears used to flow like a river when going through an ordeal such as this. But that age has gone past. Gone are the days we took our tears for granted. Abundance of yesteryear made tears look less precious and but scarcity skyrocketed their value. Fare thee well comrade!

TSHWARELO HOSIA*

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