Death in the air

The story is so regular it should be less interesting by now. But this is a story of people's lives. It is a story of the landless in their own land! It is indeed a story of the dead-living and not the living-dead as the latter are the ancestors. The concept of dead-living must be understandable within both the Hebrew and Setswana traditions.One is dead in the Hebrew understanding not only clinically.

One who has nothing to his or her name is dead. Life is interactive. Life is life lived with. Living-with is not only about other like-beings, but with the totality of God's creation. Remember "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1). Living-with is about interacting with things that make life worth being lived. It is about having access to means of livelihood. Without such means one is dead.In Setswana we have a saying, "motlhoka sa gagwe ke mokang o suleng." That is, one who has or owns nothing is as good as a dead. It points to the same Hebrew human-material interaction concept. Botho as a religious concept points to relationality. John Mbiti's syllogistical argument leads to the conclution that Botho is about "ê relate therefore I am", unlike Rene Descartes' cogito ego sum; "I think, therefore I am." For Mbiti Motho is a relating or relational thing not a thinking thing, hence in Setswana we rightly say Motho ke Motho ka Batho. This relationality goes beyond human relationship because such relationships happen within other wider non-human relationships' interactions with humans'. One cannot, not have unless they are not in relationship. The question is what kind of relationships do we have in this country that relegates some to a state that is lower than mere existence, a state of non-clinical death?

Editor's Comment
Your vote matters

This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

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