“I raised them so that they can take care of me. I want what is mine, simple as that,” were the emphasized words of a lady on board a Block 8 combi in Gaborone this past Monday evening as she unapologetically told other commuters that her three children have to pay her back for raising them up. This is how the conversation went:
Combi Driver: Where are you from this late with blankets?
Mother: Where am I from? I am from the shops. I came to buy myself this blanket. My son gave me money and I wanted to get this before the money just disappeared.
Lady in Red: Lucky you.
Mother: What has luck got to do with anything? I have children and I expect them to take care of me like I took care of them. I would be a fool to let them get away from their responsibilities. They all know that month end I am waiting for my money. I raised them so that they can take care of me. I want what is mine, simple as that.
Lady in Red: You don’t say.
Mother: I do say. I told them all that it is my time to cash in on what I went through for them. Their fathers left and I was left holding the babies. I was a single mother who worked hard to feed them and put them through school. Now I just want what is rightfully mine.
Lady in Red: So when are they expected to do things for themselves?
Mother: They know that when they get paid my share is deducted before they start budgeting and using their money. I am not here to play around. I even have my other son’s bank card so I control his money. I would be damned before I let my children spend money on girls instead of me their mother. Over my dead body!
Lady in Coat: So what are you going to do when they get married?
Mother: I will continue to expect my money from them and their partners. Whether they are single or not I want my money
Lady in Red: Obviously they will support you every now and then. I assume you don’t expect them to give you money every month.
Mother: You assume wrong. I want my money every month without skipping. I don’t skip my menstruation cycle nor am I going to skip getting my money. That wouldn’t make sense. The older one recently said: ‘I wouldn’t be able to give you money this month.’ I told him that he shouldn’t even dare say such things. I told him that if he wants to say such he should leave my house and say them from outside my house.
Lady in Coat: You making your children go through hell.
Mother: Say what you want to say but I am just getting my return on investment. I recently got a plot and told my children that they will be building me a house and I expect them to comply.
Lady in Red: What happened to your money?
Lady in Coat: Why not use your money to build yourself a house?
Lady Mother: Nothing happened to my money, I just have children who should be doing such things.
Lady in Red: So every month all your children give you money?
Lady Mother: All except the last born, he is at University of Botswana getting an allowance. But I told him that when he finishes school I am going to the village and he will be taking care of me full time, whether he likes it or not.
To the end of the conversation, it remained clear that the Mother knew what she wanted and was getting it. As the commuters giggled and cringed, The Voice however was sure that some of the commuters were relieved that Lady Mother was not their mother.