A Voice reporter recently joined the queue at a commercial bank to make a transaction when one man left other clients and bank staff holding their noses in disbelief and wishing they could quickly get out of the banking hall.
The moment he opened his bag, which had cash the whole place was suddenly engulfed with a smell of what seemed to be burnt or rotten herbs. The bank teller and customers could not help but wonder what the man had done to the money or what he was hoping to achieve from whatever he had done to it.
Bank teller: Hmmm,(waving her hand in front of her nose) rra what is wrong with these notes, what are they smelling of (she says as the man hands her over creased notes of various denominations)
Man in brown jacket: What do you think is smelling ? Just put this money in my account and stop asking me questions.
Bank teller: Didn’t mean to offend you rra, but ah the smell is just too much and hard to ignore and I am sure I am not the only one affect…(sneezes) eesh I am going to have flu I tell you.
Woman in black outfit still in the queue: Heela can someone bring an air freshener before we all get choked in here, some of us are asthmatic.
Man in jacket: Wena ngwanyana (young girl, referring to the teller) don’t behave as if you are not an African or a Motswana. Don’t you know it’s important to protect your hard earned cash and assets.
Bank teller: But do you really have to do such things to cash, it’s not fair cause money circulates and imagine that the next person to get these notes will have to endure all this smell.
Man in jacket: Ah you think I care (he says as he gets his copy of deposit slip, puts it in his dirty small bag which had the cash and leaves the banking hall)
Other people continue with the conversation
Woman in black outfit: Wonder why this man is bothering himself with muti, these things never work and if looks are anything to go by, he’s just a poor man, you can tell that wasokola (suffering)
Other people laugh
Man in grey shirt: That’s why he has resorted to muti, I am sure the traditional doctor told him that if he uses the muti and deposits a few notes within a day he would be having a fat account. The man is hoping to be a millionaire over night.
Woman in pink top: Batswana are so gullible, they believe in anything even though there are many stories doing rounds of people being swindled by fake traditional doctors, wonder how much he paid for muti that he used to lace the money with.
Man in white shirt at the withdrawals counter: Hey, please don’t give me those smelly notes, for all I know they might turn into a thokolosi and start stealing my money to give to that old man (he says referring to the teller)
Other people burst into laughter
Black outfit: He is telling the truth, you may never know with these things. Hmmm the smell is still strong, please spray an air freshener before I use my own perfume spray. Ah at least I am almost there, can’t wait to get out of this place.
She gets her turn to be served and the conversation comes to an end even though the smell still lingers on although not as strong as before.