Commuters anxious to evacuate the city and get home before the evening chill sets in are scrambling for taxi and combi space.
Our reporter is amongst those being squeezed into a Selepa bound vehicle and overhears the following conversation.
Man in dark blue jacket: Transport is always a problem on Fridays, but today it’s worse than other weeks. I have been stuck in the taxi rank for almost two hours.
Man in red wollen hat: The few taxis that are there are calling out for special hire. This is unfair, they are creating unnecessary overcrowding. I fail to understand taxi operators’ reasoning – just because people have been paid do they think we can splash our hard earned cash on special hires. Why is Friday different from any other working day?
TAXI DRIVER: My brother this Friday is hectic, and I don’t see us coping at all. It seems more people have come into town from surrounding villages. Since around 4 o’clock we have been busy. And now it’s worse.
Man in dark blue jacket: E le gore What is happening in ghetto this week end?
Lady in brown formal jacket: This is a big weekend. Starting from today till tomorrow it’s party after party. Tonight it’s Aleck Macheso at BOCCIM hall and there is a popular DJ at Lizard lounge. Tomorrow is the Mascom Bash at Dumela lounge! Woza Friday!!
Man in red wollen hat: (nodding his head) That’s why these youngsters are all over the rank – it’s like a school playground at break time.
Man in blue jacket: Aaah! Those are trouble. Most of them are going to lie to their parents that they are going to a beauty pageant at school or some school function. They will cook up excuses just to go out clubbing.
Lady in pink jacket: They are a nuisance I tell you! Everywhere you go you will find them. It’s difficult to find a decent place where adults only can have good time.
Man in blue jacket: (whistles) You women are better. Us men we are in bigger problems with these kids who are heavy drinkers and no longer want to watch TV.
Man in blue jacket: When we mix and mingle with them, you can’t tell whether this is a school going child or not.
Man in red wollen HAT: Especially the girls, they are good at disguising themselves. Most of them have big bodies and behinds – you would take them for a grown up woman!
Lady in brown jacket: Hela bo rra! You can’t be that foolish. Not to be able to tell a schoolgirl from a grown up woman like me.
Man in blue jacket: Mma, not after taking a couple of drinks. Everything in a dress is a woman! (laughter) Not that I would be wanting to have a thing or two with a child.
Taxi driver: Kana these children at times are to blame if not the cause for our mistakes. Today’s girls like alcohol like never before. They literally go around hunting for drinks and someone to buy for them! (murmurs).
Lady in pink: When I was studying abroad guys always asked for our IDs. At first it bothered me, why they wanted to know how old we were. Then I understood that they did not want to date underage girls for fear of being slapped with a defilement case.
Man in red wollen hat: Hela batho, this defilement is now a headache for us. I know of a soldier who met a girl at a party, she told him she was a student studying for a degree in accounting at one of the colleges in Gaborone. Meanwhile the girl was in secondary school.
Man in blue jacket: Gentlemen listen to that (there is the sound of laughter in the taxi).
Man in red woolen hat: The lies came to light when the parents noticed their child’s school performance had started to decline. I understand each time she wanted to go out to meet her soldier boyfriend she would lie to her parents that she was going for a sports outing – which in a way she was.
Taxi driver: (laughing) These girls are very clever. See them parading in their uniforms and you would think they are innocent children. But instead they are big criminals!
Man in red wollen hat: When the girl’s parents went to enquire from the school they got a shock of their life. Their daughter was not in any sports clubs. This is how soldier boy was found out and charged with defilement.
Man in blue jacket: Just imagine, messing up someone’s life. Kissing your job and future goodbye just for having a schoolgirl as a lover.
Main in red wollen hat: He is in prison as we speak. He has lost everything. His life is a mess, just because the girl lied to him. Even in court the girls will not own up that they mislead the man.
Taxi driver: Such cases are many around. At times parents push their children into these relationships and when things are sour they press charges. A taxi driver is locked up in prison for the same cause.
Lady in brown jacket: Do you mean the one who went out with a small girl from the Blocks?
Taxi driver: That’s right. She is in secondary school, but had a boyfriend working in the mine, known by the girl’s mother. The girl would even sleep at the boyfriend’s place regularly. One night she left home going to the boyfriend only to find him away on night shift.Instead of going back home or sleeping in the boyfriend’s house she went out in search of another lover.
Lady in pink jacket: Hela! This is pathetic and shameful.
Taxi driver: (continues) When the boyfriend finds the small girl not at his place, he goes to look for her at her mother’s place – only to learn she did not come home that night.
Man in blue jacket: What will become of her by the time she is 30? She will be having over five boyfriends, a couple of kids, and maybe HIV as well.
Taxi driver: (still continuing with his story) Instead of both men being charged with sleeping with a minor, only the taxi driver was nabbed because the girl’s parents were benefitting from the boyfriend being employed at the mine, so they protected him.
Lady in brown jacket: Ijo! People do the most disgusting things and all for the love of money. That is trading your daughter for money or food. It has now become a business.
Main in red wollen hat: And a story for The Voice!
(There is a final burst of laughter. The taxi sets off)