HUNDREDS PAY THEIR LAST RESPECTS TO MP TSHELANG MASISI
The Francistown Civic Hall was on Wednesday packed to capacity with mourners who attended Francistown West MP Tshelang Walter Masisi’s memorial service.
Masisi or TW as he was popularly known suffered a stroke and died at Bokamoso Private hospital last week Tuesday.
Mostly clad in the Botswana Democratic Party colours of red, black and white, the crowd which included people from all walks of life was in a somber mood punctuated by an occasional bout of laughter as they listened to the often humorous tributes to the departed legislator.
As they filed past the coffin to view the corpse many fought back tears and made a sign of the cross.
Originally from Moshupa Masisi migrated to Francistown in the 70′s to work as a Manager for Cash Bazaar. He later branched out on his own running several businesses in the city before going into politics.
After serving as a councillor for some years he wrestled the Francistown West constituency from BNF firebrand Vain Mamela in 1994.
Most of those who attended the service remembered him as a humble, honest, humorous and an indefatigable fighter who defied health challenges including a kidney transplant to do his political duties diligently as he served in several parliamentary committees over the years.
Among the notables who paid their last respects to “TW” were BDP Council of Elders Patrick Balopi, High Court Judge Mpaphi Phumaphi, King of Kings Mogomela and BDP Chairperson Samson Guma Moyo who surprised many when he rendered a hymn karaoke style to bid farewell to his departed political colleague.
IN MEMORIAM – WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT TW AT THE SERVICE
PATRICK BALOPI – THE BDP COUNCIL OF ELDERS VICE CHAIRMAN.
When TW arrived in Francistown it was his good looks and dress sense that I heard of first.
The interesting thing is I heard it from a woman. There is a handsome young man who is the new manager at Cash Bazaar.
I felt I had to check him out. When I got to the shop he personally attended me as I examined a number of suits.
I was impressed by what I saw. Little did I know the ladies had also told him about me: The young man with beautiful teeth who worked at the railways ticket office. He one day came to check me out.
His way of checking me out was enquiring about the cost of ferrying a bicycle to his home village, Moshupa.
At the time I wondered what kind of a man would make such an enquiry as there is no rail track to Moshupa.
It was only later when we were firm friends that I learnt from him that he had come to check me out.”
THEMBA MGUNI – FORMER COUNCILLOR AND FRIEND
I met him in 1977 and over the years we became good friends. He loved being surrounded by laughter.
He was full of jokes and was an honest man. If he did not like a person or something he would not hide it.
I remember one time I invited him to spend Christmas at my cattle post and he only agreed to after I assured him certain people would not be there.
TW was a man of the people who was as comfortable in a shack as he was in a mansion. With this in mind I was not surprised when he became an MP.
Being a man of many talents, he was a herbalist, ran a chemist and one day when I went there I found him grinding and mixing herbs at the back.
He was an interesting man and I am grateful to have had the chance to know him. I think he would have loved to be buried in Francistown. He loved this town and its people.
JUDGE MPAPHI PHUMAPHI- FRIEND
My brother loved people that at times it was hard to take.
When he asked you to accompany him somewhere he would as a rule not tell you where you were going and how much time you were going to spend there.
I remember one incident when he asked me to accompany him to Monarch.
When we got there he left me in the car to go into some shop.
I stayed in the car for quite a long time and when I eventually decided to go after him I found him enjoying a meal of pap and tripe having apparently forgotten about me.
That was my brother and he had love for the people and politics.”
MASISI MASISI- RELATIVE
“All he needed to be happy was to have people around him.
At times you would not believe he was an MP. When you found him dancing at a drinking spot you would, unless you knew him, think he was a herd boy from some cattle post.”