Gaborone traditional doctors left in the lurch as a ‘father of baboons’disappears
The baboon man has gone missing!
A familiar feature at the foot of the Kgale hill for years, Jenamo Joel also known as father of baboons(Raditshwene) has suddenly disappeared from his favourite spot where he spent time playing with baboons.
He has left many, especially traditional doctors whom he regularly supplied with baboon urine wondering about his whereabouts.
The 27-year- old man from Senete village in the north east district has become famous for his love of baboons.
Over the years he learnt how to befriend the animals which live and scavenge around the Kgale hill in Gaborone by feeding them with rotten fruits and vegetables from nearby shopping outlets at game city mall.
Asalepele Moeti, a casual worker at Choppies hyper says they used to leave out rotten produce in the evening for Rraditshwene thrice a week.
“I never found the stuff in the morning which means he collected it overnight, unless of course the B.S.P.C.A collected it before him.”
Ever since Joel’s disappearance, traditional healers say they have been unable to carry out their duties efficiently as there has reportedly been a shortage of baboon urine.
Dr Mutambara, a traditional doctor from Gokwe in Zimbabwe says baboon urine is used for vagina tightening, which makes its demand high among sex workers in Gaborone.
“Now I might have to go to Chipinge or Chiredzi to order baboon urine from fellow colleagues because there is nowhere else I can buy it here since this man went missing,” he says.
Another traditional doctor, Setaba from Old Naledi says Raditshwene also had access to baboon bones and teeth, which he collected from dead baboon carcasses up kgale hill.
“We use them to consult the ancestors and without him they are very difficult to obtain, especially during the festive season.”
Meanwhile Alba Orapeleng an officer at the Department of Wildlife has described Joel as a hermit and a hoarder.
“He preferred to be left alone in the bushes with the baboons and he liked collecting stuff that was thrown out by other people.” Orapeleng explained.
He went on to warn that baboons are very unpredictable animals and they could harm Raditshwene if he was not careful.
“ He wouldn’t get any compensation from the government if he got hurt because he played with the animals at his own risk.” said Orapeleng.
Many people around Game city who were asked if they had seen the guy lately said Raditshwene was being driven crazy by traditional healers who hounded him for supplies of urine and bones without compensating him.
“He could be simply hiding away from the doctors or maybe he went back to Senete his home village for Christmas.,” said the man who works around Game City.
Meanwhile the Botswana PoliceServicePublic Relations OfficerSenior Superintendent Dipheko Motube commenting on Joel’s disappearance said:
“People just take him for granted and use him for their own benefit without paying him.
That is probably why he has gone into hiding . He has not been reported missing to to the police.”