Voice reporter, Philimon Mmeso recently shared a taxi from Palapye bus rank to the main mall with two old men and a young man who engaged in a heated argument about Kgosi Kgafela’s decision to call President Ian Khama as a witness in the Kgatleng paramount chief’s ongoing constitution review court case. Here is how their debate went.
OLD MAN WITH BROWN JACKET: I heard that the Mokgatla young chief is taking Phuti (President’ Khama’s tribal totem) to court. This country is now cursed! Khama draped Kgafela with a leopard skin and now this.” (shaking his head)
OLD MAN WITH A CAP: He is cursing himself! What is his problem anyways?
BROWN JACKET: I heard he wants to be the president of this country!
YOUNG MAN: (Laughing loudly and interrupting the conversation)
CAP: (Getting irritated) What are you baring your teeth for small boy?
YOUNG MAN: Yoo! You are misunderstanding the whole issue. It’s not like that at all. Kgabo( Kgafela’s tribal totem) is not interested in the colonial influenced presidency. He wants to rule his people in peace, thats all!
BROWN JACKET: You don’t know anything and you’re ill mannered! Your Mokgatla young chief seems to be jealous of Phuti!
YOUNG MAN:You are so ignorant it is scary! Do you ever read newspapers at all?
CAP: (Clearly irritated) Small boy, please don’t talk to us like that. My children are much older than you!
YOUNG MAN: For your information, I am a man. I went through initiation and my regiment is Madisa Kgosi, just so you know!
BROWN JACKET: This is the kind of bad behaviour that Phuti is trying to combat in the Kgatleng area, and then they claim that they can be presidents! No manners!
YOUNG MAN: This presidency is for everyone, not for Bangwato only as you seem to assume! And come 2014 we are removing your chief!
CAP: Thakaa! Can we stop this conversation before we get insulted by a baby who was not too long ago suckling at his mother’s breast.
YOUNG MAN: You also insulted my chief calling him “A small boy.” What makes you think I wasn’t offended by that?
BROWN JACKET: Small boy, your chief is younger than us and therefore you can not tell us what to say and what not to say about him!
CAP: And he is taking Phuti to court! You think you are educated but you are just a lost fool!
YOUNG MAN: The problem is that you want to comment on an issue you know nothing about? Go and read newspapers and you will understand and hopefully appreciate that Kgabo is trying to help ignorant and lost people like yourselves!
CAP: You are not telling us what kind of help he is hoping to give us by trying to drag the president to court.(shaking his head) You are bewitched young man! Go home for cleansing rituals and then your head will start thinking straight.
BROWN JACKET: (nodding his head) I think a cleansing ritual is what he is in desperate need of. No one can speak these things when he is normal unless of course he is under the influence of the green herb (laughing)
YOUNG MAN:(Calm but angry) You have a serious problem old men, but enough is enough now!
Realising the young man was visibly angry, Brown Jacket cools the situation
BROWN JACKET: Don’t be agitated, we are cousins after all and cousins are free to joke around and tease each other, right? But tell your chief to leave Phuti alone!
YOUNG MAN: (Slamming the taxi door as he gets off and muttering, partly to himself and partly to the old men) Bangwato and their foolishness!
CAP: (Shouting for the man who was walking off to hear) Hey! You are the ones who are foolish! And That is why this country doesn’t have a Mokgatla for a president.
All passengers laugh and I breathe a sigh of relief as we realise that a possible physical confrontation has been averted.