Recently, Voice cartoonist, Lesole Ntshole boarded a taxi from the taxi rank in Gaborone to Bontleng.
He overheard a conversation between a taxi driver and passengers on tenants and their egotistical landlords.
LADY IN PINK JACKET: Do you know someone who has a house for rent? I don’t need something big, a room would do.
LADY WITH A BLUE SCARF: But you’ve been staying in Bontleng for almost 3 months, why do you all of a sudden want to move?
PINK JACKET: I just can’t stand my landlord.
I thought things between me and her would be okay because I pay my rent in full and on time but I have decided that the best solution is to find a new place for rent.
She and her children steal my groceries.
BLUE SCARF: Do you have proof that she is the thief?
PINK JACKET: If it’s not her, who could it be? Isn’t she the one who has a spare key to my room?
MAN WITH DREADS: I know how it feels, my sister. I’ve also been in a similar situation in which my groceries, including my money would disappear from my rented room.
When I demanded answers from my landlord and her children, they got offended.
TAXI DRIVER: The world is full greedy people. How does one receive rent and steal a tenant’s food too? It’s like charging double.
PINK JACKET: When you rent a room, especially where the landlord stays in the same yard, it’s common that after they see a taxi drop you off with groceries, they immediately send a child with a cup to ask for cooking oil or sugar.
MAN WITH DREADS: And if you refuse with your cooking oil or sugar the next day they hike the rent so that you vacate before they can evict you.
BLUE SCARF: It’s very sad that most people forget that we all need each other to survive. Landlords have a habit of treating tenants like they are desperate.
TAXI DRIVER: The best way to deal with a landlord after giving you a key for your room is to simply replace the lock.
DREAD MAN: There you go my brother! Some years back my landlord and her children would open my room to steal my groceries when I wasn’t home.
After several attempts to catch them failed, I came up with a plan. I bought sweet aid, mixed it with maize-meal and waited.
The following day I went to check the waste bin. I found out that they had thrown away the maize-meal because the sweet aid had dyed it red. (Laughter).
PINK JACKET: I guess they became scared and thought you put some muti in the maize-meal to bewitch them.
DREADMAN: Now after that incident, I had enough evidence that they were indeed the thieves. I replaced the lock with a new one.
The conversation ends PINK JACKET drops off by Bontleng Mall.