Drunkards will not miss President Ian Khama!
Imagine that you are out and about having a good time at your favourite night joint. The golden juices are swirling in your head as you dance in slow motion, when the music is abruptly turned off and the lights are switched on and off to indicate that it is now closing time. Talk about an anti-climax! But this is apparently the life that drinkers and drunkards have become used to since 2008. For the past several weeks, the president has embarked on a national tour to bid farewell to Batswana after an eventful presidency. There is no doubt that our teetotaller president gained notoriety when he effected the alcohol levy and restricted entertainment hours laws. But it has been proven that there is no correlation between substance abuse and tax. When people want to do something, they will do it. And Batswana sure as hell want to drink – so much that you would be forgiven for thinking that imbibing the golden liquids is a compulsory cultural practice. I even hear that the chief drunkards want to introduce the gabola church here. But this war against alcohol is understandable. Alcohol is a silent killer: not only detrimental to one’s health if consumed in large amounts but also, most social ills in our communities boil down to alcoholism – poverty, murder, divorce, HIV/AIDS, road carnages and the list goes on. But some people still choose to drink like fish. It speaks volumes about twisted priorities and how some people have a low self-esteem. There is nothing wrong with alcohol if it is consumed in small amounts – two or three glasses is enough, folks! Some Batswana have adopted this self-defeating culture of thinking drinking to get drunk is something to be praised for. Go na le selo gatwe ‘plaka’. Someone can wipe off a six or 12 pack or more, or a bottle of whisky or wine in just one sitting. Kooteng ke bokwete. Motho wa teng o tla bo a iphitsa dino tsa bagolo, kamoso a bo a ipoka gore ne a bo nwa a sa bo tshamikise...WTF, who does that?! Never mind that you put yourself at risk of alcohol poisoning, inflammation, liver cirrhosis etc... And need I add that alcoholics are the ugliest lot out there what with their phuza faces. At times you have to squint in the person’s direction to figure out if they are laughing or crying. Anyways, I bet our President would be shocked if he were to be thrown into a drinking hole and come across the assortment of characters. In every drinking hole, there is always the madcap – that one person murmuring to themselves. Then there is the person who enjoys holding centre stage in conversations. Then there is that chap who is broke but always gets drunk because he asks for beers from patrons. Bo‘ntlaletse hoo.’ Then there is the one with Dutch confidence: they would be quiet as a church mouse but after a few drinks, suddenly develops verbal diarrhoea. Then there are the ones who always get involved in fights: alcohol incites the Muhammad Ali within them. And then enter the classic, the emotional crier. This one opens the floodgates after a few drinks and tells all and sundry about their “problems” which could range from money issues, being bewitched or love woes. Being a man who seemingly cares about people and is concerned with their plight, the Prez would probably listen attentively. The drunk would sob: Monngame, mokapelo o a ntshwenya...gape o gana ka dikobo. And with a concerned look he would respond: A e didimale a bo e latlha bojwalwa...ke tla e fa dikobo!