Most of us come from broken families. These are families in which children are not raised by their biological parents. Often-times they are raised by a single parent, usually the mother, because the father would have naturally abdicated his responsibilities. In some cases, these are orphaned and vulnerable children who would have lost parents to disease, accident or natural death. The children will be left to their own devices to fend for themselves in a dog-eat-dog world. They are forced by circumstances to become child-parents, as they take on responsibilities reserved for elderly people. When their peers play kids’ games they worry about where the next meal is going to come from. In worst case scenarios some of these children go on to become street urchins (bo-bashi), they take refuge in abandoned houses and culverts to keep away from the elements. They scavenge for morsels of food at landfills, dumping sites and waste bins of shopping malls. Such paths inevitably lead to destruction of the child’s soul. He detests the society into which he is born and naturally strays into a life of crime. It starts small. He becomes a petty thief. Often he is arrested for jaywalking or common nuisance, as he tries to make ends meet. The cops see him as an irritant. The state regards him as a blemish that will tarnish its campaign to lure foreign investors and tourists into the country. His family has disowned him. No one bothers to go searching for him. He has abandoned his family! Worse still, a narrative is pushed by a few elitist people that maintain very peculiar and often subtle links with foreign dominion powers. Through their non-governmental agencies –nothing else but neo-colonialist proxies- they poison the minds of the local populations against their way of life! They churn out propaganda about the supposed death of the extended family support system. Under this false premise, the local communities turn against each other – man against woman, children against parents; parents against authority. Like a veldt fire, this festers to consume the whole society. But there are also other types of broken families. As men and women fall into the allure of sex; they end up bearing children – often, they say, unintentionally! Most of these children are born outside wedlock in adulterous liaisons. Sometimes they are just products of either the man’s or woman’s infidelity. The English used to refer to such children as ‘bastards’, which I personally find very offensive! But notwithstanding, I think the name derived from an era when marriage denoted faithfulness, when chastity was a virtue. But then, times have changed. The Internet has rendered pornography openly available – a ubiquitous pastime for both the young and elderly, with disastrous ramifications! We are basically reaping what we have sown, we have made our bed and we must lie on it. For a small country such as ours in Botswana, the results are devastating. Our morality has gone to the dogs. Respect for authority belongs to the dustbins of history. The young are told that they are equal to their elders. The women respect not their men, husbands love not their wives; lust rules the roost as society plunges into anarchy. The Church is despised. In its desperate quest for relevance it speaks in forked tongues and teaches profanity instead of sound doctrine of salvation! To compound matters men of the cloth sexually molest boys in their congregations. Others defraud poor people in the name of the Lord. Sadly, we have forsaken our traditional structures and ways by which we could address these maladies. And in our emotive bewilderment we ascribe a name for this calamitous condition – Gender Based Violence! A closer probing reveals that this is just to appease our egos with the hope that by ascribing gender dimensions to the violence bedevilling our society, the menace will magically disappear. Slowly we are being swallowed by an international conspiracy, the type that divides societies and nations in order to plunder their natural resources. They never run out of gimmicks and slogans, they are manipulative in their murderous adventure. They will stop at nothing. They are not even ashamed of killing children, maiming women and decapitating men. We must pause to engage in a national debate. We must search deeply within our souls to find out where we lost the plot. We may find that all we need is love and respect for one another. But sadly political ideologies and systems have succeeded in separating us into ‘we and them’, we no longer talk of parents and children, brothers and sisters, but we have become cannibals!