Wednesday, February 7, 2018



My first intimate contact with Sir Ketumile Masire, the man who was to become President of Botswana for 19 years, was in 1980 when as Vice President he abruptly cut his trip to the People’s Republic of China due to the terminal illness of his predecessor Sir Seretse Khama. I was a senior journalist then with the Government Department of Information and Broadcasting working for Radio Botswana and the Daily News. Sir Seretse Khama had just returned from London where he had gone for treatment but was returned by his doctors so that he "could die peacefully among his people." The charismatic and immensely popular founder President of the former British colony was dying of cancer.
I first interviewed Vice President Masire when he was known then by his unique but popular first name of Quett, before he changed his title to Sir Ketumile Masire later when he was bestowed the British Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. Quett, as he was popularly known then, was regarded nationally as the moneyman, being the Minister of Finance and Development Planning.  The man's trademark was his high-pitched laughter that echoed around the corridors of every building he occupied and announced him at every occasion. The idiosyncrasy was to become part of his personality and eventually a cherished sound among his supporters and compatriots.
The intention of the interview was to get answers to the burning questions in the minds of every concerned citizen of Botswana-, which was virtually everyone. Now that the nation of this fledgling democracy, was about to lose the only president that they had known, what was going to happen to the leadership of the country? Would Vice President Masire take over automatically? It was common knowledge then that the rather reticent Quett Masire had not shown any ambitions to ascend to the presidency of the country. Masire was believed to be reluctant to become captain of this peaceful but politically and economically fragile southern African state. We posed the questions to Quett Masire. As was always the case, we quickly realized that what Quett Masire lacked in physical stature, he made up for in his remarkable gift of repartee. Admittedly, at first contact before and during his presidency, and even afterwards, one did not have to be Quett Masire’s puppet to discern his obvious superior intellect. His mastery of both the English language and the national language, Setswana, made him a versatile orator and slippery maestro of intellectual gymnastics.
Quett Masire ensured that the bulk of the interview concentrated on his trip to China. The Chinese culture and their work ethic, in particular, had visibly impressed him. I was with colleagues Moreri Gabakgore and Monty Letshwiti when he told us:-

"If I had my way, I would take the entire nation of Botswana to China for them to see how hard working the Chinese are. They have ploughed ever where, even on mountain tops……."

[The manuscript awaits publication]

Thursday, August 31, 2017


A short story by Andrew Sesinyi

This is a work of fiction and must be regarded as such

Nine-year old Pidipidi Sejabana opened her eyes to a brand new day, her innocent brown eyes focused on a stream of morning light flooding the room from an open window in her hospital room. The little girl was awaiting her most cherished event of the day, when her aunt would be visiting. Aunt Matshwaro was a plump middle aged woman and sister to Pidipidi's mother, Shadi; Shadi was dead. She died a year ago leaving Pidipidi in the care of aunt Matshwaro who was by all accounts a devoted, caring and protective guardian. Pidipidi received all the love she could get from her aunt and yet a permanent emptiness remained etched in her heart for the one face, the one voice, and the single smell that would have made her the joyous little girl she wished to be, and that was the presence of her deceased mother, Shadi.

Pidipidi knew that her mother was never coming back. She had long accepted that, after months of praying and hoping for a miracle to bring her mother back. In her sadness she sometimes felt as if the only fruit of her prayers was the disease that had put her in hospital. Pidipidi was too young to understand many things, but she had a foreboding sense of doom from the moment she entered the hospital; she sensed that she might never leave her sanitized prison with its aroma of disinfectant, cries of pain, and quiet often, the creepy silence the cries stopped.

Pidipidi had heard of and seen other children her age carted out of the children's ward of the Princess Marina Hospital to unknown destinations. Nobody told her where the still bodies were being taken; nobody explained why they never returned; nobody mentioned to her why she felt like a hamster in a narrow dark tunnel, scurrying helplessly towards an even darker endless hole; but then no details would have served the little girl any better. She sensed from the smothering feeling of hopelessness that her life was wasting away, and that things might never be the same again. She dreaded the time when her turn would come to be carried out of the ward to an unknown place.

Pidipidi wondered how she would feel, how those children who went before her felt, or whether she would be aware of being transferred to her new home. She may have been only nine years old, but even the young and innocent have their basic instincts, for indeed, Pidipidi was on her death bed. As she lay there, as good as deaf from the silence of her ignorance, expecting what she did not know, Pidipidi could only recall the best moments of her short life; that was when her mother was alive. Mornings before school and evenings before bedtime were her favourite moments.

On an evening before the beautiful mornings, her mother would walk into the small, but comfortable bedroom she shared at their home with her two sisters - one two years older, and the other three years younger than her. Mother would tell the children their evening story as they lay on their beds in various positions of concentration. Mama Shadi as they fondly called her would pick stories ranging from romance to tales of bravery, with all stories having happy endings. Each time, after every story, whilst still bright-eyed from the relaxing effect of their mother's loving eyes and soothing voice, the children would attempt to prolong the pleasure by asking questions, relating the stories to their own lives.
"Mama," Pidipidi would ask. "Do you think us three girls will grow up to marry good men and have children like us"?
"Yes dear," Mama Shadi would respond. When addressing her children by name Mama Shadi always shortened the names making them wonder and amused at why she had given them longer names then.

"Pidi, with your big round eyes, you will charm any boy and make him worship the ground that you walk on. Your eyes will make him dazed till your voice comes; then he will be the sweetest husband forever."
The children would sigh.
"Mama," Pidi, the most assertive of the girls would persist. "Are you always going to be there for us, and will you see us working and getting married?"
"Of course Pidi," Mother would reply. "I'm not going anywhere and I'm not leaving my girls until they are 100 years old."
"Then, what?" Pidi asked.
"Then what, what, Pidi"? asked Mama Shadi.
“Then what happens when we're 100 years old?" Pidi replied, innocently.
"Well dear, at 100 years, you girls would be old enough to look after yourselves and you'd be living with your husbands anyway," Mother said.
"And how old would you be mother?" That would be Pidi asking.
"I'd be old enough not to tell little girls my age because I'd still be a lady," said the mother.
Pidipidi would always take the lead as the representative of the other children.
"I don't want you to be old Mama. I'm afraid of you being old because then you might leave us like other old people leave their families to go and die."

"Pidi," said the mother laughing. "They're not elephants. They don't leave to go and die. They just die because it would be time. That's God's choosing".
"I don't like this dying thing, " Pidipidi insisted. "And I don't like this thing of God making people and then choosing that they must die. I don't want him to take you away from us mama".
Mama Shadi was always touched when the children adopted such sad tones. At that stage she had no reason to suspect that destiny could deal them the fatal blow that it later delivered. Life then, was full of joy and endless hope.
"Oh nothing is ever going to take me from my girls. Now, everybody, please go to sleep".
Mother would tuck them into bed and retire herself, leaving behind the lingering, comforting smell of her nightly after-bath aroma of Sunlight Soap.
Pidipidi remembered details of the various conversations with her mother as she lay dying. Although too young to understand everything, she had been in and out of hospital for two years, and at one point she and her mother were admitted in the same hospital. Her condition deteriorated after her mother's death. Her medication made her sick and the pain that shook her small frame often left her in tears of self-pity, loneliness, depression, and worse, fear. She had recurring bouts of the flu – or influenza, with fits of dry, chest-wrecking coughs, sore throat, high fever and extreme tiredness.

Pidipidi had noticed that the little-girl magic she had cast on the nurses when she was first admitted to the hospital, had long disappeared, with the nurses becoming more impatient, less comforting, and even, at times, physically rough or negligent when helping her around her bed. The previously gentle hands that gave her injections with soothing tones had become less gentle and harder towards her. The nurses grew less attentive, spoke in subdued, but clearly mocking tones, when referring to her; and barked orders at the slightest complaint from her. Somehow, she felt like a dying puppy, whose owner was tired of nursing and just waited for it to die.
At school Pidipidi had been told of a disease called AIDS, and she soon caught its constant reference in the nurses' vocabulary when they whispered to each other. Pidipidi had heard that to get AIDS one had to have been a bad girl. She had not been a bad girl, and so it puzzled her that every time the nurses were around her, the subject appeared frequently in the conversation. She was soon to discover the reason for the tones of conspiracy around her when one evening two nurses, believing that she was asleep, started discussing her.
"The little girl," said the first nurse. "It's sad what happened to her, isn't it?"
"Yes it is," the second nurse replied. "Sometimes you just wished she'd die and be spared the pain".
"Oh don't say that," said the first nurse. "You never give up hope".
"What hope sister"? asked the second nurse. "Her mother died of HIV/AIDS. Obviously this recurring condition of hers is AIDS".
"We don't know that for sure", said the first nurse. "The doctor hasn't even asked for the test yet".
"Because it's obvious sister. The treatment would still be the same anyway because these are opportunistic diseases she's suffering from,"  said the other nurse.
"True," replied the first nurse. "But we don't know for sure that she is HIV positive."
"I still say, if her mother died a year ago of AIDS, obviously…"
"Stop it sister," interrupted the first nurse. "She's nine years old. She was eight when the mother died. She's not sexually active, and if it was a mother-to-child transmission she would have had it about nine years ago and she would have long had the symptoms."

"I guess you're right, but there've been cases…" said the second nurse.
"Yes. There've been cases and this is not one of them. In any case, it's not important. The poor thing is very ill, she's an orphan and she's here for our care, up to the last moment".
Listening to the conversation which basically pronounced her death sentence, Pidipidi snuggled deeper into the bed linen, seeking comfort and silently making out pictures of her short life and the life that could have been. Very soon the injection that the nurses had given her for pain started working, and she slipped into the welcome fog of deep sleep.
A third nurse entered the ward and her two other colleagues who had been talking about Pidipidi cheerfully extended the conversation to her.
"Hey, Kitty! There you are. Isn't it a shame about that little girl, Pidipidi?" asked the first nurse, busying herself with a variety of medicine bottles and syringes as she attempted to lighten the conversation.
Kitty was a slightly built young woman of around 23 years old. Her small figure and quiet manners made her the envy of many nurses. Kitty appeared to be a perfect example of how a nurse should look like, and sound like. She had a soft voice, dreamy eyes with long eye lashes and pursed lips that appeared to instantly apologise for making long conversation about the diseases of sick people. Her thick African hair was neatly piled in a hut-shaped style on a nicely shaped head.
Giving her colleagues a slow, lingering smile that never failed to convey a message of friendship and kindness, Kitty said:
"Yes it is. It's really sad Bodi, and I'd rather not say more about it, if you don't mind".
Bodi, the first nurse, looked at the second nurse, folding her arms around her ample bosom in a mocking stance as she said:
"Here we go again, Mercy. Kitty walks into the ward at the beginning of a shift and doesn't want to talk. We have a long day ahead of us. Let's hope young Doctor Sekopo is the one on duty today".
Mercy, the second nurse was drawn into the conversation.
"Come on Kitty. You know Bodi won't let the subject go until she's exhausted her big appetite for gossip. Humour her".
"There's no humour in this case," replied Kitty. "There's no laughter at all, and you girls don't even know all the facts about it, so shut up and go to work."
"And what facts are there we don't know about, Kitty?" insisted Bodi. "We know the poor thing lost her mother to AIDS and now she's going too. What else is there?"
"That's what you know Bodi," replied Kitty. "That's what you know, and it's not the full story".
Mercy was becoming increasingly interested in the conversation while Bodi's heaving chest strained against the prison of her bra because of the mounting excitement to continue gossiping.
"Kitty, don't speak in codes or Bodi will bust her bra," said Mercy laughing.
"Yeah, Kitty. Tell it as it is. Who slept with whom, where and when?" asked the ever curious Bodi.
"It's not a sex scandal Bodi," replied Kitty. "It's a detail, some information, that all of you girls miss when speaking about this poor child".
"What is it then?" The two nurses asked at the same time.
"Okay, but promise you won't tell anyone, and that this would put an end to this subject," Kitty said.
"Yes, we do," said Mercy.
"Yes, I do," said Bodi.
Kitty looked at Bodi with distrusting eyes before saying:
"Bodi, if your mouth was a country of secrets, it would be empty of its people by now. This is a hospital matter, Bodi, and it's not for idle chatter".
"Oh Kitty," protested Bodi. "Why does everyone distrust me? I don't tell work secrets anyway".
Kitty decided to tell the secret she had kept for over a year. It was a relief for her to share the burden of keeping the secret.
"Okay," said Kitty. "When Pidipidi first came to this hospital, a year and half ago, she was not HIV positive".
"Huh?" The two nurses replied at the same time.
"Yes," Kitty continued. "Her mother was. She wasn't. The test has been done, and yes, she’s HIV positive".
"Kitty, you've got it all wrong," said Bodi, her dark eyes round with disbelief. "Look she's nine years old and she's tested HIV positive…all the symptoms now point to full blown AIDS."
"Yes, Bodi," replied Kitty. "She's HIV positive now. She wasn't when she was first here sharing a room with her mother. There are records you know. I'm not just talking. This is not rumour."
The stunned nurses stared at their colleague, puzzled.
"So, she got the virus from…?" Mercy asked, letting the question drift in space as if unfinished.
"She's not sexually active," Kitty said. "Her mother was a loving and extremely careful woman. Pidipidi did not get infected at home".
"Where then?" asked Bodi. The suspension was killing her.
Kitty, rearranged a cluster of bottles on the trolley she was beginning to push as she replied:
"That little girl was infected in this hospital."

        ….. …….. …. ………..        

It was at that stage that Dr Marcus Sekopo, a favorite among the nurses, walked into the ward. He overheard the last bits of the nurses' conversation.
"Alright girls, break it up," Dr Sekopo said sharply, his young, handsome features strained in an attempt to show as much authority as possible. "Kitty, could I please see you in my office."
Kitty and the other two nurses exchanged glances, then shrugging her shoulders, she followed Dr Sekopo into the small office where Dr Sekopo took a seat behind a wooden oval shaped desk, his stethoscope hanging casually around his neck. He pointed to a chair in front of the desk and Kitty took the seat, gently crossing her stockinged, long, brown legs.
"Kitty, we didn't know this information had already gone out," said Dr Sekopo, looking apologetically at the nurse while toying with a pen holder on the desk in front of him. "The hospital superintendent ought to be the one to confirm this to you ladies but seeing as you already know, it’s only fair to tell you. But you have to promise not to share what I am going to say to you with your girlfriends, or anybody else. They know enough already. Can I trust you to keep the secret?"
"Of course doctor," replied Kitty, though worried that she was once again going to carry the load of a secret she could not talk about. "I've kept this to myself for a while now,” said Kitty, feeling the need to explain why she told the other nurses a short while ago. “I only mentioned it because I felt obligated to the little girl in a way. I knew she didn't contract the virus from her mother, although it puzzles me still, how she was infected in the hospital”.
Dr. Sekopo studied the nurse's face, before replying:
"Kitty, the little girl, Pidipidi, has been interfered with".
"Interfered with"? asked Kitty.
"Yes," replied the doctor. "She… how do I put it? She has been…"
As the doctor stopped in the middle of the sentence, Kitty felt a growing anger inside her.
"Doctor, I'm a nurse," she said in a low voice that nonetheless carried her controlled anger. "If there's anything you want to share with me about this poor, little girl, please do so. She needs all the help, and support, she can get, and I'm not too sure she will have enough of that, seeing how the hospital has already betrayed her".
Dr Sekopo coughed nervously before saying:
"I truly understand your anger, Kitty, but the fact is…the hospital didn't betray Pidipidi. The girl is a victim of abuse".
Kitty felt the room spinning as the air increased in density until she thought she would collapse.
Looking at her Dr Sekopo was about to rush around the desk to help when Kitty said:
"I'm okay doctor. I'm fine. It's not me who needs help. Oh My God! Abused? How? Where? By whom?"
"A relative, Kitty," replied the doctor. "An uncle who's been living with them since Pidipidi's mother died”.
Kitty stood up and despite the limited space in the room began pacing, in the process upsetting the chair she was sitting on which crashed to the floor. She bent to put the chair back in place.
"Dr Sekopo," she managed to get back her voice. "Has this been reported to the police? Where's this monster that did this to the child"?
"He's in police custody," Dr Sekopo promptly responded hoping to calm the agitated nurse and fearing that he might have to give Kitty a calming injection. "When we realized that Pididpidi had been interfered with, we called in a child psychologist – a good doctor, who managed to get the story from the little girl. It wasn't easy and despite all the heart-breaking stories we've heard, and the endless cases of death and suffering in the medical profession, this case has the worst profile".
"I hope he burns in hell," snorted Kitty. "I hope…I wish they hanged beasts like him".
Kitty stopped speaking because when she lifted her face and saw the pain in Dr Sekopo's eyes, she knew that all good people in the hospital, and at the little girl’s family, were victims of the child abuse by the uncle. She had never seen a doctor so emotionally affected by a medical case before.
"Kitty, there's more bad news I'm afraid," said the doctor, lowering his eyes.
"How bad can it get doctor"? replied Kitty, now in a hushed tone.
Dr Sekopo replied:
"The girl's aunt, her guardian, committed suicide last night. She left a note. She felt that she had failed her dead sister. That's the women's youngest brother, who abused Pidipidi".
Kitty felt waves of nausea rising and falling in her stomach and chest. Before Dr Sekopo could catch her, she fell to the floor in a faint, crashing on the wooden chair she had been sitting on. The sound of crashing wood and a thud as the nurse's body fell overcame the patience of the other nurses, who rushed into the office and helped Dr Sekopo move the listless nurse into a consulting room, where they placed her on a couch. Dr Sekopo placed a wet cloth on Kitty’s face, while thinking of other ways of waking her up, but Kitty moaned, regaining consciousness without further help.

******    *****   *****
In another part of the hospital where Pidipidi lay, the little girl's diseased limbs were too weak to allow her to scratch herself. Although the room was well lit, Pidipidi began to see growing dusk and misty shapes forming above her face. Curiously, one of the ghostly, wavy shapes took the form of her mother's face and suddenly the little girl was not afraid anymore. Pidipidi was once more in her bedroom, back home, with her mother sitting beside her, her favourite bedtime story book, "Beauty and the Beast" in her soft, loving hands. As Mother Shadi continued reading, with an ever broadening smile, Pidipidi felt the soothing drowsiness of sleep overcoming her. From a distance she heard a different voice saying, "she is going", and then Pidipidi slipped into a deep sleep from which she never awoke.

As the nine year old child died, from a hospital ward not too far from death, a newly born baby girl gave her first cry as her life began.
"It's a girl", the doctors and nurses said, happily.

Dr Sekopo and nurse Kitty came to see the newly born baby; they looked at each other, and a bond formed between them. Although they had not said anything to each other before, about the future, it was Kitty who made Dr Sekopo nod and give a warm smile when she said:

“With that death, and this birth, you and I doctor, have the God given duty to help protect children from abuse”!

*****THE END******

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


When night is nigh I sigh so high
A sigh of no might to say a lie
That I can survive the length of night
Without visions of you coming alight

...Sleep of the Just....Thabile on granpa lap

Loving the maverick you may be naive
Risking wrath and wreck a brave craze
But behold! I hold nothing back
For without you light turns black

Let me leave me to love and laugh
Yet it’s a lie for the pain is no bluff
Rivers of feeling flow so freely, swiftly
Times of sight of you fleet quickly.....

Not a soul got told this mood is for the moon
This lovelorn sojourn is a plea to see you soon
When last you ascended I was in deep sleep
When last you descended clouds buried you deep

Come out now moon mark the savannah moonlit
Come gracious quirky queen so the sky can be love-bit
For my culture makes a cult out of your night reign
It’s when you are up that us farmers wish for rain….

By Andrew Sesinyi.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Come back Botswana, come back bouncing

Bodily you are you, soulfully I’m doubting

You’re forlorn, you look dull and dreary

A far cry from past, when you were fiery

Fiery not of fire, but fiery of passion

You had quiet glamour, sedate fashion

I look at you now, Botswana, and I sadden

I’m saddened by your look, it’s my burden

Your past gleam in the eye, is now my cataract

You are sad Botswana, with broken contract

Your drivers have lost manuals, you’re adrift

Your stern Botswana, broke, leaving a rift

Yet I know as I sit here, writing sadness I wrought

That soon and very soon, your joy will be brought

I envision your serene come back, your peace returns

Your broken stern repaired, you’ll survive all turns

For I need you back whole, with no holes or fissures

You’ll be back Botswana, and devoid of mood seizures….

By Andrew Sesinyi

March 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017


It is the height of folly to imagine that just because an authority has silenced the media, the reputational image of that authority will retain a good rating, enhance such rating or protect the public image of that authority. It has never happened and it will never happen that denial of balanced and objective information, as well as suppression of expression of dissenting views can be of any benefit to personal or institutional reputation; not when we are dealing with human beings, anyway.
When you suppress media expressions and the capacity of media to transmit the street messages which form public opinion, you are building a potent grapevine of gossip and rumor mongering that transforms the authority into a virtual monster. The only way to be perceived as benign, positive, progressive, forward looking, dignified and an excellent person of authority, is to be visible and audible. When you are visible and audible, everyone can see and hear you, see and hear of your deeds, appreciate your true self without the need to resort to artificial or creations of whom you are by sources from the grapevine of rumor mongering and gossip.

The notion that an authority is asserted by making oneself the only beacon of information is a fallacy that has been proven so repeatedly in the history of human development. Authority is uplifted, enhanced and promoted by its tenacity to stand the tests of trial. An authority can only be proven right if audiences receive the other side of the story. It is only right, if you know what is wrong; that is the design framework of a human being. To challenge this fact of life is to brand one as an ignoramus who does not make references to proven concepts; certainly a proof that such a detractor from scientific concepts of communication does not recognize written or spoken literature of facts.
When society is quiet, when an authority does not hear complaints or dissenting utterances and submissions, when everyone sings songs of praises of the authority, when an authority is not challenged- that society’s apathy and pretence become the clicking time bomb for that authority. The fall of dictatorships, which are often accompanied by bloody feuds and fatal suppression of dissenting views have succeeded authoritarian rule that attempts to make society a homogeneous blob of sycophancy. A human being cannot survive enforced silence; they can pretend for a while, but ultimately, the causative source of the silence becomes victim to the spontaneity of the inherent rebellion in all humans who cannot keep quiet.

History is littered with the literature and records of abysmal failure by authorities to shut-up society; it is a shocking revelation of the folly of mankind, and the shockingly self-destructive commissions of some authorities, to keep repeating mistakes of the past. 

There is no dignity for anyone, including authorities, in communities where the passages and tunnels of opinion are blocked, where opinion is governed and managed, where dissension is blocked. The loss of dignity is what turns authorities into monsters- in reality, as they over-react to the indignities arising from loss of dignity, and in perception, as the vicious grapevine builds monstrous apparitions of the real and unreal about such authorities.

There is only one way a person can win and enhance own dignity, and that is by granting dignity to the other person, irrespective of their status in society or the democratic views that they may hold. Dignity is inherent in tolerance; dignity is gained through humility and no authority can convincingly claim humility when such authority endangers the free flows of channels of information. Blocking information channels is the same effects of cholesterol on the human body- it clogs the veins and arteries, causing a stroke or heart attack; and if we carry the analogy further, we know that clogged veins burst because the blood flow is blocked. That is the same as society.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Despite my Facebook post on how wrong I was about Donald Trump, in presuming that his campaign antics as a presidential candidate would be succeeded by an aptly mellowed, dignified and pragmatic profile of a president of the world’s most powerful nation, I am still convinced that Donald Trump is- as a person - a very nice man. I am also convinced that Donald Trump is not a true mold of what one would regard as a racist person. He is just a white person dealing with political issues that are predominantly race-related and he is taking the side a preponderant white American electorate that is imbued with the nationalism that is currently sweeping Europe and the rest of the world.

America is undergoing its own metamorphosis which may differ from the Arab Spring and the wave of the African national of the liberation struggle era, but it is not alone in this fundamental search for itself.

Personally, I think it is by sheer coincidence that the Trump era of a virtual far right nationalistic stance follows the administration of the country’s first black president; I think President Obama’s high ratings upon leaving the White House is indicative of the gratitude that Americans have towards the man who gave them back their country after the war mongering years of the Bush administration and a depressed economy. When Americans say they want their country back, it should not be inferred that they are referring to the Obama era; they in fact are joining the flood of nationalism that inevitably comes with the debris of xenophobia. It’s in Europe too.

As a matter of fact, Donald Trump has shown a begrudgingly increasing warmth, admiration and respect for Obama since succeeding the latter. He has spoken of a “liking” for Obama; and Donald Trump is not good with lies because it takes only a second for him to contradict himself when attempting to escape from his box of bluntness. It takes a great deal of sophistication to lie and sustain it and we all discern that Donald Trump does not possess much of that attribute. But he is real; he is himself. He depicts himself, and it is convincing, as a loving husband, a doting father and a protective patriarch.

Despite his uncanny African-American body language when he speaks, Donald Trump belongs to his race group and together with the voters behind him he sees most problems facing America today as being from clusters of people of race groups that are not white. That would probably synchronize with his adamantly firm hand of friendship towards Russia, hitherto the traditional American nemesis on the one hand, and his build-the-wall utterances against Mexico,  anti-Iran rhetoric and blanket banning of peoples of a given race and religion from entering America.

That in itself, in my books, is not racist; bigotry may be, but not my textbook definition of racism. To me, racism is when one purposelessly shames another and proceeds to deprive them of their fundamental rights on the basis of race; or when they use prejudice to debase integrity in order to satisfy a perverted sense of superiority over others. Donald Trump genuinely, albeit naively, believes all that he wants to do will solve America’s problems of terrorist attacks, unemployment and an increasingly fragile economy.

Donald Trump’s foreign policy may not appear to place much emphasis on relations with African countries but his campaign outbursts of an African continent that deserves re-colonisation because its people are worse off than during the colonial era, and his vitriol on African leaders who stash the wealth of their countries in America and other western countries, may trigger an unexpected foreign policy crack down on some African countries; in some respects, hopefully so.

That would not be necessarily motivated by racist intentions; Africa does not impress him and he has said that much. In fact, he has extended it to the plight of African Americans whom he urged during the campaign, to try “something new” because voting for the Democrats had allegedly not helped the African American cause. He has thus, clustered his black compatriots with their African brothers and sisters and labelled them “lazy and only good for sex”.

That was rough, wild and hurting, but when a people seem incapable of rising out of helplessness and despondency over long periods and in spite of interventions by others, some extreme critical utterances seem invited.

I do not think for instance that using episodic judgment over problems one faces and attributing the cause factor to a race group is racist in itself. If for instance there is credible statistics and other factual trends indicating that a given race group is at the bottom of the food chain despite having the resources to exploit fertile lands and opportunities, it would not be racist to refer to that group as “stupid and lazy”. If trends and facts show that a certain race group lags behind in innovative development approaches, is given to substandard infrastructure, has a systemic default rating in exploratory and scientific pursuits, is riddled with corrupt societal frameworks, has a predilection for a reckless lifestyle and continues to provide its communities with subhuman facilities-- it would not, in my view, be racist to label such a group as “stupid and lazy,” or even consider it inferior. The facts speak for the expressions, and the labelled people have the God-given powers to release themselves from such a cesspit of contempt by other races. Africa comes to is here.

Donald Trump might feel that enough time and resources have been spent on Africans who never seem to rise above the poverty lines and he should not be blamed or labelled as racist for referring to our real position in the food chain and other aspects of human development. If successive African leaders despise their own people, expose them to abject poverty, deny them their fundamental freedoms, trample on them, incarcerate them, haunt their freedom of expression instruments, plunder their natural resources and reserves etc, then they deserve the strong words Donald Trump has used during his campaigns; he may use them again. The words carry surreal poetic justice because Africans had a choice to be different, but unlike other race groups, opted to tolerate poor leadership and accept to remain in their demeaning status. Africans have declared themselves a derogatory race group. Other race groups continue to evolve in perceptions, philosophies and societal systems. The Africa of today is not far from that of the 1960's, close to their period of attainment of independence. For some, the last infrastructural development still working today, were built during the colonial era.

Why blame Donald Trump for seeing it and saying it as it is!
We do not disown Africa!
We are not ashamed of being Africans!
But we are certainly dissatisfied with the texture of the African, when it comes to the pursuit of basic psychological needs and the African’s ability to stand up and be counted; to define African leadership and choose standards of dignity and high stature. We have to start acting and reacting like humans if we are not to be classified as sub-human. Stand up and be counted.

Plunderers of national wealth are thieves, not heroes!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Press freedom is not a favour, that is granted at the whim of a political leader. It is a fundamental freedom that is entrenched in our Bill of Rights, pertaining to freedom of expression.
The imperfections of the media are no greater or less than the imperfections of a government;
it is thus, an infringement of rights of others granted by the Constitution,  for  a government to persecute the press over its operational weaknesses, when the governing authority is not subjected to operational limitations because of its inadequacies in delivering on its mandate.

Part of the mandate of a government in a democracy is to empower media and create a conducive environment for freedom of expression. Facilitation of Freedom of expression is as much a responsibility of a government as are other essential service provided- andrew sesinyi

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tips on how to handle freedom of expression to your benefit when in authority…from Andrew Sesinyi

It is a lot easier, and more beneficial to grant press freedom than to restrict it; when people, feel free to express themselves, it exhausts your critics and fills your supporters with a great deal of pride.
When you suppress press freedom, not only do you give amplification to the volume of empty vessels, but you become also a source of embarrassment to your supporters.

People want to be able to give support to their chosen principals in an atmosphere of freedom so that they can have living verification of the correctness of their choice. Critics wane and wander aimlessly in an environment where their freedom of expression is not only guaranteed but facilitated.

Your most successful enemies will be those to whom your supporters cannot provide tangible evidence that they are wrong- that comes when you limit their freedom, or cause an environment in which your critics cannot be heard by your supporters. To strengthen your support base is to empower your supporters as your best spokespersons by placing your potent messages in juxtaposition with the criticism of your opponents.  Your propensity to hear and let others hear your critics gives weight to your facts. Facts on their own do not build a person. Perceptions do, and perceptions are a deeply emotive abstract phenomenon that is promoted largely by an atmosphere of freedom.

You are only on the right when your supporters wholly believe that you are fair, tolerant, confident and hence able to defend and uphold their integrity. Factions in your own front are created by the atmosphere you create to engage your critics. If your critics can speak themselves hoarse, your front will not be a haven for gossip among your supporters. It is in the nature of the human being to doubt oneself, to question one’s position and choice of allegiance. To fortify your defences, you must exist in a transparent atmosphere, where you and your supporters can prove that you harbour no malice.

Tinkering with media freedom when you are in a position of authority wears out the trust and confidence fibre of your supporters. There will always be a little voice in your supporter that wants to protect those that you may be seen to be prejudiced against. If you use your power to silence your critics, the little voices among your supporters will grow into a cacophony that eventually benefits your opponents.