Sunday, September 25, 2022

Fishing for entertainment…and for food

Fishing has never been part of young and elderly men who queue along a dilapidated bridge that was submerged in water due to flooding of Boteti River at Rakops Village.

The bridge, which is now visible because of the receding water level, has become a fishing spot for young and old.

The fishing extravaganza along this rundown bridge is a sight to behold as a parade of young men jostle for spots of advantage along the bridge.

The young and old line up along the bridge from early morning until sunset.
Most of them consider fishing as a sport that usually bears fruit.

Fishing has become part of their life, enjoyable and beneficial.

As the New Year rolled in, young fishing enthusiasts continued to fish despite an announcement that no one should do any fishing. 

Most knew about the ban but continued fishing, occasionally running away whenever they see a police van.

They admitted that though they continued fishing they knew that it was against the law. 
Fishing has not only taken root in Rakops but even in other places along Boteti River.

Twenty-one-year old Kabelo Letang never thought that he would at one time be pre-occupied with fishing. He and many youth in the village played football all the time when the river was not flowing.

“I had never dreamt of fishing in my life┬ábut it took me two┬áyears to learn the ropes. Fishing is not all about entertainment. I am┬áable to catch fish that I usually take home to share with my family.┬á We never go hungry like before. When┬áI go fishing, I am going to entertain myself as we usually compete with others.”

Letang said that the bridge, which was closed after it had been submerged in water, was still intact and people fish from the bridge to protect themselves from crocodile attacks.

Surprisingly, Letang spoke confidently about how he was going to defy the government announcement that banned fishing in the area.

He claimed that the government’s move to ban fishing was not a good move.
”I am killing my time here because I am unemployed. Shall I go hungry while there is an opportunity for me to feed myself?” he asked.
Letang feels that they should be left to fish. 

Masedi Ranko, 52, is of the view that people should be left to fish. He stated that it was surprising to hear about a government denying people a chance to fish in their rivers.

“In the 70s, we were left to fish at will without any interference from the government,” he said.


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