Friday, July 12, 2024

Idioms tell real stories about people

Batswana meant it when they coined the idiom “Motshega kgarejwana ke motsei wa yona”, simply meaning that he, who diminishes a she, ends up marrying her. I have two typical examples of this. In 1978, the Member of Parliament for Shoshong, Goareng Mosinyi clashed with members of the House of Chiefs over remarks he had made in parliament about the behavior of chiefs in general. He had accused the chiefs of disrespect for the law and that they did as they pleased to the extent that they despised cabinet ministers. He had also accused them of being out of order by absenting themselves from work without approved leave. Mosinyi ran short of asking that he be appointed to the ministry responsible for matters concerning chiefs so that he could demonstrate to the public how to discipline those he considered out of order.

The response from the House of Chiefs a few weeks later was hostile. It was so hostile that one could think that the House of Chiefs did not have a rule governing the use of unparliamentary language during its deliberations. The response came in the form of a motion whose full wording was, “That this Honourable House deplores the unwarranted attacks on the Chiefs by Honourable Mr. Mosinyi, MP for Shoshong at the last Parliamentary meeting in March 1978”. According to a copy of the Hansard retrieved from Sandy Grant’s bundles, the motion was tabled by Kgosi Linchwe II. Unfortunately it does not show the contributions of other members. It appears Sandy Grant was only interested on Kgosi Linchwe when he made copies.

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