Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Take me back! I beg you

Last Sunday, when everyone else was out canoeing through restaurants with their lovers of three weeks and 14 days, I was out shopping.

Well, I really wanted to buy clothes but I had insufficient funds so let’s just call it shopping.

I came across a black and white polka dot mid-length dress that called out to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t like dresses but that one definitely grabbed my attention and my mind raced with it.
It took me down memory lane.

I was busy on the dance floor in a disco lit club, dancing to Miriam Makeba’s ‘Phataphata.’ I had a can of Lion in my hand. (It wasn’t ladylike but then again it was the in-thing).
My name was Margaret and my skin was of smooth silky ebony colour. To my surprise, I had on a pair of black Menangaso, and a huge black Afro that looked neat and combed.

I was in the polka dot dress and wearing it I was! Ask the number of well dressed gentlemen who were eyeing me all night.

It’s a shame; they all looked either married or gay and didn’t know it. The DJ was winking at me. I wanted to say, “Thank you, Mr. DJ for playing my song”, but that would attract unnecessary attention.

As the song changed from Miriam Makeba to the live Jazz band that was playing, I made my way to the empty table that my friends and I planned to occupy. I was with Malebogo and Sophie and we had all come to drown our sorrows that night.

We had received shocking news that day, our dear darling president Sir Seretse Khama had passed on and the whole country was in distress. He had actually passed on the previous day, radio one had reported it.

Unfortunately we did not possess a radio at home; it was expensive.
Mma Dikeledi, the woman at the general dealer, had an omega radio that she always played with pride for her customers when it was time for the news. It was also where I first heard bo mama Africa music from.

When I was given P1 and sent to buy bread, I would idle around the shop pretending to not find what I was looking for so I could listen to the radio.

Fortunately for us, my cousin Dimpho was married to a miner and she lived in the town of Selibe Phikwe; she had a telephone at home. The only telephone in our village was at the general dealer, we paid and called Dimpho, who confirmed the sad news.

My boyfriend, Joseph, was amongst the few that owned bicycles, how proud I was to be his girlfriend!

He worked in the south African mines and my parents were waiting for his parents to come ask for ‘segametsi’.
Joseph brought me nice things. Whenever he came home, he would bring milk in plastic, he would bring tea that I hadn’t seen before, and he would buy me earrings and mirrors.

Joseph had also given me money to go to the disco club with my friends that night; everyone was sad about the loss of the president he said over the phone. But he had sent me money to give to his parents and money for me and my friends to go and celebrate the president‘s life. To celebrate the good things he had done for Batswana.

The disco club was where all the youth met on Fridays to chase away the stress from the rest of the week. The next day, everyone would be going to either the lands or the cattlepost.Life was so much simpler then.

People were friendlier and my father was a famous man in the village, people respected him and no one took chances with me.

Did I mention how cheap everything was?
Things were much cheaper than they are now, now the overly priced milk and oil commodities are signs of today’ s madness and my dear old Joseph has now left me for the much younger and trashy girls of the city. I am not interested in this technology; it brings about a complication that I don’t need, that is why I still have my typewriter. It costs a lot to maintain, but it’s worth it.

Nowadays youngsters don’t know what good music is, they don’t even know how to have clean fun. They celebrate meaningless things like Valentine’s Day and Boxing Day. I am lucky to have lived in my time.

Nowadays there is AIDS and cars are killing their owners. Death is on every street corner, mass killings of black people have already begun, is this beginning of the extinction of a race? I think the times of the rupture are nearing.

If anyone comes across the time machine man, tell him I am looking for him.
I need him to take me back!

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