Sunday, November 29, 2020

With or without gifts, go home and enjoy your people!

As the festive season is here, the talk on everybody’s lips is going home… home sweet home.
Coming or going home is the greatest feeling one can ever experience. Who can ever forget the beautiful scenery of green shrubs and trees, birds chirping, children chuckling, jumping and running around gleefully and without a care in the world?

The aroma of the smoke from the fireplace, who can forget the laughter and joy that engulfs everybody the moment you enter the homestead and everybody just cannot wait to have ‘a piece of you’, specifically what you brought for them “go tswa ko makgoeng”.

The expectations are that having left home for work, you have probably eked something better for yourself that will somehow up the family life, hence the moment one comes home, everybody looks up to them with so much hope, but what if that person has not been able to find that which they had hoped to find, when they left home? Will they still be welcome back home with open arms?

For Albert, this is the most dreaded time of the year. The thought of going back home after staying in Gaborone for years and still without a proper job is a depressing feeling.

”I have a family back home; they look up to me to provide food and other necessities,” he says. “My children need clothes for Christmas bat le ba tshwane le bana ba bangwe, they need new school uniforms. I earn a paltry P500 and from that amount ke a pagama gape. So I am not going home this Christmas. I am sending them the money, bat la a kgaoganya ka ha ba ka kgonang.”

Lesotlo is yet another young man who is not going home for Christmas.

”Legae le monate, mme ga seemo se sa letle ga gona gore go ka tweng. I left home hopeful to find a better paying job. That did not happen,” he said. “It will really be painful for me to go home and look them in the eye with nothing in my hands. When you get home, bana le bagolo alike ba go phatsimisetsa matlho thinking that you have brought something for them…”

I asked him whether he did not save for this holiday during the course of the year. He said that that saving is for people earning big bucks.

“What can I save earning P300,” he says.

Cathrine, from Lerala, is another person who will not be joining her family for Christmas.
She feels that she has failed in life so going home will be quite a disgrace.

”When I left, I was hoping for a job. I made promises to my mother that I was going to help her, but I never managed to, not even once, so I am not going home,” she said. “I will go once I get a job.”

She states that she had not been going home for several years now. She calls them whenever she gets the chance to, but she just will not go home for Christmas.

Family is a haven that provides us with comfort and protection when the world out there gets a little rough with us.

Family is understanding so with or without parcels for our loved ones, we should go home.
They will be glad to see you after such a lengthy absence and you will be glad to see them.
The embarrassment of not having brought gifts will evaporate soon enough. So, let us go back home and celebrate the festivities in the true African spirit of togetherness. This will replenish our energies and effort to keep hunting for that elusive job, which we will find sooner or later.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.