Looking forward …

Since entering adulthood, I have been on a wonderful journey which I dubbed: “getting to the roots”. I began this journey by looking for a man who contributed partly to my good looks 🙂 . In the very first birthday card I got from him, he wrote the following:

One cannot change the past but can shape and help influence the future… Look forward always and your life shall be true!

Today, it is his birthday and while I may not have any words of wisdom, I am looking forward! I am looking forward to many years of his positive influence in my life. I am looking forward to all that life has to bring. I am looking forward …!

Indeed, not with certainty but I am looking forward. I am looking forward because I now fully understand that nothing can be gained by reflections of the past. So, I look forward in faith for rooted I know that I can withstand the winds of change.

To a life lived in the present whilst looking forward to what tomorrow brings. Happy birthday dad!

"Memento mori"

This is Latin and translates roughly to “don’t forget one day you will die”. This may sound a bit depressing but it is not. This is but a reminder that we need to enjoy every moment of life for life is too short. Today, is my mother’s 55th birthday. She never thought she will live to see this day but despite cancer and all that life threw at her, she is alive!

So when I say “memento mori”, I am simply saying we need to recognise that each day is precious. Therefore, we should remember to tell those we love how much we do love them. We should forgive those who have hurt us knowingly or unknowingly. We should put on a smile everyday because even in a stormy weather the sun can shine. Most importantly, we should stand up to any obstacle and believe that if anything must break; it will be the obstacle and not us.

Memento mori, I declare! And to all I say, let us celebrate the gift of life whilst we still have it. Memento mori, memento mori!

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

Let me put it out there that I am a feminist of sort. However this should not be a red herring. Chimmamanda Adichie is a lady with a powerful message to be shared. The message put succinctly is be weary of a single story for not only is it apt to be incomplete; it can create perceptions that can be dehumanising.

She is a story teller and a good one at that. Therefore, I urge all to watch this video : http://vodpod.com/watch/2303869-chimamanda-adichie-the-danger-of-a-single-story. I hope that after watching it, we will all be inspired to seek the other stories that exist for people, events and everything else. I truly believe that if “we reject the single story” as she aptly puts it, then we will for example begin to see people for who they are and not what they do! It really drives me mad that I live in a society where it matters most about what you do and not who you are and what you believe in.

That said, thank you sister for a lovely and inspiring message.

Tsedu on how current leadership can benefit from Moshoeshoe I leadership

Today Google is providing me with answers relating to what Mathatha Tsedu said. I am not sure if I should just compile quotable quotes of what he said – even though I am yet to read the full speech.

Anyway from the news articles, Tsedu says the attributes that have been left by King Moshoeshoe as legacy of leadership include understanding that leadership:

is about concern for others and for self. It is about compassion in leadership and in society, it is about caring beyond [our] own concerns. It is about being involved and engaged.

By involved and engaged, he meant beyond mouthing socialist slogans. As he put it:

The poorest of the poor and our affection for them extends only to public meetings where we mouth socialist slogans. But in reality we want nothing to do with them and they have to fend for themselves.

In order to heed Tsedu’s advice, leadership and the general public as a whole needs to show true involvement and engagement in order to move away from poverty and live prosperous lives. As he says:

we as citizens have to say this is not the country we want to live in. For as long as we don’t say that, corruption will continue.

I certainly agree with him! We as citizens need to flex our democratic muscles. We also need to show compassion for each other and engage with some of the problems facing our own brothers and sisters. I therefore pledge to do my best to help make this world a better place. (At the moment, however, all I can do is help one person at a time…but I guess that is a good start 😉 .)

A change in attitude to beat poverty

As alluded to before, I have had interesting conversations with many people I have met in my walk of life. Today, I shall share a conversation I had a few years ago on the state of poverty in Lesotho. I am not sure how the conversation started but I distinctively remember its conclusion. The conclusion was if one is hungry and stranded in some random place (particularly in the rural areas) then the best cause of action is to locate a ‘phephesela’ (flag indentifying where local beer is brewed at ). The reason given was that unlike in the past when one could just knock at a stranger’s house; now one is met with poverty accompanied by a greetings in the form of: “ao, ngoana morena! Ha re phela letlala tjee e be u tla jang?” (Translated roughly: what can we possibly offer you, when we live with such hunger! ) A greeting that threatens a legacy of being a welcoming nation of peaceful dwellers.

To those who haven’t been to a place where local beer is brewed, I imagine you are asking yourselves how could going to such a place be a better option? Well, first the local brew is quite filling- so if you also happen to be hungry then you will be sorted . Secondly, the regulars of such places are so much fun and incredibly knowledgeable. I know this because my great aunt, nkhono Makhotso brewed like no other woman to walk planet earth (I might be a bit biased)! Ha bobetse hantle joala ba hae e ne e ba ‘methele kapa lebitla-le-ahlame! (Translated roughly: when her brew was well fermented, it became what locals would term ‘the grave awaits’ unless you heed her advice and took the amount she recommended for your consumption.)

Ok, looks like I derailed a bit 🙂 The point is, poverty is so wide spread and the reality of it in ordinary households can be very depressing. Depressing because you begin to realise that Basotho have become helpless in the face of povety to the extend of being reduced to ‘bags with eyes’ (mekotla e mahlo, mehlohloa e rapame!) Sounds very harsh but the truth is, Basotho in the past believed so much in doing for themselves. They ploughed their land and didn’t need to wait for government to provide them with seeds. As a young child, I remember hearing ‘mphe-mphe ea lapisa, motho o khonoa ke sa ntlo ea hae’ . (Translated roughly: dependency leads to poverty while self-sufficiency leads to prosperity). So unless, each Mosotho makes a shift towards self-sufficiency, we cannot possibly beat poverty and jokingly, ‘phepheselas’ will be discussed as options to dealing with reality. And worse, future generations might grow up not knowing the many adages we have that reflect thoughts of abundance and generosity such as ‘bana ba motho ba arolelana hloho ea tsie’ (translated roughly: related beings share a head of a locust).

*For the sake of clarity, in the context of Sesotho, self-sufficiency does not come at the expense of solidarity. Working together is key, “kopano ke matla”! All I am saying is by changing our outlook we might rediscover past traditions of ‘matsema’ and the likes, where communities found creative solutions to ensure that all have food to eat.

Value of history & culture

Since starting this blog nearly two weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about what I know about Lesotho and its history. In the process I have come to realise how much I have been drawn to this topic. I also realised how interesting some of my sources were. As an example, I had very interesting conversations with a gentleman called Kalusi Ramakhula. He is very passionate to say the least and very knowledgeable when it comes to Lesotho history. In the inspiration page, I have included in a succinct form his written piece on ‘value of history and culture’. It is, in my opinion a beautiful piece (although I had forgotten about it) that suggests that by looking into our past while making sure that the future takes precedence, success can be assured!