Came for a Reason

Africa without any boundaries is my home. However, once in a little while I meet someone who makes me question whether South Africa is my home.

South Africa is my temporary domicile (until my studies are complete). As a proud Lesotho citizen, I have all the intentions to go back home and when that time comes, no one will have the benefit of saying to me: “khomo, boela hae u holile”. This literally translates to: “cow, go home you have grown”.

In the meantime, to anyone who is intent on making me feel like this is not my home, I came here for a reason. My reason is not to play a game like morabaraba (a strategy driven board game); my reason is to get a dose of knowledge. So please listen to my plea (captured poetically below) and let me be!

Moleko, tloha ho ‘na!
Ha ke ea tla morabarabeng.
Ke tlile ngakeng:
Ke tlisitse sebono eteng.
Ha ke ne ke tlile morabarabeng,
Ke ne ke tlare:itekanye mesikaro!
Ke namane e ts’ehla;
Motho a ka thiba ka ‘m’ae,
Kapa a thiba ka monoana!

Moleko, haeba o na le litsebe, libule,
Haeba o na le mahlo, le oona a bule,
Le kelello haeba e teng, e sebelise!
Hoba ke namane e ts’ehla;
Ha ke rore feela, ke ea loana!

Translation of the above, without getting into the depth of the language is as follows:

Evil one, get away from me!
I didn’t come here for morabaraba.
I came for the doctor:
For my arse to be injected.
If I had come for morabaraba,
I would say to you: weigh your “capabilities”!
I am a yellow calf; 1
A person could defend with their mother, 2
or defend with their finger!

Evil one, if you have ears, open them;
If you have eyes, have them open as well;
And if you have a brain, use it!
For I am a yellow calf;
I don’t just roar, I can fight!

The bold part of the translation is arguably inaccurate. Doctor is ngaka in Sesotho. Ngakeng refers to any place that a doctor practices his/her craft e.g. hospital or sangoma’s chambers. People go to these places to see doctors; hence, my translation. Actually, to be exact, they go there for cure. Just to be indulgent, in the above context, the disease that needs cure can be regarded as either poverty or ignorance. Its all a matter of interpretation!

  1. Yellow calf is a term of endearment for a lion/lioness.
  2. The potency of this statement is lost in translation.