Let’s revert to traditional rainmaking rites

17th January 2018
The Fireplace


By Matshediso Fologang -

Will there be rain this ploughing season? This past weekend I sat amongst women and men of God at the kgotla. In their diversity they raised their voices in unison to the Almighty to request for rain. The modern Christian society that we are, has abandoned the tradition practiced for a long time in the past - rain making. As I sat there I could not help but wish we could combine the Christian practice and the traditional rain making rites. As if both Gods (the traditional gods and the Christian Gods) were not listening, the temperature during the weekend reached 40 degree Celsius.

The modern predictors of rain called this, heat wave. This weather condition was explained by many and diverse reasons were given for it. Many amongst us had a reason for this lack of rain. The guys sitting somewhere in the posh Gaborone Village office of the Metrological Department had offered scientific reasons. We have for long been warned that the environmental degradation was harmful to the globe. As an emerging economy in a third world set up we Batswana still don’t really understand how gases and smoke produced and emitted in our midst could affect our skies, where cometh our rains. We still and many amongst us don’t understand this animal called global warming and its threat to our simple village lives.

After the interdenominational church service I joined other men and women from my part of the village as we sat down under the mokgalo tree to further theorise about this lack of rain and the heat. Many explanations were given. What was interesting was that we all had hope. Amongst us were people who believed that the traditional leadership should revert to the traditional way of rainmaking (go roka pula). This method would mean that Kgosi Kgolo and the morafe undertook an expedition to to go and hunt for a pregnant klipspringer ( Mokabawane). The foetus is the necessary and major part of the rainmaking concoction. This time of the season it would be difficult to get a pregnant klipspringer.

All have given birth. Above that we are living in an era whereby some species of animals are listed as endangered and thus protected. Mokabawane is one such highly protected species and thus we could never get permission to hunt for one. So this time around the traditional method is ruled out. Few amongst the men and women came up with another version that could be followed to bring the rain. If we wanted rain they suggested that Kgosi Kgolo should invite His Grace Bishop Lekganyane to come and pray at the Kgotla. The Bishop and the millions of his church members if they could ever come to the kgotla, it was emphasised, would end the dry spell. Sadly they argued that Moria – the headquarters of Lekganyane’s church- had not experienced the heat wave. Little did they know that Polokwane and its environs (including Moria) was also experiencing the same weather phenomenon. There is still no rain and the heat wave is still for some time. Where is the rain?

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