Facebook and internet manners are heartless

05th February 2018
THE FIRE PLACE
Column

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By Matshidiso Fologang


Botho bo ile. I have heard this for quite some time now and wonder if we as a people are not too harsh on ourselves. In the past 8 or so years I came across pieces of media reports and commentaries that Batswana were among the least happy people in the region. Initially I didn’t take kindly to these reports. With due respect, what immediately came to my simple village mind was: how could we be rated lower than our neighbours? I have since realized that we are really a very angry people.

This anger has turned us into beasts and rogues who have no respect for one another. What has happened to our “Motho ke motho ka yo mongwe,” or as our cousins in South Africa say, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”? One should clearly from the onset, indicate that as part of the global village our current culture cannot be isolated from the world trends. With the introduction of high velocity information and technology the world has become what the big men and women who have the big books call the global village.

We are therefore, whether living in Phakalane or Motlhabaneng, or Charleshill, part of the global village. We have reasonable access to the fast electronic world, though we still hear our men and women shouting under the trees complain that not enough has been done. We are sure part of the world. Does being an integral part of the world mean we should abandon the good traits and values that made us happy and a loving people? Does access to the modern world and the accompanying exposure mean we are no longer Batswana? Does it mean we live in a country where we are equal?

A re lekana hela rothe? (Please note: I subscribe to the notion of equality as in the Constitution). Do these developments mean we don’t care about the feelings of the next person? Are we too angry to differentiate between things that make us a caring people from those that make us animals? Our being part of the world wide web, the dot com, and their cousins facebook, whatsapp , twitter and others should not be used to throw away our botho and tlotlo. In our traditional society, there were activities that were sacred and were discussed and or handled with utmost discreet.

Lately we are witnessing the worst of our being. In the society that we called traditional and even in the advanced societies, certain protocols are observed in handling misfortunes and bereavements. Come to the 21st Century Botswana we witness outright disregard and respect for others. People here have lost a sense of humility. A man, irrespective of his station in society, gets murdered and we as a society have, through social media, a field day? Even before the body cools the whole wide world knows of the ugly character of the innocent men. Sadly even some so-called leaders show no empathy. Why kill a dead man? Why? I am told we do these because the system has made us angry and we are unhappy. Where does an angry and unhappy society get the guts to destroy itself? Shouldn’t we just remind ourselves of ‘O se tshege yo oleng’ or ‘Se tshege di e ja mmamotho.’ Our culture, though we should move on with the times, should always guide us now and in the future.




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