Let me dedicate this opinion to narrating two real stories that occurred within my surroundings and situations. Although the stories are almost similar in nature, they occurred at different times. They both relate to the natural powers possessed by women. Once upon a time I was hiking from Maun (Ema re je – hiking point) to Francistown. With me, was a beautiful lady destined for Francistown too. It was mid-summer day and the sun was giving us more than enough of its source of energy. As expected, the beautiful lady stood under a tree to avoid the heat from the sun. It was me who kept on attempting to stop the passing cars in the extreme heat. After almost an hour of failed attempts, a GD-6 Toyota Hilux (four doors) stopped at a distance. I ran towards the car and enquired for a ‘lift’. The seemingly good married man agreed. But he emphasised that I seat behind because he had files piled-up on the front passenger seat. Seeing the files, I agreed. As we were about to start off, I told him that there is a lady going to Francistown standing under that tree. He asked me to call her, which I did. When she arrived, I was instructed to remove the files from the front seat and place them behind, creating space for the lady to seat in front. Off we went.
The three of us were all quiet, we all enjoyed the gospel music which was played I guess. Just after we passed through Makalamabedi gate, the lady made a comment in a smiling mood that ‘Ao rra, o ka re pega mo koloeng ya gago o bo o sa re buise’ (spark some conversation Mr driver, you are too quiet). To which the driver responded ‘start it we shall join in’. And indeed the two started chatting and laughing. On the way, I fell asleep until we reached Nata. The driver parked the car right on the filling station point signalling that he is re-fuelling. ‘Young man, let us fill up the tank’ as he asked me to pay for my transport fees. I gladly gave him P150. He turned to the lady and asked her what she would want for a snack. How she gets to be offered the opportunity to be bought something to eat, while I am being asked to pay my transport dues, I didn’t understand. She replied by saying she did not want anything except airtime. The driver and I went into the shop. He bought two packets of chips and sausage, and a P60 airtime receipt. When we arrived back to the car, he gladly offered a packet of chips, sausage and of course the requested airtime.
A somewhat similar story happened when I boarded a 25 seater bus from my home village (Letlhakane) to Maun. I was occupying the front seat. In between myself and the driver, was a lady with what we call ‘well-developed African body features’. Both the driver and I couldn’t help but glance at the well-built assets frequently. On the way, the lady remarked in a soft voice facing the driver ‘gakena madi a lekanyeng go duelela mosepele’ loosely translated as ‘I don’t have enough money to pay as transport fee’. She was loud enough for both of us to hear. The driver laughed at her utterances and instead asked for her phone number to which she provided. Suddenly the conversation diverted to phones rather than talking. I suspect that it was meant to eliminate me from the subject. I was hurt because I had vested interests in what would be the turn of events. And so naturally I extended my vision in a twisted angle so that I could read some message on her phone. Fortunately, I managed to zoom on one message in which the driver enquired knowledge of how much she was running short of. I couldn’t follow fully the conversation because she kept on adjusting the angle of her phone when typing. As we travelled, I then saw the driver sneaking through a P200 pula note to her. This was done in the most secretive manner. The driver used his left hand to pass through the note, and the lady collected with her right hand. The two of them kept on looking at whether or not I am aware of what is happening. I pretended not to. In the end, I saw the lady popping out the P200 pula as she paid the bus ‘conductor’ for her transport fares.
The two shortened stories signify the psychological powers that women have in society. I am one proponent of women empowerment. In my view, I would propose women empowerment to extend to exposing them to more financial opportunities. Otherwise women on their own, are naturally powerful people. They are able to navigate through situations with ease. They can be resourceful in averting what could be a very difficult situation. As men, we need women in our lives.
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