Thursday

Tlala (Famine)

There are just over two million of us (2,207,954) in 30,355 square kilometres. There are 10,274,595 Belgians in 30,510 square kilometres. We have similar-sized pieces of land, but notice the difference in population size. There are five times more Belgians than Basotho.

How come we are starving and they aren't? Where did we mess up?

You might say it's because they have more arable land on which to grow crops for export. Well, we have more mountainous land with which to attract skiers, mountain-climbers, trekkers, campers and other mountain lovers. That's not negligible. Remember, there are only 2,207,954 of us!
I haven't even mentioned the water yet, which in a way is also due to the mountainous terrain. They haven't got that, have they? There are five times more Belgians than Basotho on the same-sized chunk of land, and the Basotho are starving but the Belgians aren't. Why? Simple question that some will call silly. If so, do answer it, for my (I'm completely baffled!) and my visitors' benefit, by clicking on the comments link below or using the tag form to the right.

In Belgium, out of 100 people, 4 live below the poverty line. In Lesotho, out of 100 people, 49 live below the poverty line. Wait a minute and let that sink in.

Has it sunk in?

In other words, practically half of the population of Lesotho lives below the poverty line! Wow! We must have messed up somewhere in the course of our road to Independence, or right after Independence. Is qomatsi responsible?

My other question is, what are we, Basotho and friends of Lesotho, doing to get rid of this disastrous and shameful situation? Are we helping each other? Are we helping ourselves? What do we need to do?

I think every able citizen of Lesotho or friend of Lesotho should, nay, must:

1. Support local businesses and local produce. I know, it's so much nicer and so much more fashionable to get those shoes in Bloemfontein, but how does that help Lesotho's economy?
2. Help your neighbour. If you're a Christian this should be second nature to you. If you're not a Christian this should be second nature to you. If you're not a Christian and you're not human, then helping your neighbour may not be what you were meant to do. Go back under your rock.
3. Pester your village chief, the person you voted into Parliament, anybody with governmental authority, with proof of starving people, or people whom Litokelo tsa botho somehow seem not to be meant for them (No job, no food, tattered dirty clothes, precarious family life, no school). Pester them? Yes, send them letters, call them, go and see the chief regularly to complain.
4. Do not think you were meant to have enough food and that others were not. Think you are bloody lucky, because that's what you are. Poor or rich, we're all the same, Jack. See that Lehlanya at the OK shopping complex? Why don't you slip him a cigarette next time? How about a sandwich? Or better yet, talk to the man for five minutes. What's his name? Where does he come from? Begin your conversation with: Lumela, ntate. When you finish, say Sala hantle, ntate. I think ntate Moshoeshoe I would have liked it that way.
5. Do you know of something we can do to love and help our neighbour? Go ahead and post it on this page for all to see, and for all to act.

The Minister of Communications Science and Technology, Dr. 'Mamphono Khaketla says....