Dear Mr President:Most Of Your People Cannot Resonate With Your Idea Of Normality

Yesterday,Mr President,as part of a election campaign, you posted this tweet,stating how you started off with a normal upbringing  and made your way to the upper echelons of public office all through nothing but sheer determination and hard-work and nothing else.

Inspirational and motivational as your message was meant to be,unfortunately,most of the populace you lead cannot relate with your idea of a "normal upbringing" and that statement went a long way in showing how much of a gap still persists between elites like yourself who are in public offices and the general population that you lead and serve.

Your "normal upbringing" story,Mr President, starts off with being born to Edison Masisi, a former teacher,diplomat and member of Botswana's cabinet through the years 1965 to his retirement from politics in 1999. During his decorated career in the country's high offices of public service,your father held numerous positions, from Minister of Education to Minister of Foreign Affairs to deputy speaker of National Assembly.

Your education route, Mr President, starts off with a primary education at the posh Thorn Hill Primary School and then secondary education at the prestigious Maru-A-Pula School,both being private schools. You then proceeded to pursue your tertiary education at the University of Botswana,pursuing and completing a diploma in secondary education with majors in History and English and then beginning your career in 1984 as a teacher at  Mmanaana Secondary School in Moshupa.

From then on,Mr President,your career continued to soar,becoming a curriculum specialist in 1987 before proceeding to the United States in 1989 to pursue a postgraduate degree at Florida State University until 1990 when you completed and came back to Botswana to become the National Coordinator for Social Studies Education and also being a board member for Environmental Education of Southern Africa.

In 1995,you started your term as an Education Project Officer for the UNICEF before being awarded a Chevening Scholarship to pursue a graduate qualification in Economics and Social Policy in Manchester University.

You resigned from UNICEF in 2003 to join politics,starting off by losing the Moshupa Constituency primary elections before eventually winning a parliamentary seat in 2008,from then on making your way through Botswana's political hierarchy over the next decade until now where you find yourself  assuming the highest public office of them all and residing in the State House.

Looking at your life route,right from your childhood until now, it is not one that the average Motswana can relate with and call "normal" like you did. To start off,instead of finding themselves in the care of financially well off parents like yourself,the average Motswana find themselves having to do with the little that their parents can offer,this situation being mostly a result of an unfavorable economy which does not make it easy for parents to make enough to be categorized as "well off".

The average Motswana has to go though a childhood of living meagre check to meagre check,if there is even any check in the first place, worrying where the next meal is going to come from and some even going to sleep on an empty stomach for days on end.Because of a defunct land allocation system,most urban parents find themselves having to resort to renting,a situation which takes a further toll on an already lean household budget. Instead of children spending their childhoods acting or playing soccer and tennis in lawn laden playing fields like you did,Mr President,they instead have to play in dusty streets with plastic balls and tin cans because they have no access to the infrastructure that you had growing up.

Unlike you,Mr President, who found yourself in the corridors of Thornhill Primary School and then Marua-A-Pula School,the average Motswana instead toils through 12 years of a broken public primary and secondary education system comprising of derelict structures,underpaid and unmotivated teachers,irrelevant curriculum, etc. Students in some of the country's most remote settlements find themselves having to walks tens of kilometers daily,risking their lives to access and education,something you cannot relate with.

From then on,Mr President,after finishing their secondary education and having to proceed to university,unlike you,the average Motswana still has to worry about when their sponsorship from the Department of Tertiary Education Financing is going to be approved. Because of DTEF's inefficiency,some of them find themselves having to travel from places far away from the capital city,using money they barely have, just to come sort out sponsorship issues. Classes sometimes even start before they get their sponsorship packages and they are forced to beg for accommodation from friends and relatives in Gaborone and surrounding areas,unlike you Mr President,who lived a stone throw away from the University Of Botswana.

And then,Mr President,unlike you who went through your undergraduate life without having to worry about where your next meal or transport money is going to come from,some students,again because of the incompetence of the DTEF, have to worry about this when the department withholds their allowance. All these struggles from DTEF coupled with others from the incompetence of the academic institutions themselves eventually lead to the dwindling of academic results,leading to increasing cases of students being forced to drop out of school.

After they manage to struggle their way through and eventually finish their tertiary education,unlike you Mr President, who got your first job the year you graduated and proceeded to have an illustrious career,the average Motswana has to go through months on end and sometimes years of unemployment. Those who by some luck manage to get a job are forced to compromise,accepting jobs they are severely overqualified for just to make ends meet and pay bills.

These problems that the average Motswana face daily,Mr President,are the exact reason why most of us cannot relate to your idea of normality. These problems,Mr President,are a result of a government that has been run,since the dawn of Botswana's independence, by the organisation that you currently sit at the helm of . That organisation is the reason most of the citizens of this country that you lead see your life story as more privileged than "normal".

Mr President,the problems that i laid out are merely a drop in the ocean of what this country's people face on a daily basis. Although i grew up and went through the creaky public education system and spent my childhood living in Tatisiding,a small village just out of Francistown and then eventually living in Monarch township in Francistown,looking at my life and comparing it to what some of my fellow citizens were and still are going through on a daily basis,i consider myself very privileged.

For me,someone who grew up in a village and  currently resides in a "lekeishane" to consider myself privileged should show you how terrible conditions are for your people beyond the high walls of the State House. So please,Mr President,instead of trying to downplay the fact that you go to where you are now because of the privilege afforded to you from childhood by the organisation that you currently lead,own up to it.

Yes you had no control of that privilege you found yourself  in but what you should not do now is act like you never had it. Do not act like your life story is what the average Motswana find themselves in,knowing well that your organisation has always served the interests of elites like yourself and not of the average Motswana.

If you want the average Motswana to be like you and consider getting high quality health,basic education,tertiary education and an overall high quality of life as "normal" and not a privilege,start off by dismantling the elite serving structure of your organisation so that its government does what a government is supposed to do,serve its people. The responsibility hence falls on you,Mr President,to do all you can to ensure that next time you call your clearly privileged life "normal",Batswana from all corners of the country would be able to relate,which is currently not the case.


  1. Your podcast are a delight to read my guy! @Stone

    1. Your Blog is a delight to read my guy. What I meant to say. @Stone


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