Find your own China man

Find your own China man

THERE was a time when things were simple. When a man seemed prosperous it was either he is a hard worker or a businessman. Business at that time meant a general dealer store.

In rare cases the explanation was that he inherited a handsome kitty from his father.
“He is eating his father’s money,” we said with a tangy contempt. It was as if it was unfair that his father had enough to leave for his son.
With time things became a little complicated. When someone had money we said he was a corrupt government official or simply a thief. Notice that the answers were either this or that.

Today things have gone haywire. Now when a man has lots of money we simply say: O na le Lechaena la hae. And that’s how we roll as a people. Each man for his China man and the Lord for us all.

We are going towards a time when our schools will have a subject on how to adopt a Chinese. We will teach our kids the art of capturing a Chinese man. And that will be a vital skill, for there will be a time when those who don’t own a Chinese will starve to death.
“He died of Chinamanlessness,” they will say at your funeral.

Already, those who don’t have their own Chinese are either struggling or just miserable.
The new survival strategy is to find a Chinese on which to lean.
Three or four years from now we should not be shocked when we routinely stumble upon newspaper advert that says: “I am a struggling Mosotho man looking for a nice China man. I am ready to do anything.”

Yet something tells Muckraker that by then we will be horribly late to the game.
For decades now, our politicians have known that no man can succeed without a Chinese by his side.
That is why politicians swarm around John Xie, the Jackpot owner, like flies on dung.
They get groceries and rent money from John Xie. He has funded weddings, birthdays and parties.

May it rain fireballs if there is a substantial political party that has not received a campaign donation from John Xie. You know you are a political party worth something when John Xie gives you something for the campaign.

Don’t get shocked.
Just because the donation wasn’t declared to the party doesn’t mean it was not given.
It might have been intercepted by long hands along the way but the point is that it was requested in the name of the party.
Remember Muckraker is referring to ‘substantial political parties’ not some Mickey Mouse grouping of family members or some mentally deranged characters that should be seeking psychiatric help instead of votes.
John Xie is so generous that he has probably funded STI treatments.

MPs have walked into his office faking a cold when the real trouble is in their pants. To his credit, Xie doesn’t ask too many questions. He simply pulls out a few notes from his wallet and sends you out of his office. He knows that a good China man doesn’t ask prying questions if he doesn’t want to be lied to.

There was a time when our politicians were in a stampede to hobnob with Indians. For a while it was fashionable to say “ke na Lekula la ka”. But the Indians got smart quickly.
They found a way to get our passports. Suddenly they were Basotho and our politicians could not wring much cabbage out of them.
“You cannot keep asking for money from a fellow Mosotho man,” they told the politicians. When the politicians kept knocking with their begging bowels the Indians started giving excuses.

“My 15 brothers are coming from India so there won’t be any money to spare. I now have my twelfth child so money is going to be tight.” Eventually our politicians got the message. The Indians were sick and tired of their begging habits. It was time to move on.
With the pestering monkeys off their backs the Indians started amassing large portions of our land. Butha-Buthe, Mafeteng and Maputsoe are firmly in their hands. Never again shall they need our politicians. The tables were turned sooner than our politicians could say mphe masiba a limpshe.

Out of options, the politicians turned to Basotho tenderprenuers who were making a killing in construction. They would hand the tenders to the businessman and then wait at the door for their cut of the deal.
But the local businessmen were also quick to be smart. They quickly realised that they could not afford to be sponsoring politicians whose shelf life is shorter than that of fresh milk.

So they too started making excuses. Business is bad these days. Your government hasn’t paid for the road I built three years ago. Your government is busy dishing out big tenders to Chinese so I don’t have more money to give.
And so our politicians were bereft of benefactors. Now they have turned to Chinese.
The chap at the Wool Centre in Thaba Bosiu is the new top dog in town. We will never know what he gave our politicians, but whatever it is there is no doubt that it is big.

Whole ministers are defending the man’s blatant incompetence with their lives.
They have gambled everything including their wives, nyatsis and rats on a man whose real name they don’t know. All roads from the Qhobosheaneng are now leading to Thaba Bosiu. Stone Shi is the new China to own.

But the tables will turn again soon. John Xie is no longer the China man to own. Instead he owns lots of Basotho. Slowly he has reduced the amount of help he gives to the begging politicians.

Gone are the days when you would walk out of his shop with a large trolley brimming with goodies. Now all the politicians get are small paperbacks half-full of basics like a bottle of cooking oil, a tablet of soap, a loaf of bread and a packet of mealie-meal. No tissues because wiping is your business. You can use the Informative or The Nation for that noble deed.
He now gives out of pity, not as a way to buy influence. He is the mayor of this town.
His little donations to our naïve yet greedy politicians have translated into millions for him.

The politicians are still wallowing in poverty while John Xie is swimming in money. The same will happen with Stone Shi soon. He will be their China man for a year or two until he becomes their master like John Xie.
When that happens, there will be gnashing of teeth. Those without teeth will be given.
The lesson in all this is never to sell your soul. Politicians should read the story of the donkey that Jesus rode as he triumphantly entered Jerusalem. The people might have laid their clothes for the donkey to step on but that doesn’t mean they revered it. The guest was always Jesus, not the donkey.

Our politicians are the donkey. When the funfair is over they will go back to the pastures to fend for themselves while waiting for another rider. Sadly, the riders are dwindling in both stature and numbers. There will be no other rider like John Xie. Stone Shi is a downgrade from John Xie. When the S-Class is no longer available, a Honda Fit will do just fine. Yet it doesn’t change the fact that the Honda Fit is a demotion.

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