Yellow bones and lazybones

Yellow bones and lazybones

WE have known for years that Lesotho is overflowing with incompetent and lazy people. We have some of the most inefficient textile factories in the world. Our bureaucrats behave like they are being forced to work. The private sector is pathetic even though it thinks it is better.

But as with everything in this country, the debate about lazybones and dunderheads in our offices has been directed at a soft target: civil servants. The sad truth is that people in our offices, either private or public, are hopelessly incompetent and indolent.

And that is not a generalisation but a reality we have denied for years. The irony is that the bashing of civil servants is led by politicians, the very people who are gurus of incompetence. Politicians have made it their pastime to remind us that civil servants are a slothful lot.

Ministers have no qualms lynching civil servants to score cheap political points.

MPs join the bandwagon from time to time. The hypocrisy, especially on the part of MPs calling civil servants lazy, is annoying. More than a year after elections Parliament is yet to discuss any fundamental issues.

Laws drafted years ago are gathering dust at Parliament while our MPs rub their fat tummies and wipe their rotund cheeks.

Muckraker has been itching to understand what MPs really do when they get to parliament. The answer came from one of their own, Sam Rapapa, who complained that parliament has been turned into a church.

“We are just continuing to come here to pray and then go back irrespective of urgent motions to discuss those issues,” Rapapa said. “We are now aware that we are merely coming to church to pray and then go back despite that there is business to do”.

So there we have it: the people we pay thousands every month to make laws and run this country are spending all their time on prayers. We even give them interest-free loans which they don’t want to repay when they are yanked out of the parliament before their terms end.

What gets Muckraker’s blood boiling is that the MPs don’t see the scandal in their actions.

If we wanted pastors for MPs we would not have spent millions on an election that was not due. Rapapa deserves praise for complaining about turning the MPs into prayer mantises. But we should not forget that the motive of his whinging is not entirely genuine. He is fuming because the MPs are praying instead of discussing the return of opposition leaders who have been rotting in exile for close to a year.

Put simply: Rapapa has woken up from a slumber because his leaders are affected.

Notice too that he is not talking about discussing issues but three people. It would not be unfair to suppose that if the issue of the exiled leaders was not on the agenda Rapapa would still be sleeping and praying like many of his comrades in parliament.

But before we clobber the MPs we need to understand that they are not an exception.

The problem in this country is that it has too much prayers and very little common sense. We seek divine intervention when we should be using our brains.

We invoke God at every turn. That is why in times of trouble were fall to our knees when we should be standing firm. You see this affinity for prayer at almost every function in this country. We start everything with prayer. Even nocturnal meetings to plan the demise of opponents start with brief prayers.

If prayer was so powerful this country would be one of the richest and most peaceful in the world. We live in a country where companies have been replaced by churches, some of which are owned by crooks masquerading as pastors.

Close to 90 percent of Basotho say they are Christians. What happens to their many prayers is not clear.

There must be some evil person intercepting prayers from Lesotho because the more we pray the more trouble we get. Perhaps the reason why we don’t get any returns from our investment in praying is because we are generally insincere people.

We say things we don’t mean, make promises we can’t deliver and testify to things we have not seen. We are always scheming against each other even though we are related. It must be confusing to whoever receives our prayers.

At what point does he know that we really mean what we say.

Muckraker has had it to the back teeth with the mundane business of beauty pageants in Lesotho.  ‘Miss’ this, ‘Miss’ that. Nyoe, Nyoe and Nyoe. What the pageants are meant to achieve, you never know.

But behind the persistent charades are tall tales about promoting something and building confidence in young women.  It’s all based on a discredited and patently warped notion that a beautiful woman should look anorexic and have long legs like Size Two’s camels.

To find the winner the young women, most of whom are as tall as gumtrees are paraded, half naked in front of ogling crowds. They are clad in clothes and shoes they cannot afford just to show off their slander bodies to some people who will judge them like they are at a slave market.

Their faces are splashed in cheap makeup that make some of them look like ghosts or vampires. All in the name of proving they are more beautiful. To test their intelligence the poor girls are asked some inane questions.

That is meant to get a “beauty brains”, so the organisers say.

At the end of it all the winner’s empty head is adorned in a crown and she is handed some flowers.

The promoters gloat about growing a modelling “industry” in Lesotho. The winning girl will say something about a hard won victory that will launch her modelling career.

But Muckraker will tell you today, without fear or favour, that there is no modelling industry in this country. There is a car wash industry, yes. Not modelling industry.

It’s all a blue lie concocted by a gang of men and women who have nothing better to do. If it was an industry you wouldn’t need just the fingers on your hands to count the number of people it employs.

How the winning girl’s story unfolds is predictable. Some guy called Tlali (Ah that one!) will announce that the girl will be going to some obscure international pageant. Money is always a problem when it comes to such useless trips.

Tlali will use his battalion of pliable reporters to make noise about the girl’s trip being in danger of failing due to poverty.

The stories always have something from Tlali calling on the corporate sector supporting the power girl’s trip. By that time the story would have changed from that of giving confidence to the girl to that of “putting Lesotho on the map”, whatever that sick cliché means.

The change in the narrative is tactical because it turns what is essentially a personal vacation and vocation into a national issue. Companies are supposed to support the girl for her international trip because her participation will promote Lesotho.

Holy dung!

Weeks later stories about her victory at the international pageant will start popping up in the media with the predictable lie that she has ‘made Lesotho proud’. Proud of what? Walking the stage half naked in a foreign country?


In a few months the winner will go back to her life of papa ka moroho. The truth though is that beauty pageants stopped being fashionable in the 1980s. They are of no value in today’s world that values talent, brains and innovation. Those who insist on using pageants to promote ideas or products are flogging a dead donkey.

What irritates Muckraker is that in all the pageants there is no mention of books and education. No one has ever won a scholarship at a local pageant. It’s as if the promoters are telling the girls that looks will get you far in life.

The obsession with superficial beauty is mindboggling. One newspaper has what it calls “Weekend girl”. The candidates for that section are mostly school dropouts who believe their looks are their only meal ticket in life. They all aspire to be models and have silly hobbies like “watching movies”, “hanging out with friends” and “travelling”.

They have mottos like “What doesn’t kill you makes you song”. Phew.  They read Mills and Boons books when they are not binging on soapies and reality TV.

Most of them have neither jobs nor careers, which explains why they have time to pose for pictures half-naked. How the newspaper selects the girls Muckraker does not know but that will not stop her from speculating that there is something nefarious in the selection.

Frankly, how do we explain the fact that most of the girls are loafers who don’t seem to have anything substantial in their heads?

Is someone preying on empty heads?

Nka! Ichu!

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