Travelling always comes with its own challenges. Key amongst such preparations is for one to make logistical arrangements in advance.
But, to miss the main attraction of the event that you so much envied to be part of because of wrong settings of bearings can be very embarrassing. That is exactly what happened to yours truly in my trip to my home village, Tonota for the coronation of the fourth BaKhurutshe Chief, Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse on Friday.
Having been part of the original coronation planning meetings and subsequently writing stories about the much awaited historic event, I have always known that the installation of Kgosi Bokamoso, who succeeds his retired father, Kgosi Ramosinyi Radipitse will be on the 18th, but despite having made all the necessary arrangements, my mind has always been set that the event will happen on a Saturday.
Having been formally released from work, I left Gaborone on Friday morning and drove slowly enjoying the scenery along the A1 road. But when I reached the Tonota village, I opted to go straight to the main Kgotla just to see the preparations, then that was it. The Kgotla was well packed, the event was on. I had missed Bamangwato regent, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane installing Kgosi Bokamoso. But managed to continue with the rest of the programme,Bokamoso could not be draped with a leopard skin in line with the customs reserved for a chief during installation ceremony, for the simple reason that his father, Kgosi Ramosinyi who retired is still alive. What stood out about the colourful ceremony is that BaKhurutshe are a united and proud tribe.
This is so because their chieftainship succession is clearly defined, no one has ever challenged the lineage; as such they remain amongst the few tribes who have a smooth transition, a matter which has been acknowledged by the government. The two permanent all weather shelters built at the Tonota Kgotla are second to none in the country.
They are fitted with a permanent structure fitted with modern gadgets such as public address system, chairs, Wi-Fi which is open around the clock to connect the world. Plans are underway to have air conditioners. The presents given to Kgosi Bokamoso were also fitting. Although a royal, Bokamoso still regards himself as a farmer.
Amongst them were 12 heads of cattle of which four and a bull were donated by the area MP, Thapelo Olopeng, seven goats and two sheep. Besides government officials led by Assistant Minister of Local government Botlogilwe Tshireletso, there was a delegation of Bahurutshe ba ga Manyana led by Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele and Dikgosi from other Districts.
The reception and or after party at Tonota College of Education was great too, it was attended by people of all ages and backgrounds who danced the night out with their youthful Kgosi.
Having now satisfied myself that Kgosi Bokamoso coronation had gone well, yours truly decided to celebrate by travelling further up north on the 30 kilometre smooth double lane highway to the second city of Francistown purely to have a feel of how driving over the famous Spaghetti junction is.
Excited as I was, I got disturbed by the fact that some of the Francistown residents and, or drivers behave the same way as those in the capital city, Gaborone .They too have knocked down some of the traffic lights installed on the newly constructed and, or refurbished highway between the BMC circle and the Spaghetti junction.
But, that did not discourage me from achieving my mission of ensuring that I enjoy myself driving over the Spaghetti junction. I adhered to all road regulations in order to ensure safety of myself and other road users. But still, I behaved like a little baby who is always kept indoors and was allowed to play outside in that hour. I took rounds over and over again driving from all access points just to have a feel, and of course it was a great experience.
Although it is exciting to drive in, around and over the junction, it equally brings its own safety risks. The highway that leads into the Spaghetti junction when coming from the western suburbs passing in front of the Francistown Toyota and going over the railway line leading to Nyangabwe hospital is a nightmare.
It is too narrow and makes it just too difficult for motorists to pave way for emergency vehicles. This is so because a good space which could have been used has been allocated a to pavement which separates the opposing lanes. I pray and hope that authorities will normalise the situation before precious lives are lost.
As I was driving over the Spaghetti junction, I thought that possibly those who can’t appreciate the architecture or the Spaghetti designer’s work are held back by the fact that so far one is able to see traffic coming from almost all directions of the junction. Based on that, and the international practice, as well as in line with the world acclaimed green world campaign initiative of planting trees as well as decorating the historic junction , I recommend that the authorities must quickly plant trees and, or make rockeries instead of leaving all empty spaces dusty and with rubble. This will kill two birds with one stone because mass tree planting has been identified as the most effective strategy to reduce effects of climate change by preventing global temperatures to increase by 2 Degrees Celsius annually. Botswana’s contribution is a target of 650 000 trees per annum.