This blog shares opinions, regional news, views and stories related to beautiful Botswana and some of its neighbouring countries. Special emphasis is given to tourism in Botswana and the amazing affordable vacation and safari packages that are currently on offer in the country. IT'S SO EASY... you should try it sometime!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to catch a Tokoloshe

Written by Olopeng Rabasimane

As to how I survived still remains a mystery to be solved; but thanks to my feet, I survived. In fact, the incident taught me two things I did not know before about myself; firstly that I am the fastest man in the world (when scared) and secondly that I am serious coward. If you have been living under the illusion that the likes of Usain Bolt and these other famous sprinters are the fastest men in the world; you stand to be corrected. Well, I hate to say this; they have fame but I have the pace. All I can tell you is that the speed I was moving with when running out of that house was more than world record smashing; I was literally flying. I still cannot figure out how I managed to jump over those several fences.

Let us take my misfortune from the top and agree that I am still a captive of traditional values and customs. I am suffering from what they call strong rural background or “SRB” in medical terms. I do things the old way. I still make appointments down by the river (in this case, Gaborone dam) and I still wait for dusk to settle before I can go honour it. That is not all, when I get there I just do not walk in to the yard, I first pass by and make a signature whistles to let her know I am in the vicinity. With just a whistle I would know my fate, whether I am welcome or not. There are no “call-backs” or Facebook, just a whistle.

But Lord behold, the strategy backfired this past weekend. Things did not go as planned. After giving all the necessary signals and following all the usual security protocol, I did not receive any response. I went straight to her room and fear of raising any alarm with the parents, I could not whisper or switch on lights. I used my hands to locate her position in bed. But to my shock, the first thing I laid my hands on was a bearded chin and then a hairy chest. Immediately anger and confusion struck; but while trying to gather more evidence, a tough rough hand grabbed me and the man started shouting; “ke e tshwere..ke e tswhere” meaning I have caught it. I broke free and I left that house in supersonic speed.

It turned out that her parents had engaged a Sangoma to catch a Thokolosi that was troubling them and the Sangoma was using her room for that night. Being vertically challenged, when the Sangoma saw me, he was convinced that he had caught the Thokolosi, hence he shouted, “ke e tshwere..ke e tswhere.” Worse off, the speed that I left the house with convinced everybody that indeed I was the troublesome Thokolosi.

Sourced from: The Botswana Gazette

The Tokoloshe is a mischievous goblin in African mythology and David Lemon felt sure he had one with him when cycling alone from Nairobi to Cape Town. He was arrested twice, beaten up by armed soldiery, smashed his wheel in a fall and went down with amoebic dysentery. He also enjoyed incredible hospitality, spectacular scenery and a hugely varied diet. This included fried caterpillars and a mixture of blood and curdled milk that he didn't find easy to swallow. Lemon's irreverently laconic account of his incredible journey makes compulsive reading for armchair travellers or anyone interested in African adventure.

Two Wheels and a Tokoloshe is available to order from Kalahari.com or Amazon.com.

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