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We can’t even sell snow



Guys, do you realise how valuable snow is to Africa? God gave Lesotho a very valuable product named snow. Snow in Africa! Not only valuable but extremely unique. However, Lesotho has this unique selling proposition (USP) that it seems to be unable to sell it to the world. The real question that should be on all of our minds is whether we take the tourism sector seriously as a country? In-fact, do we even understand how the tourism sector/industry is supposed to work? I think not. Why do I say so? Allow me to explain why. Lesotho was covered in snow this past week and this created a buzz on most social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. I even saw a couple of Twitter influencers making a big hype about the snowfall at Afri-ski and this stimulated an interest amongst the black Twitter community. Well, Twitter has a very influential community of black people that call themselves Black Twitter. This is the only thing that black people managed to create as a collective mainly because they do what they do best and that is to bring each other down. The tragedy of a black man! It is always said that black people act like crabs. Do you know what a crab is? It is a marine animal (invertebrate) that lives in the fresh ocean waters. Crabs have unique features such as five pairs of legs with pincers at the end of each leg. So why are crabs usually compared to Black people more especially Basotho people? That’s because crabs are very good at pulling each other down. Have you heard of crabs in a bucket syndrome? There’s an experiment named crabs in a bucket or barrel that was once conducted to study the behaviour of crabs. It is said that if you place crabs in a container such as a bucket and leave it open, you can go about doing your business and when you come back, you’ll find all of them still in the same position – like Basotho people. So the science behind this experiment is that when one crab tries to climb out of the bucket with its large claws, as it is just about to pull through and pull itself out of the bucket, the one below clings to it in order to be pulled out as well. Unfortunately, this works in reverse-order with what should happen. All the crabs cling onto each other until the one on top just falls back into the bucket and back to square one. That cycle will continue like that perpetually. Maybe until one comes back home from work to come and deep-fry them. How’s that for self-sabotage? Does this behaviour resonate with characteristics of a certain group of people located in a 10th province of South Africa? It certainly does. A nation that suffers from a disease named self-sabotage, hence its stagnation. Or should we name it a PhD syndrome (pull him/her down syndrome)? Now why is the tourism sector not working in Lesotho? Lesotho can’t even sell this product full of mystique. The winter season in Lesotho should be what Durban is in the December season but something is just not working. I don’t want to say much this week because we just seem to be chasing our tails by writing these opinion pieces. We just fail to take advantage of the fallen fruits. We choose to focus on our weaknesses. On the things we are bad at like coalition politics or soccer. Look at the mess we are in because of this system named democracy. Yes, democracy is a very good system but it can’t be a one size fits all solution. Guys, can’t we see that Lesotho is underdeveloped because of a system named Democracy? When will we admit this hard truth? Lesotho would have been in a much better position had it had one ruler and that is King Letsie III. But no, we love to frustrate ourselves with this complicated system named democracy and fail to sell snow in Africa. How pathetic is that? This is as pathetic as being unable to sell water deep in the Sahara desert or as pathetic as failing to sell heaters at the North Pole. Talking about the crabs in the bucket syndrome. Someone once told me that, you can leave Lesotho for ten years and back on your arrival you’ll find it still in the same position where you left it. The Lesotho Bank Tower will still be the tallest building in Lesotho. Kingsway Road will still be the main street. Maseru Bus-stop will still be as dirty as you left it. The same old politicians will still be fighting the same way when you left them. Ntate Tom, Ntate Moleleki, Ntate Mosisili and Ntate Malebo will still be in the mix of things. In fact they might still be in Parliament in 2031. We can bet on that. How’s that for a nation in stagnation? But talking about stagnation, I got the shock of my life when I recently travelled to Maputsoe a month ago. This was the first time I had travelled to the north of Lesotho post-Covid. The last time was possibly two years back, in fact in December 2019 to be precise. Muckraker said Maputsoe is by far the worst town/city in Lesotho but I beg to differ. There is a town named TY on the way to Maputsoe. Khele! It looked worse than when I last saw it. It looks as dingy as hell. I mean there’s no other explanation or words I can use to describe the mess in TY. The common thread in that place is disorder and lawlessness! I mean why build permanent structures in the road reserve? Aik’hona batho ba TY, Aik’hona! Now, we have a ski resort in the northern side of Lesotho and expect tourists to drive on the Main North One Road and pass through Lekokoaneng pass in Teya-teyaneng, then pass through the chaos in the TY business centre and pass through Maputsoe. We expect tourists to feel safe and return to the Mountain Kingdom. Really! Along the way, there are no tourism centres or filling stations with basic facilities such as public toilets, maps, ambulance/emergency services and police emergency services. My good people, we have problems. Democracy is doing more harm than good. Let’s just admit that the system isn’t working for this country and to our advantage. Let’s just admit it! Otherwise nothing will work in this country like failing to sell snow in Africa. ‘Mako Bohloa

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