Fare the well my brother Thakalekoala
My heart is very sore. I have no option but to bring forward the date of my resumption of work. This to mourn my friend, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and all-time friend Thabo Thakalekoala. To say I am devasted by the news of his passing is an understatement. I am gutted. I feel like hanging myself. Thakalekoala was everything to me.
I just cannot reconcile myself to the reality that I will no longer see that immensely handsome face again. That pretty, infectious smile and tooth gap that would make Barack Obama green with envy.
Of course, I had many differences with Thakalekoala. Remember, his vacuous statements the other day in which he condemned the presence of foreign editors in our newsrooms while conveniently forgetting that this is more a result of design than desire by publishers.
Still, if I had a way, I would order Queen Elizabeth to posthumously award Thakalekoala the Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and engrave his resting place with the sign Sir Thakalekoala. A similar award has just been awarded to the undeserving war monger Tony Blair, who is now immaculately called Sir Tony.
If Tony Blair, can get it, then why not Thakalekoala? I am herewith also kindly asking King Letsie to posthumously honour Thakalekoala with The Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe — this Kingdom’s highest honour. For Thakalekoala is definitely at par in terms of wisdom with its past recipients like Kofi Annan and Chief Emeka Anyouku.
While Thakalekoala’s detractors would want to dismiss his value to Lesotho as having been that of being the country’s foremost laughing stock, I wholly disagree with that conception of him.
Of course, Thakalekoala would make us chuckle once every while, but he was a great man. His critics can also insist that his whole demeanour was good for a laugh and he should not have been anywhere near any self-respecting prime minister. But again, I disagree. One of Thakalekoala’s greatest attributes — that made him such a great man — is that he was never afraid to shoot from the hip. Remember his malicious fabrication the other day that Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was born in South Africa, a highly misleading claim that earned him a sedition charge for which he was found guilty and fined.
Or his declaration that he wanted to be prime minister while still serving as Ntate Motsoahae’s (aka Tom Thabane’s) principal private secretary (PPS)? It goes without saying that when you lay claim to a job held by your immediate boss, you are suggesting that the boss is unfit for purpose. Only a brave man can spite his boss while still serving him.
Thakalekoala did it. It was also quite brave for Thakalekoala to even believe and imagine that he himself was a suitable prime minister for Lesotho. His critics would argue that alone was ample confirmation that Thakalekoala was an unguarded clown. I again disagree with that conception.
As I pondered over this ambition of Thakalekoala, I got the courage to start believing in myself. If Thakalekoala could actually conceptualise himself occupying the prime minister’s chair, then why couldn’t I — Lady Scrutator — conceptualise myself as the next and first ever female Pope?
I had been wandering what had happened to Thakalekoala since his unceremonious dismissal by Ntate Moeketsi Majoro soon after the latter replaced Ntate Motsoahae as prime minister in May 2020?
Thakalekoala had just vanished from the face of the earth. I honestly believed he was quietly and surreptitiously campaigning to fulfil his declared ambition to become the next prime minister. Moreso after his humiliation by Ntate Majoro, he would naturally want to exert his revenge against the sitting prime minister by springing a surprise? Only for me and the world to be greeted by the very sad and depressing news that he was no more.
How cruel of this lord that we pray? I have been asking myself. How can good people like Thakalekoala be put down to act as fertilizer for daffodils while we badly need them on earth? And not only that. As if his humiliation of being kicked out of a prestigious office by Lefu Manyokole (acting on behalf of Ntate Majoro) was not enough, Thakalekoala had been relegated to a driver at Lesotho’s consular office in Johannesburg. How crueller can fate be? How could the Lesotho government treat our aspiring prime minister so shabbily? How could Thakalekoala be surely expected to inform the people of Lesotho one day that he now wanted them to convert him to prime minister from driver?
Life can be cruel at times. I am so sad at the passing of this gentle, nice soul. Fare the well my brother Thakalekoala. I will miss that handsome face of yours. I draw a modicum of relief from the fact that I will meet you in heaven. That is if the good Lord squares himself up for the ordeal of letting me into his heaven. Rest in piece my bother. Despite what your detractors said and say about you, you were a truly good and impeccable human being.
Fare the well Ntate Motsoahae
Ntate Motsoahae’s decision to quit as ABC leader was as shocking for me as the news of Thakalekoala’s demise. It was totally unexpected.
Just a few days before announcing that he had decided to quit as ABC leader, Ntate Motsoahae had been leading a spirited battle to have Ntate Majoro recalled in favour of anointing his favourite Nkaku Kabi.
No one could have predicted that the tenacious, obstinate, loquacious and ever stubborn Ntate Motsoahae would abandon this mission halfway and decide to suddenly quit before accomplishing his goal.
What happened to change his mind so unexpectedly? I am still searching for an answer. Has Lady Dee’s ferocious influence over him finally waned? Is he now his own man?
Will he not suddenly change his mind again and seek to cling on? Only time will tell. It’s hard to read the mind of a man who sometimes forgets his name.
What if Ntate Motsoahae emerges a few days before the special conference to claim that he never said he was quitting as ABC leader? Or to say he has forgotten he ever made such a pledge? We can only wait and see.
But if he stands with the decision to quit and vanishes from the political scene end of this month, he would have made the right decision, albeit a little too late.
Fact is if Ntate Motsoahae had quit at the time he was forced to resign as prime minister, his ABC would be in a better shape. But since he fell under the spell of Lady Dee, Ntate Motsoahae effectively lost his marbles. His abilities to make sound judgment vanished into some very thin air.
I shall never comprehend why he elected to remain as ABC leader after quitting as prime minister, yet he knows very well that our political system is rooted in the Westminister culture wherein a leader of a party is the one who becomes prime minister and whenever a prime minister resigns he automatically quits as party leader ala Tony Blair, David Cameroon, Theresa May, Gordon Brown style.
After all, there was never a chance that he could make a comeback as prime minister, particularly with Lipolelo’s spirit hovering around? Since he was booted out as PM until now, Ntate Motsoahae has presided over the endless chaos in the ABC.
He now leaves his party as a mere shadow of its former self, a complete joke so to say. If he had let Majoro take over at the same time he assumed the premiership, perhaps the story of the ABC would have been a bit different.
Majoro would have probably been messing along in both party and government, but at least there would have been a method in all the madness.
Worse still, Ntate Motsoahae now wants to anoint the uninspiring Kabi as leader. The old crooner seems not to care much about his legacy.
Whatever the case, his decision to quit now — instead of dragging the ABC into more morass — is the right one. Ntate Motsoahae is an analogue politician in a digital age. It was never gonna work. Let’s hope he won’t change his mind and seek to cling on. Let’s hope the ABC is able to pick up the pieces and find its way again for its own sake.
A very happy new year to all of you. I wish you and this majestic Kingdom a prosperous 2022. I am still supposed to be on holiday. But I had to return early to mourn Thakalekoala.
May his soul rest in eternal piece. Let’s draw a modicum of relief from the fact that even though Thakalekoala’s beautiful face will no longer grace our news pages, his other rival immensely handsome face of Ntate Motsoahae will still be around.
For he may have quit but as a mercurial elder who has served in just about every administration since Leabua’s, Ntate Motsoahae will be available to dish his wisdom every now and then and we will still have a chance to see his good looks in these pages.