Welcome to high school Prof

Our ancestors used to say the quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love.

What the ancient proverb seems to suggest is that lovers need some bit of quarrelling once in a while if their love is to remain strong.

Strange logic, isn’t it?

But here in Lesotho we seem to have taken our ancestors’ advice too far.

We all seem to have graduated with Pull Him Down (PhD) degrees from a reputable university.

That PhD syndrome has been the bane of Basotho since independence in 1966.

We are a quarrelsome society that is at war with itself.

I still need to understand what it is that makes us Basotho a quarrelsome lot.

We can hardly live together in peace.

If we are not fighting in our political parties, we are quarrelling in our churches over positions.

Similar fights are going on at our make-shift radio stations and football clubs.

We seem to think those who make it have not made it on merit.

We think women can only make it when they sleep their way to the top.

We are indeed a nation at war, at war with itself.

Professor Sharon Siverts’ appointment as vice-chancellor of NUL is yet to be officially announced but already the brouhaha has started.

“She is a woman,” so say charlatans in our midst.

It matters not to them that this business of evaluating human beings based on whether they menstruate or not ended sometime in the 18th century.

“She is a foreigner,” so say some insecure village bumpkins.

They forget that Professor Mafa Sejanamane was interviewed for the same job and beaten hands down by an Australian and an American. 

It’s flabbergasting that some of these feeble arguments are coming from people who supposedly learnt something from school.

Equally startling is the fact that such twisted ideas actually have an audience in this country. 

We definitely need more psychiatrists in this country.

But because Scrutator is not one of those bitter zealots she welcomes Siverts with open arms.

Yet in welcoming her Scrutator believes it’s only fair that she warns the professor of the adversities she will face at NUL.

Professor, if you want to enjoy your stay at NUL then you better leave your lofty standards in Washington.

People at NUL do it the NUL way: mediocrity is their anthem.

They have very low standards that they are prepared to defend with their lives.

They believe that there is nothing scandalous about churning out half-baked graduates into the job market.

Anyone who dare points out that their college is a glorified high school will be labelled an enemy of the state.

It’s considered treasonous to call a spade a spade.

Anyone who says the quality of graduates from NUL has plummeted to embarrassing levels over the years is considered as someone bitter because they never made it to university.

So if you start telling them that they are doing tosh they will toyi-toyi until you are forced to pack your bags.

If you think Scrutator is lying then try raising the standard a few notches above that of a community college in your country.

That place will be ungovernable Sharon.

At NUL they don’t keep vice-chancellors for more than three years.

The reason why you got the job in the first place is because they have haunted out their previous vice-chancellors.

So it is advisable that you don’t unpack all your bags in the first six months for you might just be fired sooner than you can say “hello”.

Unpack some toiletries, a pair of pyjamas and a few clothes while you learn the ways of your enemies.  

“Transgressions” that might see you on the first flight back home include demanding proper accounting procedures, better delivery on targets and punctuality.

If you insist on the management producing unqualified financial accounts then you will be going against the grain at NUL.

The culture of recklessness is deep-rooted in Roma.

So is the culture of spending more than you have.

At Roma, nincompoops are those who work hard and deliver on time.

The students are happy with the laisser-faire because they are inimical to hard work (not all of them are like that though, the majority will be more than happy to get capped without breaking a sweat).

To them, college is not passed but completed.

Scrutator is pleased to inform those who have been itching to insult her that the lines are now open.

From this week she will be publishing comments from readers. 

So if you read anything that makes your blood boil just go to www.lestimes.com, look for the “Scrutator” on the menu bar and fire those volleys at her.

Scrutator promises to publish all comments written in proper English.

Because you don’t pay Scrutator’s salary there is no reason why you should burden her with panel-beating your twisted syntax and mutilated grammar.

Scrutator’s Inbox

Dear Scrutator: You try hard to be a political satirist but your satire can only satisfy your “under-learned” (sic) followers.

The purpose of political commentary, yes even Zapiro (a popular South Africa cartoonist), is not only to draw laughs and show how clever you are with words.

It is aimed at achieving something.

Now, tell us what makes you different from all the other political commentators we have to listen to every evening when we try to drown our sorrows at the local taverns?

The difference between you and them is that you have a column. Big deal! — Lihlaba.

Scrutator’s response: Well said Lihlaba.

The difference between me and your drunken friends at the taverns is that I don’t pretend to be a political commentator.

I have no ambitions to be one.  I also buy my own drinks.

 Dear Scrutator: I can boldly announce that the award for mediocrity in 2010 is scooped by the beloved Scrutator.

The reason is that she is the first person to reveal that Lesotho’s only two beloved universities are glorified high schools. Congratulations for your revelation.

I wonder if ever you have a higher education degree or a Masters degree, Scrutator. I know people who did not go to school enough are talkative like you because they are trying to compensate for their lack of qualifications.

Wait for me to graduate and please say your long prayers that I won’t be employed in your company.

I imagine being your manager and having to edit your article. Watch out! — Mdale.

Scrutator’s response: Keep going to school Mdale and after that please remember to pay your education loan to the government. And remember to thank me for intervening to make sure your letter makes some sense. You write like you were expelled from school soon after the third grade.

Dear Scrutator: Thank you for your brilliant reporting which is characterised by reporting without fear or favour. May providence give you strength to keep it up. Compliments of the season! — Sebatalali.

Scrutator’s response: Thank you Sebatalali but I hope you are not licking my boots. My battalion of bootlickers is already too big. The bus is already full my brother.

Dear Scrutator: Keep it up Scrutator. There is no one better. We are sick and tired of this culture of glorifying mediocrity. It’s like it’s inborn in us to condone mediocrity. — LadyG.

Scrutator’s response: Thanks for the compliment LadyG but don’t start getting any ideas. Scrutator is as straight as they come.

Dear Scrutator: You are irritating! – Jo

Scrutator’s response: Surprise surprise!  Have you been reading Dog’s Dinner? Jo I have been irritating for years and I have no plans to stop any time soon. Couldn’t you have found something much nastier to say about me?

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