When grandpas are youthful

JUST what is youth?

According to one dictionary, the word refers to early maturity or the state of being young or immature or being inexperienced.

Another lexicon says the word can also mean an early period of development or young people collectively or a young person, especially a young man or boy.

Until Scrutator looked up the word, she had always assumed youth never referred to anyone — if I’m to be charitable — above the age of 30.

My curiosity over the word was stirred up by a story in this paper last week about the jostling taking place for the leadership of one opposition party’s youth wing.

Really, what should we consider to be youth here?

Is it age or the level of maturity?

I had not realised it until last week that youthfulness in some political parties has nothing to do with age but immaturity.

It appears it’s only in our kingdom where a father can be president of a youth league made up of people old enough to be his children.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to tell that most of the fellows vying for the executive positions in that party should have started enjoying life long back — if those who said life begins at 40 are to be taken seriously.

Maybe I should apologise, even though I had not said it, to the gentlemen for thinking that they did not qualify to be in youth politics on the basis of their age.

Scrutator is now aware that one can be a youth leader even if they are 50 — probably as long as they are immature.

Immature, indeed, if one is very polite!

What else do you call a man old enough to be a grandfather who threatens journalists who commit journalism by stating facts like where one is employed?

Very “youthful”, you might say.

Now, Scrutator would like to take the definition of youth beyond babyhood and inexperience.

If you see a man over 30 who still behaves like a spoilt brat he is hopelessly beyond redemption.

And if you come across someone around 40 who wants to be involved in youth activism he needs a life.

At least the young Julius Malema, 27, youth leader of the ANC, has never threatened journalists for exposing that he was a dunderhead at school.



I was enjoying a blast of a weekend until some citizens decided to turn my favourite boozing joint into a war zone.

Even as I write I am quaking in my winter boots after witnessing the bloody spectacle that became the tragic highlight of what was supposed to be a memorable girls’ night out last Saturday.

There I was trying to enjoy my favourite cocktail at this usually peaceful drinking hole along the main street  in the CBD when all of a sudden it was guns blazing.

And before I knew what was going on a sister was on the floor writhing in a pool of blood with several bullet holes in the upper thighs.

The scene was so gory I could not hold back my tears.

One of my girls — an Irish volunteer — did not stop crying until the next morning.

I guess she was too horrified by the reality of guns rocking an African night spot.

To many of us, these things usually happen in the movies — Western thrillers for that matter.

But last weekend was not a movie.

It was a reality that has so far claimed the life of one of the two female victims involved in the senseless fracas.

I have not bothered to find out the cause of this domestic war because I believe whatever the problem or problems the gun should never be an option.

In the history of mankind the gun has routinely failed as the ultimate solution.

Even in real wars the warring parties have had to sit around a table to negotiate peace.

It beats me why husband and wife should reach the extent of thinking that firearms are the best way to solve a marital dispute.

As if a gun was used to solicit the wedding vows in the first place.

And it boggles my mind to think that security personnel at this popular joint actually allow armed patrons to mix and mingle with unassuming revellers. 

What if one of these armed bandits gets so drunk and feels like trying his machine on the cashier or the waitress?

What if, in the middle of a jolly jive, the gun accidentally triggers off and fires at a cuddling couple?

We know mistakes happen but it is unforgivable if the same mistake happens again.

Proprietors should take note and stop putting the lives of their patrons at risk.

I am sure there is no need for more dead bodies! The Aids pandemic has claimed enough lives already.



That lawyer was at it again last week.

“Get off my back,” screamed the headline of his weekly offering.

The lawyer’s main gripe this time round was that certain politicians had expressed dissatisfaction with the way some journalists are operating in this country.

 “As I listened to them chastise the media one thing became very clear to me. If they think we owe them favours they (politicians) have dialled the wrong number,” said the lawyer.

Well, it’s you ntate who again has dialled the wrong number!

“In this profession all that matters are ethics,” he said.

Well, until you settle your debts with your colleagues I think it would be preposterous on your part to talk about any ethics.

Ironically in the same paper was a damning letter from Honourable KA Maope lambasting the lawyer for misquoting him over a story about Basotho citizenship.

“We spoke in Sesotho. He appears to have translated and interpreted what he says I said and he has expressed his own ideas which he . . .  ascribe(s) to me,” wrote Maope.

For heaven’s sake since when have interviews for an English newspaper been carried out in Sesotho?

Is it cultural pride?

Could this explain some of the shoddy English that passes into our newspapers week in, week out?

I thought lawyers were smart enough to understand from basic translation studies the concept of translation loss.

Ntate, you will save yourself a whole lot of misery and pain next time when you conduct your interviews in English for your English newspaper.

“In this business I get to shoot from the hip as and when I please without being beholden to some higher . . . authority,” said the lawyer.

Well, ntate, when you shoot from the hip make sure the shots are damn accurate.

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