Why my friend?
Is it that I come from the North
and you from the South?
Is it that you can’t speak my language
while I can speak yours?
Why these charged sparks between us my friend?
Is it that we voted different parties last elections?
or is it that yours is ruling and mine is in opposition?
Why this enmity my friend?
Is it that people from your home are at the top of every job
while mine seem to be invisibly somewhere?
Is it that our religious beliefs are different
or is it plain stupid natural hatred?
You thinking you are the better one
I thinking the same?
Why my friend?
I believe we should be friends my friend,
because friend, we belong to this same patch of land,
this patch of land we all eke out a living.
We wake up every morning to tidy society’s dirt,
on Saturdays we all cheer the same team on the same stand,
we proudly sing the same anthem my friend,
we should be friends my friend, I insist,
the rotten food we eat is the same my friend,
don’t you know that in the old location we are neighbours,
when my shack burns, yours shall catch fire my friend,
friends let us be, my friend,
you breathe, I breathe, so why this hatred?
Boletilemang Gabokgatlhe is a poet, story weaver and social commentator who comes from Xhumo, a small village that lies along the River Boteti in Botswana. He works as a Human Capital Practitioner in Gaborone. Some of his writings have appeared in various magazines, newspapers and anthologies in Africa and beyond.