Walking the Talk

It’s not every day one hears a Botswana MP in fulsome praise of FM’s Director John L?bbe, but last week I heard it with my own ears.

The occasion? The presentation of certificates at Kagisong Conference Centre.

The achievers? 30 young people selected to undergo ‘Life at the Crossroads Behavioural Change Training’.

The aim? To run Abstinence Clubs in the community, and later in schools, to address HIV/AIDS issues.

The MP? The Deputy Speaker, Gladys T.K. Kokorwe, MP.

…and John’s message, the reason for this praise? ‘Yvonne, my wife, and myself are about to celebrate 33 years of marriage. We met 37 years ago, and we didn’t sleep together until we were married, we just got to know each other. We trust each other absolutely. She could travel to another country, and stay there for months and I KNOW she would be faithful to me. We trust each other! Marriage works! Take what you’ve heard at this training course, and live it!’

The Deputy Speaker thanked John for his “powerful, powerful message…and for ‘walking the talk’”. Shocking us with statistics: an estimated 297,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, 53,182 registered orphans, she threw out this challenge to the youngsters, ‘Make best use of all the tools you’ve gained. Be exemplary! Walk the talk! Success will be measured by the impact you make!’

My thoughts flashed back to my arrival at class that morning. The young lady who greeted me was bubbly and full of life. The letters emblazoned across her T-shirt said starkly ‘Friends are forever, boys are whenever….’ When her attention was drawn to the text, she chuckled and ran off to change. Are these the death throes of the old ways?

‘The old has gone, the new has come’. Pray it may be so!