The sad song from NUL

The sad song from NUL
The sad song from NUL

Africa-Press – Lesotho. THERE is a song for almost everything. Greed, love, envy, hate, death, heartbreak and so forth. Even thievery, fornication and hanky-panky. Remember the hanky-panky song that went like this: Khali, khali, khali ke tsamaea ka nthoena ea ka.

Ha u ntso tsila-tsila ke tsamaea ka nthoena ea ka. Muckraker once sang that song at a village kraal and was rewarded with a thundering slap from an uncle.

She saw stars. Here is a story and a song for it. First, the story. Some several moons back, five scientists from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) started working on a potential drug for Covid-19.

We were told these were just passionate scientists collaborating for the greater good. Chuffed, our hands got sore as we clapped to cheer them on. A minister who would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a burette and a thermometer even said something about it.

The drug was sent to South Africa for testing. The results showed that it had potential to be used as a Covid-19 cure. You would think such news would encourage the team to work harder to get the drug approved.

But this is Lesotho. A country where everyone should have the ‘G’ initial on their birth certificate. The ‘G’ being for the second name which is Greed.

The scientists are now fighting over ownership of the concoction. The project has now run aground as the scientists quarrel like hyenas that have found a rotting carcass.

Which reminds Muckraker of a song. It was composed when villagers in Qaqatu discovered an elephant that had fallen into a hole. Seeing that this was meat for the whole year, the villagers stoned the elephant until it died.

Then they started pulling out the giant as they sang to keep their spirit up. Ahe tlou ea rona. Aho bana ba rona ba sa tla ja ba khore. Hoo tlou ea rona batho.

They were at it for hours until the animal was just a few inches from pulling it out. Then, out of the blue, one man changed the song: Ahe tlou ea ka.

Aho bana ba ka ba sa tla ja ba khore. Hoo tlou ea ka batho. The other villagers responded in unison: U re tlou ea hao? U re tlou ea hao?
The man kept singing: Ehlile ke tlou ea ka.

Le mpa le nthusa ho e nyolla ka sekoting. Ahe ha e le ea hao, e nyolle re bone ha e le ea hao,” the villagers sang as they let go of the elephant and started going back home.

The man was left stuck with his irretrievable brisket. The project died and the tonnes of meat rot in the hole. The papa ka moroho persisted in the village. It was lepu after lepu while the elephant decayed.

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