After one scorching and adverse summer season, when nearly all of the village lands came under veld fires, the people were on the brink of famine. After successive days of torrid waves of heat and lack of rain terrorized the village, the people began to feel the extent of the consequences that follow from these conditions. Fewer crops were yielded for harvest than ever before. Most of the grass had turned ashy brown and unsavoury. Cattle, goats and sheep became emaciated to the degree their ribs began to protrude like taut strings of a guitar.

“It will all come to an end soon. Patience,” the Elders assured the people. “Such times are needed so that we can appreciate the sweetened success that will follow.”

But the conditions only grew worse and lingered on for a few years to come.

By the third year. The misery of the people had become hard-wired into the fabric of the society. Most of them had by now lost more than half of their livestock, and the remaining were mere skin, loosely balanced on sticks and straws called legs.

The surviving crops were mostly plants such as millet and sorghum, and vegetables such as kale and sweet potatoes – ones that were resilient to heat, and grew under unfavourable conditions. All other crops were obliterated.

The worst period began in the summer of that year when the dogs and the hyenas began to attack the children of the village for food, due to shortage and scarcity. And the people were too hungry themselves, and too tired, to put up a fight.

In this state of depression in the village of Bamobu only two men now thrived. One was the King, and the other was the innocent Tsietsi.

The King and his family continued to hoard crops and livestock tithed from the villagers. But, he began to give little back for assistance, as there were now just too many mouths awaiting a helping hand.

Whereas with Tsietsi, his skill and innovation had begun to pay off a year or two before. And now it was amplified tenfold. His land was evergreen, crops ripe and succulent, his livestock was fresh and tender as a baby’s bottom. But, ironically, he had become the subject not of mockery, but of envy and attack – even by the King himself.

With his estate now even far exceeding the King’s he became more selfless and openhanded, as he gave away to those suffering from the extreme conditions. And, to not supersede the expectation of his ever-growing wealth and upset the constitutional balance, he settled his taxes with the throne: all that he had owed from the past plus much more.

“Tsietsi must be sent by God as His instrument!” the villagers began to energetically exclaim. “For his intervention in these times of need, he surely must be rewarded.”


Tell us: How do you think Tsietsi will be rewarded for his selflessness?