After a pleasant late start, Thabiso calls me, and tells me the plan is to have a BBQ here, can I get the fire going, he’ll be over in about 30 minutes. I’m suspicious, but decide to go for it. Charcoal out, firelighters, and I carefully strike the single match. It takes a while, but eventually I have a nice glowing stack of charcoal. No Thabiso. I sigh, open a beer and read my book in the sunshine. About an hour late, Thabiso rocks up, and asks where everyone is. Who? Apparently a car-load of people left his house 20 minutes before him, supposedly to come here. A phone call reveals that they went home to sleep instead. We pop out to buy some food for the BBQ, though 10 seconds into the drive, the plan is changed – we’ll head over to a house where there is a music launch party for the Eskimos – they’re bringing out a CD called Still Makimo.
Setting up stage
They’re still setting up, and there aren’t many people about yet, but the beers are already being brought out. There will be food later too. We grab some seats and lounge about chatting.
Generally everyone is friendly, and there’s some good music being played by the chap setting up the sound system, who Thabiso tells me is the best in Botswana. After half an hour or so, Thabiso gets a call, his friends have finally shown up for the BBQ, so we head back. Thabiso’s Mum, Dr Margaret Nasha, is home too. I make her a cup of tea, and am promptly accused of being a sell-out by the others. Did give me a chance to offer it up in the England mug I’d spotted in the cupboard though, surely a diplomatic coup for UK Botswana relations?!
Thabiso's mother, Dr Margaret Nasha
Outside we sit round drinking and chatting. Flick, Thabiso’s friend, talks about “gangster” life – “If I see two brothers comin’ for me, I gonna pop their asses” etc. All very good natured stuff.
Back to the Eskimos Listening Session
Once the beers have run out, we head back to the launch party. No bbq then. There are lots of people here now, Thabiso knows them all, so we just mingle and chat.
The main gig only gets going once it starts to get dark. The first some is a bit “Chumbawumba” for me, but some of the others are good.
Stuck in the car, and to Linga Longa
After this, we drive around for hours in Thabiso's car, popping in to see people, running errands etc. I’m starting to get annoyed as I’m so bored. We do however meet Miss Botswana from many years ago at a petrol station. Thabiso and Herbert both pose for photos with her.
Next Linga Longa for some drinks. The lovely Fifi apparently loves British accents. Herbert clamps his arm round me and declares “here is your man”. Yes, says Fifi, and my boyfriend is half British too. Drat!
Nina and Girlie
Once again, it’s back to Thabiso’s Mum’s house, where Madoda is entertaining friends. Will we ever go out? The answer is eventually yes.
As we get to Fashion Lounge at almost 3am! We meet Malebogo and her friends coming out, and I’m tempted to switch cars and go with them! Anyway, I have a battle getting into Fashion Lounge because my Crocs are apparently “sandals”. I point out that this can only be the case when the strap is flipped forwards – as flipped back they are shoes, but he doesn’t buy it. I end up flattering him into letting me in, making sure I’m out of ear-range before cursing his stubborn arrogance.
Fashion Lounge is one of the main nightclubs in Gabs, and it has a beautiful crowd and a nice large open bar area.
Chatting to Girlie, who likes crunching on ice (sure sign of an iron deficiency according to Malebogo), she tells me I am her first white friend! She makes me laugh by reeling off all the stereotypes that she has about white people, a few of which have some grounding in reality, but some of which are rubbish (white people watch different kinds of movies). That said, we couldn’t agree on many movies we’ve both seen, so perhaps she’s right.