An open letter to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi

Dear Mr President,

Well done on successfully hosting a regional conference with the theme Towards a Common Vision in Managing Southern Africa’s Elephants. Thanks to you, the visiting heads of state have returned home with a wonderful reminder of the occasion. I can’t think of a more perfect gift than stools made from elephant feet. Was it your idea? Brilliant. As everyone knows, the best way to manage elephants is to cut off their feet.

Your predecessor, Ian Khama, was a namby-pamby bunny-hugger who believed that elephants should be conserved rather than chopped up and used for furniture. Thank god you ousted him. With people like him in power, elephants would eventually get equal rights and soon enough start demanding a say in the running of the country.

You are not alone in your quest to ‘manage’ elephants. South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are also calling for the lifting of a ban on the sale of ivory. And rightly so, too. An elephant with no feet does not need his tusks.

Your country has around 130 000 elephants. That’s, like, two people to an elephant, isn’t it? These dumb brutes contribute nothing to the economy. Each elephant could at least provide a family of four with somewhere to sit. In fact, with a bit of creativity, the entire animal could be modified for everyday use.

The trunk is a very flexible piece of equipment and a lot of fun can be had with it. I have also on occasion been lightly flagellated with an elephant tail and let me tell you, Mr President, it was quite an experience. You strike me as a man who might enjoy a bit of the old S&M. Get yourself a tail. You won’t regret it.

I can’t wait to see what gifts you come up with when Botswana hosts other gatherings in the future. A conference on human trafficking, for instance, could see delegates go home with one of your country’s unwanted children. It would ease the burden on orphanages and the kids themselves would make amusing conversation pieces in their new homes.

Drug conferences could see heads of state being given little baggies of homegrown weed and if you do host more wildlife conventions, you need not even give your guests bits of dead animal. How cool would it be if everyone got a live mongoose?

The fabulous thing about Botswana is that there is so much game. When you run out of elephants, there are many more animals to make stuff from. You could open a chain of IKEA-type stores where people can assemble their own furniture from different animals. Fitting bits of giraffe into blocks of hippo would be tremendous fun for the whole family.

The hippo, by the way, has massive untapped potential. Maybe even more than the elephant. I’ve given it some thought and will be sending you a sample of one of my stools. Feel free to use it however you wish.

19 thoughts on “An open letter to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi

  1. Glenn Farred says:

    Why do people who don’t have a sense of humour read and then respond to your column? Just asking; for a friend…

  2. Nevs says:

    God forbid anybody should voice an opinion, as this instantly converts you into a white supremacist!
    Whatever happened to playing the ball, not the man?
    Please continue offering opinions! We all have a right to one, surely?

  3. Chris Morris says:

    Thank you. I can’t believe there has not been more vilification from the international conservation community from this clear act of “flipping the bird” at them.

  4. Solly Sebeka says:

    Europeans hunted our animals to near extinction. Botswana slowly rebuilt a healthy herd of elephants and unfortunately land can’t be manufactured. The bigger the numbers grow, the less the land available. A controlled, sustainable intervention is necessary, and for that Botswana doesn’t need any big-brother approval from the West. Keep your white supremacist rambling to yourself and go back home. You got no manners on top of your being too forward.

  5. Aubrey says:

    We cant be told how to manage our own elephants,manage yours and leave us alone,sellout,you guys take us for granted,we see you

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      I don’t have any elephants. My landlord doesn’t allow pets.

  6. Joy Boyd-Morris says:

    Love it.

  7. Bruce Gardner says:

    Since Botswana banned hunting poaching has escalated tenfold. With no hunters to deter and report poaching it will continue to escalate especially since there are less funds now to pay for rangers and antipoaching units. Controlled hunting benefits the community the game and the country. Statistics prove this to be true.

  8. barry collins says:

    I love what you do & the way that you do it. 💙

  9. Isabel Brown says:

    Only in Africa is such ignorance displayed. The mind boggles at the stupidity.

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Only in Africa? What about Brexit?

      1. Brand says:

        Whats ignorant about Brexit?

        1. Ben Trovato says:

          The people who voted for it.

  10. Tom says:

    Buy yourself a pair of glasses. This picture is a photomontage. You lost your time writing this sarcastic letter… Concentrate of true verified information instead!

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Buy yourself an education. Firstly, it’s not a photomontage, it’s a poorly executed photoshop job. The facts of the story are true and verified. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48192576

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