At a time in their lives when most men’s sexual escapades are limited to memories of the distant past, a frustrated 82-year-old pastor has walked out on his young wife after 12 sexless years of marriage.
Although Nonofo Galebotse insists he still loves his wife of 24 years, the Maun-based man of God says he could no longer stand the lack of action in the bedroom and thus had no choice but to leave the matrimonial home back in March.
The religious leader, a pastor at Head Mountain church in the tourist town’s Boyei ward, appeared before Maun Customary Court last week, summoned by his wife, Kebotsemang Letsholo, 52, desperate to know if their marriage was ruined beyond repair.
In response, Galebotse told both court and his estranged missus that he did not want a divorce but had left for his own peace of mind.
“Since 2009, we never had peace. We were always quarreling to an extent that we did not touch each other. We did not share blankets. For the past 12 years, that is how we lived,” grumbled the old man.
Later, when The Voice caught up with him to expand on what he meant, Galebotse confirmed he was referring to his conjugal rights.
The hard-up elder revealed his troubles started out of the blue back in 2009, when he caught his stepson having an affair.
“On that day, my wife and I had gone to the cattlepost where we found our married son with a girlfriend. As his parents, we scolded him for his actions,” Galebotse told court.
“After that, I went out only to return a little while later and found my wife in a changed mood. She did not want to talk to me; all she said was that she wanted to go back to Maun right at that moment! But, as it was already late, I asked her that we sleep and I’d drive her back the next morning,” continued the well-spoken pastor, adding sleep did little to improve his wife’s foul mood.
“When we arrived back in Maun, she immediately went out. I later learnt that her son had told her that even though I was seemingly disapproving of his behaviour, I was also a double timer and actually having an affair with one of the women in our neighbourhood,” said Galebotse, shaking his head angrily at the memory.
Letsholo then confronted the said ‘small house’, with a heated verbal exchange eventually leading to the police station.
In an attempt to restore the peace, Galebotse says he was left with no choice but to beg for forgiveness, admitting to an affair he insists never happened.
Despite this, Letsholo remained unforgiving and their once warm union, which was made official in a customary celebration after a three-month courtship back in 1998, turned frosty.
According to Galebotse, relations have remained cool ever since.
Although he endured it for over a decade, the old man said he finally snapped last April when his wife reported him to the police for sjamboking their youngest son after he disobeyed him.
“There was a spirit of anger around the house and I did not feel safe, hence I left,” explained Galebotse, adding before he left, Letsholo called a family meeting in which she told his children to take him with them.
“She said I was abusive and likened me to a roaming lion. She said even our neighbours cannot visit us because of my bad attitude. I am a respected church leader and this hurt me deeply, I cried for a long time when I was alone.”
While he continues to visit during the day, occasionally staying the night – the last sleepover occurring in June – Galebotse says he has no intention of moving back in with his wife.
“We have three plots which I developed. But because I put them under my wife’s names, I have to leave, find another plot which will be in my name and that is when I will take my wife to stay with me. Monna o a nyala ga a nyalwe,” he concluded defiantly.
Presiding over the matter, Kgosi Kebatho Kesekile gently advised the elder that he cannot walk in and out of his matrimony as he wishes.
For her part, an emotional Letsholo said she still loved her husband and wanted him back home.
At the end of the case, the two shook hands, hugged and agreed to work together in an attempt to salvage what is left of their marriage… a long overdue visit to the bedroom might be a good place to start!