‘ God will provide,’ said Mma Potokwane calmly. ‘He will send us a new engine one day.’ ‘Maybe,’ said Mr J. L. B. Matekoni. ‘But then maybe not. God is sometimes not very interested in engines. I fix cars for quite a few ministers of religion, and they all have trouble. God’s servants are not very good drivers.’

We are all children of Africa, and none of us is better or more important than the other. This is what Africa could say to the world: it could remind it what it is to be human.

You should try to marry a policeman, a mechanic or a minister of religion, she said, and you should never marry a politician, a barman, or a taxi driver. These people always caused a great deal of trouble for their wives.

Botswana was a well-blessed country. Nobody starved and nobody languished in prison for their political beliefs. As Mma Ramotswe had pointed out to him, the Batswana could hold their heads up anywhere – anywhere.

She knew how to handle a young man with an explosive sense of his own importance, which was, in her view, the most dangerous phenomenon one might encounter in Africa.

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