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Peak Adolescent Years: Because teens need to know they aren’t alone

Unipolar depressive disorder in adolescence is common worldwide but often unrecognised. The incidence, notably in girls, rises sharply after puberty and, by the end of adolescence, the 1 year prevalence rate exceeds 4%. Depression is associated with substantial present and future morbidity and heightens suicide risk.

The strongest risk factors for depression in adolescents are a family history of depression and exposure to psychological stress.Inherited risks, developmental factors, sex hormones and psychological adversity interact to increase risk through hormonal factors and associated perturbed neutral pathways.

Although many similarities between depression in adolescence and depression in adulthood exist, in adolescents the use of antidepressants is of concern and opinions about clinical management are divided. Effective treatments are available, but choices are dependent on depression severity and available resources. Prevention strategies targeted at high-risk groups are promising.

Depression is defined as a cluster of specific symptoms with associated impairment. In adolescents, depression is more often missed than it is in adults possibly because of the prominence of irritability, mood reactivity, and fluctuating symptoms in adolescents. Depression can also be missed if the primary presenting problems are unexplained physical symptoms, eating disorders, anxiety, and refusal to attend school, decline in academic performance or behavioural problems.

In some respects depression in adolescents can be viewed as an early-onset sub form of the equivalent adult disorder because of its strong links with recurrence later in life. The illness has similar clinical features and patterns of neutral activity to that in adults, and its occurrence is also associated with a family history of the disorder. However, there are young writers who experienced this illness at a shockingly young age.

Some are still dealing with this disorder, while some found it imperative to put everything on paper, including their experiences. They see this as a remedy that is working very well for their mental health. Some write poems, some pen songs while others carve stories.  In Botswana, we do have young people suffering from depression, but they are not alone. They have their peers committed to help them through…

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, author and founder of Peak Adolescent Year handbook Tshepang Matshane noted that this is a collection of poems that endeavour to shed some light upon the darkness one finds herself or himself in and to help realized that they are not alone and there are people out there who can relate to the pain and suffering they’re going through.

‘’Growing up I lived to witness my parents’ divorce and stayed with my father the entire life I have lived. My mother sadly abandoned me and this didn’t sit well with me. I felt she deprived me the right to be loved and raised by a mother, I don’t know how it feels being given motherly love. It’s such a sad experience that makes me feel the pain even to this date. My peers would always speak about how they are treasured by their mothers, how their fathers abandoned them and I will be there with something different, a different story they wouldn’t buy’’

This gloomy experience did not only dampen Matlhare, he saw this as an opportunity to send a message to other youngsters who are going through the same experience. ‘’If I was someone else, I could have long died. I started being miserable, gloomy, and I saw killing myself as the only solution to this problem. I did not only become melancholy, my academic performance started flagging and I was only left with vanishing, literally. At one point, I found courage and started putting all of these burdens on paper. One teacher realised my potential in writing and buoyed this chivalrous idea. That was my growth…and I must say I am exultant for I took the right decision when I was at the edge of my life, which was blue, despairing and repulsive’’ he said

His book was made to create an insight to loved ones who do not have a good grasp of the turmoil of emotions most adolescents who are going through and probably help those suffering these deep oblivious emotions to a peace of mind. ‘’We just wanted to shed light amongst people who normally become lost in their emotions and have no one to talk to. We just want to tell you that you’re not alone, we feel your sorrow and although your life may be filled with darkness, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, just keep on persevering and stay strong’’

This fledgling author who writes candidly and humorously about his struggles with depression has published only one book, and strives to put out more. ‘’I am relatively new in this industry, and because I am still at school, lot of attention is diverted into books. I endeavour to learn more about writing and that can be made probable by work in partnership with other well established authors who I must say are equally substantial in this industry. I am taking one step at a time, and I believe in future I will have more books in stores across the country, or even internationally’’ he said

Matlhare further alluded that depression is considered abnormal, and people who suffer from it are picked apart and told they need to ‘’pluck it up’’, something he feels needs to be addressed and facts should be laid down. ‘’one of the best ways to normalize depression is by integrating it into our culture. That’s where this novel comes in. teens and adults and I included need to read about people like them. We need to read about the coping, the triumphs, and the failures. We need to know about these things, so that we no longer feel alone.

The hardest part about depression, in my opinion, is feeling like I’m alone. However, I’m not, and neither are you. I have this novel that center on depression, redemption and love. I hope that you find some solace or perhaps a little understanding in this book. Either way, I hope you feel a little less alone’’

 

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WeekendLife

Of Musicians and No Shows

10th May 2022
Musicians and No Shows

There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.

Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.

The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.

Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.

In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…

Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation

“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.

He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event.
The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.

This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events.  Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.

The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized

Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.

He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.

In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud.
When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.

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WeekendLife

COSBOTS mulls funding for struggling members

10th May 2022
COSBOTS

As the creative industry is trying to resurface from the COVID-19 dust, the board chairperson of Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), Bakalanga Mahoko, says the society is considering giving out relief funds to their members who have been hit hard by the COVID -19 induced restrictions. She noted that this will however depend on government’s response to their request for funds.

She told WeekendLife that the society has already written to government requesting funds. Once the request is approved, she says some of the funds will enable the society to embark on road shows across the country to sensitise the general public about COSBOTS. The road shows are designed to run for several weeks before the annual general meeting which is scheduled for May, 28th this year. Among other things, she says part of the money will be used as a relief fund for their members.

“As we are all aware, the industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions and some of our members were unable to raise money for their survival and that alone affected the industry. We anticipate that government will consider and approve our request and once it’s approved our members will smile all the way to the bank as their bank accounts will be credited by the COSBOTS,” she says.

She added that if things go according to plan, this will be the second time that their members would have been assisted through such an initiative. She said at the moment they have registered about 2800 members across the country and the board anticipates that the membership number will increase sharply.

“I am not yet in a better position to divulge the amount which each artist will be given because government has not yet responded to our request, but once that has been approved the society will announce,“ she says.

Mahoko was elected as the board chairperson sometime last year and has also been the first woman to lead such society which she described as “privileged”. “As many will recall, the society was in a mess and there were squabbles among members. There was also mismanagement of funds that resulted in the members, government as well as the public losing trust on the society and that dented badly the image of the society,” she says.

Mahoko further stated since she has been in office for more than a year, things now look much better and promising. The government gave the society a grant and that alone was a sign of trust from government. Recently COSBOTS distributed over P7 million as royalties.

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WeekendLife

Collegium launches E-books

10th May 2022

With over 20 years in the business of publishing school books for both primary and high school schools as well as fuelling the imagination and guiding the soul of the youth. Collegium Education Publishers are continuing with their trailblazing mission by launching EBooks.

During the launch of the Ebooks platform recently, Naledi Ratsoma, Author and Founding Director of Collegium Botswana took the audience on a trip down memory lane. She disclosed that after falling out with a local publishing company, she established new ties with a publishing company in South Africa. “The adage don’t get mad, get even worked for us.

We decided we are going to get them, we are curriculum specialists we know what the curriculum is all about and what books should be to support the type of curriculum.” She said deep in thought. “The start-up was not easy, I was the general, manager, tea lady working from 6 am to 10pm. It was sheer determination and hard work that got the company going.

Today I feel honoured and excited, Collegium grew by leaps and bounds. Here we are today. Dare I call Collegium a success story? Yes I do, it is a resounding success story.” She uttered excitedly
Looking into the future, Terrence Showa, Collegium CEO was tasked with only one job to do.

That job? Moving Collegium to digitization and joining the rest of the publishing world in transition towards the Fourth industrial revolution and a knowledge based economy. “Today I stay to you quite proud to be the first publisher in the country to launch the prescribed eBooks.” He said.

Showa mentioned; “I was told to come with a cheaper solution for government, after three years with meeting several Information Technology think tanks we came to the conclusion that Snapplify, gurus in providing eBooks and eLearning were in alignment with what we are looking for. Ebooks provide a simple solution for teachers, parents, students to use at their homes.

It will also be 30% cheaper for government to procure the books. An added benefit was the ability to give free content by Snapplify on the side of library service. ” He says the Ebook Platform has been fast tacked by the rural electrification program by government prioritizing the need to digitise books.

When speaking to the WeekendPost on the side after the event, Showa when questioned on matters of piracy which comes with the digital age, he enunciated that “as Collegium the failure of us to regulate the printing and photocopying of our books frustrates us daily. There are institutions who have committed to procuring photocopying machines to make copies of our books.

We are excited about eBooks because the licence procured when buying the book will run for only a year and will limit users to being able to photocopy and take screenshots of the books. One of the reasons Snapplify made sense to us is they know exactly what the challenges that come with digital platforms are. The content will only be downloadable into devices through a profile set up and limit the number of users on the site.”

For their presentation, Stephen Bestbier and Mark Seabrook from the Snapplify Team; the application is accessible everywhere with an offline feature to encourage data saving and reading offline, it is compatible with existing devices be it mobile, tablet and desktop. The simple library management functionality makes it easy to check out books and return them automatically to curb the ancient penalty of paying late return fees as well as avoiding d issues of lost book since it will be on an online platform.

The academic features include; a designated dyslexic friendly font, text to speech functionality, journal, bookmarks. The Elibrary provides for convenience as 24/7 access to learning, materials since the online library does not close like the traditional library. The support platform ‘teacha!’ also reliefs’ teachers in their work by building skills with accredited professional development courses and platform training.

Snapplify are leaders in Pan African educational technology with thousands of institutions across Africa with students and academic staff within the Snapplify ecosystem from primary schools to tertiary institutions.

Snapplify is the best eLearning solution with a comprehensive content catalogue with constant delivery and a proven track record of rolling out large government eLearning projects.  Collegium’s vision has indeed come to pass to become market leaders in the provision of high quality teaching and learning materials for institutions in Botswana.

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