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Peak Adolescent Years: Because teens need to know they arent 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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Thabiso Maretlwaneng certified Master in filmmaking

27th March 2023

“IT’S TIME FOR US TO ARCHIVE BOTSWANA HISTORY INTO BIOPICS FILMS”

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Dr Lame Pusetso comes to writer’s rescue

20th March 2023

Multi award winning author of fifteen (15) books, Dr Lame Pusetso has put together a platform to empower local writers. Dr Pusetso is a President and Chairperson of the Executive Board of Kasapa Society.

She is also the Managing Director of Poeticblood Publishers and an owner of an online bookstore dubbed Mind and Soul Bookstores. Dr Pusetso has reiterated her commitment to helping upcoming authors, writers and poets in establishing their crafts and capitalizing on them.

In an exclusive interview this week, she said that she has put together a platform dubbed Botswana Literature Awards, which have fourteen categories.

When quizzed on what the awards stand for, Dr Pusetso said “writing as a form of art in Botswana is a skill that many have and have always been exploring. As a publisher, I have met different writers from all walks of life and some indicating that there isn’t enough motivation to keep going.”

In Botswana and according to the writer, there has been a limited representation of appreciation of authors. This is despite their efforts year in year out.

The whole intention of these awards really is to honor and recognize the hard work that local authors put in, when doing what they know best (writing).

“This is a way of appreciating their creativity and we will be doing this across all genres. The awards also act as a motivational tool to young writers who still have dreams of becoming best selling authors. Quite frankly, their works are of great importance and we cannot afford to let that slide like that.”

Dr Pusetso emphasized that all the winners will walk away with an award, a certificate and complimentary gifts to take home. “The two winners of Best Overall Author and Best Young Author will in addition receive book publication deals which includes book distribution and marketing for a year.

She gave a clearer picture of how authors can be a part of the literature awards.

“The awards are open to every author from the age of 7, must be a Motswana, and their book should have been published before or by 2022. For authors with more than one book, they are allowed to compete with only one book for one category, and different books for different categories.”

The young writer pinned hope on institutional collaborations, in order to stage the second edition of the awards next year, saying “We believe with these awards, the different institutions and stakeholders will show interest in helping nurture the literature scenario in Botswana.”

“It will also give authors hope and light to keep writing and penning down their stories for the benefit of all. We anticipate to host the next edition in 2024 with assistance from all interested parties.”

THE LITERATURE AWARDS CATEGORIES

Dr Pusetso stressed that there are fourteen (14) categories, and they are: Religious or Faith Based Book, Poetry Book, Children’s Book, Multi-lingual Writer, Best Collaboration, Setswana Novel, English Novel, Motivational Book, Best Young Author (7-13), Overall Best Author, Best Theory, Best Online Writer, Best Media Writer (Honor Award) and Honor Award (Long Serving Best Author).

EXPLAINING SPECIAL AWARDS

Best Media and Honor Award, Dr Pusetso said are not based on submissions but nomination by the committee. “For Honor Award, we want to appreciate the individual who has inspired the Botswana writing scenario over the years and even assisted numerous authors as both a writer and a community leader.”

The Best Media Writer award is meant to appreciate a journalist who is actively taking part in appreciating and helping authors in marketing, advertising and affording them a platform to showcase their works through their writing skills.

Meanwhile, the Botswana Literature Awards will be held on the 29th April and they are partially sponsored through the literacy grant. This is a grant under the Botswana National Library Services which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture.

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Women’s Awards hit the ground running

20th March 2023

The second edition of the much-anticipated Women’s Awards Botswana will be going down on the 27th May 2023 in Gaborone at Travel Lodge. The organizers of the prestigious awards have announced finalists, with three nominees per category.

Women’s Awards Botswana is established to empower women and celebrate them from all walks of life and across sectors. The awards raise awareness for women to be granted equal participation, particularly in decision-making positions, as one way of breaking the gender bias.

They also seek to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women from diverse industries in Botswana. Taking a closer look at the categories, He for She award celebrates and shines a light on men who stand and support women.

These are men who advocate for inclusion of women, men who stand against GBV and men who promote any service that can better women life. Her Abilities award looks into women who have shown determination to keep moving and achieve any goal they have set for themselves, regardless of their disability.

Other awards are self-explanatory. They celebrate women in arts, culture and entertainment, agriculture, creativity, innovation and technology, tourism and hospitality, community impact as well as organization supporting women.

ORGANIZER SPEAKS ON CRITERIA USED

When speaking in an interview, Founder and Director of Women’s Awards Botswana, Bofelo Zebe, said in their first edition, they had fifteen categories, which was enough for a piloting project.

“But we left out many industries or lines of work. After the event, we received reviews and suggestions, and there was an intensive evaluation that led to us increasing the categories to eighteen for this second edition.”

He said the nominees were voted in by the public, adding that the finalists were judged by a panel with the support of votes from their supporters.

When shedding light on what winners take home, Zebe indicated that there is an award trophy, certificate and goodie bags for all categories but “we are working to have financial sponsors jump on board so that winners and nominees can receive monetary incentives. We are also busy at work trying to retain our previous sponsors.”

THE 2023 WOMEN’S AWARDS BOTSWANA NOMINEES

HE FOR SHE AWARD

Desmond Lunga, Tlhabo Kgosiemang and Christopher Seagateng

BEST WOMAN IN ARTS, CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

Ditshupo Mosoboloko, Thanolo Keutlwile and Seneo Mabengano

HER ABILITIES AWARD

Koketso Seleke, Goabo Kgasa and Mumsie Odirile

SPORTS WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Naledi Marape, Ouname Mhotsha and Keamogetse Kenosi

WOMAN FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

Montle Rantatana, Lesedi Matlapeng and Trudy Bakwena

BEST WOMAN IN AGRICULTURE

Nomathemba Masuku, Basadi Molelekeng and Keolebogile Keabetswe

BEST WOMAN IN CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Marang Mbaakanyi, Didintle Moreki and Thandeka Palai

BEST WOMAN IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY

Masego Keleadile, Wapula Matshambane and Tshepo Phokoje

YOUNG WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Bridget Gothaang, Waone Makobo and Kimberly Matheakgomo

WOMAN OWNED SME BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Suits Africa, Nomlu Nail Bar and Sunflower Desserts

BEST WOMAN OWNED BUSINESS

Prezlin Clothing and Dawn Bell Academy

FEMALE MUSIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Mpho Sebina, Dato Seiko and Priscilla K

BEST ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING WOMEN

Sekao Foundation, The Fighters Support Group and Single Mothers Living with HIV

BEST WOMAN WITH COMMUNITY IMPACT

Lebopo Bulayani, Nanzelela Chaitezvi and Kebadile Wasenda

MEDIA WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Poppy Sello, Keikantse Shumba and Kedi Lezozo

FAVOURITE PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

Marang Selolwane, Palesa Molefe and Masi Sithole

BEST WOMAN IN LEADERSHIP

Naseem Lahri, Neo Bogatsu and Lily Rakorong

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