Close to 73 pairs of feet traversed the cold pans of Makgadikgadi in a bitter sweet experience of an arduous exhilarating walk. Many started the walk with mixed reactions; while some even toyed with the idea of quitting the march before it started.
Our walk was launched at the dry village of Mosu, located South of Sua Pan – the Eastern half of Makgadikgadi Pan, where we were warmly welcomed by the area’s Chief. While gathering around a bonfire, the village Chief taught us about the village and the plains before telling us about all the activities to unfold before us the next day.
Still filled with the salty soils village amazement, we lodged 2km away from the interiors of Mosu where we placed our comfortable beds on the plains of the salt pans with the beauty of the stars overlooking our tents through the night. The following morning came with an adventure of our lives, where we were expected to travel almost half of our 100km milestone. We were to embark on a 48 km walk to Lekhubu Island, some of us it was our first long stroll.
While first timers were dragging themselves 48 kilometers to the islands, a journey which started in the early hours of the morning, regular walkers embarked the dry surface at a faster pace. While trying to brave on and keep up, I walked a little faster towards the many backs that faced me and marched against the heels kicking white soil towards my face. It was also a bit scary as one walks across the pans towards what looks like approaching an earth dead end.
On the flip side I was captivated by nature’s offering as I gazed the unusual beauty of the sun emerging from below the surface of the plain. The strange sunset experience was not enough for my trickled imagination; I was now walking as if one is on a trance or some dreamy sensation. I began to see strange things as if I am delusional. Juxta visuals of cattle grazing ahead were coming into my sight and what looked like brown soil.
Someone had to wake me up from my sleep walk and told me that the cattle I saw were trees on the other side. As I was looking forward to my encounter with the brownish soil, not the white surface we were walking on, I was disappointed when I was told that my eyes were playing games with my mind-it as it was actually scotched grass.
While waking up from my adventurous hallucinations, the walk was now becoming an eyesore as I began to march on in exhaust. My lower limbs became stiff, knees shaky and weaker-the walk was now a thorn on my flesh. Just after the 6.5 km of the 48 km, a quad bike from the organizers’ emergency team came to my rescue as it carried me back to Mosu. I returned with much anguish as did not finish my first biggest adventure. A journey to Lekhubu was awaiting and I was carried from the Mosu camp to the precious island situated inside the white salt pans.
Though I failed to brave on the other day, that 6.5km lap was akin to my ‘training’ because I then felt ready and propelled to stride the next 18 kilometers challenge that was on offer, being from Lekhubu to the historical sites of the area. Lekhubu Island was the Creator’s best show; a small slice of scotched vegetation and hills, something that we never came across while walking on the white dry plains. We also heard of the animal life that could be seen in rarity on the island, Lekhubu is also said to be a renowned breeding ground for migratory birds such as flamingos.
The following day while taking my 18 kilometer expedition from Lekhubu, I walked with a more lifted spirit while we encountered some of the historical places in the Makgadikgadi Pans. We even met the world’s second largest tree, Mowana (baobab) as we passed with the guidance of our friendly tour guide Lebogang Bathusang.
The Stone Wall
The most interesting place that we sighted on our journey was a strange wall built with rocks on a granite hill, erected in the Southern African history of the Mfecane wars. It is said that during the times of the Ndebele’s King Mzilikazi who was fleeing away from Shaka Zulu and conquered other tribes he found along the way, some kings were forced to build walls or barriers as protection against the fierce and wrath of the Ndebele nation. We were told that is how the wall in the granite hill came to be.
Another exotic feature that captured my attention was a cave said to be sacred and local people visit it while looking for a spiritual encounter with their ancestors. I was curious to enter into the cave which some of my walk mates said it could have spirits inside it and tales have been told that people who came near the cave went into oblivion.
Makgadikgadi Pans annual walk
Makgadikgadi Pans walk was made with the aim to raise money by Y-Care Charitable Trust. 80% of funds collected will be allocated towards charity. Every year, walkers brave more than100km from Mosu Village in the south end of Makgadikgadi to the historical site called Lekhubu Island. The walkers take on other historical site visits in the country like the Tsodilo Hills, Tswapong Hills, Domboshaba and other historical sites in the country.
Botswana Telecommunications (BTC), Diamond Training Company (DTC), First National Bank (FNB), Botswana Oil were amongst the corporates who took on the journey. The walk was sponsored by Babkock, Medswana, Kolobeng Spring Water and Imara.
Women love style, looking dolled up, looking graceful and elegant but it begs the question; is your personal image representing the true you?
It is important to wear the right outfit, colours, styles and attitude to achieve your best look and to be taken serious. In addition, it is essential to wear the right mind-set about your self-image because the way you see yourself will have a mirror effect on how others see you.
Mosadi is an image consultancy geared towards uplifting women socially by means of image consulting. It empowers women to look great, feel their best and increase self-confidence.
Image consulting is a professional field that aims to improve the image of a client personally or professionally through appearance, behaviour, and communication.
With proper grooming, wardrobe, accessories and body language, Mosadi will project your best image and unique personal style to create greater opportunities and improved relationships.
It will also assist you communicate your personal or professional goals successfully to project greater confidence in all situations. In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Lemogang Sesupo, co-owner of Mosadi (currently employed as a teacher) said this is a business she started with her blood sister Boemo Sesupo (a records officer).
“I can confidently reveal that running this business has its ups and downs, but what better way to have those struggles than with family. She is more into the clothing line and I am more into the consultancy but together we make it work. The two departments give into each other which makes it easy for us to make it work,’’ said Sesupo.
She says passion, purpose and hobby is what makes the business flow with ease.“Looking good, feeling good and doing good makes the dream work. Mosadi wants to change the idea people have about women in the corporate world.
We are trying to break boundaries from people saying women sleep their way to the top or being trophy wives. This concept is all about redefining the woman.”
The duo believe that Mosadi can do it all by herself from her sweat and hard work without being dependent on men. This, they say, could be made possible if they look good and dwell much on improving their appearance.
“Many people perceive local employees as poor service providers by the way they look, so we believe it’s time that stops today. A woman should look womanly and be comfortable in her look. Looking decent has that effect where the way you walk with your head held high and the productivity level goes up,” says Sesupo.
Sesupo told WeekendLife that they provide make-over services, image consultancy, styling, and corporate clothing and MC services. Technically, Mosadi came at an appropriate time when the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, something that gave birth to the shattering Gender-Based Violence.
In Botswana, the numbers are taking a growing curve.It is only vital these women have their voices heard in fighting this crisis. This will not only help government, but will look good for their image especially now that they work with women at most times. Women do look pretty and elegant, but they carry much snags and worries, and only a shoulder to cry on can do marvels.
“Character is key. Mosadi wants to build character for women. A woman with character will know her worth, tap into her intuition and differentiate between what is right and wrong. With GBV, Mosadi is trying to let women to know their worth. We strive to educate them to make decisions for themselves and to be independent.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way the world moves, actually, it has it at a standstill.
The impacts of this deadly virus are massive, and the only way to curb it from spreading is through social distancing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The pandemic had gym rooms closed to avoid crowding by fitness enthusiasts. However, some have come up with alternative ways of keeping fitness rolling even in the midst of this plague.
Prominent fitness trainer and certified sports psychologist, Chyna Mokaila couldn’t be at a standstill from working out with clients, even in the middle of a deadly virus. He has since started an online training program dubbed CMFit Virtual fitness.
The program begun during the first lockdown implemented in March 2020, but because there was no revenue coming in, the young lad had to go back to the drawing board and come up with something tangible to earn him monies.
He told Weekendlife in an exclusive interview this week that; “I had to make a sustainable solid plan that would see me doing what I do best and continue my work with or without lockdown and COVID-19. This made me tap into other markets and countries throughout the world. Currently, I have clients as far as the US, Canada, Austria, Italy, and neighbouring South Africa and Zambia.”
Chyna says the online fitness training has proven to be less risky in exposing oneself to the virus, as they get to training at the comfort of their homes with less contact.
“COVID-19 has brought a lot of sadness, depression and unhealthy habits because of being restricted to lockdowns. It goes without saying that staying fit helps individuals with depression and offers a feel good atmosphere.
Health should be our number one priority at this current moment, and the only way it can be done is virtually. People have learnt to embrace technology so we might as well divert our services to such platforms.”
Virtual fitness is cost effective, according to Chyna. “Although you get the same feel and package which comprises of consultation, nutritional guidelines, assessments and the actual training program the only difference is that the trainer is not there physically with you but virtually.”
Nutrition plays a very critical role in blocking viruses that could alter how the body system works. The right amounts of nutrients reduce risks of non-communicable diseases, increases energy levels to perform better and fight infections. Scientists say COVID-19 critically affects those with underlying health conditions.
Chyna told Weekendlife that he envisions reaching out to the world market, indicating that he will be having his training programs online as he has seen an opportunity in the digital space.
“This will start with repackaging my brand so that it is at par with the best in the world, hence why I have moved from Chyna’s kata-Bo to CMFit which provides more detailed programs anyone can do on their own- following my virtual programs.”
In his rigorous efforts to help people realize the significance of an active and healthy lifestyle, Chyna has collaborated with the BTV Morning Fitness Show and Yarona FM’s Fatboy Challenge which saw him landing another health segment with the radio station.
The fitness enthusiast has also worked with the senior men’s and women’s national football team, as well as the karate team as the conditioning coach. Internationally, Chyna has collaborated with Essence Events from the United States.
His core duty was to travel Africa promoting active lifestyle and health.Chyna is currently a conditioning coach for Township Rollers, an engagement that sees him guide and work with the team, keeping them at pick in terms of their fitness levels.
This enables them to cope with the demands of the game without fail throughout the season.
The country’s biggest beauty pageant, Miss Botswana, has eroded over the years. Beside the fact that crowned Queens dismally fail at Miss World year-in-year-out, the pageantry itself has been losing its shine in terms of organization, implementation and just throwing a glamourous event like it used to do before producing little to no tangible results.
Of course it started in 2018 when Miss Botswana was just disorganized and boring. The event was held at Masa Square Hotel, when only three participants battled it out for the blue crown.
Moitshepi Elias was crowned the princess that Friday night. That was technically the last time we saw her smile because, even if she did at Miss World, her smile wasn’t convincing enough.
The judges felt she was not good enough, as she was not even close to Top 40. In the history of the pageant, Miss Botswana 2010; Emma Wareus and Miss Botswana 1997; Mpule Kwelagobe are the only queens to be remembered as those who made a great impact as they reached top positions at Miss World and Miss Universe. Wareus was crowned the first runner up, while Kwelagobe snatched the title to become Miss Universe 1999.
Miss Botswana 2020 could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, something that left beauty pageant analysts stunned. Some feel this is a huge setback for the organizers, Development Advance Institute (DAI). This organization took over in 2018 and came with a plan for Miss Botswana, in which they strive to give the pageant a facelift.
Prominent beauty pageant analyst, Morekolodi Smith, told Weekendlife that a gap year delayed the implementation of the plan. “DAI aimed at revamping the organization, bidding to host Miss World and it will be tough to reach those aspirations due to this year gap. It still has to work on the reputation of Miss Botswana which has been deteriorating for years.
DAI promised a new era for Miss Botswana, I had expectations that they will crown a well-rounded girl who can bring glory to this country. With everything on hold and zero communication on what to expect, I see failure. The silence and inactivity is almost eerie. I wouldn’t be surprised if DAI drops Miss Botswana and another organization takes over.”
Smith says part of Miss Botswana could be held virtually, to avoid the stillness and dropping in rankings. “Auditions, short-listings and preliminary interviews could be held virtually but not the actual final show. There is no need for the final show to be held virtually because traditionally Miss Botswana is never contested by more than 50 girls. The number is always narrowed to 12 and 16.”
He explained that the selection committee could go through all applications and select the Top 15, adding that the 15 would then be profiled in-depth followed by official photoshoots and glam shots. “They could then take part in multimedia campaigns and host webinars.
Pre-recording the swimsuit and evening gown preliminary competition as well as featuring contestant video profiling could add magic. This is the time to maximize on video content.”Smith says there could be talent segment where contestants showcase their talent to entertain, and it could be recorded and each contestant’s video can be uploaded on social media for online audience and the public gets to vote for their favourite, and the winner gets to perform during the final show.
“Then the final show can be streamed live on social media platforms. Miss Botswana could have all Top 15 contestants do an opening number, followed by self-introductions then their short video profiles played. It can feature live onstage swimsuit and evening gown competition.”
After the swimsuit and evening gown competition, Smith said the question and answer session could be held, leading to crowing of the next Miss Botswana. He however, said Miss Botswana’s performance is fuelled by many challenges that persisted for quite a stretch now.
“One major challenge is that the Miss Botswana pageant is held very late. Our queens have limited time to prepare. This leads to half cooked Beauty with a Purpose project. No one excels at Miss World without an impactful Beauty with a Purpose project.”
He suggested that Miss Botswana could be held at least eight months before Miss World festival so that the winner can work on her project, a project that needs to be documented and packaged well. “I realized that queens here don’t have physical input on their projects. They always look glamorous and do not actually do the work. They are always on VIP mode and only come to cut the ribbon.
It is time that stops today. Tiara should be put aside and sleeves should be rolled. Preparation and packaging is key.”“It is essential to have Miss Botswana every year so that she can reach out to communities and add value to those in need.
Being Miss Botswana is more like an ambassador, the winner gets to represent Botswana internationally, precisely at Miss World. I think Botswana requires that global positioning space, as this works well with country branding because Miss World is a premium event.”