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Tafic skipper, a product of street football

Street football which is played in the dusty grounds in villages and townships has been a training ground for some of the world’s greatest footballers. The dusty football grounds in the village of Senete saw the birth of a combative marksman in the name of Uyapo ‘Carlos’ Tibathuwe, the man who wears the captain’s armband at Tafic Sporting Club in Francistown.

The speedy winger-cum-midfielder cut his teeth in the game playing on the street, a less controlled or guided platform which gave him an opportunity to practice and develop his skill. The small sided games provided an opportunity to enhance the creativity and footwork without being chided by a coach for being too fancy. It is at Senete Primary School in 1997 where he learnt the formalities of the game playing football under the guidance and instruction of a coach.

He would continue with football through high school at Nkange Junior Secondary School and Tutume McConnell College where he doubled with athletics. It is at Nkange JSS where he was nicknamed ‘Carlos’ by his football coach Mr Molopo. After completing senior school, Carlos joined Black Peril Football. He went on to join Matebejane and moved to Maun Tigers where he was appointed Captain.

He also played for Motlakase Power Dynamos before joining Tafic where he was appointed captain at the beginning of the 2018/19 season. Carlos was part of the team that promoted Black Peril to First Division and he has won the 2017 Independence Cup with Tafic, and the 2016/17 Debswana First Division North championship also with Tafic. He is poised to win another championship medal with Tafic as they seek to gain automatic promotion to the BTC Premiership.

He envisions a transformed Tafic which will return stronger to the top-flight football and compete favourably. To achieve this says her aims to help his “teammates especially younger players to achieve individual success through teamwork, sportsmanship, commitment, discipline and character building that will guide them both on and off the field and in the community.”

He outlines discipline, commitment, skill and speed as his major strengths as a player. On he handles the responsibility of leading a big team like Tafic, he pointed out that his job is to guide other players and support them on and off the pitch and make sure that he listens to their worries and take them to relevant people. “I am very open and friendly so it makes things easier between me, players and technical team,” he said.

Carlos is more than home at Matjimenyenga, he is very happy to be captain of his favourite club. He acknowledged that growing up, he knew Tafic before any other team in the country and so it has been his favorite team from childhood. A true product of village football, Carlos is also the captain for his home team, Senete United which competes in Nkange Top 8 Football Tournament, arguably one of the best festive football tournaments in the country.

Including Carlos, Tafic has recruited five players from Nkange who play in the highly competitive Nkange Top 8 Football Tournament. The other four are Upoga Dekesha from Senete Gunners, Golebaone Baopedi of Nkange Flying Stars, Buyani Kgomotso of Senete United and Molebatsi Kangangwane of Nkange Flying Stars who was not registered for this season owing to injury.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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