The Sentebale team was in Botswana this week concluding the third week of Winter Camp for vulnerable children and young people in Gaborone. During the three weeks, a record 183 campers attended camp from the remote areas of Maun and other villages in the district.
The week long residential camps provide life- saving psychosocial support to 10-19 year olds living with the virus, by sharing the tools and knowledge they need to live physically and emotionally. The team also announced that The Duke of Sussex as Prince Harry is known, will attend the AIDS 2018 Conference with Youth Advocates from Sentebale's Let Youth Lead Programme in southern Africa.
In June The Duke made a private visit to Lesotho to meet with children and young people involved in Sentebale's Programmes of education and care providing the tools and knowledge the vulnerable generation needs to live long, happy, healthy lives in future. The action of breaking barriers and building bridges was convened in Amsterdam.
Sentebale is a charity founded by The Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso in 2006 following Prince Harry’s gap year to Lesotho in 2004. The foundation helps the most vulnerable children in Lesotho and Botswana get the support they need to lead healthy and productive lives. Sentebale works with local grassroots organizations to help these children – the victims of extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Their mission is to work in partnership to transform positively the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. The charity also wants to become the leading organization in the provision of psychosocial support for children living with HIV in Southern Africa. In 2004 Prince Harry, 19, went travelling on his gap year. He had a fantastic time in Australia, Argentina and Botswana but in the end the thing that had the greatest impact on him was the two months he spent working in Lesotho. The Duke was lucky enough to have an amazing guide in Prince Seeiso.
“His knowledge and compassion for his country showed me that there could be a way of making a difference in Lesotho that would go far beyond the building projects I worked on”, said Harry. He met so many children whose lives had been shattered following the death of their parents – they were so vulnerable and in need of care and attention. He says as they travelled round Lesotho they saw the same thing — great work being done in the community by amazing volunteers who weren’t able to attract support, because they didn’t have professional managers or accountants to show where the money was going.
To highlight the issues facing Lesotho, they arranged to make a documentary called “The Forgotten Kingdom”. “Prince Seeiso and I decided that we could make a long- term difference by starting a charity that could direct funds to the grassroots organizations, which were taking so much of the strain but finding it hard to get help”. They came up with the name Sentebale, which means “forget- me- not” in Sesotho, the language of Lesotho, and the idea seemed perfect.
This charity is a way in which Prince Seeiso and Harry can remember their mothers, who both worked with vulnerable children and people affected by AIDS. “I really feel that by doing this I can follow in my mother’s footsteps and keep her legacy alive”, he said. Harry is a member of the British royal family. He is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.
In 2007 Seeiso and Harry opened their office in Lesotho so that they can work directly with grassroots organizations to transform the lives of children and young people. The British media writes that anyone who gleefully sat down last November (2017) to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first joint interview after their engagement knows all about the special meaning that Botswana has in their relationship.
In August 2017, Harry took Markle to Botswana, where they had first visited weeks after they began dating in July 2016. It was Markle’s 36th birthday, and there were rumblings that the two might get engaged on this trip. Nicholl writes that the pair spent three weeks traveling around; Harry showed Markle his favorite spots, including Meno a Kwena, where he took his ex- girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, in 2007.
This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.
Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.
These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.
DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.
“For the very first time in history of Big Brother, we’ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.”
Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.
Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2’s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.
Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign. #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.
We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.
Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.
DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.
THE WINNING CHALLENGE
Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).
These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.
The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencer’s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.
Legwaila said “We wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.”
DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING
When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said “MultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks from our country.”
The 71st Miss Universe competition will be going down at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans next week in the United States. There are eighty four entrants at this year’s Miss Universe, and Botswana will once again not be a part of the pageant.
The Miss Universe will be hosted by Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, who last served as host during Miss Universe 2020, while Mai last served as backstage correspondent during Miss Universe 2014. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall will serve as backstage correspondents. This will mark the first time in a 70-year history to have an all-female presenting panel.
Botswana last participated at the Miss Universe in 2013, in which the Miss Universe Botswana pageant was won by Tsoane Macheng. Ever since then, Botswana never made its return to the biggest beauty pageant in the world, despite its consistent ability to send a representative to participate at the Miss World competition.
Miss Universe Botswana Director, Safie Sekgwa, allegedly holds the Miss Universe license. Efforts to reach him proved futile, as his mobile phone rung unanswered.
Despite Botswana showing zero efforts in participating at the Miss Universe, the beauty pageants 2019 crown was flanked by two smaller diamonds cut from the same stoned mined in Botswana.
Jewelry designer Mouawad created a new “Power of Unity” crown reportedly worth 5 Million US Dollars, and the title was won by South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi. She was the third South African to be crowned Miss Universe.
BOTSWANA’S POOR RECORD AT MISS UNIVERSE
Botswana is said to be one African country with the most beautiful women, but, the poor performance at the Miss Universe, communicates otherwise. Perhaps, representatives at the pageant are not academically gifted, as the Miss Universe tests how keen they are also.
Mpule Kwelagobe made history when she was crowned Miss Universe 1999. That was few months after she was crowed the first ever Miss Universe Botswana. Kwelagobe became the third woman from Africa who was crowned Miss Universe.
In 2000, Miss Universe Botswana then, Joyce Molemoeng did not place at Miss Universe, and the same blue reality struck again in 2001, when Mataila Sikwane also failed drastically.
After a two year hiatus, Miss Universe 2004, Icho Keolotswe also failed to place at Miss Universe. That was the end of participation at Miss Universe, only to return in 2010. Tirelo Ramasedi, Miss Universe 2010 also did not win. The same losing trend followed from 2011 (Larona Kgabo), 2012 (Sheillah Molelekwa) and 2013 (Tsaone Macheng).
MISS UNIVERSE 2022 UNDERWAY
Preparations are ongoing to hold the 71st Miss Universe competition. Harnaaz Sandhu of India will crown her successor at the end of the event. There are nine countries which have withdrawn from participating: Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Romania and Sweden.
As for returns, Miss Universe 2022 will see Angola, Belize, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Uruguay.
Lebanon won Miss Universe in 1971, Angola in 2011, Trinidad and Tobago in 1977 and1998. Youngest Miss Universe 2022 participants are aged 18, and they are from British Virgin Islands, Iceland and Krgyzstan and Switzerland’s representative is nineteen.
MISS UNIVERSE ALMOST 6 MILLION US DOLLAR CROWN
Miss Universe has unveiled its new crown for the 71st competition. The new crown, “The Crown Number 12: Force for Good” was crafted by world renowned luxury jeweler Mouawad.
The new crown, with pear-shaped blue sapphires surrounded by diamonds and valued at approximately 5.58 Million US Dollars, will be the prestigious mark of honor for the winner this coming week.
According to the Miss Universe organization, the Force for Good crown emanates Mouawad’s passion for crafting the extraordinary, featuring the meticulous setting of sapphires and diamonds, whose design is replete with symbolism.
Reflecting the point that significant change does not happen in an instant, the base of the crown is set with diamonds symbolizing the status quo. From the base upwards, rippling wave motifs reflect the momentum of change, with their varying sizes portraying that this momentum gains ground gradually through advocacy at different moments and places, to audiences large and small, over time.