Raped by a Man
Thirty-four year old Prince Douglas Maroku will launch a new book, “My Scars My Trophies” detailing his harrowing rape experience from 11 years ago. The book launch will be held at New Capitol Cinemas at Riverwalk on April 28.
At the time of his rape, Maroku was a 23 years old man who had never imagined he would be raped, let alone by another man and on Valentine’s Day for that matter. Now, Maroku is confident he has overcome the trauma of the rape. He has since founded Breath Again Support group, a nongovernmental organisation for rape victims and survivors as well as domestic violence victims and survivors.
In the book, he says, he shares his ordeal and reflects his life as a male rape survivor and also shares as to how he overcame it. He also addresses social ills affecting society, including domestic violence, which he says he is also a victim. While he does not divulge much about what happened on that fateful day during the interview, he only hints that “I was at the wrong place at the wrong time”.
And now he says that he does not get to enjoy the lovers’ day as everyone else: “I will never forget the night of 14th February 2007. I always say I have nothing to celebrate on the well celebrated Valentine’s Day. It is meaningless to me. As much as people regard me as a strong person but on this particular day I become weak.” He never reported the rape because of fear of stigma. “He was a total stranger; I still don't know who he was, I never had the guts to report him because I feared what people would say,” he said.
Maroku further revealed that keeping the incident to himself tormented his mind so much that he ended up being depressed. However, he says that God intervened. “I don’t know how to explain it. I attempted suicide a couple of times, my world was halted. I felt that was it, I can’t go on with life. I fought but God overpowered me and had His way. What scared me most was the health status as to whether he was positive or negative, if I had gotten infected or not. That traumatized me a lot. The shame, guilt over something I didn’t ask for pained me. This destroyed my level of confidence and self-love, I felt worthless and I became a person I didn’t like,” Maroku said.
INSPIRATION TO WRITE A BOOK
“I felt with writing I would be able to communicate and relay the message across better, and it worked out much better than the radio interviews I had. I have realized in the community we live in, a boy child is said to be the strongest and is not supposed to cry or grieve as that makes them weak which is wrong and misleading, hence there are lots of suicide cases and passion killings due to lack of openness as a male,” he highlighted
He said because of this perception by society, he was forced to keep everything about the rape ad his feelings thereafter to himself. “I had to pretend everything was fine until I got depression. That was my wakeup call. Counselling helped me a lot, I was then able to open up and accept what had happened. It is still hard but I have to live with it,” he said.
Maroku explained that the will to win; the desire to succeed, the urge to reach his full potential is what unlocked his door to personal excellence. This is precisely what he shares in the book. “The book brought so much peace into my life and I am in love with myself. I have learnt to forgive and to love unconditionally. Love brings you closer to yourself, I am a happy person despite my downfalls,” he said.
MAROKU”S SUPPORT SYSTEM
Through the difficult time of rebuilding himself Maroku had the support of his family, especially his late sister who encouraged him to take his counselling sessions seriously. “Mama Gasegale Sengwaketse, Ruth More, and Kgomotso Tshwenyego also supported me. The support they gave helped me now to go disclose to my family what I had been going through. My family never let me down, they have been there throughout. Great thanks to my mother, I am so grateful,” he said
ABOUT THE BOOK LAUNCH
The book launch will be a red carpet event and will start at 2pm – 5 pm. A standard ticket costs P150.00, P300.00 for VIP while for the VVIP ticket, P500.00 will be paid. The VIP and VVIP ticket holders will be picked with M/Benz and a limousine (respectively) and get a free copy of the book and refreshments.
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Dr Lame Pusetso comes to writer’s rescue
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.
Women’s Awards hit the ground running
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