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Zakhem’s GU takeover

By the look of things, business mogul Nicholas Zakhem will have made a complete return move to the helm of the struggling Gaborone United management by June this year. Lawyers are said to already be preparing documents that would facilitate a smooth handing over to him.

Zakhem was the club’s chief financier from 2009 prior to his parting ways with the club in 2016. The Gaborone giants, once the envy of other premier league outfits, have been in the hands and authority of Chairman Rapula Okaile. His leadership of the club has been akin to a ‘love on the rocks’ and Gaborone United has never known internal peace under it. The team is considering re-uniting with the money making business guru as an effort to straighten the team’s path financially.

According to the team’s constitution, if crisis ever crops out, the team is left on the hands of elders to run it. However, sources suggest that the move might as well be a pie in the sky given the perennial ownership issue that has now torn the team apart. As things stand, GU, a club whose affairs are run and administered by a society is battling identity crisis, and the case is before the courts.

Zakhem before GU hierarchy made it earnest steps to contact him, has always asked and appealed to the team family to with draw cases against him and other members in an effort to smoke a peace pipe. The business mogul who has never lost contact with GU is said to have made his demands clear that changes within the team have to be made if he is to take over. And first on the construction guru’s agenda is to purge the club of head, Coach Rudolph Zapata.

It is said Zakhem has already asked Township Rollers assistant coach Mogomotsi Mpote to lead his GU team, but given the uncertainty at The Reds, Mpote found it easy to entertain a second thought. However all is not lost as the financier is also eyeing either Madinda Ndlovu or Mike Sithole to help draw the club’s turnaround strategy. Zakhem, as of going to print was not answering his cellphone number while Rapula said he is no longer responsible for anything that happens at GU.

Sithole, who has coached several premier league outfits including GU, remains the only coach to have won the often difficult BTC title. He was formerly with Jwaneng Galaxy who have won the Mascom Top 8 tournament. In fact Sithole’s coaching resume is decorated more than any other foreign coach. He is the first mentor to win the Top 8 cup with Township Rollers. He assembled a deadly Mochudi Centre Chiefs side that won the championship without losing a single game on the second lap of the 2013 season.

Ndlovu on one hand has a ‘feel’ of Botswana football. He too, has proved his doubters wrong, winning championships with both Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers. He also has Mascom Top 8 silverware to his name with Orapa United. The two coaches, in essence, are expected to be front runners for the coaching job should Zakhem ascend to GU power.

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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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BFA to pay Taylor P330 000

7th March 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been ordered to pay its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone Taylor over P330 000 as a compensation for her unfair dismissal last year February.

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