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3 hours of flirting with Chadibe hill

After being won over by the charming sites of Old Palapye, I could not resist the next challenge – a gruelling climb of the Tshweneng Hills in Chadibe – right at the pedestal of Borotsi village where President Ian Khama has more privileges than the residents!

I was in the company of a few friends, a fitness team based in Machaneng and the three hour intricate climb of Chadibe Hills was intense and absorbing. My friends from Machaneng are health fanatics, to them keeping fit is a lifestyle and I could see it in their faces – they looked like real ambassadors of fitness as we climbed up the hill.

The journey, which started around 5 am in Gaborone had already taken its toll on me, driving on the accident prone A1, a bit hung-over is never a good idea. I arrived that morning to find the team already waiting for me by the foot of the hill; we were proceeding with the challenge despite everything else.

I geared up and took my water bottle and was ready to take it up and forget about the headache that was starting to bother me. I am in the company of Police Officers, Prison Warders and some teachers, so I am already aware of the pressure I may be put under, considering that my friends have experience when it comes to intense situations such as rock climbing.

The climb is enjoyable at the beginning, we don’t hold back on conversations and laughter here and there, but it must have lasted for only 20 minutes! Eventually the group started splitting as some got left behind, the stronger ones were ahead as the ones that lacked stamina remained behind – you can guess where I was!.

As the hill got steeper, the conversations faded and all I could hear was the heavy panting and the distant chirping of birds that seemed to be mocking us with their squeaky sounds. At this stage, even the water bottle I was carrying got heavier by the second; I was tempted to leave it but I was quickly reminded of the fact that I would need a sip, soon. The sun was going up and as it did, it got hotter- there was definitely going to be a need for me to cool off, the water bottle was of great importance, no denying that!

Half way up the hill, I felt like a complete mess and I would gradually reduce my pace, keeping up with the fitness nerds was not important at this stage, I just needed to resist the urge to pass out- it came at me stronger with each passing second. Right in front of me there were two women police officers, they seemed to be having a hard time but obviously not as awful as I was, but I refused to be outdone by ladies, and I have a reputation to protect after all.

I was drowning in sweat, and it was worsened by the fact that I had downed a couple of drinks the previous night, and I had to learn that drinking was a dire mistake halfway the climb. Lesson learnt. I carried my body past the ladies; my t-shirt was stuck to my body because I was completely wet at this stage.

I felt sorry for my Timberland boots, but even sorrier for my ankles as I felt them begin to swell. The sight of a transmitter located just at the finishing point gave me hope; at that particular juncture the instructor told us we were a few minutes towards the finish line. It seemed I was the only one who had never been here before; almost everyone was familiar with the place.


We finally arrive at the hill peak where we met two security guards having tea in the scorching sun. They offered us some but all we wanted was to refill our water bottles, sit down and wait on the rest of the group to finish. I was glad I was not among the last group, I admitted to myself in silence that I had done well for a first timer.

The journey back was not as difficult, it was even shorter. We finally reached the base and we did some exercises to stretch our muscles before calling it a day. The challenge was absolutely fun and I would definitely do it again, especially since everyone suggested we do it more often.

What I must highlight is that it was easy navigating the road through to the hill by car and it was not hard to drive up the hill either. The climb itself was a bit easy, unlike going up the Kgale Hill which is more gruelling. It was all the same good exercise, minus the gym fee of course!  

Tshweneng Hills are located in Chadibe village in the Central District of Botswana. The population was 4,939 in 2011.  Access to Chadibe from the capital city, Gaborone is through Mahalapye (200 km) then to the eastern side via Machaneng (100km). Chadibe is located 3.3 kilometres from Mokobeng, 10.5 kilometres from Ramokgonami and 22.9 kilometre from Machaneng. Most people in the area speak Setswapong while others speak Sengwato, Xhosa and Sepedi.

According reports President Khama has by way of inheritance acquired ownership of a natural spring at the foot of the Tshweneng hills. It is reported that he has even annexed the spring by way of fencing part of the hill and the source of the natural spring by enclosing it as part of his property. To reach the source of this spring, one has to go through Khama’s yard.  A visitor has to seek permission from the caretaker of Khama’s property in order to climb the hill and reach the source of the spring.  Khama’s late father, former president Sir Seretse Khama, owned the property.

As modern tradition would require, before leaving Chadibe we drove to Khama’s springs and took a few selfies but just outside since we had not actually sought permission to go inside as should be. A drive around the two villages is refreshing; it was quite a beautiful experience. The villages are enclosed in between the hills, and this gives them a picturesque view second to none from a distance.

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WeekendLife

Lifestyle enthusiasts feel Big Brother vibes

27th January 2023

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.”

THE LOVE

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.

WINNING STRATEGY

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.”

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WeekendLife

DENIM RICHARDS American actor takes local productions to the world

23rd January 2023

American renowned actor, Denim Richards has been in Botswana for quite a while now with one clear mission: the revamp the film and entertainment industry.

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WeekendLife

Botswana misses out on Miss Universe again

9th January 2023

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.

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