Charmed by the Inhaca Islands
By Dave Baaitse
Inhaca is a subtropical island of Mozambique off the East African coast separating Maputo Bay from the Indian Ocean off its eastern shores. The island has a wealth of unspoiled coral reefs and pristine beaches. Life here has been simplified and the rule of law is flexible. From riding “My love” to harvesting bananas and mangos as you move along- the island is the stuff from which dreams are made, writes DAVE BAAITSE.
The annual Sesolo Road Challenge organised by Rea Vaya Tours last year December could have been incomplete without the experience of the Swaziland’s Solanis Executive Lounge and the Inhaca Island. One has to admit, life in the island is a true bundu experience. Save for the language barrier, my stay in Mozambique was nothing short of amazing.
The Mozambican Metical is the currency of Mozambique but the South African Rand is widely used here. For meals, we were mostly comfortable eating Fish, Chicken and Chips- these were dishes not foreign to us anyway. The popular Lucas Restaurant is widely recommended in this island, however new restaurants are cropping up around and they seem to have better options and their food is as tasteful as Lucas’.
Food takes forever to arrive but their fish is worth the wait. At one point, we had ordered our lunch only to discover they had run out of Mayo and tomato sauce-so we had to wait while someone had to run to buy some. That one time, we had to beg to pay our bill as the restaurant was willing to give us the meals on the house.
I was curious to know why the most popular mode of transport around the village was called “My Love”. The explanation is as awkward as the name, I must say. An open bakkie being called “my love” apparently has to do with the fact that, passengers are just stacked at the back, squeezing on to each other, and as the bakkie speeds through the sand, you are all forced to hold on to each other, forming that forced ‘lovey-dovey’ position. The 4×4 vans are the only mode of transport because they can maneuver the island sands. The local guys will transport you for cheap prices if you bargain well.
The people sure love their alcohol, but they are peaceful drinkers and are not disruptive, despite there being no or less police officers on sight. On arrival, the vendors told us they receive tourists visiting the island on weekly basis but it was their first time experiencing quite a number (of people more than two hundred) arriving at the same time. They offer advice, advising us to visit during the rainy season because by then the mosquito problems are less and the island is quite and very attractive.
The perfect place for sun bathing at the beach is by the lighthouse. The area is clean, the water is a cooling sight and the area is not congested at all. The Mozambicans living in the islands are very friendly and happy people, most of them are fishermen. A considerable number are street vendors who sell mostly food and souvenirs at the market place. Some operate boats linking the Inhaca islands and the Portuguese Islands and the Maputo bay. Here you can go fishing, snorkeling, kayaking or walk the endless beach at low tide.
Nothing comes cheap at this place; the villagers are looking to make a cent out of everyone visiting the island. The vendors will hike prices just to allow you room to negotiate further, if you are quick to reach your pocket you will end up paying more.
This island is beautiful, peaceful, and great for vacations, it is one of my favorite destinations, the downside though is the lack of luxurious hotels at the center, and most of them are, well, decent. An island this beautiful deserves classy hotels for the full experience. On arrival there are beach boys helping with luggage, and ferrying to lower waters on smaller boats, it's all safe. The trip from Maputo is made by boat and takes about 2 and half hours, the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.
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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