In an earlier article detailing the work of University of Botswana’s Dr. David Takuwa on herbal medicines it emerged that he was extensively looking into the properties of donkey milk. Since then the UB based scientist has had plenty to share, it turns out that the milk produced by the hard working beast of burden is a gold mine of nutrition.
Dr. Takuwa and his team at the UB Chemistry department have run extensive tests on donkey milk and the results are astounding. The first significant property of the milk noted was how similar it is to human milk, unlike the widely consumed cow milk.
The well-researched chemist asserts that such a similarity is very important because it is far less likely for infants to experience allergic reactions when they consume donkey milk. In comparison, regular bovine milk induces allergic responses in at least 4% of infant children. This suggests rather strongly that donkey milk could be a suitable baby feeding substitute. Dr Takuwa stressed that “Biochemically, donkey’s milk is actually closer to human milk than cow’s milk with a similar protein, mineral and fatty acid composition.”
The chemical profile of a donkey milk shows that it contains a high level of essential fatty acids. This, he points out, is significant because essential fatty acids are important in diet, the human body is incapable of producing sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids on its own, and hence a supplement from diet is necessary.
These essential fatty acids serve many vital functions in the human body. They play a role in the development of the brain and the eye. They regulate the heart rhythm and reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies also suggest that essential fatty acids may also prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
What is particularly interesting is that Dr Takuwa and his team have formulated soap out of the milk. This soap is filled with all the substances that make donkey milk a nutritious treasure. These substances when absorbed through the skin make it healthier and give it a more youthful appearance. In fact donkey milk has been used for its cosmetic properties for centuries.
The Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra would bath in it to retain soft smooth skin. Dr. Takuwa is packaging the cosmetic power of the milk in a way in which it can be accessible to the masses. He hopes to formulate more products including lotions and sunscreen. The drive behind his efforts is his vision to see Botswana profiting from its heritage and indigenous knowledge.
Mr Olefile Sebonego is working closely with Dr. Takuwa to see the fulfilment of this vision. His role is establishing dairy farms across Botswana which will produce enough milk for the budding donkey milk cosmetic industry. This is no simple task, throughout the ages donkeys have been bred for labour. The volumes of milk they produce cannot compare to the torrents cows provide. Yet Mr Sebonego is resolute. In this, he exemplifies the best of Batswana. He inspires confidence that on the dusty sands and dessert of Botswana, streams of donkey milk will flow. For the rest of us cheering Dr. Takuwa and Mr Sebonego from the sidelines, we can do well to remember one lesson in science – Donkey milk is precious.
Elsewhere donkey milk has enjoyed raving reviews. Dr Massimo Caliendo, nutritional biologist, writes on the Eurolactis site: “One of the most important uses of donkey’s milk is in paediatrics, specifically for cases of allergies and intolerance.
“It is well-known that the protein in cow’s milk can be an allergen for children. If mother’s milk is not available, donkey’s milk comes into its own as an extremely beneficial and important source of food, particularly for cases of multiple food allergies and poor absorption.”
He added that donkey’s milk is also a great supplement for sports people.
“It can improve work rate and performance,” he wrote. “In difficult situations such as growth problems, poor diet, convalescence, periods of transition such as adolescence or the menopause or for older people, dietary supplementation based on donkey’s milk helps the body to cope during critical phases.
“Finally, adults in good health can enjoy donkey’s milk as a hypo-allergenic substitute for cow’s milk.”
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.