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Khamas Serowe ghost house now a heritage site

The house in which Botswana’s first democratically elected President, Sir Seretse Khama was born and raised has been listed under the one hundred (100) national monuments.

The house which is an inherited property of Khama’s royal family is situated in the capital village of Bangwato, Serowe where he was born in July 1st 1921. The house had been abandoned, and was in dilapidating state for years but has been remarkably revamped for tourism purposes.

Built by Khama the Great (Khama III), it belonged to his son Sekgoma II who was Paramount Chief of the BammaNgwato, having been given to him as a present after his wedding and reconciliation with his father.  When Sekgoma II, father to Seretse became Chief he insisted that as a result of their reconciliation, his father had altered his will verbally and allotted the bulk of his house and cattle to him.

The modern European style house was last year refurbished at a budget amounting to hundred thousand pula and will soon be used as a heritage site. Botswana has over 2,500 such sites, of which more than 100 have been gazetted. The National Monuments and Relics Act of 2001 ensures that the sites are adequately protected. The National Museum found it befitting to revamp it and it was launched on the 23rd December 2015.

According to a research carried out by the National Museum, the last person to have stayed at the house from the royal family was Tebogo Sekgoma, the wife to Sekgoma II.

This was before it was handed over to the council. Vasco Baitsiseng who is the Principal Curator at the National Museum says they will soon open an exhibition at the newly refurbished house showcasing the life of Sekgoma, his leadership style and the succession and the birth of controversial and vocal Tshekedi Khama.   

From his Biography titled Black Prince, Tshekedi Khama has documented well the relationship between him and Sekgoma and the call to the regency, his clashes on many occasions with both the Bangwato royal family and the British Administration, whose representatives he took to task right up to the level of Whitehall and Westminster.

Contrary to Sekgoma II’ s rule the significance of the house is in housing the first President Seretse Khama and father to the current President Ian Khama. However it will zoom significantly to the life of his uncle Tshekedi Khama who rose to fame while he was formally installed at the age of twenty as the Regent of the Bangwato.

This will form part of the history that will be exhibited in the house. In an interview with one of the papers Naledi Khama, the only sister to the founding president Seretse Khama also hailed her uncle Tshekedi for having raised them.

“Being young I cannot remember that much.  What I know is that our uncle (Tshekedi Khama) looked after us like one of his own.  He gave us unconditional love and sent us to schools both locally and abroad. I don’t know whether he was using his resources or the ones left by our parents,” she said.

Who is Tshekedi Khama?

The birth of Tshekedi Khama on 17 September 1905 when his father was in his late sixties added a new dimension to the intense rivalries that had torn the royal family apart over the past decade. Although Khama had married three times, only his first wife, his much loved Mma Bessie, had born him a son, whom he named Sekgoma after his own father.

But when Sekgoma attained his majority he proved as strong willed as his father and the two began to clash over issues affecting the administration of the state. In 1898 Sekgoma accused his father of grooming his son-in-law, Ratshosa Motsetle, the husband of his eldest daughter Bessie, to succeed him. Khama denied that he was contemplating such a flagrant violation of the Ngwato laws of succession which held that as his only son Sekgoma was his lawful heir.

But Sekgoma continued to see Ratshosa as a rival, especially as it seemed that his imperious sister, Bessie, was determined to exploit his estrangement from their father to seek the succession for herself and her children. Khama entertained such a possibility and even threatened Sekgoma with it, though there was no precedent either for the succession of a woman to the office of kgosi or of succession through the female line.

On that occasion Khama had declared “And to you Sekgoma I swear that you will never get the chieftaincy…I must warn you that I can deny you the chieftaincy and pass it to the Ratshosas if I like.” Sekgoma's apprehensions cannot have been diminished when Ratshosa replaced him as his father's Secretary. Eventually relations between father and son became so strained that Sekgoma went into exile taking a number of followers and their cattle with him. He set himself up as an independent ruler and was recognised as such by the British administration.

In 1916, Khama nearly died after falling from his horse and breaking his leg. When Sekgoma heard that his father was gravely ill, he came to visit him on his sickbed and the two effected a reconciliation that survived Khama's recovery, though Sekgoma continued to live in his place of exile.

While Khama did not formally announce to the British administration that he and his son had become reconciled, the Resident Magistrate at Serowe reported to the Resident Commissioner that the two had resumed friendly relations. Nor did Khama alter his will in his elder son's favour.

Tshekedi had been formally installed as Regent less than three months before the attempted assassination. And so began a turbulent career during which Tshekedi was to take on royal rivals and British overlords including the most senior of these, the Dominions Secretary himself.

In 1951, his protests against the exile into which he had been sent by the British Administration nearly brought down the Labour Government of the day. And when he died in a London hospital on 10 June 1959, one distinguished campaigner for colonial freedom remembered him as the 'most outstanding' of the many African leaders he had met.

Source: Black Prince: A Biography of Tshekedi Khama 1905-1959

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WeekendLife

The Science of Happiness

13th September 2023

 There is an intimate relationship between material wealth and poverty of spirit, posits Jeff Golden, whose award-winning book, Reclaiming the Sacred: Healing Our Relationships with Ourselves and the World, begins with scientific revelations regarding the things that nourish the human spirit and the things that don’t, most notably money and possessions.

“As we’ve surrounded ourselves with more and more possessions, we’ve grown further from the sacredness of the world, and the sacredness of ourselves,” Golden writes. “As we’ve elevated economic growth and consumption to the highest measures of success and purpose, we’ve closed ourselves off from so much of the joy and wonder that are inherent in us and the world.”

The result of 12 years of research, Reclaiming the Sacred draws upon the work of thousands of psychologists and economists, cosmologists and activists, saints and poets, to ground readers in their inherent joy, purpose and belonging — both for their own sakes and for the sake of the world.

Golden explores the profound consequences of materialism, including how it impacts the global climate crisis. Then he goes beyond all of that, diving into the very heart of humanity’s existence, by charting a path — both scientific and mystical — for reclaiming the inherent joy and richness of life.

Money accounts for just 2-4% of our happiness, according to former Vassar College instructor and activist Jeff Golden. What about the remaining 96-98%? Jeff’s thoroughly researched insights provide the answers, and he shares them in his new book, Reclaiming the Sacred, which received the 2023 Nautilus Book Awards Grand Prize, putting him in the company of the Dalai Lama, Barbara Kingsolver, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and other luminaries.

Reclaiming the Sacred explores profound questions, including:

  • How important is money to happiness?
  • What is the optimal amount of money and possessions for a person to be happy?
  • Does having kids make people happy? Getting married? Having sex? Working?
  • What are some of the most serious effects of global warming?
  • What kinds of changes will people have to make as individuals and as a society as a result of global warming? How will those changes allow people to actually live better lives?
  • What does the economic system get wrong when it comes to what really matters, and how should progress be measured?

Ultimately, Reclaiming the Sacred takes readers on a journey that follows the golden threads of happiness, abundance and belonging — and leads them home.

“We have an opportunity to reweave ourselves back into the human community and the family of all living beings, the family of the land and trees, the otters and grasses — to live with them in relationships of respect and wonder,” Golden adds. “We have an opportunity to reclaim ourselves and this world as sacred.”

About the Author

Jeff Golden has been teaching and writing about the topics he covers in his book for over 30 years, most recently at Vassar College. He was a Fulbright Scholar in sustainable development and a recipient of the State Department’s Millennium International Volunteer Award. He is a prison reform and animal rights activist, and has headed several nonprofits promoting social justice, sustainability and international education. A native of Idaho, he resides in the Mohicanituk Valley in New York, with his children, the river and the stars.

 

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WeekendLife

Spring and outdoor sex!

13th September 2023

The best sex of sexually active persons begins in Spring. Well, this season is time to pack up puffer coats and throw on some lacy lingerie, just so the bedroom is lightened up and the sex gets spicier. For singles, and just in case the libido has been hibernating all winter, it has now become crucial to bring in some heat.

Sexologists and therapists say better sex means different things to different people and it can mean changing many things over time, but one thing’s for sure, to improve sex life in any way, one got to be ready for change.

Certified Sex Therapist Kendra Capalbo suggests that lovers should make most of the weather. “Studies have shown the positive correlation between sunlight and mood, and now that there is more of it, harness the impact it can have on the mood of your relationship. One study from Tel Aviv University showed that increased exposure to sunlight can enhance romantic passion.”

Moving around outside won’t only improve your mood and possible mental approach to sex though, Clinical Sexologist Megwyn White says. “It has physical benefits too. It increases libido by releasing endorphins and improving self-confidence, and it brings more blood flow to the genitals.”

Removing negativity can also work this Spring. Think of the warm weather as a time in which to reset your mindset as well, especially when it comes to your time in the bedroom (or in this case the camping tent.)

“No more negative self-talk or other people’s opinions holding you back. If there is that one fantasy that you and your partner keep agreeing, then make it your mission to finally check it off your bucket list. Spring is all about adventure, so it is time to embrace it.”

Therapists also say that something about Spring makes people want to strip down. Plus, the mild forecast does wonders for your skin and hair, and you can see your legs again. The season allows sex enthusiasts to engage with windows open. Think of it as exhibitionism without the threat of jail time.

Its just as sensual as summer, without the sweat. Those summer months get all the sexual glory, but it’s hard to feel hot when you’re actually, legitimately so hot! When the bedroom turns into a sauna mid-hookup, it’s a little hard to get in the mood.

Experts say there are a number of factors that make Spring sensual. “The weather is the catalyst. Ever since the spring equinox, the days have been getting longer. More exposure to sunlight increases our production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boots mood. And happy people tend to be horny people,” said Danielle Forshee, a psychologist, family, marriage and individual therapist.

Having started her business in 2016, Forshee specializes in the evaluation and treatment of high-conflict family problems, high-risk behaviors, and psychological disorders within and outside of the family court system.

She also said that the pleasant weather also urges sex lovers outdoors, where they’re likely to socialize and meet potential new partners. “It encourages us to shed some of the bulky layers we’ve been wearing all winter too. People are coming out of hibernation, and they’re swapping out their sweats and comfy clothes for more, shall we say, ‘scantily clad’ options.”

“They are exposing more body parts. As humans we notice those things, and it makes us more apt to go into mating mode.”

Whether you are looking for a casual hookup or you just want to get more loving from your partner, Spring will boost your desire. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, animal mating habits are directly correlated to the changing of the seasons.

“We’re attuned to our biological clocks. Our bodies know that offspring survival rates soar when the weather is warmer; food is plentiful, climate is temperate and no one will freeze to death. Therefore, when Spring hits and warm weather abounds, our biological mating siren is ticked off.”

Now, while there is conflicting discourse on whether Spring fever is an actual illness, most scientists agree that there are documented psychological changes associated with the change in season.

“Spring fever is not a definitive diagnostic category. But I would say it begins as a rapid and yet unpredictable fluctuating mood and energy state that contrasts with the relative low winter months that precede it,” said Michael Terman, Director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center.

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WeekendLife

Glotto to showcase at New York Fashion Week

6th September 2023

The country’s Afrocentric and most popular youth fashion brand, Glotto, continues to dominate the fashion industry and shape fashion trends. It is reaching heights and staying relevant in a fast-paced and ever-changing landscape. Without doubt, the youthful fashion brand has revolutionized the fashion and lifestyle industry in Botswana.

Not only that, its iconic logo and tagline have become synonymous with style and sophistication, and Glotto’s influence extends far beyond the world of fashion. Haute couture, elegant designs and ready to wear is what Glotto has to offer.

New York Fashion Week (NYFW), a semi-annual series of events in Manhattan typically spanning seven to nine days when international fashion collections are shown to buyers, the press and fashion enthusiasts is coming up, and Glotto has been invited to showcase at the same top fashion event.

This is one of four major fashion weeks in the world, collectively known as the “Big Four”, along with those in Paris, London and Milan. This year’s NYFW schedule includes a range of runway shows and presentations for both men’s and women’s clothing lines.

Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, The Blonds, Proenza Schouler and Carolina Herrera will be showcasing their upcoming collections in a variety of different formats ranging from traditional runway shows to virtual showrooms and digital activations.

NYFW organizers say every great designer began as an “unknown”, so in addition to some of fashion’s most storied names, their schedule includes independent and emerging designers, many making their appearance on the runway for the first time.

“This is where NYFW becomes a true journey of discovery, the perfect opportunity to discover emerging designers who are pushing the boundaries of fashion and style. Some are new, and others are successful designers in their home country making an appearance at NYFW for the first time.”

Talking about making an appearance at the NYFW, WeekendLife had a conversation with the creative behind Glotto, Mboko Basiami this week, who unpacked how she was invited to showcase in New York and how things are unfolding.

When speaking to this publication, Basiami said a series of invitations were sent via email and social media, inviting her to be a part of the fashion week, something that she wouldn’t trade for anything.

She expanded a bit on collections that she will be showcasing, saying “It’s a seven-look collection and this is our first time participating in the NYFW. Glotto was founded seven years ago and everything is going to come altogether and of course, our attention to detail and texture and a lot of storytelling is what fashion lovers should expect.”

Quizzed if this is a self-sponsored trip to New York, Basiami stressed that in the business of fashion, one can’t expect to have talented runway models, hair, makeup and two assistants sponsored, therefore the trip will be taking money from her pockets. “It is heavily subsidized but there is still a 7000 US Dollar bill to it.”

Networking, global reach and exposure is what is motivating Glotto to go and shine in Manhattan. This is predominantly because New York Fashion Week has been there for so many years, having established itself as the most reputable fashion week in the whole world.

There is the media, right buyers, great location, investors and scholarships. “It will also allow me to compare the quality of my garments with that of designers all over the world. This adds on our unique product offering and what makes Glotto competitive, something that we have been striving for even though we are a local brand.

In preparing for this phenomenal opportunity, a lot needs to be done and thus far, everything is on track. According to Basiami, “I’m trying to balance not worrying about the business and accounts side of things, but rather about the looks and integrity of garments and fashion sustainability. We have reached out corporates who are willing to support us on the journey, the moral support is beautiful and heartwarming.

Meanwhile, Glotto recently showcased at the US-Africa Business Summit in Gaborone. The fashion brand hosted President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who was introduced to ready to wear collections and Glotto live mannequins.

 

 

 

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