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‘I’m Deaf and Bright’

""Mr Bayengi Mokiya , a native of Marapong is deaf, he can’t speak or hear, although he cannot use any spoken language, he is mentally alert very charismatic, funny, a ‘talkative’ and very bright young man who is well know as a sign language instructor at Botswana Society for the Deaf.  

As Botswana commemorates the International Deaf Awareness week, he says he wishes there was “more awareness for people like you to know about us”. He says he wants the deaf sign language and deaf culture to be better understood.

“I need your help to spread the word that Deaf people are not any different from everyone. The deaf are the same as the non-deaf people, the difference is only that we the deaf use hands to communicate while the non- deaf use their speech,” he explains.

He further makes it clear that while they communicate by means of body language and signs, they are very much alive to what is going on in their environment and have their own values and believes which they call deaf culture, he says this culture needs to be better understood by everyone “deaf culture includes characteristics of the deaf, as well as commonalities and obstacles they face, things like their activities, their mode of sign language and the set of social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditional, history, values, and shared institution of communities that are influenced by deafness and which use sign language as the main means of communication” he  writes.

Raised in Francistown, Bayengi suffered a catastrophic accident when he was very young which lead to him losing his speech and hearing ability.  However this has not deterred him from living a normal life and having big dreams “I studied computers and ICT at Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies (GIPS) at its Francistown Campus. I did well in computers when I was there. I will join Botho University soon to study Diploma in computer studies,” he says.

He said his mother passed away in 2000 when he was still very young and since then he has lived with his aunt “we were staying in Donga Francistown with my aunt for most of my life. She is good and always supports me. My aunt, her name is Mrs Florence Moses, I love Florence Moses,” he says.

He says the government can help the deaf through gainful work “like having some deaf worker in Government office since some of deaf have knowledge on use of computers they can play a good role.

They can also work with the non deaf people. Some deaf people have better understanding points on English therefore those deaf can also enroll as public workers or as a government employee” he points out. He says he wants to own a company with the sole aim of helping the deaf with educational problems they face.

“I need help to register a sign language institute so that I can help spread deaf education and get more people to understand the deaf, their language and deaf culture” He says. According to Ms Lorato Marope, the Public Relations Officer for  the Botswana Society for the Deaf,  the society  commemorated the International Deaf Awareness Week under the theme; “Enough said but none heard”. 

She said the deaf community all over Botswana gathered to show unity to the rest of the world and to spread messages of the success and the rights of the deaf people around Botswana and the rest of the world.  

This year the International Deaf Awareness Week celebrations were held at the Maun Stadium where the former President of Botswana and Patron of Botswana Society for the Deaf, Mr Festus Gontebanye Mogae graced the event and gave a key note address.

The week was also commemorated through various activities such as a march, ball sports, sign language and deaf culture lessons, exhibitions and a beauty pageant by deaf participants.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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