As a blistering wind tears across a little stadium at the eastern end of Gaborone at midnight on the 30th day of September 1966, a daring political and constitutional adventure is unfolding. A hitherto unknown black, white and blue striped banner makes a bold ascent up the flag mast, seemingly dwarfing the descending union Jack flag of the once mighty British Empire. A new republic is born in the family of nations.
Cradled at the centre of the Southern African subcontinent, Botswana in 1966 is a daring political experiment. Colonial tyranny and the subjugation of its African neighbours on its northern, southern, eastern and western frontiers is the order of the day.
Its economic fortunes are to both the daring and the fainthearted, doubtful. As the instruments of constitutional transfer are exchanged, the British Colonial Government's only bequest to the fledgling republic is a poor economy, with little next to no economic infrastructure.
However, the fervent zeal of the patriotism of the nation's peoples, is carving a bold and undaunted vision. A new national optimism is in the air, seemingly spurred on by the sheer thrill of a new democratic enterprise in the African continent.
The narrative of Botswana five decades on, is an epic tale of staggering economic strides, an unrivaled track record of multi party democracy, and a political stability and peace that has defied the odds of decades old regional political turbulence ,as well as a roller coaster of misrule in our continent.
As the nation stands on the jubilee threshold, emergent winds buffet the gains of our national project , and these summon the benign temerity and daring of our generation to not only protect a national legacy, but to also bequeath a just and equitable order to the next generation of our people.
Deeply embedded in the tale of Botswana’s stupendous odyssey, is a miracle hidden in the laying of its foundation stone, one hundred and thirty years ago. The mystery of a selfless and God fearing people ,whose Christian monarchs and peoples in 1885, surrendered their realms and sovereignty for the forging of greater Tswana nationhood.
Against the backdrop of sheer European colonial presumption, and the imperialist designs played out at the 1885 Berlin Conference for the partition of Africa, the founding fathers of our nation, Khama the Great, Kgosi Bathoen the First, and Sebele the Second, embarked upon a daring campaign throughout the British Isles in the year 1895, to defy the grand ambitions of the export capital of the British South Africa Company.
As their epic campaign reaches a crescendo, and with British public opinion firmly behind them, their engagement with the British government saves Botswana from annexation and control by the British South Africa Company. It is a major turning point in the history of the nation.
It is however what the three Chiefs do at their historic meeting with Queen Victoria that may very well be at the centre of the mystery of our nation's fortunes. Accompanied by their hand maiden and adviser, the Reverend Willoughby, the chiefs hand over to Queen Victoria the gift of a Bible.
Could it be that the powerful symbolism of a compact between the four monarchs, symbolised by the Bible as a token of exchange, served to indelibly etch God's ordinances into the very DNA of the foundation stone of our nation? Could this explain the relative peace and stability of our nation and its economic fortunes?
Does this mystery have anything to do with the remarkable pattern of Christian ministers who graced our key seats of governance at the founding stages of our nation, such as the Rev Dr Alfred Merriweather our first parliament speaker, the Rev Derek Jones, as the first mayor of our capital city of Gaborone, serving together with the first ten councillors of our capital, two of whom, Rev. Geoffrey Mogome and Rev Makhaola were God fearing leaders from the Assemblies of God tradition.
Or could the prayer of the Scottish missionary John Mackenzie, our nation's first colonial Governor, made on the banks of the Losie river in Elgin in Scotland, asking the Almighty God to send him to serve in foreign mission fields, have anything to do with it?
Not only has Botswana's stability been a blessing to its people, but many other people fleeing persecution and political oppression from the region and the continent, over the many years. Following the massacre and genocide of the Maharero people on the Namib desert by German colonialists at the beginning of the 20th century, the Maharero people of Chief Samuel Maharero took refuge in Bechuanaland.
Botswana has played host to most liberation political movements of its surrounding nations over the decades of political struggle. If any redemptive purpose has been ascribed to Botswana, it's the endowment by Almighty God to serve the nation's as a City of refuge, and to showcase peace, and a just and equitable order to the nation's.
One thing is abundantly clear, while the sheer industry of a people and its leaders may advance the fortunes of their nation, the enterprise of nationhood out with the providential intervention of the maker of the heavens and the earth, is consummate human presumption destined to flounder on the alter of humanist egotism.
The universal tenets of God make a clarion call to us at this hour of jubilee, to summon the nation to a moment of sober reflection, acknowledging His divine providence, and entreating Him to steer us into good fortune for the coming season and generations to come.â€¨
Fastjet Zimbabwe, the award-winning value-based airline, this week announced that effective Thursday, 30 June 2022, the airline will introduce a new service between Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Maun in Botswana.
The new route is scheduled to operate four (4) times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fastjet will operate the route using a 50-seater Embraer ERJ145 aircraft. This aircraft choice is known to provide the versatility to build a sustainable regional network with the right-size capacity while offering customers comfortable seating with generous legroom.
Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana, said, “The airline is thrilled to introduce direct flights from Victoria Falls to Maun. Using our Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, we believe this route will facilitate more travel between these two tourism capitals of Zimbabwe and Botswana. This route has for many years been only available by private charter.
So, with the introduction of this direct connection, we believe it will be able to spur tourism development and growth in the region”. Fastjet Group Chief Operating Officer, Donahue Cortes commented, “The Victoria Falls – Maun flight is the second new route being added onto the fastjet regional network, with flights between Victoria Falls and Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga planned to launch ahead of the Easter travel period.
Despite the hard-wearing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group remains dedicated to the recovery and growth of tourism in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, and to bringing further connectivity to the region”. The new route will operate 4 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday connecting two of Southern Africa’s most iconic tourist destinations.
Botswana has been approached to host the 73rd Miss World, expected in 2024. During the appreciation event for Miss Botswana, Palesa Molefe, by Southern Epic Cycling Challenge in collaboration with The High Commission of India, Miss Botswana Management Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Benjamin Raletsatsi, confirmed that they have been approached by Miss World to host 73rd Miss World.
Speaking at the same arena, Raletsatsi highlighted that it has been his dream to host Miss World in Botswana. “Miss Botswana is one of the difficult projects to run. There are days I just wake up and ask myself why I am doing what I am doing because everything about me from integrity is often times torn apart.
Then Palesa came along and validated and confirmed that what I am doing is right because it is setting an opportunity for young girls in this country to have an opportunity to express themselves. Four years ago, when I took over Miss Botswana I had a vision, in my vision I wanted the first year to just be us participating in Miss World, second year was for us to participate and ask Miss World to allow us to host Miss World in Botswana, and the third year was for us to elevate ourselves as a country; whilst in year four we wanted to win Miss World.
We could have won Miss World in our third year of office with Palesa, but unfortunately COVID-19 happened. The idea is that this coming year as Palesa will be handing over her Miss Botswana tittle, she will be there to guide the next Miss Botswana on how to prepare for Miss World.”
Raletsatsi pointed out that the reality that Palesa did not win Miss World does not mean she did not do well. “She did exceptionally well”. He said at the end of Miss World there were ten pictures of Miss World participants who had a huge impact auctioned, and out of ten pictures two of those pictures were of Palesa.
The Miss Botswana management CEO highlighted that after the Miss World competition, Miss World responded to their request to host the 73rd Miss World. “They responded and said we can host 73rd Miss World if we are still interested in hosting it.
The current Miss World will be the 71st this year and then followed by the 72nd which is next year and the 73rd which will be in 2024 which has been offered to Botswana. The bigger challenge for me now is how I will be able to convince Batswana to bring Miss World to Botswana.
The honest truth is that Palesa has done her part as a change agent, it is up to us to do our part as Batswana to ensure that Miss World comes to Botswana and is a success. I was joking with one of my friends the other day to say, what Palesa has achieved in one year can take some companies, three to four years to achieve.”
You choose a path to be better or bitter, why do you have to expose a person, what do you gain from that? We react rather than become proactive. Mothers need help! Some said as social media turned into a battlefield this past Father’s Day.
Baby mamas came all guns blazing, ventilating their frustrations against absent baby daddies through social media posts. “As for me I feel women will be applying a hurting heart or she is bitter to expose baby daddy.
There are channels one can follow to solve this issues rather than rushing to Facebook and exposing them, it’s reacting rather than solving the reality of the problem, it won’t help you, after all what will Facebook do to you? Would it give you the food, would it make the father to support the child, but there are channels one can follow like one can consult with the laws then this man will know the right thing to do”, said Obonye Obza Thapelo who is baby daddy of two daughters.
Thapelo further argued that if you seek for definition you will lose a father, “we have our fathers, it’s not about the responsibility, if we are talking about a father on happy father’s day don’t talk about the definition, talk about father’s day, it never say define or describe whose a father.
When you come back to family, we have family dynamics, family faults and family failures, so if you have family failures, for example, if I have been taking care of the child while we were together and it happens we break up and I stop taking care of the child, are you not going to call me a father just because of my failures?”
“If we are going to look for the faults we won’t be building fathers that we want. “It says happy father’s day, it ends there, and it’s not about the responsibilities. A responsible father depends on one, I can be a fathers because I am your mentor, I can be a father that am not supporting financially but I can just call and check on my child, I can be father that have money but still fails to support but am there physically but not economically, am there emotionally but still am a father.”
“Speaking from experience, my baby daddy have never been there in my kids life so in my own opinion I think happy father’s day means to acknowledge fathers who are present in their children lives, man who are there for their children, I don’t mean for the mothers, am saying their children.”, Norah Moloi mother of three cried.
“Women are reactive to this issues because it hurts to be left alone with children. Seeing other women praising their baby daddies and as for us not even knowing what to say to our children, they don’t even know if this day do exist hurts. I grew up without a father too, I didn’t even had a privilege to wish him that, even happy birthday to him too. I think this now seem like a trend, it’s like a culture now because it’s like everyone is abandoning their children,” Moloi explained.
“There is co-parenting, I mean if you have problem with me exclude the child from our problems. For us to have a healthy children who are mentally fit we ought to be in the same page. Let us hide our problems from our children. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers, that is why you saw on social media even kids venting out about their absent fathers.
“As for fathers who are not in their children’s life why should we wish them father’s day? It is like throwing a seed on rocks and expect it to germinate without proper soil, proper sunlight or even without water and expect to reap at the end of the day.
Do you expect such a planter to be praised that they have sowed anything? You are a planter yes but where is your seedlings, you just threw a seed and abandon it, as for me is a big NO! There is a mistake that men turn to make, they think children cannot see all the struggles mother goes through trying to made ends meets for them and later blame it on baby mamas for using children when tables turns.
“Ask yourself, are we to wish man who denied pregnancy father’s day? What of those who long abandoned their children? What is there to be wished? What is supposed to be happy about the day? We are not bitter, we are asking them to put themselves in our shoes,” Moloi expressed herself.
Adding on Calvin G Zacharia father of one daughter says that was a cry for help to single mothers, he said men who are not there for their children don’t deserve to be wished father’s day since they are not playing their role.
Zacharia urged mothers to involve the authority, “there is no use to pass remarks on social media without taking action. If the parents had messy break up they should find a common ground for the sake of their child/children”. It depresses the kids not having another party not playing the role on their lives.
“I think ladies are bitter, just because some man don’t give us money we start labelling them as deadbeat”, Boitshepho Gasefiwe mother of one. Men have their reasons for not being there for their children. There is always two sides of stories. Some kids I saw on Facebook I feel meddle in elder people’s issues without knowing the facts.
When giving his views, Thando Morgan, father of one daughter highlighted that he feels it depends on someone’s emotional intelligence, some act according to how their baby daddy treated them. “Baby mamas know their baby daddies better to find fit worthy a father title, some are venting out because they suffer alone in raising the kids alone.