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Tithes and offerings or fights and sufferings!


Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. It is perhaps one of the most divisive issues in the modern Church world, and perhaps unnecessarily so. But then again, money is always a touchy subject. It might be a fair conclusion to say that the issue of tithing is so divisive that the Church world is split in half over it; half for it and half against it.


And, a sizeable number in both camps have no settled stand. Both sides have potent scriptural basis for their doctrinal position. If circumcision was a hot potato in the early Church, tithing is our modern day equivalent.


Money will always be an emotional subject. It is inherently so. This powder keg is not helped by the fact that in some churches giving is over-emphasized. I've been born again for twenty years. And I can confidently say that I have heard more sermons on tithing than on any other subject. Yes, sir!


The sermons came and still come in different flavors; from impassioned, borderline begging pleas, to threats of curses, to manipulation, and whatever else could possibly tug at one's heartstrings. All too often it's been thinly veiled emotional and spiritual blackmail! I wouldn't be entirely too surprised if I got to hear one day that a man of the cloth preached on the tithe gun cocked and pointed at the congregation! It's that serious.


 Much has been made of tithing and offering, and rightfully so. But at times the overemphasis has not helped matters, especially if not clearly presented and taught without emotion and an attempt to place the hearer under duress.


At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing. Sadly, that is all too often not the case in the Church today. But why is the subject of the tithe so divisive? Why does it elicit such passionate emotions, whether for or against it? What is the tithe?


The first biblical mention of tithing is found in Genesis 14. After four Mesopotamian kings had taken Lot captive, Abraham attacked them and recovered all the booty. After his victory, the king of Sodom came out to meet him, and so did Melchizedek, an enigmatic priest of God mentioned once here in Genesis and in only two other places in the Bible.


 Melchizedek blessed Abraham, and then Abraham “gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:20). This Melchizedek is mentioned as a priest long before priesthood was introduced or even understood. Who instituted his priesthood? Through what means? What liturgical order did he follow? Encoded in what?


These questions are not easy to answer. The text does not tell us whether Abraham had ever tithed before, or ever tithed afterwards. Perhaps it was a custom of his culture. Perhaps not. Nothing can be conclusively inferred from the text.

Abraham was generous, and gave the rest of his booty to the king of Sodom (verses 23-24). Abraham kept all of God’s laws that were relevant in his day (Genesis 26:5), but Genesis does not tell us whether tithing was a law in Abraham’s day.


And unsurprisingly so. In Abraham's day there was no written legal code. It was the dispensation of conscience following a patriarchal tradition of handing over revealed divine instructions from one generation to another. Many of God’s decrees and requirements were built around the nation of Israel and the Levitical priesthood and tabernacle.

Abraham could not have kept such decrees and laws. He may have tithed regularly, but we cannot prove it. Abraham lived near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite (Genesis 14:13) at Hebron (Genesis 13:18). Hebron is about 15 miles south of Jerusalem.


The Genesis account says Abraham pursued Kedorlaomer north “as far as Dan” (Genesis 14:14), which is about 100 miles north of Jerusalem. When Abraham and his men caught up with Kedorlaomer at Dan, Abraham divided his men and attacked during the night, giving chase as far north as Hobah (north of Damascus) which is 30 miles north of Dan (Genesis 14:15-16). Abraham’s pursuit took him about 145 miles north of his home in Hebron.


Following his victory over Kedorlaomer, Melchizedek came out to meet Abraham in King’s Valley (to the east of Jerusalem) as he returned from Hobah (Genesis 14:17-18, Hebrews 7:1). Abraham’s home in Hebron was still another 15 miles to the south of King’s Valley.

Unless Abraham carried his household possessions with him to Dan and back (about 290 miles round trip), Abraham gave to Melchizedek only out of the spoils – plunder he carried back from his victory over Kedorlaomer (Hebrews 7:2,4). In that sense, it was Kedorlaomer, the enemy, who paid the tithe! I'll give you a minute to pick your jaw off the floor. There are important elements to consider in the story of Abraham's victory over Kedorlaomer.


A map in my Bible suggests the location for Sodom and Gomorrah near Zoar (Genesis 13:10), south east of the Dead Sea, which is about 50 miles from Hebron where Abraham lived. News was spread by word of mouth. It took time for word of Kedorlaomer's conquest of Sodom and Gomorrah to reach Abraham in Hebron. It took time for Abraham to assemble an army of 318 trained men from his household (Genesis 14:14).


All the while, Kedorlaomer was making his way north with Lot, his family, and the plunder of Sodom and Gomorrah, presumably making his way northward in the plains area east of the Jordan River, Dead Sea and Mt. Seir.


The mileage figures I used in the paragraph above, assume Abraham and his men headed due north from Hebron, on the west side of the Jordan River and Dead sea, converging on Kedorlaomer at Dan. If Abraham turned south from Hebron and went around the south end of the Dead Sea, through Zoar and Sodom and Gomorrah, it would be necessary to add at least 80 miles to the round trip figure above.


My point with all the discussion of mileage and geography, is that a small army of 318 men, in pursuit of a powerful army with a substantial 'head start', must travel light. I assume Abraham and his men pursued Kedorlaomer on foot, and carried only swords and shields, minimal food and water. A 'light infantry' going off to war, does NOT carry their household possessions with them, their silver and gold, nor did they drive their flocks and heards before them when in pursuit of Kedorlaomer.


Undoubtedly Abraham and his men ran in marathon-like fashion to catch up with Kedorlaomer. Their northward pursuit was over 115 miles of hilly terrain west of the Jordan and Dead Sea. If they turned south and followed Kedorlaomer's tracks from Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and his men would have run nearly 200 miles before catching up with Kedorlaomer.

That Abraham's home was still 15-20 miles south of when he met up with Melchizedek in the King's Valley, shows a clear distinction between giving a tenth out of the plunder of war that Abraham brought back with him from Dan, and Abraham's personal wealth and income which remained at Abraham's household in Hebron. Interestingly, Genesis 13 says Abraham was already wealthy with silver, gold, and livestock, before he even moved to Hebron.


It's important to highlight that Abraham did NOT tithe out of his income. That's an incontestable fact. There is a distinct difference between Abraham's one time voluntary thanksgiving offering out of the plunders of war, and what was later instituted by the Law of Moses as the ongoing tithe for the Levitical priesthood.


Yes, later, when the tithe was incorporated into the Law, one was to tithe from their increase. But, in Abraham's case, what he gave the tithe from was NOT his income or his increase. It was from the plunders of war. To say that Abraham gave the tithe from his wealth would be a gross violation of clearly stated scriptural fact.


I believe that difference is the reason the NIV Bible translates the word "ma'aser" (Strong's Reference #4643) in Genesis 14:20 as "tenth" and not "tithe". The next mention of tithing is in Genesis 28:20-22. Jacob had a supernatural dream at Luz, which he later renamed Bethel. In the morning, Jacob vowed to give a tithe if God helped him during his journey.

He was trying to make a bargain with God. He wanted special help, and in return for that help, he was willing to worship God, and to tithe as a part of that worship. It is not clearly stated WHEN and HOW Jacob did finally honor his vow. What we have in the text is only a promise, and a conditional one at that.


The Genesis account goes on to show that Jacob did in fact go on to prosper in his journey and during his sojourn with Laban. So we can safely conclude that he did honor his promise and redeemed his tithe. Tithing may have been part of the common worship practices of that time and culture, or it may have been an extra-special vow for those who desperately desired divine help. This has to be the case because tithing was not coded into any written law.


Jacob had to have learned it from his grandfather, Abraham, or his father, Isaac. If that be the case, then perhaps we won't be too far off to truth to assume that tithing was a known practice in Jacob's day. It goes without saying that tithing is an Old Testament concept. But I want to go a bit further and say that tithing was, and is, a spiritual or revelational concept.


The tithe was a requirement of the Law in which the Israelites were to give 10 percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). In fact, the Old Testament Law required multiple tithes—one for the Levites, one for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land—which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent! Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system. That makes perfect sense.


The New Testament nowhere explicitly commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. The New Testament nowhere designates a percentage of income a person should set aside, but only says gifts should be “in keeping with income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Some in the Christian church have taken the 10 percent figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a “recommended minimum” for Christians in their giving. However, silence on a matter is never to be interpreted to mean license on a matter.


Silence is not license. Some objections to the tithe is that it cannot possibly be applicable to us since there is no temple to which the tithe is to be taken, nor is the Levitical priesthood in existence since we, the Church, are now ALL become the priesthood. In other words, since there are no full time priests in our day and every believer is a priest, of necessity, the requirement to support priests is null and void.


This argument sounds potent on face value. But it conveniently omits the fact that even though every believer is a priest, there are still those God has set aside from amongst the rest to serve the rest. Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV [11] And he gave SOME, apostles; and SOME, prophets; and SOME, evangelists; and SOME, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ… It is my humble submission that it is these SOME who presently stand as "priests among priests."


Just as Israel was required to take care of the Levites, so is the modern Church required to take care of these "some" whose entire lives may be dedicated to ministering to the saints. I find the argument that we shouldn't tithe to support Churches and Pastors as decidedly unconvincing since a greater part of its premise is that, as we are now all priests, there are no "special" priests to receive our tithes.


 A thorough examination of the totality of the New Testament punches holes in this argument. Paul's writings clearly show that there is still need to take care of those set apart for ministry, just as the Old Testament Levites were being taken care of.


The argument that we are all the same also doesn't hold in the evidence of New Testament hermeneutics or exegesis. While we must desist from categorizing believers into classes or even perhaps shy away from severing the Body of Christ into clergy and laity, it still is vividly clear that there are those set apart, distinctly so, from the rest of the Church. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 KJV [12] And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; [13]

And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Could it be any clearer than this? If we are all the same, then who are these who are to be "known?" Who are these who "labor" if we are all laborers? Who are these who are "over you" in the Lord if we are all on the same footing? Who are these who are to be "esteemed very highly in love for their works' sake?"


Clearly, in my opinion, these are the modern day Levites! These are the ones who in our times are to receive the tithes. These are the full time Pastors/Bishops whose entire lives, like those of the Levites, are dedicated to the service of the Lord. Someone might say, "I hear you on that point, but what about the storehouse that Malachi spoke of? The temple system has been abolished, so there is no temple to take them to. Moreover, we, the Church, are now the temple!" This sounds like a fair question. However, we cannot separate the Levites from the temple.


Tithes were taken to the temple, yes; but they were received by the Levites. So, following from my earlier argument, where are the modern day Levites to be found? Why, at Church of course! But, you say, we are the Church! The temple is no longer a building! Correct. It is not. But there are still physical buildings we gather at where the Pastors minister to us as the Old Testament Levites ministered to Israel.


 Although people are THE Church, we call the buildings where we worship "churches." Another objection from some is that the early Church actually met in homes and there were no recognized and institutionalized buildings serving as churches. Given that, we should not tithe because there are no temples. Again, while there is truth to this argument, it's not the whole truth.


The Book of Acts tells us that the believers habitually gathered at Solomon's Porch at Herod's Temple. This was their meeting place for corporate worship and to receive teaching. They were not at anybody's house! Moreover, take the in-gathering of 3,000 souls after Peter's sermon in Acts 2. Whose house would accommodate such a number?


Later on, 5,000 more men were added to the Church! Yes, there perhaps were multiple "cell" groups in Jerusalem, but there clearly was a massive Jerusalem Church led by the apostles. Again, I cannot be convinced that Paul's letters to Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc, were written to circulated around homes! Can you imagine Paul's letter "To The Church In Gaborone," and it's actually written to be read around multiple homes? I receive it and read it to my cell group in Broadhurst, then I pass it on to be read to another cell group in Maru a Pula and I tell them that after reading it, they must ensure that they pass it on to the cell group leader in Extension 9! I'm tempted to write "LOL!"


These were not chain letters! They were addressed to local assemblies that gathered in specific locations for corporate worship under pastoral leadership. There might have been "cell" groups meeting in various homes in those cities, but it cannot possibly be plausible to imagine that Paul's epistles were written to any other addressee except major, central assemblies in those places. It cannot be otherwise. So then, these would be the "temples" or "storehouses" of those cities and the Pastors therein would be the "Levites" who received tithes.

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The Taiwan Question: China ramps up military exercises to rebuff US provocations

18th August 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has violated the One-China policy, and caused the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Experts and political observers across the spectra agree that Pelosi’s actions and subsequent pronouncements by US President Joe Biden gave impetus to an already simmering tension in the Taiwan Strait, provoking China to strengthen its legitimate hold on the Taiwan Strait waters, which the US and Taiwan deem as ‘international waters’.

Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan region has been heavily criticised across the globe, with China arguing that this is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US Joint Communiqués.  In response to this reckless move which seriously undermined China’s sovereignty, and interfered in China’s internal affairs, the expectation is for China to give a firm response. Pelosi visit violated the commitments made by the U.S. side, and seriously jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

To give context to China’s position over Taiwan region, the history behind gives us perspective. It is also important to note that the history between China and Taiwan is well documented and the US has always recognized it.

The People’s Republic of China recognises Taiwan as its territory. It has always been  the case even before the Nationalist Republic of China government fled to the previously Japanese-ruled Island after losing the civil war on the mainland in 1949. According to literature that threat was contained for decades — first with a military alliance between the US and the ROC on Taiwan, and after Washington switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC in 1979 by the US One China policy, which acknowledges Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of One China. Effectively, Taiwan’s administration was transferred to the Republic of China from Japan after the Second World War in 1945, along with the split between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) as a consequence of the Chinese Civil War. Disregarding this history, as the US is attempting to do, will surely initiate some defence reaction on the side of China to affirm its sovereignty.

However, this history was undermined since Taiwan claimed to democratise in the 1990s and China has grown ever more belligerent. Furthermore, it is well documented that the Biden administration, following the Trump presidency, has made subtle changes in the way it deals with Taipei, such as loosening restrictions on US officials meeting Taiwanese officials – this should make China uneasy. And while the White House continues to say it does not support Taiwanese independence, Biden’s words and actions are parallel to this pledge because he has warned China that the US would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan – another statement that has provoked China.

Pelosi, in her private space, would know that her actions amount to provocation of China. This act of aggression by the USA seriously undermines the virtues of sovereignty and territorial integrity which has a huge potential to destabilize not only the Taiwan Strait but the whole of the Asia- Pacific region.  The Americans know very well that their provocative behavior is deliberately invoking the spirit of separatism masqueraded as “Taiwan independence”.  The US is misled to think that by supporting separatism of Taiwan from China that would give them an edge over China in a geopolitics. This is what one Chinese diplomat said this week: “The critical point is if every country put their One-China policy into practice with sincerity, with no compromise, is going to guarantee the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”  Therefore, it was in the wake of US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, that China, in a natural response revealed plans for unprecedented military exercises near the island, prompting fears of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait and the entire Asia-Pacific region. The world community must promote and foster peace, this may be achieved when international laws are respected. It may also happen when nations respect the sovereignty of another. China may be in a better space because it is well capacitated to stake its territorial integrity, what about a small nation, if this happens to it?

As to why military exercises by Beijing; it is an expected response because China was provoked by the actions of Pelosi. To fortify this position, Chinese President, Xi signed a legal basis for China’s People’s Liberation Army to “safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests”. The legal basis will also allow military missions around disaster relief, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping. In addition the legal changes would allow troops to “prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard China’s overseas investments, projects and personnel.  It then follows that President Xi’s administration cannot afford to look weak under a US provocation. President Xi must protector China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, of which Taiwan is a central part.” Beijing is very clear on One-China Policy, and expects all world players to recognize and respect it.

The People’s Liberation Army has made it clear that it has firepower that covers all of Taiwan, and it can strike wherever it wants. This sentiments have been attributed to Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA Navy Research Institute. Zheng further said, “We got really close to Taiwan. We encircled Taiwan. And we demonstrated that we can effectively stop intervention by foreign forces.” This is a strong reaction from China to warn the US against provocation and violation of the One-China Policy.

Beijing’s military exercises will certainly shake Taiwan’s confidence in the sources of its economic and political survival. The potential for an effective blockade threatens the air and shipping routes that support Taiwan’s central role in global technology supply chains. Should a humanitarian situation arise in Taiwan, the blame would squarely be on the US.

As China’s military exercises along the Taiwan Strait progress and grow, it remains that the decision by Nancy Pelosi to visit China’s Taiwan region gravely undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sent a wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. This then speaks to international conventions, as the UN Secretary-General António Guterres explicitly stressed that the UN remains committed to the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. The centerpiece is the one-China principle, namely, there is but one China in the world, the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is a part of China. It must be noted that the US and the US-led NATO countries have selectively applied international law, this has been going on unabated. There is a plethora of actions that have collapsed several states after they were attacked under the pretext of the so-called possession of weapons of mass destruction illuminating them as threats – and sometimes even without any valid reason. to blatantly launch military strikes and even unleash wars on sovereign countrie

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Internal party-democracy under pressure

21st June 2022

British novelist, W. Somerset Maugham once opined: “If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.”

The truism in these words cannot be underestimated, especially when contextualizing against the political developments in Botswana. We have become a nation that does not value democracy, yet nothing represent freedom more than democracy. In fact, we desire, and value winning power or clinging to power more than anything else, even if it harms the democratic credentials of our political institutions. This is happening across political parties — ruling and opposition.

As far as democracy is concerned, we are regressing. We are becoming worse-off than we were in the past. If not arrested, Botswana will lose its status as among few democratic nations in the Africa. Ironically, Botswana was the first country in Africa to embrace democracy, and has held elections every five years without fail since independence.

We were once viewed as the shining example of Africa. Those accolades are not worth it any more. Young democracies such as South Africa, with strong institutions, deserves to be exalted. Botswana has lost faith in democracy, and we will pay a price for it. It is a slippery slope to dictatorship, which will bring among other excess, assault on civil liberties and human rights violations.

Former President, Festus Mogae once stated that Botswana’s democracy will only become authentic, when a different party, other than the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) wins elections, and when the President of such party is not from Serowe.

Although many may not publicly care to admit, Mogae’s assertion is true. BDP has over the years projected itself as a dyed-in-the-wool proponent of democracy, but the moment its stay in power became threatened and uncertain, it started behaving in a manner that is at variance with democratic values.  This has been happening over the years now, and the situation is getting worse by the day.

Recently, the BDP party leadership has been preaching compromise and consensus candidates for 2024 general elections. Essentially, the leadership has lost faith in the Bulela Ditswe dispensation, which has been used to selected party candidates for council and parliament since 2003. The leadership is discouraging democracy because they believe primary elections threaten party unity. It is a strange assertion indeed.

Bulela Ditswe was an enrichment of internal party democracy in the sense that it replaced the previous method of selection of candidates known as Committee of 18, in which a branch committee made of 18 people endorsed the representatives. While it is true that political contest can divide, the ruling party should be investing in political education and strengthening in its primary elections processes. Democracy does not come cheap or easy, but it is valuable.

Any unity that we desire so much at the expense of democracy is not true unity. Like W. Somerset Maugham said, democracy would be lost in the process, and ultimately, even the unity that was desired would eventually be lost too. Any solution that sacrifice democracy would not bring any results in the long run, except misery.

We have seen that also in opposition ranks. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) recently indicated that its incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) should not be challenged for their seats. While BDP is sacrificing democracy to stay in power, UDC is sacrificing democracy to win power. It is a scary reality given the fact that both parties – ruling and opposition — have embraced this position and believe democracy is the hindrance to their political ambitions.

These current reality points to one thing; our political parties have lost faith in democracy. They desire power more than, the purpose of power itself. It is also a crisis of leadership across the political divide, where we have seen dissenting views being met with persecution. We have seen perverting of political process endorsed by those in echelons of power to manipulate political outcomes in their favour.

Democracy should not be optional, it should be mandatory. Any leader proposing curtailing of democracy should be viewed with suspicion, and his adventures should be rejected before it is too late. Members of political parties, as subscribers of democracy, should collectively rise to the occasion to save their democracy from self-interest that is becoming prevalent among Botswana political parties.

The so-called compromise candidates, only benefits the leadership because it creates comforts for them. But for members, and for the nation, it is causing damage by reversing the gains that have been made over the years. We should reject leaders who only preach democracy in word, but are hesitant to practice it.

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The Big Deal About Piracy

21st June 2022
piracy

Piracy of all kinds continues to have a massive impact on the global creative industry and the economies of the countries where it thrives.

One of the biggest misconceptions around piracy is that an individual consumer’s piracy activities, especially in a market the size of Botswana’s, is only a drop in the pool of potential losses to the different sectors of the economy piracy affects.

When someone sitting in Gaborone, Botswana logs onto an illegal site to download King Richard online, they don’t imagine that their one download will do anything to the production house’s pocket or make a dent in the actors’ net worth. At best, the sensitivity towards this illegal pirating activity likely only exists when contemplating going about pirating a local musician’s music or a short film produced locally.

The ripple effects of piracy at whatever scale reach far beyond what the average consumer could ever imagine. Figures released by software security and media technology company, Irdeto, show that users in five major African territories made approximately 17,4 million total visits to the top 10 identified piracy sites on the internet.

The economic impact of this on the creative industry alone soars to between 40 and 97.1 billion dollars, according a 2022 Dataprot study. In addition, they estimate that “illegally streamed copyrighted content consumes 24% of global bandwidth”.

As Botswana’s creative industry remains relatively slight on the scale of comparison to industries such as Nollywood and Nilewood where the creative industry contributes a huge proportion to West and East Africa’s respective GDPs, that does not imply that piracy activities in Botswana do not have a similar impact on our economy and the ability of our creative industry to grow.

When individuals make decisions to illegally consume content via internet streaming sites they believe they are saving money for themselves in the name of enjoying content they desire to consume. Although this is a personal choice that remains the prerogative of the consumer, looking beyond the fact that streaming on illegal content sites is piracy, the ripple effect of this decision also has an endless trail of impact where funds which could be used to grow the local creative industry through increased consumption, and revenue which would otherwise be fed back into Botswana’s economy are being diverted.

“Why can’t our local creative industry grow?” “Why don’t we see more home-grown films and shows in Botswana?” are questions constantly posed by those who consume television content in Botswana. The answer to this lies largely in the fact that Botswana’s local content needs an audience in order for it to grow. It needs support from government and entities which are in a position to fund and help the industry scale greater heights.

Any organisational body willing to support and grow the local creative industry needs to exist and operate in an economy which can support its mandates. Content piracy is a cycle that can only be alleviated when consumers make wiser decisions around what they consume and how.

This goes beyond eradicating piracy activities in so far as television content is concerned. This extends to the importation and trade in counterfeit goods, resale of goods and services not intended for resale across the border, outside its jurisdiction, and more. All of these activities stunt the growth of an economy and make it nearly impossible for industries and sectors to propel themselves to places where they can positively impact society and reinvest into the country’s economy.

So what can be done to turn the tide here in Botswana in order to see our local production houses gain the momentum required to produce more, license more and expand their horizons? While those who enforce the law continue to work towards minimizing piracy activities, it’s imperative that as consumers we work to make their efforts easier by being mindful of how our individual actions play a role in preventing the success of our local creative networks and our economy’s growth.

Whether you are pirating a Hollywood Blockbuster, illegally streaming a popular Motswana artist’s music, or smuggling in an illegal decoder to view content restricted to South Africa only, your actions have an impact on how we as a nation will make our mark on the global landscape with local creative productions. Thembi Legwaila is Corporate Affairs Manager, MultiChoice Botswana

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