You have had a runny nose and irritating cough for several weeks now. You realize that this is your second or third bout of cold this season. In fact, you have never really seemed to get completely well in between the episodes.
You are growing weary of the constant nose wiping and doses of cold medicine just so you can get to rest or sleep. When will these colds end? Or could it be something serious? TB perhaps? You go back to your Doctor and insist on being tested for all serious illnesses that you can think of under the sun, only to be told you have allergies. Sounds familiar? It does to me; it has been my daily bread in the outpatient clinic lately.
Allergies are a very common problem, affecting at least two out of ten (2/10) people in studies carried out in America. An allergy refers to exaggerated reaction by our immune system in response to exposure to certain foreign substances that shouldn’t normally cause a problem.
The response is said to be exaggerated because these substances are usually harmless in non-allergic individuals. While environment plays a big role in allergy development, there is a greater risk of developing allergic conditions if a person has a family history of allergy, especially in parents or siblings (genetics).
Although allergies can start at any age, they generally develop during childhood with some of the initial exposure or sensitization having occurred in – utero. Most children who have allergies do outgrow them over time. The allergic conditions include hay fever (nose), asthma (chest), allergic conjunctivitis (eyes), food allergies, atopic dermatitis (skin) and anaphylaxis.
During this month, I will walk you through the confusing world of allergies and help you prevent and treat these bothersome symptoms. Only symptoms relating to the nose, eyes, throat and ears will be discussed in this article.
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever as commonly known is the most common of the allergic diseases affecting up to 30% of people worldwide. It refers to nasal and eye symptoms that are due to allergens in the atmosphere (causing inflammation of the lining of these tissues). Adjacent areas such as the ears, sinuses, and throat are usually involved also.
Perennial (year-round) allergic rhinitis is usually caused by indoor allergens such as dust mites, animal dander/hair, or molds.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is typically caused by tree, grass, and weed pollens. Many individuals have a combination of both seasonal and perennial allergies and are only mildly affected by the symptoms. However, for some, symptoms may be so severe and persistent that they are unable to carry out their daily tasks at home, work or at school properly – these people will require medical attention.
Treatments may not get rid of the symptoms quickly or altogether, but they usually help to lessen their impact, making them easier to live with.
Symptoms: The symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of a cold (which is caused by a virus) and they include the following;
Runny nose (clear mucus)
Stuffy or congested nose
Itchy nose, ears and throat
Red, itchy and tearing eyes
Postnasal drip (leading to throat clearing or cough)
Diagnosis: A Doctor usually makes the hay fever diagnosis (which is fairly obvious) basing on the symptoms that the patient is presenting with and physical examination findings. A blood or skin test can be done to identify which substances the patient is allergic to.
Treatment: Management options can be both medical and non-medical and they include;
Avoidance or decreasing the exposure to the irritants/allergens that trigger one’s symptoms is the cornerstone of allergy treatment
Home remedies – drinking plenty of fluids, honey, hot steaming
Medications – antihistamines in the form of sprays and tablets, eye drops and corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation caused by hay fever.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) – Immunotherapy has been proven to provide long-term relief or remission for many people suffering from hay fever. It works by gradually desensitizing the patient's immune system (over a period of up to 5 years) to the allergens that trigger their symptoms.
Prevention – The following measures may be helpful in allergic people to help prevent triggering (or severity) of hay fever attacks, especially during the high pollen or spring/summer seasons; Keeping windows and doors closed
Keeping away from grassy areas or avoiding mowing the lawn
Gardening when pollen is less rampant
Regularly splashing the eyes with cool water
Showering and changing clothes often when one gets home
Protective eye wear (spects or sunglasses)
Keeping windows closed when driving
Avoiding keeping flowers in the house
Keeping the house surfaces, floors, carpets as dust free as possible
Avoiding using a vacuum cleaner or making sure it has a good filter
Quitting smoking or avoiding secondary smoking
Avoiding keeping pets or washing them regularly whenever they come indoors
A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.
The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.
“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.
The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.
She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.
“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”
They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.
July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.
“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.
The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.
The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.
He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.
The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.
The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.
The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.
The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.
Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others. “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.
“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.
“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.
“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.
“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.
The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.
”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.