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Changing bad habits

Dr Boima

Every now and then when a person assumes a patient role and goes to a Doctor's room, the expectation is to get relieved of the pain they are feeling, to get an answer (diagnosis) to the symptoms they are having, to get prevented from or treated and/or cured of a certain disease, or merely to get a Doctor's opinion or advice about a certain concern.

Fortunately Doctors can meet most of these expectations but sometimes there is just not enough time to address all the concerns or dwell into small details. As Doctors, we tell patients everyday about what they need to do or not do in order to stay healthy and disease-free. We assume and hope patients will figure out the best method that would work for them in maintaining such a clean life. Some manage, some fail.

I recently had a privilege of working with a final year medical student, visiting from USA in my clinic. In the two weeks that she was shadowing me, I got fascinated at how she patiently tried to give time to address the 'how' part of changing bad habits to all our patients that I even asked to feature her in this week's column. This is what Danielle Dougherty, who is just about to graduate from University of Michigan Medical School had to say;

'Changing bad habits is always a challenge. When we go to visit our Doctor we are always told what we need to do in our everyday lives in order to become healthier people. Some of us need to exercise more, others need to quit smoking, others need to eat more healthily. Although most of us desire to become healthier people, it is very difficult to make a plan and take action.
Often we set goals that are ambitious and then we fail because the goals were not reasonable or because they were vague and we were unable to monitor them. For example, quitting smoking suddenly and completely may not be reasonable for you. Telling yourself you will “exercise more” is vague and does not allow you to see your progress. These goals may work for some people, but for most of us it is better to introduce good habits gradually. Below I will outline a way to make positive change in your life by making a plan that is reasonable, able to be monitored and thus may be more effective for you.
1.      Identify what you want to change – Do you want to quit smoking? Do you want to exercise more? Do you want to eat more healthily? In this example, we will use quitting smoking.

2.      Reflect on when you practice your bad habit – For example, if you are a smoker, think of all the times throughout the day that you have a cigarette on a regular basis. Perhaps you always have a cigarette with your morning tea, or when you take a lunch break with a certain friend. Go though all the times in the day that you regularly have a cigarette and make a list in your head.

3.      Then, identify just one of these times in which you will eliminate the bad habit – For example, you could set your goal for the week as: “I will not have my morning cigarette with my tea” but you will allow yourself to have the other cigarettes that you normally have during the remaining times of the day. At the end of the week, look back and see how many days you were able to skip that morning cigarette. The ability to easily look back and count the number of days you achieved this one goal is what makes the goal measurable. The fact that you are only eliminating one cigarette makes it reasonable. If you were able to skip the cigarette at that one given time every day for a week, that is great! You are a step closer to quitting and you can now choose a second cigarette time to eliminate.
This method can be applied to exercise and eating healthily also. For example:

–        For exercising: you could start by saying you will take a 20 minute walk on Saturday. Once that becomes easy, choose another day to start walking, and so forth until exercise becomes a regular part of your lifestyle.

–       For eating healthily: choose one or two days a week in which you will replace your regular meal with a very healthy meal. For example, your goal could be to eat a salad for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The rest of the week, you will continue to eat the regular meals that you always eat. Try this for a few weeks and see if you can measure how many times you were successful to eat a healthy lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Once you are successful, congratulate yourself and move on to more days of healthy eating.
Overall, changing our bad habits into good habits is a difficult process. Hopefully these examples will help you introduce healthy change into your life in a way that is easier and makes you feel good about yourself. It will be worth it!''

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Self-taught fashion designer speaks

26th July 2022

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.

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Gospel awards re-organised

26th July 2022

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.

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Makhadzi, Master KG invade Thamaga

18th July 2022

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.

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