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‘Jazz on the lawn’ to embrace tourism, leisure


Gaborone International Jazz Festival (PTY) Ltd has been established with the notion of not only developing Botswana’s entertainment industry but also to speak to the country’s economic diversification initiatives within the arts and culture sphere.


It is envisaged that the company will highlight Botswana as one of Africa’s entertainment destinations adding to the country’s tourism strategy. One of the objectives of the event is to bring together entertainment, tourism and leisure.  


The event will also spill over to various players within the services market, some of which are owned by the youth. During the week of the event, tourists as well as Batswana living outside Gaborone will require accommodation, transportation, telecommunications and entertainment services.


According to the company Director Lesedi Keletso Rakhudu, corporate and government Institutions around the globe have taken a keen interest in Festival Sponsorship. Government ministries that deal with issues of trade, sports, culture as well as youth take particular interest on such activities as they provide a vehicle that espouses to their respective mandates.

Part of mandate of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is to develop youth, create jobs and sustainable wealth for them. Cities such as Singapore, Cape Town, Dubai have profiled themselves as entertainment areas of choice. The launch of the Dubai shopping and or jazz festivals has seen it attract tourists from across the globe that during their stay contribute significantly to the United Arab Emirates GDP.


Popularly known as ‘Africa’s grandest gathering’, Cape Town Jazz Festival, which has been running for 17 years now and is hosted by the city of Cape Town, has grown tremendously to attract approximately 30,000 people, 60% of which are tourist.

What is of particular importance is that the Cape Town Jazz festival was able to raise approximately R820,000.00 to Cape Town’s economy during its 2014 jazz festival. This in essences translates to job creation amounting to the same value over the duration of the Jazz festival.


A recent report by Bloom Consulting’s Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2014/15 has shown that Botswana has dropped 4 places down. The research has highlighted that Botswana is ranked at position 17 and 132 in Africa and the world respectively.

This in essence presents the reality that our strategic focus and brand positioning attributed to this decline as an attractive tourist destination, is the lack of growth in our tourist receipts brand positioning strategies as compared to our counterparts relative to our main competitors.


The Gaborone International Jazz Festival avails Botswana the opportunity to showcase its ability to host cosmopolitan events and upgrade its status as a tourist destination of choice. By extension, the show will tremendously add value to the arts and culture market, services market, hospitality industry and the arts and culture communities in general. This will of course be achievable over time and with support from governing bodies of Government and the Private business communities.


The GIJF Team launched its campaign during the last week of January 2015 on social and print media. On Facebook, GIJF has to date generated an average following of 215 likes a day which comes to a total of approximately 11000 likes to date.

Most of their page likes are from Botswana whilst others are generated from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. They also note with excitement that they are followed from as far as the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Slovakia, Cuba, Malawi and Ethiopia etcetera.


The Inaugural Gaborone International Jazz Festival is scheduled for 4 April 2015 at Serokolwane Lawns. This year’s event themed ‘Jazz on the Lawn’ will feature approximately 11 different performers performing with a live band representing 4 African countries and 1 European country.

The festival will be the biggest international jazz event ever hosted by Gaborone and has over the course of its campaign managed to attract local media support, international media support, potential tourists, international and local jazz fanatics.


The public should expect a relaxed setting that will allow people to bring in their camp chairs, cooler boxes and picnic blankets. Those who prefer VIP packages will have access to any of our 4 VIP Lounges which offer a 3 course meal, bar coupons, a cash bar and loads of VIP treatment.

GIJF’s limited Chill Spots will allow groups of 10 individual’s access to private entertainment and these will begin selling from Monday 16 March 2015. The GIJF team is putting together a surprise for our customers on the General Section and this will be revealed mid next week on our Facebook page. In addition to their package, food and beverage will be sold throughout the festival.


Tickets are currently selling on Computicket Botswana, Computicket South Africa, Shoprite & Checkers as well as Usave. The public can contact Team GIJF on 71320920 or 71601344 or follow them on their Facebook page for more information. 

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WeekendLife

Overcoming the trauma of rape

29th September 2020
Moving-on-after-rape

According to World Population Review, women aged 16-19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault and female college students ages 18-24 are three times more likely to experience sexual assault. Transgender people and those with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault or rape.

From these very statistics Botswana can be found second only to neighbouring South Africa with the highest rape cases in the world. The number of incidents per 100,000 citizens do not take into account the number of cases that have not been reported to authorities. This goes without saying that Botswana may very well be on the same level as South Africa if not surpassing it.

Most of these victims have a hard time dealing with the violence they faced to an extent where it affects their day to day life.

WeekendLife interviewed rape survivor, Patience Ruwona, who was raped at the age of 15. Ruwona shared her gruesome experience and what it took for her to find healing, gather strength and move forward.

“It happened eight years ago and at the time I was only 15 years old. My mother was staying with her boyfriend at the time. So it happened that one day I came early from school. I was still doing form 2. I was the first one to come back from school. The boyfriend was home. So when I was changing into home clothes in my room, the boyfriend came in without even knocking. He then told me my mother has left some money so that whoever comes back first from school can go and buy meat,” Ruwona narrated.

“I then told him I will come get the money when I am done. He went back to his room. So after I finished changing, I went to their room. I knocked and he told me to come in. When I got, I found him half naked with only a towel. That made me feel very uncomfortable because when we were growing, we were taught never to enter an elder’s room when they are not fully dressed. I told him I came to collect the money and he pointed the dressing table.”

Unbeknownst to the young unsuspecting Ruwona, her mother’s then boyfriend would then grab the young lad, rip apart her garments and have his way with her. When Ruwona threatened to expose him, the audacious perpetrator would laugh in her face, telling her that there would be nothing her mother would do about the incident. And true to his words, Ruwona’s mother did not flinch upon hearing the gruesome crime that befell her daughter.

“In the evening when my mother came I told her everything. It was a simple thing to her and she never took it seriously. I told her I am bleeding and she said go and wash up we will talk about this some other time. Just like that suddenly I recalled that man’s words and I truly believed him. Till then I have not told anyone about this. I thought my mother is going to protect me, so if my mother failed to protect me no one else could protect me,” said a distraught Ruwona.

Seeking help after being raped

“Physically I had no desire to have sexual intercourse, I was scared. Years passed by and emotionally I was still battling because there were days I had flashbacks of the rape. It’s like a wound, it can never heal but it can stop bleeding. It never heals. It will bleed another time. I felt uncomfortable around men and I never went for counselling. I never went for anything, I thought I will cope on my own,” she said.

“So one day I decided enough is enough and I decided to speak out. That time I figured counselling would be best.  I later went for counselling and I was doing well. I had to accept it happened and put everything in the past. Forgiving my mother helped me to heal.”

Director of Save A Woman, Babedi Samakabadi, has highlighted that rape is a permanent wound that one has to live with for the rest of their lives.

“The first thing the victim can do is to admit that they have been abused and they should be able to talk about it to whoever they can trust; could be a close relative, a counsellor, a friend or a pastor. It is not easy to take a step towards your healing but it must be done.

Victims of rape, must create a huge room in their hearts to forgive the perpetrators even when they are not sorry, forgiveness will help the victim to make peace with life and the future. Forgiveness will allow the victim to be able to get over the horrible experience and not associate the intimate relations as abuse at all times,” said Samakabadi.

“If one doesn’t allow themselves to heal and move on, dating and engaging in intimate matters are going to be a problem in their lives. As the victim can disclose to whoever they trust like friends or family, they are also advised to seek more especially professional counselling for proper psychological therapy, as the memories of the incident may torment the victim therefore  therapy may assist with getting to live with such memories without being drawn back or life progress being affected . Lastly, the victims must know that issues as these aren’t easy to deal with through our own ability, we need God for strength, wisdom and courage. We have no power to diminish some of the weight in our emotions or the damage done to our souls and hearts, hence we need God to carry us through.”

If you or a loved one is in need of help in dealing with rape or gender based violence, the following organisations provide free counselling services;

BOFWA (Botswana Family Welfare Association) 390 0489

BOSASNET (Botswana Substance Abuse Support Network) 395 9119

LIFE LINE 391 1270

MBGE (Men and Boys for Gender Equality) 395 7763

BGBVC (Botswana Gender Based Violence and Support Centre) 390 7659

BOCAIP (Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme) 391 6454

Princess Marina Psychiatric Clinic

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WeekendLife

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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