It was during my week-long stay in the neighbouring South Africa that I came to learn about a place called Liliesleaf in Rivonia. A trip dubbed ‘Media Content Experience 2014’ brought together 24 entertainment journalists from across Southern Africa in Johannesburg at the invitation of Multichoice Africa.
It was on Friday morning last week when we met in the hotel lobby in Sandton City for the day’s outing. It was here where our hosts told us we would be visiting a place called Liliesleaf in Rivonia. This excited me since I could easily relate the place to the history of Nelson Mandela’s Rivonia Treason Trial that changed the course of South African history.
Now sticky labelled ‘A place of liberation’ Liliesleaf, a national heritage site, commemorates a strategic and seminal point in South Africa’s liberation struggle history and is a beacon on the global landscape of human memory. The moment one arrives in this place and taught about its history, it evokes feelings of depression and sadness that prevailed during the dark days of apartheid. It was from Liliesleaf that Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) launched its first military attacks on December 16, 1961.
However, the highlight of this place besides the fact that Mandela stayed there is the events that unfolded on Thursday 11th July, 1963 when stalwarts in Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel ‘Rusty’ Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba and Bob Hepple were meeting in the Thatched Cottage debating Operation Mayibuye, a proposed military plan to overthrow the apartheid regime.
It was here that we went inside the thatched house, where the raid took place. We were told that during the day the police were apparently working on a tip-off that Walter Sesulu was hiding on the farm, but what they inadvertently stumbled upon was a meeting of the members of the top leadership of liberation movement. They had hit the jackpot. Around the world, from that moment, the world ‘Rivonia’ became synonymous with the crushing of the internal liberation movement and resistance to apartheid.
The feeling of going inside the room, which Madiba used as an office and bedroom just brought in me the lifetime excitement and experience. Nelson Mandela lived at Liliesleaf for almost two years, under the pretext of being the houseboy and using the name of a former client, David Motsamayi. He used blue overalls, as was the uniform of a black male servant. I say here I walked in the footsteps of some of South Africa's most well known opponents of the apartheid regime.
The key objective of the Liliesleaf is to preserve the events of historical and political past. Ensuring that these stories are circulated and known, and that the hardships endured by the men, women and children who fought for so long can be heard.
Another instrumental part of this area is the Coal Shed. This was used as a safe place for storing secret documents; these incriminating items were, however, found by the security police and used during the Rivonia Trial.
Forty nine years since the purchase of Liliesleaf by the South African Communist Party, the doors opened to the public as a museum. This is by far commemorating the liberation struggle and the prominent political leaders who once congregated at Liliesleaf, for current and future generations.
This remains a unique heritage site, preserved for future generations. 2001 saw the formation of the Liliesleaf Trust, with the key objective of restoring the buildings and at the same time preserving the authenticity of the site.
Creativity is seen everywhere and these individuals did something recently that’s never been done before, and some are still killing it. We see creativity on streaming platforms, stages, runways, social media and boardrooms even. Some of them are revamping their businesses, and lately, clothing sale is thriving.
They love concept-driven designs, storytelling and they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that will leave footprints in the sand. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, these creative minds utilized the drawing board and they became cognizant that monetizing content will actually take them far, which is frank nonetheless.
This is commendable though, but the creative industry will still need support from government in order for it to flourish further. Allocation of resources (funds, facilities and empowerment) should be done consistently, creativity must be raised and at the end of the day, the economy benefits from that kind of investment.
Ever since he parted ways with his former manager, DJ Bougee Sid, Mahalapye born-pint sized, multi-award-winning artist, Hanceford Magapatona has been taking up space, unapologetically so. Han C has shown a strong will to take over the entire world, and he is in the right direction. He’s solely organizing the annual Mahalapye Spring Festival, which is taking place next weekend.
The Pepetetsa hitmaker raked some monies from his savings to put together this event. Mahalapye Spring Festival will feature Paige, Ubuntu Band, Khoisan, Amantle Brown and Double Up among others. Even though it didn’t come as a surprise, Han C was nominated at African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) in the US, under Best Male Southern Africa category.
However, the award was snatched by the late South African rapper, AKA. Its not all lost as Han C secured two nominations at the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs): People’s Choice of the Year and Best Male Single.
This entrepreneur has turned his dreams into reality, and his promising apparel business is now a fashion destination. Matter of fact, Motswagole weathered the storms to be where he is now because through criticism and social media bullying, he still leads the pack in fashion.
His social media accounts got deleted but through his online store, KM Sales, Motswagole is able to rake in some profits. He initially started selling from his car but now owns a busy store and has employed a number of young people.
KM Sales has been offering fashionable items (shoes, t-shirts, pants) and has been participating in various lifestyle events such as Garden of Drip where it showcases its products.
If there is one young entrepreneur to draw motivation from is Koketso. The business started from humble beginnings, at the time when he worked part time at Ipelegeng as a casual labor. Indeed, good things come to those who wait, or well, work like a slave today, live like a king tomorrow.
KAGISO LUDO DE KLERK
Vee Mampeezy’s ex-wife Kagiso De Klerk clearly did not sit and weep over their dramatic divorce. The famous social media influencer hurriedly picked up the pieces and went hard on promoting business online. She literally took social media influencing to the head and it is working for her.
This year saw her partnership with Shell reach greater heights, and obviously, she is raking lot of pulas from the deal. Kagiso has been making frequent appearances in top events in South Africa such as Bubbles in Spring and Gold and Diamond Experience.
After a long break from the limelight, renowned media and radio personality, Gaona Dintwe is back. She was missed by many on TV, and she’s back where she belongs, news anchoring on BTV. Gaona has also found a niche in podcasting. She is a host of her own podcast, Gaona Live Conversation, where various people share their stories on camera.
Some of what they discuss is Gender Based Violence (GBV), polygamy and drug addiction. This is highly commendable because even BTV doesn’t have programs that discuss these crucial social issues. The Lentswelemoruti native is also seen in various corporate events where she is engaged as a host.
Now that one-man shows are made fashionable, traditional dance guru and ex-convict, Ditiro Leero is joining the crusade and he will be hosting his also. The show will be held next month at Zone 4 Farm in Selokolela, but the there are traditional dance music artists who have been lined up to perform at the show. Matshana, Morwa Leka and Maswailathota will be doing their thing and probably bring some heat too. Ditiro Leero will be making history as the first traditional artist to host a one-man show in Botswana.
With only two months before Miss World 2023, the reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo is having many irons in the fire, preparing for the much-anticipated beauty pageant. Miss World 2023 will be the 71st edition of Miss World pageant and it will be held in India. Chombo has been spotted toning her body at Jack’s gym, a requirement that is taken seriously at the pageant. She has also been participating in charity events, something that should add to her profile at the Miss World.