Women’s empowerment and women’s reproductive health and rights are often viewed solely as women’s issue. Yet, achieving gender equality is impossible without engaging men and boys.
Gender-based violence comes in many different forms and even to this day, women are still exposed to this violence: domestic abuse, reproductive coercion, sexual assault, rape, economic control, child marriage, sex trafficking, catcalling, harassment, and others. These behaviours are meant to terrify and control women and girls.
In Botswana, some men are stepping up to call out other men on their harmful behaviour. These men are part of initiatives that are established to teach girls and women how to approach an abuser and de-escalate the situation so that the woman and her family will not face retribution.
These men also try to educate abusers on why their actions are wrong. Slowly, the idea that women should put up with abuse from their husband, a belief that is held in many place around the world, is challenged. Tlamelo Joseph, or Reacxion if you fancy, has been doing well in promoting women across all domains for quite a stretch now.
They say he is competently skilled at a lot of different types of work, a master of none. Joseph is a gender activist, an artist, life coach & Mosadi Tota brand developer.In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife in Gaborone this week, Joseph said he is about supporting women. ‘All that I do is about women growth! Mentally, physically, financially and their social life. A women empowerment initiative I initiated has a sole purpose which is to encourage team work among women, networking, discover and appreciating young talent, support and foster growth for women in the arts scene and in the long run to keep more young women busy and away from vulnerability,’’ he said.
In 2019, Joseph put together the annual Mosadi Tota concert that featured women in arts, women at work as well as women and talk. ‘’The event’s mandate was primarily about bringing the Most Influential women to come share with aspiring ones on how to be the engine that drives organizations they work at and have them getting involved in the organization’s major projects. In addition we taught women to be instrumental in stakeholder engagements and owning up space.’’
Further, the gentleman stressed that his concept brings in activists who are certain of investing in a girl child as a contrivance for economic growth.‘’We also work in hand with advocates, motivational and transformational speakers, who trust in the advancement of women and girl child as a tool for economic growth. They advocate for gender equality and parity for the boy and girl child as well as empowerment of youth through instilling behavioural change and positive transformation. I believe this is key in today’s world especially at a time girls and young boys are exposed to discernment and some sort of disgrace. Mosadi Tota will be hosting our first event on the 28th of March 2020.
“I DESERVE” is a seminar aiming at encouraging women to work together for the takeover of this male dominated industry. We all "Deserve" a chance to choose our career path in life. There's nothing like male dominated industry. In addressing the area of law, we have brought women who have organized and taken part in delivery of content in workshops and seminars aimed at tackling social issues of marriage, divorce, custody, adoption and maintenance of children, and cases of gender based violence,’’ Joseph said.
‘‘We also have Malebogo Marumoagae, a prominent businesswoman and leader who is passionate about youth empowerment, gender equality and entrepreneurial development. She is a founder and Director of Award Winning Belle Larissa (Pty) Ltd, an entity whose main aim is to assist individuals and corporates to perform at their highest potential through training and development.”Meanwhile, Joseph has been nominated on the Women’s Awards Botswana under “Inspiring Male Supporting Woman’’.
The award recognizes and appreciates male figures who have been hands on empowering and supporting women.Not only is he a feminist, Joseph is a rap artist and has since made a dramatic return to the music circles. ‘’The rapper in me will never die! I’m back in the studio as we speak after two years. We are finalizing an album to drop this December. I have two songs to drop very soon, one song talking about love and its significance.
I did fifteen shows in December and very soon I will be appearing on your TV screens. To all those who love Reacxion, I’m sorry I never released any music this past year but I’m back by popular demand.’’
Fastjet Zimbabwe, the award-winning value-based airline, this week announced that effective Thursday, 30 June 2022, the airline will introduce a new service between Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Maun in Botswana.
The new route is scheduled to operate four (4) times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fastjet will operate the route using a 50-seater Embraer ERJ145 aircraft. This aircraft choice is known to provide the versatility to build a sustainable regional network with the right-size capacity while offering customers comfortable seating with generous legroom.
Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana, said, “The airline is thrilled to introduce direct flights from Victoria Falls to Maun. Using our Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, we believe this route will facilitate more travel between these two tourism capitals of Zimbabwe and Botswana. This route has for many years been only available by private charter.
So, with the introduction of this direct connection, we believe it will be able to spur tourism development and growth in the region”. Fastjet Group Chief Operating Officer, Donahue Cortes commented, “The Victoria Falls – Maun flight is the second new route being added onto the fastjet regional network, with flights between Victoria Falls and Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga planned to launch ahead of the Easter travel period.
Despite the hard-wearing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group remains dedicated to the recovery and growth of tourism in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, and to bringing further connectivity to the region”. The new route will operate 4 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday connecting two of Southern Africa’s most iconic tourist destinations.
Botswana has been approached to host the 73rd Miss World, expected in 2024. During the appreciation event for Miss Botswana, Palesa Molefe, by Southern Epic Cycling Challenge in collaboration with The High Commission of India, Miss Botswana Management Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Benjamin Raletsatsi, confirmed that they have been approached by Miss World to host 73rd Miss World.
Speaking at the same arena, Raletsatsi highlighted that it has been his dream to host Miss World in Botswana. “Miss Botswana is one of the difficult projects to run. There are days I just wake up and ask myself why I am doing what I am doing because everything about me from integrity is often times torn apart.
Then Palesa came along and validated and confirmed that what I am doing is right because it is setting an opportunity for young girls in this country to have an opportunity to express themselves. Four years ago, when I took over Miss Botswana I had a vision, in my vision I wanted the first year to just be us participating in Miss World, second year was for us to participate and ask Miss World to allow us to host Miss World in Botswana, and the third year was for us to elevate ourselves as a country; whilst in year four we wanted to win Miss World.
We could have won Miss World in our third year of office with Palesa, but unfortunately COVID-19 happened. The idea is that this coming year as Palesa will be handing over her Miss Botswana tittle, she will be there to guide the next Miss Botswana on how to prepare for Miss World.”
Raletsatsi pointed out that the reality that Palesa did not win Miss World does not mean she did not do well. “She did exceptionally well”. He said at the end of Miss World there were ten pictures of Miss World participants who had a huge impact auctioned, and out of ten pictures two of those pictures were of Palesa.
The Miss Botswana management CEO highlighted that after the Miss World competition, Miss World responded to their request to host the 73rd Miss World. “They responded and said we can host 73rd Miss World if we are still interested in hosting it.
The current Miss World will be the 71st this year and then followed by the 72nd which is next year and the 73rd which will be in 2024 which has been offered to Botswana. The bigger challenge for me now is how I will be able to convince Batswana to bring Miss World to Botswana.
The honest truth is that Palesa has done her part as a change agent, it is up to us to do our part as Batswana to ensure that Miss World comes to Botswana and is a success. I was joking with one of my friends the other day to say, what Palesa has achieved in one year can take some companies, three to four years to achieve.”
You choose a path to be better or bitter, why do you have to expose a person, what do you gain from that? We react rather than become proactive. Mothers need help! Some said as social media turned into a battlefield this past Father’s Day.
Baby mamas came all guns blazing, ventilating their frustrations against absent baby daddies through social media posts. “As for me I feel women will be applying a hurting heart or she is bitter to expose baby daddy.
There are channels one can follow to solve this issues rather than rushing to Facebook and exposing them, it’s reacting rather than solving the reality of the problem, it won’t help you, after all what will Facebook do to you? Would it give you the food, would it make the father to support the child, but there are channels one can follow like one can consult with the laws then this man will know the right thing to do”, said Obonye Obza Thapelo who is baby daddy of two daughters.
Thapelo further argued that if you seek for definition you will lose a father, “we have our fathers, it’s not about the responsibility, if we are talking about a father on happy father’s day don’t talk about the definition, talk about father’s day, it never say define or describe whose a father.
When you come back to family, we have family dynamics, family faults and family failures, so if you have family failures, for example, if I have been taking care of the child while we were together and it happens we break up and I stop taking care of the child, are you not going to call me a father just because of my failures?”
“If we are going to look for the faults we won’t be building fathers that we want. “It says happy father’s day, it ends there, and it’s not about the responsibilities. A responsible father depends on one, I can be a fathers because I am your mentor, I can be a father that am not supporting financially but I can just call and check on my child, I can be father that have money but still fails to support but am there physically but not economically, am there emotionally but still am a father.”
“Speaking from experience, my baby daddy have never been there in my kids life so in my own opinion I think happy father’s day means to acknowledge fathers who are present in their children lives, man who are there for their children, I don’t mean for the mothers, am saying their children.”, Norah Moloi mother of three cried.
“Women are reactive to this issues because it hurts to be left alone with children. Seeing other women praising their baby daddies and as for us not even knowing what to say to our children, they don’t even know if this day do exist hurts. I grew up without a father too, I didn’t even had a privilege to wish him that, even happy birthday to him too. I think this now seem like a trend, it’s like a culture now because it’s like everyone is abandoning their children,” Moloi explained.
“There is co-parenting, I mean if you have problem with me exclude the child from our problems. For us to have a healthy children who are mentally fit we ought to be in the same page. Let us hide our problems from our children. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers, that is why you saw on social media even kids venting out about their absent fathers.
“As for fathers who are not in their children’s life why should we wish them father’s day? It is like throwing a seed on rocks and expect it to germinate without proper soil, proper sunlight or even without water and expect to reap at the end of the day.
Do you expect such a planter to be praised that they have sowed anything? You are a planter yes but where is your seedlings, you just threw a seed and abandon it, as for me is a big NO! There is a mistake that men turn to make, they think children cannot see all the struggles mother goes through trying to made ends meets for them and later blame it on baby mamas for using children when tables turns.
“Ask yourself, are we to wish man who denied pregnancy father’s day? What of those who long abandoned their children? What is there to be wished? What is supposed to be happy about the day? We are not bitter, we are asking them to put themselves in our shoes,” Moloi expressed herself.
Adding on Calvin G Zacharia father of one daughter says that was a cry for help to single mothers, he said men who are not there for their children don’t deserve to be wished father’s day since they are not playing their role.
Zacharia urged mothers to involve the authority, “there is no use to pass remarks on social media without taking action. If the parents had messy break up they should find a common ground for the sake of their child/children”. It depresses the kids not having another party not playing the role on their lives.
“I think ladies are bitter, just because some man don’t give us money we start labelling them as deadbeat”, Boitshepho Gasefiwe mother of one. Men have their reasons for not being there for their children. There is always two sides of stories. Some kids I saw on Facebook I feel meddle in elder people’s issues without knowing the facts.
When giving his views, Thando Morgan, father of one daughter highlighted that he feels it depends on someone’s emotional intelligence, some act according to how their baby daddy treated them. “Baby mamas know their baby daddies better to find fit worthy a father title, some are venting out because they suffer alone in raising the kids alone.