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Farewell FK, Death Took the Man in Black, Farewell FK!



We Feel You FK, We Remember You
We Shall Always Remember You, We Shall Not Forget You

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim! Death came, knocked, we went into denial, we decided that we did not hear it, only after its stole FK, who was on an intellectual adventure, we then recalled that; but death did reach our shores, did knock and shouted, and FK did not tell us, that he had told death, that; I am coming home!

The theatre industry has lost an icon, a passionate theatre practitioner, a mentor, and inspiration and a lover of stage craft. Dr. Fani-Kayode Osazuwa Omoregie who was simply known as FK both to theatre practitioners, his students, his friends and members of staff at the University of Botswana.  At his memorial service this past week, Vuyisele Otukile rightfully remarked that FK was a man of consistency. He only wore black……koore akanya hela monna anna hela aapere bontsho….keha ese story sebolaya motho ka kapiri yagagwe…….jkg…!…I met FK for the first time in the year 2000 at the University of Botswana where I was his student.

FK did not only teach English, he spoke it well with that Nigerian accent. He did not look like your typical Nigerian. The ones we meet at Mogoditshane and Hilbrow. He was neat, light skinned, with a warmth attitude. But something that struck everyone to a point of associating him with all kinds of things was that, he only wore black clothes. He drove a nice black car. He always had his black shoes shining and spotless. But his office was something else, it was a total mess. He was a Theatre Practitioner, a Practical Theatre Lecturer. His was not only an office, it was a space we met him to discuss scripts, to go through lines and worse enough, we kept our attire and props in his office. This is the space he shared with us, with his books and with all the props and costume that the ordinary audience see on stage after a set.

I recall the many moments that I walked into his class a few minutes after 7am, and FK had already left. He had this thing that 5 or so minutes after 7am, more than half of the class should have arrived. If that did not happen, he will simply go back to his office. If you came when the lesson had begun, you simply could not walk into either his class or the then student hall which we used as our theatre studio. I realise that now the University of Botswana has a proper theatre studio. I can only imagine the hustle he went through to get such approved.  Our practical classes always began at 7am. It was his choice, he could have opted otherwise, but just like the late Professor Gilbert Sekgoma who taught me International Relations, FK opted for morning sessions. I hope that sounds well…well…it does…!…

I was to later confess to FK that though I am on paper an on campus student, I was in reality residing in Jwaneng where my late mother and my wife both resided. Except for my first year, I spent most of my varsity days driving from Jwaneng to Gaborone in the mornings and back to Jwaneng in the evenings. I had several projects going on, I had Abronia Theatre Productions Family scattered around the whole country to coordinate, I was trying my best to have Rasina Holdings running, and to be there for my then girlfriend. I also needed to spend some time at home, with my mother to continue gaining sanity and wisdom.

I was always travelling, and this naturally meant I was always away and hardly in class. Of course this was recognisable. It was only after I had explained this whole scenario to FK, in his office, after he had spent two weeks not even exchanging greetings with me that he began to appreciate the life I was leading. He will call when I am away. He will remind me of deadlines. He will also call for various other issues even beyond varsity life. This was FK, he hated to be lied to, for some reason he easily picked up a lie. The best way to deal with FK, no matter how much you had messed up, was to simply own up and tell him the truth. No matter how embarrassing it could be, you will be sure to be off the hook…gape akanya hela ore oaketsa mo Nigeri…osimolola hakae tota…?…

For most of us artists, we are generally very moody. The only good part is that we are able to play happy and receptive even in our dark moments. Theatre practitioners in particular are quite shy to engage openly in the streets unless with their close friends and fellow practitioners. But what was also different about FK was that he was moody, sometimes irritatingly grumpy even to us his fellow practitioners. Those who have been through FK’s Practical Theatre classes will particularly remember him as a that moody lecture who could simply spend two weeks without greeting anyone he will be at that point in time having issues with……bathong monna yole oneakgona gogongalela gore obo otlhaselwe ke bana ba pheho mo mogoteng wa tladi eamusa…!…But you see, when it was all done and dusted, when he was back to his happy moods, he was willing to engage and share with you where you made him unhappy. I was one of those who was always waiting for this moment. I always took advantage of such moments.

I was in the same Practical Class with the likes of Tomeletso Sereetsi who is now full time artist of the much embraced album; ‘four strings confessions’. I also recall Charles Tsiane who is now a teacher and a heavily loaded trade unionist. Charles Tsiane and FK were until the death of the latter, planning on starting a production house for the advancement of the theatre industry. I recall this particular two very well because of the trip that we took to Ghanzi and Maun respectively to perform the production; ‘Gaborone South’ which was written and Directed by FK. I recall these particular two friends because, the three of us had some teaching assistant roles to play both in FK’s classes and this subsequent production which was also used to determine cumulative assessment (CA), not only for us but the rest of the class…tota nna hela gobua nnete…I still don’t know how FK worked out the whole thing. I mean, a class of about 30 students or less, taking part in a theatre production; ‘Gaborone South’, of which all could not get a recognisable role, some being some sort of teaching assistants, yet having to be all graded fairly under one roof…gake batle gobua sepe ka kgang e…etloga enna okare bangwe rediretswe favours…

FK was visibly a fit and strong man both emotionally and physically, and the girls loved him…gontse hela jalo…hago molato goratwa…I have already mentioned that he was neat, always clean shaven and with outmost confidence and wearing that smile that he shared, mood allowing, with the world. Though quite uncomfortable to mention this; I am glad I did not get to see, meet and greet the slim, weak and ailing FK. I doubt I will have recovered from that sight. I am told that when he went back to work after his first illness, he looked frail and thin yet he joked to his students, those who looked stronger than him that ‘enjoy whilst it last, I shall be back’. He was to later get back to hospital, spent some time there and was to later never walk nor breathe again.

FK, on behalf of your former students, let me tell you this, we feel you FK, we remember you, we shall always remember you, and we shall not forget you, for we carry a part of you throughout our lives. FK, you taught us, trained us, inspired us and mentored us. We could have been nothing, but because of your selfless dedication and desire to ensure we realise our potential, we are something. We are because you were FK.

Dr. Fani-Kayode Osazuwa Omoregie was born on the 25th December 1963 in Nigeria. He obtained B.A.[Hons] and M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Jos Nigeria in 1985 and 1988 respectively and a PhD from the University of Botswana in 2013. He worked as a lecture at the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Jos between 1986 and 1992. He then moved on to the University of Zimbabwe where he stayed from 1992 until 1996. Between 1995 and 1996, he was the Chairman of the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Zimbabwe. He joined the University of Botswana in January 1997 as lecture in Drama in the English Department. He was promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in October 2012. He was transferred to the Department of Visual and Performing Arts after its establishment in 2013 where he remained up to the time of his passing. His passion was in the field of technical theatre, set and lightning design. He has published widely in local, regional and international journals. He was and is, an accomplished playwright and director for both stage and screen. He has mentored, inspired and assisted many creative artists wherever he has been to. He leaves behind a legacy that will endure for a very long period. Allahur Akbar!

The Journey Continues,

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Appendicitis: Recognising the Signs

29th March 2022

Many a times I get clients casually walking into my room and requesting to be checked for “appendix”.  Few questions down the line, it is clear they are unaware of where the appendix is or what to expect when one does have it (appendicitis). Jokingly (or maybe not) I would tell them they would possibly not be having appendicitis and laughing as hard as they are doing. On the other hand, I would be impressed that at least they know and acknowledge that appendicitis is a serious thing that they should be worried about.

So, what is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix; a thin, finger-like pouch attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen. Often the inflammation can be as a result of blockage either by the faecal matter, a foreign body, infection, trauma or a tumour. Appendicitis is generally acute, with symptoms coming on over the course of a day and becoming severe rapidly. Chronic appendicitis can also occur, though rarely. In chronic cases, symptoms are less severe and can last for days, weeks, or even months. 

Acute appendicitis is a medical emergency that almost always ends up in the operating theatre. Though the appendix is locally referred to as “lela la sukiri”, no one knows its exact role and it definitely does not have anything to do with sugar metabolism. Appendicitis can strike at any age, but it is mostly common from the teen years to the 30s.

Signs to look out for

If you have any of the following symptoms, go and see a Doctor immediately! Timely diagnosis and treatment are vital in acute appendicitis;

Sudden pain that starts around the navel and shifts to the lower right abdomen within hours

The pain becomes constant and increases in severity (or comes back despite painkillers)

The pain worsens on coughing, sneezing, laughing, walking or deep breaths

Loss of appetite

Nausea and vomiting


Constipation or diarrhoea

Abdominal bloating/fullness


The doctor often asks questions regarding the symptoms and the patient’s medical history. This will be followed up by a physical examination in which the Doctor presses on the abdomen to check for any tenderness, and the location of the pain. With acute appendicitis, pressing on and letting go of the right lower abdomen usually elicits an excruciatingly unbearable pain. Several tests may be ordered to determine especially the severity of the illness and to rule out other causes of abdominal pain. The tests may conditions include: blood tests, a pregnancy test, urinalysis, abdominal  “How do ultrasound scans work?” ultrasound (scan), CT scan or MRI Scan.


The gold standard treatment of acute appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix known as appendectomy. Luckily, a person can live just fine without an appendix! Surgical options include laparoscopy or open surgery and the type will be decided on by the Surgeon after assessing the patient’s condition. Painkillers and antibiotics are also given intravenously usually before, during and after the surgery.


Appendicitis can cause serious complications such as;

Appendicular mass/abscessIf the appendix is inflamed or bursts, one may develop a pocket of pus around it known as an abscess. In most cases, the abscess will be treated with antibiotics and drained first by placing a tube through one’s abdominal wall into the abscess. The tube may be left in place for a few hours or days while the infection is clearing up but ultimately one would still have surgery to remove the appendix.

Peritonitis – without treatment, the appendix can rupture/burst. The risk of this rises 48–72 hours after symptoms start. A ruptured appendix spreads the infection throughout the abdomen (peritonitis). This is life threatening and requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity.

Death – The complications of appendicitis (and appendectomy) can be life threatening, only if the diagnosis has been missed and no proper treatment has been given on time. This is rare though with the evolved medical care.

If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email  HYPERLINK “” or visit

Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.

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A degree of common sense

7th February 2022

Here’s a news item from last month you may have missed. In December 2021 the University of Staffordshire announced it would be offered a degree course in pantomime! Yes, that’s right, a degree in popular festive entertainment, the Christmas panto.

We used to have one here, put on by the Capitol Players, though it seems to have fallen away in recent times, but the spectacle is still alive and well in the UK, both in local ad-dram (amateur dramatic ) societies and on the London stage and most of the major cities, these latter productions usually featuring at least one big-draw name from the world of show business with ticket prices commensurate with the star’s salary.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the pantomime format, it consists of a raucous mixture of songs and comedy all based around a well-known fairy or folk tale. Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Cinderella, Jack & The Beanstalk & Dick Whittington are perennial favourites but any well-known tall tale goes. There is no set script, unlike a play, and storyline is just a peg to hang a coat of contemporary, often bawdy, gags on, in what should be a rollicking production of cross dressing – there has to be at least one pantomime dame, played by a man and always a figure of fun, and a Principal Boy, ostensibly the male lead, yet played by an attractive young woman.

As an art form it can trace its roots back to 16th century Italy and the Commedia Del’Arte which used a mélange of music, dance, acrobatics along with a cast of comic stock characters so it has a long and proud theatrical tradition but you have to wonder, does that really qualify it as a suitable subject for a university? Further, what use might any degree be that can be acquired in a single year? And last but not least, how much standing does any degree have which comes from a jumped-up polytechnic, granted university status along with many of its ilk back in 1992, for reasons best known to the government of the time? Even more worrying are the stated aims of the course.

Staffordshire University claims it is a world first and the masters course is aimed at people working inside as well as outside the industry. Students on the course, due to start in September 2022, will get practical training in the art form as well as research the discipline.

“We want to see how far we can take this,” Associate Professor of Acting and Directing Robert Marsden said. The role of pantomime in the 21st Century was also going to be examined, he said, “particularly post Me Too and Black Lives Matter”. Questions including “how do we address the gender issues, how do we tell the story of Aladdin in 2021, how do we get that balance of male/female roles?” will be asked, Prof Marsden added.

Eek! Sounds like Prof. Marsden wants to rob it of both its history and its comedic aspects – well, good luck with that! Of course that isn’t the only bizarre, obscure and frankly time and money-wasting degree course available. Staying with the performing arts there’s Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance at Bath Spa University. Sounds like fun but why on earth would a circus performer need a university degree?

Or how about a Surf Science and Technology degree at Cornwall College (part of the University of Plymouth). Where the one thing you don’t learn is….how to surf!

Then there is a  degree in Floral Design at University Centre Myerscough. No, I hadn’t heard of it either – turns out it’s a college of further education in Preston, a town that in my experience fits the old joke of ‘I went there once…..It was closed’ to a ‘T’!

Another handy (pun intended) art is that of Hand Embroidery BA (Hons), offered at the University for the Creative Arts. Or you could waste away sorry, while away, your time on a course in Animal Behaviour and Psychology. This degree at the University of Chester teaches you about the way animals think and feel. Cockroaches have personalities according to the subject specs– you couldn’t make it up.

Happily all these educational institutes may have to look to their laurels and try to justify their very existence in the near future. In plans announced this week, universities could face fines of up to £500,000 (P750m), be stripped of their right to take student loans or effectively shut down if they cannot get 60 per cent of students into a professional job under a crackdown on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses. Further, at least 80 per cent of students should not drop out after the first year, and 75 per cent should graduate.

The rules, published by the Office for Students (OfS), aim to eliminate ‘low-quality’ courses by setting new standards & requiring courses to improve their rating in the TEF, the official universities ratings system. Universities not meeting the new standards will not be able to charge full annual fees of £9,250. Unconventional courses that could fall victim to the new rules could include the University of Sunderland’s BA in Fashion Journalism, where students learn essential’ skills such as catwalk reporting and the history of Chanel.  They have only a 40 per cent chance of entering highly skilled work 15 months after leaving.

At University College Birmingham, BSC Bakery and Patisserie Technology students – who learn how to ‘make artisan bread’ – have a 15 per cent chance of a professional job within 15 months. Universities minister Michelle Donelan welcomed the move, saying ‘When students go to university, they do so in the pursuit of a life-changing education, one which helps pave their path towards a highly skilled career. Any university that fails to match this ambition must be held to account.’

OfS found that at 25 universities, fewer than half of students find professional work within 15 months.  Business and management courses at the University of Bedfordshire (14.8 per cent) were among the least likely to lead to graduate-level jobs.  Asked to comment, the University of Sunderland said it always looked ‘to find ways to improve outcomes’; University College Birmingham said data on graduates and definition of ‘professional work’ was limited. I’ll bet it is! As the saying goes, ’what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over’. What a pantomime!

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Why regular health checks are important!

7th February 2022

With the world still reeling from the negative impact of the Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), and the latest Omicron variant (which is responsible for the ongoing global forth wave) on everyone’s lips, we should not forget and neglect other aspects of our health.

While anyone can get infected with corona virus and become seriously ill or die at any age, studies continue to show that people aged 60 years and above, and those with underlying medical conditions like hypertension, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity, cancers, or mental illness are at a higher risk of developing serious illness or dying from covid-19.

It is a good habit to visit a doctor regularly, even if you feel healthy. Regular health checks can help identify any early signs of health issues or assess your risk of future illness hence prompting one to take charge and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other non-communicable diseases (even communicable) can often be picked up in their early stages, when chances for effective treatment are high.

During a health check, your doctor will take a thorough history from you regarding your medical history, your family’s history of disease, your social life and habits, including your diet, physical activity, alcohol use, smoking and drug intake. S/he will examine you including measuring your weight, blood pressure, feeling your body organs and listening to your heart and lungs amongst the rest. Depending on the assessment, your doctor will notify you how often you need to have a health check. If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks from an early age.

Diet – a healthy diet improves one’s general health and wellbeing. It is recommended that we have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables daily. Physical activity – regular physical activity has significant health benefits on one’s body, mind & soul. It contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills and improves overall well-being. According to the world health organisation (WHO), people who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity at least four days in a week. Examples of moderate physical activity include brisk walking, gentle swimming and social tennis.

Weight – maintaining a healthy weight range helps in preventing long-term complications like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis. It is also vital for one’s mental wellbeing and keeping up with normal activities of daily living. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference annually. If you are at a higher risk, you should have your weight checked more frequently and a stern management plan in place.

Alcohol – as per WHO reports, alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Healthy drinking entails taking no more than two standard drinks per drinking day with at least two alcohol-free days in a week.

Smoking –Nicotine contained in tobacco is highly addictive and tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, many different types of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions. Every year, at least a whopping 8 million people succumb from tobacco use worldwide. Tobacco can also be deadly for non-smokers through second-hand smoke exposure. It is not ‘fashionable’ if it is going to cost you and your loved ones lives! If you are currently smoking, talk to your doctor and get help in quitting as soon as possible to reduce the harm.

Blood pressure: Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition. Have your blood pressure checked annually if it is normal, you are aged under 40 and there is no family history of hypertension. You might need to have it checked more frequently if you are over 40, your blood pressure is on the high side, or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. Your doctor will be there to guide you.

Dental care – eating a low-sugar diet and cleaning and flossing the teeth regularly can reduce one’s risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Visit a dentist every six months for a dental examination and professional cleaning, or more frequently as per your dentist’s advice.
Blood tests – annual to five-yearly blood tests may be done to further assess or confirm risk of disease. These may include blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, kidney function, liver function, tumour markers, among other things. They may be done frequently if there is already an existing medical condition.

Cancer screening – various screening techniques can be done to detect different cancers in their early or pre-cancer stages. These include; skin inspections for any suspicious moles/spots, two-yearly mammograms for those at risk of developing breast cancer, Pap smear or the new Cervical Screening Test (CST) every five years, stool tests and colonoscopy (every five years) for those at most risk of bowel cancer, prostate cancer screening for those at risk (over 45 years of age, family history of cancers etc.). Discuss appropriate tests with your doctor.

Vaccinations – You should discuss with your doctor about the necessary routine immunisation, in particular; the Covid-19 vaccines, an annual flu shot, a five-yearly pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one or you are immunocompromised and any other boosters that you might need.

If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email HYPERLINK “” or visit

Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.

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