Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim! Quite often when we mention the bad things, we forget to mention the good that has been done by those who wanted nothing out of the Creative Industry, but for it to simply flourish.
Those who have always on behalf of the organisations, their families and themselves been there for the Arts Sector. Today I take a break from the ordinary events review purpose of this column to thank those organisations, individuals and families. These are those who have been there for the growth of the Creative Industry, particularly theatre….kelapisitswe kego leboga batho ba kaname mo makesing….I am aware that many more organisations have silently and in a subtle manner contributed to this growth.
I am only here mentioning those I have had direct interaction and access to. Those I can say we have troubled, though for the good, in our journey of the Creative Industry development. But they listened, and saw what we meant by developing the Arts Sector. Many of us are products of the work, support and understanding of these organisations, people and families. Yet whenever trophies are raised, credit is usually apportioned to some new comers….koore ba bahitlhetseng pitsa ebudule sabone ele gotshola hela….legone batlatsa poleiti okare badirelapuso ko di workshopong….rona realeba….hakere rebadiragatsi….lotlaa intshwarela ditsala!
Whenever I think about some of these organisations, people and families, I recall with respect, gratitude and Godly love; Mr. Falcon Sedimo. I remain indebted to his legacy as one of the few individuals who served at the Department of the then Youth and Culture and understood his mandate well. Above all, he understood artists.
And yes, he understood me as he still does today. Falcon Sedimo was then the District Youth officer 1 for Jwaneng and Mabutsane, I don’t even know what the 1 stood for, or stands for…. haele gore gosantse gona le babadumelang gobitswa jalo etlaabo ele ntshenatshe….nna nka lesa….hankake ka bitswa ka dinomore maina aleteng….I though remain assuming it meant he was senior than some youth and Culture District officers around the country….gape hakere gotswa hela gore oberekela hakae… gaokake wa tlogela Jwaneng hela obo oya goberekela ko Nhabe obo obatla gobitswa senior….nyaa….you are junior….
Mr Falcon Sedimo was to rise above the ranks to reach the position of Director of Sports & Recreation in the Ministry now called Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development. He has now elevated to be the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana National Sports Commission….oseka wa wara bra yaka…nako nngwe otlaa nna tona….mathata kegore kaha otletseng tshiamo le bonolo kateng….ko polotiking baka shaba kawena motsotso le motsotso….Falcon Sedimo gave us a chance to be understood when we most needed such and understanding.
Had it not been for him, Abronia Theatre Productions Family will have never became what it was. And had Abronia Theatre Productions Family never became what it was, I would have left the Creative Industry then. Falcon Sedimo was in constant communication with the Department of Youth and Culture officers in all Districts nation wide, to offer us all the needed support, resources and parental care wherever Abronia Theatre Productions Family had a branch and or whenever we had an event of whatever nature.
I must thank profoundly the Botswana National Youth Council to have been the first institution to offer us all the support we needed. Minimal as it was, by those standards, it was massive. I still recall my many meetings with the then Botswana National Youth Council Executive Director, Reverend Mpho Moruakgomo, trying to reason our way through him….akanya hela kaha moruti asekeng atsietsega kateng….keha keitsaya tsia tota kebona hela kemo kgonne….owai….kae reye teng….!….Many stories have already been told about Moruti Moruakgomo! One of those is when the BNYC was terribly broke and he opted to buy himself a lavish official car.
When we enquired at a heated Annual General Assembly he simply remarked that….”hakere loaomana bagarona lware gake tlhole dikgaolo ebile ke tshabelelwa ke gotla thari….kene kere ketle keitlhaganele kogolona ka bohetshwana….”….owai yabo ele jaaka ehedile….he was right, comfort and convenience were and remains key in bring in touch with structures.
One such person who never pretended to understand what we would be presenting as an idea was Phillip Makgalemele who came in after Reverend Moruakgomo to be the Botswana National Youth Council Executive Director. I observed then, that he was only interested our passion. He will give our time to discuss our arts issues, rather to rant and bubble about. He will guarantee and offer all the needed support. He will immediately move to discuss his issues.
How he thought the BNYC should be shaped, and where he thought militancy of the young people in structures were not helping the situation. Soft spoken as he has always been, he always got his way though….kana okile aya goretseela koloi mahala ko Hyundai etla gorafolelwa godirela BNYC madi…legompieno gakeitse gore ohitile aba raya areng….!
And I must confess that Phillip Makgalemele’s then right hand man, my brother and my friend, Mr. David Mosweu, who was the BNYC’s District Officer for Jwaneng and Mabutsane always put in a good word for us. Mr. Mosweu also ensured that at a District level, we had all the support. He did all the venue bookings we needed and guaranteed through BNYC. It was Mr.
David Mosweu who facilitated the first ever bank account opening for Abronia Theatre Productions Family with First National Bank when the bank wanted us to produce documents that we did not have, he issued a guarantee letter in support of Abronia Theatre Productions Family. It was David Mosweu who ensured that in all the BNYC Districts where Abronia Theatre Productions Family had branches, we were allowed office space and all the resources applicable. It was under Mr. David Mosweu at BNYC, that Abronia Theatre Productions family and many BNYC were never to perform for free.
Then came in Debswana which did not see a reason of denying Abronia Theatre Productions Family financial funding whenever we needed such. Debswana did not only provide financial assistance for Abronia Theatre Productions Family to pursue its cause, Debswana provided resources for our Annual Drama Clinics. Botswana National Youth Council provided transport for those attending the Drama clinics and then, the Department of Youth and Culture provided feeding, stationery and parental support.
I recall clearly individuals at Debswana who made it happen; Matshidiso Kamona, Grace Mosinyi, Charmaine Revaka and the forever humble Christopher Motsholapheko….yogotweng Chris ene keipotsa gore keeng atswa kgakala anna hela adumalana le nna leha reharologana ka merero ya sepolotiki….
I need to move further and appreciate Professor Martin Mokgweetsi, who took care of Abronia Theatre Productions Family – University of Botswana branch. My interaction with Professor Mokgweetsi began when I was still at UB’s Ngwao Boswa Cultural Ensemble with the likes of Phuthego Benson Phuthego, the late Boemong Tshosa, Motshereganyi Sefanyetso, Kabelo Modubeki, Moshabi Ikanyeng, Gorata Huku, Moratiwa Habana, Thato Seleke, Farmer Bagayi and Mooketsi Malibala and other splendid practitioners that had it not because of space I would have all mentioned. Whenever I entered Prof Mokgwathi’s office, he had that look that seemed to be saying “….monna Winnie….oabo obatlang….ke busy….” He looked and sounded a snob. He knew how to simply rubbish issues off. But interestingly he always provided what was needed.
Prof Mokgweetsi will together with Dr. Masego Sedisa ensure that we had transport, attire and props to use in all our theatre productions. Some of these theatre productions where quite expensive as they were specifically written and rehearsed for cross border theatre shows, in particular Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. This is where the department of African languages at the University of Botswana came in. We will explain how were were going to promote Setswana and hence inevitable that we are entitled to their support.
And it was Dr. Masego Sepias who allocated Abronia Theatre Productions Family – UB Branch an office at the University. He ensured we had accommodation and meals for Drama Clinics and ensured that we had a regular and reliable venue for our rehearsals. One day, space and time allowing, I will mention those who throughout these processes pulled us down, those who are responsible for those who fell off along the way….dilo tse gare dibuiwe….gare retswe ka tsone….! This week my task was to simple be grateful and to be thankful for those who stood with us in their silent love and subtle support. On behalf of the Creative Industry, I profoundly thank you. Allahur Akbar!
In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.
It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.
… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan
With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.
Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.
If I say the word ‘robot’ to you, I can guess what would immediately spring to mind – a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and tv shows. Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name, Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama, Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…
Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator, Box in Logan’s Run, Police robots in Elysium and Otomo in Robocop.
And that’s to name but a few. As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves. And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of robotics in the workplace.
ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.
A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles. It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.
DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,
AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.
INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour
These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.
This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count! For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars. It’s a theory, at any rate.
Already,customers at the South-Korean fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic. The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners. Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.
‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP.
Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions.
Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders. Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.
These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.
And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth. Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.
But there may be more redundancies on the way as well. Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable? So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid? Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!