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Marriage realities and lockdown!

Lockdown has proved to be one of the best ways to control the spread of covid-19, even so, lockdown has given birth to a ridiculous higher number of gender based violence cases globally, with South Africa recording a staggering 87 000 during the lockdown period.

Many women have found hope and protection from shelters than in their own homes. While this raises a concern, it goes without saying that critical times such as this could build homes but it must be pointed out that they could also shutter homes as some are susceptible to violence.

While healthy homes breed good children, it is very imperative that parents also give their children a proper home for a proper upbringing.

Times as these, could mean couples are going to fight a lot. Sometimes it is hard to stand your partner, imagine now in an instance where circumstances force you to be with her or him all day long and all night long, it could only be a roller-coaster of emotions, which could be draining at times. So here is our two cents guide on how to make this time exciting with your partner.

WeekendLife interviewed one of the marital advisors, who also scripts a weekly television show on marriage that airs on Botswana Television every evening – Mrs Thaba. She advised couples to locate fun during lockdown and enjoy themselves as a family.

“Now that couples are together probably three things will happen – They will actually be forced to communicate as they used to in their dating days when they spent more time together and actually revive the love; they are going to start getting on each other’s nerves and fight even more, or they will use social media and television as a way of entertaining them so that although they are living together they aren’t actually enjoying each other’s company because they live parallel lives under the same roof,” she said.

“I advise that couples use this rare gift where they basically are on a mandated “staycation” where they don’t have to go to work to really rekindle the love. They can do dance parties with their kids, make meals together, do chores together, sleep late in bed and snuggle and talk, do online exercising together, play games together, or read the Bible together (my book Dive In is a great resource to teach that!. Another fun thing to do is to come up with random questions to ask each other just to get to know each other again. Make it a game to play to really talk and laugh and communicate about something other than Corona virus.”

Everyone in relationship deserves to be given space and time to be alone, it helps to calm nerves and give an allowance to think and be with yourself. Therefore, she advises that partners could find something to do whilst in their own space.

“If they are really getting on each other’s nerves, then the best thing is to find a way to put some space between each other. My advice would be to go spend some time reading the Bible and asking God to show you what you did wrong or what you could do to improve.

If you can humble yourself and go back and apologize and serve the other person selflessly, you might find lock down provides a time to actually work through some issues that you could normally just avoid indefinitely. But it is normal to need alone time. In that case, read a book, study the Bible, chat on WhatsApp, Facebook, watch a movie, take a nap or do something to get some alone time in a way that energizes you so you can hang out again with people in a refreshed way,” Thaba said.

Conflicts will always bore their way into relationships and marriages hence she advised that couples should know the importance of conflict resolution and not talking off issues but instead  dealing with these issues because we know they will be closer in the end if they work through stuff instead of letting it build up.

“It is also important to only choose one issue at a time to work through. Otherwise, emotions will get too out of control and nothing will get solved. Also, another key point in solving conflict is to focus on LISTENING to the other person not just trying to get your point across. Really strive to understand where they are coming from.

Even if you don’t agree, it will soften your anger to at least understand why they are doing what they are doing or saying what they are saying. Sometimes you can’t change the past. In that case, you might have to forgive, let go and come up with some very clear solutions of what to do in the future to avoid hurting the other person,” she stated.

The Thabas have been married for 16 years and she said that their biggest secret is learning to both seek God first. “When we humble ourselves before God and follow His ways and not ours, we are both more loving and understanding. We also make it a goal to have fun together. Let me give you an example.

Percy has been working nonstop to get our website up and running because so many people are wanting to watch our TV show online. So he spent most of the day yesterday on the computer apart from meals which I make sure we put all work aside and eat together and talk as a family. Anyway, so last night after the kids went to bed,” she said.

“I went to sit next to Percy so at least we were sitting next to each other while he worked. He had an online radio station playing softly in background and a nice love song came on so I said “let’s dance”. He was like “no, not now.. I am busy.”

I just turned up the music and pulled him up out of his chair even as he protested he didn’t have time for this! Sometimes I just have to make him step away from his work because otherwise the guy will work himself to death! By the time the song finished, he was smiling and laughing and I released him to get back to work, but then at least we could keep giving each other little loving looks after our spontaneous dance.

I am giving that as an example to say you have to be creative and you have to make it happen. Otherwise, even on lock down, we find ways to get busy and co-exist without laughter and love.”

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The King’s journal 

23rd November 2021
Kgafela Kgafela II

This book is a true-life story of an African King based in South Africa. The Last Frontier is a resistance stand by Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe and its line of Kings from 1885 against a dark force called ‘western democracy’ that is insidiously destroying lives, peoples, nations and threatens to wipe away whole civilizations in Africa.

The story flows through four important episodes of history, beginning in about 1885 when Bechuanaland Protectorate was formed. This section briefly reveals interactions between Kgosi Linchwe 1 and the British Colonial Government, leading to the establishment of Bakgatla Reserve by Proclamations of 1899 – 1904.

The second episode deals with Kgosi Molefi’s interaction with the British Colonial Government in the period of 1929-36. The third episode records Kgosi Linchwe II’s interactions with the British Colonial Government and black elites of Bechuanaland. It covers the period of 1964-66, leading to Botswana’s independence. Kgosi Linchwe ii resisted the unlawful expropriation of his country (Bakgatla Reserve) by Sir Seretse Kgama’s government of 1966 to no avail. He wrote letters of objection (December 1965) to Her Majesty the Queen of England, which are reproduced in this book.

The fourth episode covers the period between Kgafela Kgafela II’s crowning as King of Bakgatla in 2008 to 2021. It is a drama of the author’s resistance to the present-day Botswana Government, a continuation of Bakgatla Kings’ objection against losing Bakgatla country to the Kgama dynasty assisted by the British Government since 1885. The story is told with reference to authentic letters, documents, and Court records generated during the period of 1885-2019. There is plenty of education in history, law, and politics contained in The Last Frontier for everyone to learn something and enjoy.   

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Gospel concerts make a comeback

16th November 2021
Bishop Benjamin Dube

Hailed for being the prime gospel concert after the Covid-19 pandemic had put events to a halt, Golden Relic, in conjunction with Sweet Brands, recently unveiled the Arise and Worship Concert, Botswana. The show marks the return of worshippers and fans to enjoy music and worship together after what seemed like “cooler box” events were taking over the entertainment scene. 

The concert to be held on December 11th 2021, at the Molapo Showcase, has a packed lineup with the Headlining acts being Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela from South Africa and Botswana’s very own Obakeng Sengwaketse. More international acts from Nigeria and Ghana are also expected to grace the event. The show organizers have invested an effort in diversifying the lineup with live performances. 

The promoter of the Arise and Worship Concert, David “DVD” Abram revealed in an overview of the event that; “We have lost a lot of loved ones this year, and when that happens, one’s spirit goes down, and we need a light to ground us once more, to heal our souls. Therefore, the two main purposes of this event are to do the work of God and, secondly, to make sure that we nurture and develop talent in Botswana. With challenges that come up with events of such magnitude, the team and I have been committed to seeking guidance from God through having night prayers.” 

Abram added that as promoters, they usually have a bias towards already established artists, thus neglecting the upcoming ones and wanting to change that. “We approached the Melody Gospel TV Show since we aim at nurturing new talent and agreed on having one of the winners as a headliner for the event to allow them to share the stage with gospel giants so that they are exposed to the industry. This resulted in securing the Second Winner of the Melody Gospel TV show; Thabiso Mafoko as a local headlining act.”

The concert also aims at celebrating a Motswana. Multi-Award Winner; with the most recent title; BOMU Best Traditional Gospel under his belt, also best known for his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, Obakeng Sengwaketse enthusiastically said, “I want to thank the organizers of the Arise and Worship concert, it means a lot to me after recently winning two awards that are currently the highlight of my career.

I regard this as a great revival because the Covid-19 pandemic has muffled events such as this. I am looking forward to sharing the stage with the great Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela and more artists from Nigeria and Ghana. Sengwaketsi urged Batswana to come and witness the greatness of the Lord as their lives will never be the same.”

Tickets are selling like fat cakes with VVIP tickets having only five tickets remaining; the VVIP tickets include rounder access backstage to all the performing artists. The event will also comprise a seated Gold Circle Ticket, which accounts for 50% of revellers to allow for easier enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and avoid a potential stampede.

In a bid to entice merrymakers to buy tickets, the promoters have come up with a layby strategy and buying tickets on an instalment basis for the attendees to be able to buy their tickets since the COVID-19 Pandemic has left many Batswana in financial ruin but having the interest to attend the event.

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Fame vs Mental health

9th November 2021

One can only imagine what is like being in the public eye. It is not a walk in the park; and not as easy as people might think it is because of the pressure from the public. Celebrities or influencers are perceived to be perfect, perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect parents, financially stable, healthy, and always smiling and patient with everyone – Is this for real?

However, when people’s expectations of celebrities are not met, the same celebrities are often victimized, body shamed, or blamed, fairly or unfairly. As a result of them not having a personal life, they are often scrutinized in all aspects of their lives; their lives are aired for the public to see and judge. Celebrities are often extra careful about everything that they do, they have to go an extra mile as compared to how ordinary people live their lives.

To understanding this experiences by public figures, this reporter made a case study of Mr Lizibo Gran Mabutho, the firstborn in his family with only one sibling, his younger brother. Lizibo describes himself as a simple Kalanga guy who was chosen by music and did not choose music.

He said being raised by his mother and grandmother, he grew up surrounded by music from birth. Lizibo said his grandmother was a religious person who held church services at their house in Zwenshambe, “for me singing was from Monday to Sunday. I was not like any ordinary child who only sang at church on Sundays or sometimes in school assembly, for me it was a daily thing. My mother was also a talented dancer in our village that is what I mean when I say I did not choose music, but music chose me.”

Lizibo said though he grew up surrounded by music, it was hard for his parents to accept the path he has chosen to be a musician. Lizibo said he had to prove to his parents that music was his passion and that it could pay the bills like any other profession. He said eventually they saw his passion for music and supported him.

Lizibo said being exposed to music from a tender age made him venture into the music career from a tender age. He said he was part of the Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete (KTM) choir, Lizibo said being in the public eye for the longest time has taught him that he is living for the people and that he does not have a life. He said the very society that is watching him has so much expectation for him and that means he has to conduct himself in a good manner because people are looking up to him.

Lizibo said he understands the saying that great power comes with great responsibility, “when people see me, they see a role model. I realize and understand that people are and have been modelling me even when I was not aware of it, I know of six mothers who have named their sons after me because they felt that I inspire them somehow.”

He said he has accepted his fate that he will never have a normal life because people are looking unto him. He said he is grateful to be in the public on a positive note by bringing hope to the people because he has always wanted to be part of people’s solutions and not their problems.

He said, “people should understand that our careers are our calling. One needs to be spiritually connected to their calling as an artist. The most rewarding part about being in the public for me is not about payment but about being the solution to someone’s problem.”

Lizibo said the greatest challenge that he has ever faced about being in the public eye has been the issue of trust, not able to know which friends are genuine and which ones are not. He said as a way of avoiding fake friends he has always kept his four close friends who have been there for him through thick and thin. Lizibo said being close to his family has also helped him as they have been his strength when things were not going well for him, “most of the time people say we change when we taste fame. That is not necessarily true because people are the ones who changed when we became famous. People always want something from us, nothing is ever genuine with people and that is why I chose to keep my circle very small.”

Lizibo said as much as he travels a lot because of the nature of his work because it is naturally demanding, he said he always ensures that he creates time for his family. He said that at home he is Lizibo who is sent to do errands, he is Lizibo the son, not a celebrity.

He said there is a lot of pressure that comes with being in the spotlight, “the public puts so much pressure on us mostly about the material lifestyle they portray us to have. We are often compared with South African celebrities, but people fail to understand that we are two different countries. Most people fell into the trap and are living above their means resulting in them living in debt. I often tell youngsters not to fall into that trap of being tempted to live life above their means.”

The advice Lizibo gave to upcoming celebrities was that they should know that being in the public is not about them, but it is about the people. He said, “one of my mentors once asked me if I make music about myself or the people. He said I need to make music for the people because it is my responsibility to feed them with what they need, he said they might not even be able to know that they have a need but that I need to identify that need and meet it. Our responsibility is to serve people what they need, our music is to feed people’s hunger. My music is about love, I feed people love.”

Lizibo said it is important for celebrities to seek counselling and take care of their mental health, he said he has been investing in his mental health for years because he understands the importance of mental health especially when one is in the public.

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