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Kan  ye believe it?

You will be forgiven for thinking the world has gone mad. From adults fighting each other for toilet paper when there is no shortage of supply, international travel practically ground to a halt, queuing for petrol overnight…hardly what we recognise as our world.

And, fitting in with all things mad, that this year Kanye West would run for president of the United States of America. Why not, he can afford it.

If you consider that the combined spend of Hilary and Donald in the last presidential campaign was in excess of $1,3 billion and that the 42-year-old rapper with his many assets — including Yeezy, his music label and real estate — and his debt, has an estimated worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes, he has enough for the campaign – but just!. Perhaps that explains why Kanye West has now decided to shop for his children’s clothes at the discount store Walmart.

You know the name Walmat, but you may not know the backstory and it’s one worth telling.

Walmart was the brainchild of founder Sam Walton, one of the most successful businessmen of the twentieth century and named as the richest man in the United States by Forbes magazine in 1985.

Born in Oklahoma, USA, 1918, the year that WW1 ended, Walton attended the University of Missouri, working  as a lifeguard, waiter, and newspaper delivery driver to pay his tuition fees and graduated  in 1940 with a degree in economics.

Following graduation, he aspired to attend the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, but finding he couldn’t afford it he instead took a job as a manager trainee at J.C. Penney in Des Moines, Iowa, where he worked for 18 months before serving in the Army during World War II.

In 1945, after the war, Walton opened his first store, a Ben Franklin franchise, in Newport, Arkansas.  Ben Franklin specialised in out-of-town outlets selling arts, crafts and décor supplies and over the next 20 years Walton built up a chain of 15 of the franchised stores.

While still operating these outlets, he approached Herbert Gibson, founder of an already-successful discount chain in the American south, to discuss the possibility of a partnership. Rebuffed for having too little capital, Walton decided to go it alone from zero, with his new store brand, Walmart.

By 1991, Walmart surpassed the iconic Sears, Roebuck & Company to become the country’s largest retailer, Sears falling to third place after Walmart and Kmart. As of the end of 2018, Walmart is still was one of the largest companies in the world, with a market capitalization of more than $275.8 billion.

If you who have not visited the United States or been in a Walmart store, imagine a store with a floorspace  the size of a football field, selling everything from clothing and electronics to hunting equipment, DVDs, cosmetics, homeware, toys and much more besides, all at extremely competitive prices.

Their Supercentres also carry a complete supermarket  and liquor range,  Known affectionately as Wallyworld, it’s no wonder it’s the go-to chain for cash-strapped families and indeed anyone looking to save a few bucks on their household expenses.

So imagine my surprise, then when I read this headline in the online Daily Mail this morning.

Kanye loads up on children’s clothes from Walmart and visits the bank with friend Damon Dash who denies the rapper is ‘crazy’ and slams Kim after she blamed his erratic behaviour on ‘bi-polar disorder’ 

The header was accompanied by some pap shots of the rapper in his local Walmart outlet and the article went on to explain

‘Sporting newly-dyed red hair, Kanye and his friends, and two security guards, headed to the chain store in Cody, Wyoming, Wednesday, which is near his ranch where the star is said to be holed up away from wife Kim.

Kanye and Dash were pictured browsing clothes in a Walmart store before snapping up a range of kids’ clothes and bags, and loading up on items from aisles promoting bargain goods for $3.77. It is a marked departure for Kanye, whose Yeezy range sells sneakers for more than $11,000 and whose family are typically in head to toe designer. ‘

Reportedly having more money than God, this may the clearest sign ever that Kanye West has lost touch with his own reality, forcing his kids to slum it in mass-market rags.  Great advert for Walmart, though – Sam is probably tuning in his grave, the latter to rub his hands with glee!

As President of the US, West will be able to preach the need to cut back when times are tough, budget accordingly and make sacrifices and can back it all up with his recent Walmart experience! I am not sure however that it will be enough for people to feel that they are in good economic hands as he has offered very little economic strategies although he did propose at his rally a few days ago that “everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars.”

I am not sure if that constitutes an economic strategy, madness or if that that can even fly, unlike West who is looking like being away with the fairies and more Monty Python’s Flying Circus than President!

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”


Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”


Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.


Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)


Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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