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Lamodimo on life as a transgender


Being born different can be one of the most derailing things. Having to keep up with glares from strangers, simply because you are different can be stressful and hard to get used to.

Transgender persons find themselves having to explain themselves, simply because how they identify themselves is totally different from their gender. As complex as it gets, intersex people find themselves with complications as their sexual anatomy does not seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

For some, this can take them straight to an emotional break down. As for the 19 year Lamodimo Thondo Baitsiwe, she has chosen to be honest to herself. As other parents may find it very difficult to accept and raise their children the same unique way they were made, she openly shared that her mother has been a pillar in her life. Her mother also raised her as a girl child and did everything in her power to ensure she is comfortable and well treated.

Baitsiwe said that she noticed she was different from the other kids around her at the age of four years. “I noticed that I was different when I was 4 years old. I was bathing with my female cousins and I began to ask myself so many questions. As to why my body does not look like theirs while I am a girl. I was left with so many unanswered questions.”

“Since I had my mother’s support she made sure that I wasn’t bullied at school. I remember one time my mother went to school and told my teachers that her baby is different and they should cater for me and they must take me to the girl’s rooms whenever we are embarking on school trips. That made me feel loved and appreciated. I felt so unique and accepting myself wasn’t that hard,” she said.

Being born a transgender can be deemed ‘unusual’ by society when they are not well informed. Which she explained that a lot of people confuse transgender people with intersex which are totally different. In her own definition she said intersex is being born with characteristics of a male and a female.

“The challenge that I am currently facing is my gender marker on my official documents such as my Omang. Everything it is a challenge because I have to explain myself each and every time. I am required to issue my Omang because what people see differs from what is written on my ID. Most of the people that I’ve met did not give me any problems after hearing me out. I can’t complain.’’

“In my home village where i grew up, people are surprised because of the way I’ve turned out to be. They be like ‘kante Lamodimo gase mosimane’ and my mother is always there to give everyone an explanation to what i am currently going through.” Sometimes they find themselves thrown into the deep end, but she said they are given immense support to keep them afloat all times.

“In terms of mental health, yes a lot is being done in order for us to get psychological support. There are psychologists in Princess Marina who have assisted transgender and intersex persons and they are still assisting them. I applaud our government for that.

When it comes to organizations that advocates for transgender rights e.g. Rainbow Identity Association, they have come up with an initiative to assist transgender people when it comes to their mental health by getting in touch with private hospital and sensitising them on such issues for example Always Open clinic in KB Mall is also giving a helping hand,” she said.


While other transgender people find it very difficult to find partners who can accept them for who they are, she has never encountered any challenges in relationships as she has always met supportive partners.

“When it comes to relationships there are men out there who are purely attracted to transgender women and they are willing to be there for them at all times. I have a very supportive and caring boyfriend and I am looking forward to being his lawfully wedded wife. Actually we are both looking forward to that,” she said.

Rainbow Identity Association on Transgender & Intersex people’s mental health

Advocacy and Media Officer of Rainbow Identity Association (RIA), Urbenia Kgwarae explained that unlike Baitsiwe, many transgender and intersex people find themselves having mental issues due to stigma and other societal issues.

“Like many people under the LGBTIQ+ banner, intersex and transgender people experience a higher incidence of mental health issues, self-harm and suicide, along with higher than average rates of poverty, disability, and lower participation in higher education. This is as a result of a social phenomenon called ‘minority stresses. Minority stress describes the social and emotional impact that comes from being marginalized or discriminated against.”

Kgwarae further stated that people should not default to thinking that these problems come due to how the persons are born. “It is therefore important to shift understanding from the assumption that being intersex or transgender somehow essentially causes these problems, to placing the responsibility with society. Social and mental difficulties arise as a response to social hostility, rather than being somehow distinctively consequential.

As such, it is the job of mental health professionals to support their intersex and transgender clients, and to shift attitudes in society.” Kgwarae said. “Due to the legacy of pathologisation (representing something as a disease) that is attached to intersex and transgender conditions, and societal perception that there is something ‘wrong’ with intersex and transgender people, rather than simply understanding intersex and transgender status as a simple and natural variation of the human body and gender identity, intersex and transgender people often experience stigma and shame.”

“This stigma can have a powerful impact on family dynamics, and result in intersex and transgender people finding themselves either estranged from family members, or the source of family conflict. Under such circumstances, offering mediation can be an appropriate solution as long as it is the desire of the intersex and transgender person which RIA is currently doing and call the entire nation to join them in doing so by being supportive and accepting of the intersex and transgender people.”


Fastjet Zimbabwe launches Vic Falls – Maun route

28th June 2022

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.

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Botswana may host Miss World 2024

28th June 2022
Miss world 2024

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.”

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Fathers’ Day explodes!

28th June 2022

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.

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