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Of shortgun weddings and BAs

Zezuru graduate

Running into a Zezuru graduate is as scarce as a hen’ teeth in Botswana, so they say…But last week a Zezuru lady, Percy Magada caused eyebrows to raise, when she posted on social media about her latest academic achievement – a Bachelor’s degree from University of Botswana.

She is not the first to get this feather in her cap, many have done it before – just that she attracted attention. Magada says she is a chip of the old block – both her parents are Zezuru. She hopes that her open declaration on her culture and education would help clear the air and address stereotypes associated with her tribe.

Almost everyone, except Zezurus themselves, have climbed on this bandwagon that members of this tribe do not want their children to go to school. By her declaration, Magada was showing that not all Zezurus are like that, she wanted to nip generalizations in the bud. There is no doubt that Zezuru culture is one that has received extreme bashing because of how some of the members do things.

In the Zezuru set up, girls generally have their wings clipped; and in some cases given away in shotgun weddings. They are born to be wives and going to school, especially for those who are members of the church, is forbidden. It is normal to see Zezuru children walking the streets at school time selling artifacts.

With time though, things had to change as some like Magada were given an opportunity to study and become empowered and to occupy better positions in the cooperate space.

Recently social media went abuzz when 24 year old Magada cut a wide swath when she wore her Zezuru white dress and a head wrap on her graduation day at the University of Botswana. From her social media account, it is evident that Magada is one who long came out of the shell – she is very sociable. This not common with Zezurus.

Something many people are not used to and some were asking questions if people her calibre are also associated with being learned. Weekend Life interviewed her about her culture and how much it means to her for her to make it her wardrobe optimal on her graduation day.

“I kind of knew that people will be surprised because I had never seen an instance where a Zezuru person graduates or present themselves as from our culture during their graduation day. I went viral on social media and I did not expect it. It was just too much. I just loved the reactions, the love and everything,”

Magada’s family long deserted the sinking ship, she opened up about growing up; being raised up by both parents. Her parents did not practice the full basket of the Zezuru culture and norms. “Thing is Bazezuru have their own way of living. Girls are not supposed to wear pants or to do their hair either. Especially when you go church. This Zezuru lifestyle is influenced by the church. If you do not go to their church, that means you are not forced to live by their rules,” she said.

Her parents had to adopt the devil-may-care-attitude for her to navigate school all the way to university. “Even going to school, it is a rule that has been made by the church. Now it is only a few people that practice that. But back then people practiced that without fail. Young girls were raised in such a way that they are taught to be women at a very young age. They feel if they go to school they won’t be given enough attention on womanhood. At a tender age, they are taught to clean, to take care of a man, doing laundry and to make money as well. But things are gradually changing as they now acknowledge the importance of education,” Magada narrated.

Magada’s parents had to dig into their heels to ensure that they raise their children differently. Though she is from that background, she was no way associated with Zezuru church and its rules. Her parents valued education. Unlike other young girls from her culture, she was never given to a man at a very young age. But she is quick to point out that her parents instilled certain teachings to ensure she becomes a complete package.

“I was taught how to be a woman and how to do house chores. I was also taught how to take care of a man; and I was never stopped from going to school. I was taught how to make money at a very young age. I am a self-taught makeup artist, an online business owner: Reflections of Beauty and a YouTuber. I sell clothes and wigs to make money,” she said.

When quizzed on their white clothes she said, “When you are a Zezuru woman you have to wear those with a head scarf always. With me it was different because of where I came from.” Showing off her wear on social media was no dog and pony show, it was a moment of pride and she is ready to draw fire for it.  She is not proud of the negativity around her tribesmen and women, Magada said as young Zezuru women they believe the tide has changed and they will not eat crow.

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Vee Mampeezy wants to marry again!

28th November 2022

In May 2014, controversial pint sized musician, Odirile Sento married his longtime girlfriend, Kagiso Sento in a glamorous wedding, not knowing that eight years later, the two will be fighting until the very end of their holy union.

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Motsetserepa needs help

18th October 2022

Mental health is one critical element in someone’s life but gloomily, it is often overlooked. Topics centered on mental health and depression dominate the public discourse. The national conversation surrounding mental wellness, both online and offline has aided in the stigma of suffering from depression being removed, slowly but surely.

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TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch

14th October 2022

On Saturday 29 October 2022 (11:00- 15:00) Bash Connektor will be presenting their 1st TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch which will be hosted by Basadi’Bash’Masimolole. Tatso. A Setswana word. Taste  .Tatso / ta-tso/. verb.

The Brunch will be held at Myhomecafe by Mogobane Dam and tickets are selling at P650 per person. Only 50 tickets available and sold through pre-booking. The value of the offering will be a brunch meal + bottomless mimosas + connekting conversations that matter with leading women in corporate and entrepreneurship. This is an inspirational / empowerment connekting session for Women.

Bash Connektor is a Marketing Company with a twist founded in March 2022 by Basadi Bash Masimolole who has 15 years plus Marketing Experience. The INTENT of Bash Connektor is to Link People, Experiences, and Brands. The K instead of C is INTENTIONAL. We are all about contributing towards AMPLIFYING brand and country messages through curating experiential offerings and connekting conversations that matter, said Basadi Masimolole.

With a sponsor or funding, Basadi Masimolole’s ultimate goal is to have visual podcasts and empowerment connektor sessions at villages as part of cultural tourism and contributing towards the Botswana Government’s Rural Areas Development Program (RADP).

Individuals interested in purchasing the limited number tickets or Brands interested in participating on the TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch through sponsorships/ brand placement opportunities can reach Basadi’Bash’Masimolole on +267 7140 6660 / masimololebasadi@gmail.com / Bash Connektor Facebook page.

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