The cultural heritage of every country is the basis of its identity. Without it, a nation loses its sense of belonging. Botswana’s founding President, Sir Seretse Khama, once said, “a nation without a culture is a lost nation.”
‘Sekhutlwana Sa Bannye’ is a project by Edwin Moroka, stage name, ‘Serurubele’, aimed at capturing kids while they are still young. Through this organization, which was established in 2017, he aims to provide a safe space for children to learn about and experience the culture of their country.‘Sekhutlwana Sa Bannye’when loosely translated means to provide a safe corner with no judgement for young children to learn about Setswana culture and all it encompasses, among them, music, dance, food, poetry and rites of passage.
Through the initiative, Moroka aims to promote and preserve the culture of the country through a children’s cultural event. He noted that the event aims to expose children to various cultural activities and provide practical teachings. Instead of focusing on the elderly, the event also aims to cater to the younger generations.
The cultural event is targets children of 16 years and below. 200 kids are expected to be in attendance with 400 adults, among them are dignitaries including Kgosi Oscar Mosielele of Bakgatla ba ga Mmanaana who also doubles as a Sekhutlwana sa Bannye patron. The event is to be held on May 7th at Rakola lands near Gabane, gates open at 9am. The event is free of charge to encourage parents to bring their children to experience culture, “Money is not important to preserve and continue culture,” said Emmanuel Boefelo, Coordinator of the event.
Moroka said the initiative was motivated by a drop in the number of students leaving school with positive results for Setswana as a subject. He noted that by holding the event, students would gain confidence in the subject and would also be able to relax during the event. He also said that by offering practical lessons, the event can help children get away from the classroom.
According to the 2021 school leaving examinations summary per subject, the report indicated that for Setswana Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE), grade B is the modal grade, at 36.79% while for the Junior Certificate Examinations (JCE), Setswana has the least proportion of candidates with 0.29%. ‘Serurubele’ has aided in teaching primary school students Setswana language. The sessions proved fruitful as the students performed exceptionally for their PSLE.”
‘Serurubele’ is also a host of Sekhutlwana sa Ngwao in one of the local radio stations. The radio program presented in Setswana aims to revive Setswana culture and tradition, promote the use of local languages and give children a stage to share cultural experiences to produce empowered and a knowledgeable people.
The program includes call ins from the audience who are children where they engage in all things Setswana. The show has captured the interest and hearts of the elderly generations as well as it reminds them of days of past and motivates them to hold on to the Setswana culture.
Moroka and his colleague, Boefelo, both came from a family that values culture and were determined to preserve it. They envision a Botswana where everything that is Setswana would be housed in a cultural village.
This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.
Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.
These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.
DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.
â€śFor the very first time in history of Big Brother, weâ€™ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.â€ť
Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.
Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2â€™s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.
Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign.Â #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.
We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.
Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.
DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.
THE WINNING CHALLENGE
Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).
These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.
The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencerâ€™s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.
Legwaila said â€śWe wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.â€ť
DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING
When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said â€śMultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for whatâ€™s to come in the next few weeks from our country.â€ť
The 71st Miss Universe competition will be going down at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans next week in the United States. There are eighty four entrants at this yearâ€™s Miss Universe, and Botswana will once again not be a part of the pageant.
The Miss Universe will be hosted by Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, who last served as host during Miss Universe 2020, while Mai last served as backstage correspondent during Miss Universe 2014. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall will serve as backstage correspondents. This will mark the first time in a 70-year history to have an all-female presenting panel.
Botswana last participated at the Miss Universe in 2013, in which the Miss Universe Botswana pageant was won by Tsoane Macheng. Ever since then, Botswana never made its return to the biggest beauty pageant in the world, despite its consistent ability to send a representative to participate at the Miss World competition.
Miss Universe Botswana Director, Safie Sekgwa, allegedly holds the Miss Universe license. Efforts to reach him proved futile, as his mobile phone rung unanswered.
Despite Botswana showing zero efforts in participating at the Miss Universe, the beauty pageants 2019 crown was flanked by two smaller diamonds cut from the same stoned mined in Botswana.
Jewelry designer Mouawad created a new â€śPower of Unityâ€ť crown reportedly worth 5 Million US Dollars, and the title was won by South Africaâ€™s Zozibini Tunzi. She was the third South African to be crowned Miss Universe.
BOTSWANAâ€™S POOR RECORD AT MISS UNIVERSE
Botswana is said to be one African country with the most beautiful women, but, the poor performance at the Miss Universe, communicates otherwise. Perhaps, representatives at the pageant are not academically gifted, as the Miss Universe tests how keen they are also.
Mpule Kwelagobe made history when she was crowned Miss Universe 1999. That was few months after she was crowed the first ever Miss Universe Botswana. Kwelagobe became the third woman from Africa who was crowned Miss Universe.
In 2000, Miss Universe Botswana then, Joyce Molemoeng did not place at Miss Universe, and the same blue reality struck again in 2001, when Mataila Sikwane also failed drastically.
After a two year hiatus, Miss Universe 2004, Icho Keolotswe also failed to place at Miss Universe. That was the end of participation at Miss Universe, only to return in 2010. Tirelo Ramasedi, Miss Universe 2010 also did not win. The same losing trend followed from 2011 (Larona Kgabo), 2012 (Sheillah Molelekwa) and 2013 (Tsaone Macheng).
MISS UNIVERSE 2022 UNDERWAY
Preparations are ongoing to hold the 71st Miss Universe competition. Harnaaz Sandhu of India will crown her successor at the end of the event. There are nine countries which have withdrawn from participating: Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Romania and Sweden.
As for returns, Miss Universe 2022 will see Angola, Belize, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Uruguay.
Lebanon won Miss Universe in 1971, Angola in 2011, Trinidad and Tobago in 1977 and1998. Youngest Miss Universe 2022 participants are aged 18, and they are from British Virgin Islands, Iceland and Krgyzstan and Switzerlandâ€™s representative is nineteen.
MISS UNIVERSE ALMOST 6 MILLION US DOLLAR CROWN
Miss Universe has unveiled its new crown for the 71st competition. The new crown, â€śThe Crown Number 12: Force for Goodâ€ť was crafted by world renowned luxury jeweler Mouawad.
The new crown, with pear-shaped blue sapphires surrounded by diamonds and valued at approximately 5.58 Million US Dollars, will be the prestigious mark of honor for the winner this coming week.
According to the Miss Universe organization, the Force for Good crown emanates Mouawadâ€™s passion for crafting the extraordinary, featuring the meticulous setting of sapphires and diamonds, whose design is replete with symbolism.
Reflecting the point that significant change does not happen in an instant, the base of the crown is set with diamonds symbolizing the status quo. From the base upwards, rippling wave motifs reflect the momentum of change, with their varying sizes portraying that this momentum gains ground gradually through advocacy at different moments and places, to audiences large and small, over time.