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HOMOSEXUALITY SAGA: Banana Club bent out of shape

For the past two weeks now, churches have been on crusade against the proposed Homosexuality Bill, which seeks to introduce amendments pertaining to homosexuality. Churches argue that homosexuality shouldn’t be allowed in Botswana, as it is against teachings of Christianity.

Churches outcry comes at the backdrop of a recent landmark ruling of the Court of Appeal that came in favor of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community, granting the minority group rights and protection against discrimination.

This morning, churches held an anti-LGBTQ demonstration from Blue Tree in Maruapula to Parliament, as they petitioned Members of Parliament (MPs) to either denounce or call for a national referendum on the bill.

When speaking during a press conference on Thursday, churches confirmed that thousands of petition letters have been delivered to the rest of the country through constituency offices. Botswana has 57 constituencies, which means that the campaign is likely to reach its desired 100% coverage.

This major demonstration comes after churches held a similar exercise in Molepolole. This means that Molepolole North MP, Oabile Regoeng has received his petition letter. Today, churches strive to deliver the same letters to MP Christian Greef, Gaborone legislators as well as those who will be present.

Banana Club says they stand with unwavering pride as they witness Botswana take a historic stride towards equality and social justice. “We believe it is essential to delve into the significance of this moment and address the deeper aspects surrounding the Penal Code Amendment Bill.”

Launched in 2019, Banana Club, a community project by Banana Emoji Studio, is an artist-led collective aimed at creating safe space platforms for dialogues in the LGBTQIA+ community. It aims to work with various key publics to promote the visibility and inclusion of queer individuals in Botswana through contemporary art and strategic engagements.

The group said the Penal Code is the cornerstone of the country’s legal system, encompassing laws that outline and define criminal offenses. According to Banana Club, the Penal Code serves to protect the rights and safety of all citizens, deter criminal behavior and uphold justice. “However, the Penal Code can also reflect the prevailing societal norms, and historically, this has led to the criminalization of consensual same-sex relations in many countries.”

“For years, some sections of the Botswana Penal Code unjustly criminalized same-sex sexual relations, perpetuating discrimination, stigmatization and marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community. These outdated provisions directly infringed upon the fundamental human rights of individuals based on their sexual orientation, leading to fear and alienation.”

Banana Club Attorney, Obakeng Chabanga, said the Court of Appeal’s decision in affirming the rights of the LGBTQ+ community to live free from discrimination and persecution is a testament to the judiciary’s commitment to upholding justice and equality.

Chabanga said the recent tabling of the Penal Code Amendment Bill in Botswana’s Parliament marks a significant turning point in the country’s journey towards inclusivity and human rights protection.

“The amendment aims to uphold the decision of the Court of Appeal which decriminalized same-sex sexual relations by striking out the offending sections of the Penal Code of Botswana. This courageous move reflects Botswana’s commitment to ensuring that every citizen is treated with dignity and respect, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

According to Chabanga, the intended purpose of this amendment is to foster a society that embraces diversity and recognizes the inherent worth of all its members. By acknowledging that love knows no boundaries and removing discriminatory laws, Chabanga stressed that Botswana paves the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for LGBTQ+ individuals.

“Recently, there has been a wave of protests by religious groups seeking not only to contest and debate the Bill but also to urge Members of Parliament to reject the Bill. An argument raised by the religious fanatics is that the Bill is anti-Christian and therefore the MPs must uphold “The word of God.”

Chabanga highlighted that Botswana stands as a secular state, where the state functions independently from any religious doctrine. The principle of secularism ensures that laws and policies are not dictated by any one religious’ belief, safeguarding the rights of all citizens, regardless of their faith.

“While we respect the right of individuals to hold religious beliefs, it is crucial to recognize that a secular state acknowledges and protects the rights of every citizen, including the LGBTQ+ community. It emphasizes the importance of creating a legal framework that is fair, just, and respects human rights, regardless of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Despite the momentous progress, Chabanga said they acknowledge that some members of the Christian community have expressed opposition to the Penal Code amendment. “As a collective, Banana Club firmly condemns any form of hate, discrimination, or violence directed towards the LGBTQ+ community. We believe in promoting love, empathy and acceptance, valuing the richness that diversity brings to society.”

Chabanga further said “We continue to build bridges of empathy and dispel misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community. We hope for a nation not dictated by a tyranny of the majority but one where the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals are respected and upheld.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WeekendLife

Creatives taking over 2023

26th September 2023

Creativity is seen everywhere and these individuals did something recently that’s never been done before, and some are still killing it. We see creativity on streaming platforms, stages, runways, social media and boardrooms even. Some of them are revamping their businesses, and lately, clothing sale is thriving.

They love concept-driven designs, storytelling and they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that will leave footprints in the sand. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, these creative minds utilized the drawing board and they became cognizant that monetizing content will actually take them far, which is frank nonetheless.

This is commendable though, but the creative industry will still need support from government in order for it to flourish further. Allocation of resources (funds, facilities and empowerment) should be done consistently, creativity must be raised and at the end of the day, the economy benefits from that kind of investment.

HAN C

Ever since he parted ways with his former manager, DJ Bougee Sid, Mahalapye born-pint sized, multi-award-winning artist, Hanceford Magapatona has been taking up space, unapologetically so. Han C has shown a strong will to take over the entire world, and he is in the right direction. He’s solely organizing the annual Mahalapye Spring Festival, which is taking place next weekend.

The Pepetetsa hitmaker raked some monies from his savings to put together this event. Mahalapye Spring Festival will feature Paige, Ubuntu Band, Khoisan, Amantle Brown and Double Up among others. Even though it didn’t come as a surprise, Han C was nominated at African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) in the US, under Best Male Southern Africa category.

However, the award was snatched by the late South African rapper, AKA. Its not all lost as Han C secured two nominations at the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs): People’s Choice of the Year and Best Male Single.

KOKETSO MOTSWAGOLE

This entrepreneur has turned his dreams into reality, and his promising apparel business is now a fashion destination. Matter of fact, Motswagole weathered the storms to be where he is now because through criticism and social media bullying, he still leads the pack in fashion.

His social media accounts got deleted but through his online store, KM Sales, Motswagole is able to rake in some profits. He initially started selling from his car but now owns a busy store and has employed a number of young people.

KM Sales has been offering fashionable items (shoes, t-shirts, pants) and has been participating in various lifestyle events such as Garden of Drip where it showcases its products.

If there is one young entrepreneur to draw motivation from is Koketso. The business started from humble beginnings, at the time when he worked part time at Ipelegeng as a casual labor. Indeed, good things come to those who wait, or well, work like a slave today, live like a king tomorrow.

KAGISO LUDO DE KLERK

Vee Mampeezy’s ex-wife Kagiso De Klerk clearly did not sit and weep over their dramatic divorce. The famous social media influencer hurriedly picked up the pieces and went hard on promoting business online. She literally took social media influencing to the head and it is working for her.

This year saw her partnership with Shell reach greater heights, and obviously, she is raking lot of pulas from the deal. Kagiso has been making frequent appearances in top events in South Africa such as Bubbles in Spring and Gold and Diamond Experience.

GAONA DINTWE

After a long break from the limelight, renowned media and radio personality, Gaona Dintwe is back. She was missed by many on TV, and she’s back where she belongs, news anchoring on BTV. Gaona has also found a niche in podcasting. She is a host of her own podcast, Gaona Live Conversation, where various people share their stories on camera.

Some of what they discuss is Gender Based Violence (GBV), polygamy and drug addiction. This is highly commendable because even BTV doesn’t have programs that discuss these crucial social issues. The Lentswelemoruti native is also seen in various corporate events where she is engaged as a host.

 

 

 

 

 

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WeekendLife

DITIRO LEERO ONE MAN SHOW ON THE PIPELINE

26th September 2023

Now that one-man shows are made fashionable, traditional dance guru and ex-convict, Ditiro Leero is joining the crusade and he will be hosting his also. The show will be held next month at Zone 4 Farm in Selokolela, but the there are traditional dance music artists who have been lined up to perform at the show. Matshana, Morwa Leka and Maswailathota will be doing their thing and probably bring some heat too. Ditiro Leero will be making history as the first traditional artist to host a one-man show in Botswana.

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WeekendLife

MISS BOTSWANA HAVING MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE

26th September 2023

With only two months before Miss World 2023, the reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo is having many irons in the fire, preparing for the much-anticipated beauty pageant. Miss World 2023 will be the 71st edition of Miss World pageant and it will be held in India. Chombo has been spotted toning her body at Jack’s gym, a requirement that is taken seriously at the pageant. She has also been participating in charity events, something that should add to her profile at the Miss World.

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