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Wednesday, 06 December 2023

Authors’ ‘elegy’ shushed


Authors have long been yearning for a body that would protect their rights and ensure the integrity of their work. In response to this need, the Fiction Academic and Non-Fiction Authors Association (FANFABO) was recently established in Botswana. This association, registered by the Copyright Society of Botswana, aims to provide a platform for authors and writers to come together, support one another, and advocate for their rights.

The primary objective of FANFABO is to protect the integrity of authors and their work in Botswana. This is a crucial aspect, as authors invest their time, effort, and creativity into producing literary works that entertain, educate, and inspire readers. It is only fair that their work is respected and protected from any form of plagiarism or unauthorized use.

FANFABO is committed to promoting the rights of authors and ensuring that they receive due recognition and remuneration for their work. By joining forces, authors can collectively address issues such as copyright infringement, unauthorized distribution, and unfair compensation. FANFABO will act as a unified voice, advocating for stronger copyright laws and regulations that safeguard the interests of authors in Botswana.

One of the key benefits of FANFABO is the opportunity for authors to network and collaborate with fellow writers. Writing can often be a solitary endeavor, and connecting with like-minded individuals can provide a sense of community and support. FANFABO will organize regular events, workshops, and conferences where authors can share their experiences, exchange ideas, and learn from one another. This collaborative environment will foster creativity and encourage authors to push the boundaries of their craft.

The association also aims to promote literacy and a love for reading among the general public. FANFABO believes that literature has the power to transform lives and shape societies. By organizing book clubs, reading campaigns, and literary festivals, FANFABO will strive to make literature more accessible and appealing to people of all ages. Through these initiatives, FANFABO hopes to create a vibrant literary culture in Botswana, where authors are celebrated and their works are cherished.

In order to achieve its goals, FANFABO will work closely with the Copyright Society of Botswana, which has been instrumental in protecting the rights of creators in the country. By collaborating with this established organization, FANFABO can leverage its expertise and resources to effectively advocate for the rights of authors.

COSBOTS and FANFABO Chairperson, Bakalanga Malikongwa expressed content during the launch last week, saying that FANFABO will move the writing industry forward.

“It will help take the industry where markets trends are going. We will realize a drastic change in our image being more similar to the international one. FANFABO will take local authors forward, and we will see them being recognized in international forums and stages. COSTBOTS stands to empower creativity and this is one of our initiatives in that context.”

She however stressed that authors have been unable to excel in publishing books due to pricey costs, something that they strive to curb through sourcing funding for authors and writers.

Meanwhile, the renaissance of FANFABO raised eyebrows and sparked deviating conversations among authors. Some think that it is better late than never, while a small crop doesn’t not comprehend the whole essence of the association.

Perhaps, a lot of noise wasn’t made to ensure that FANFABO mandate reaches all those involved. They say corners have been cut. Authors became hard on COSBOTS, urging the society to keep its word for once, considering the back and forth that has been occurring in terms of artist’s royalties’ payments.

“There is not a lot of information about the association. I personally have not seen any official statement and I don’t understand the legal status of it, as to whether it is a society or what,” said Cole Motlogelwa, non-fiction writer of The English Man is Gone.

He further said if it’s a society, they will not be a part of it as they do not know its constitution and what it exists for, but indicated that there are other authors who are gratified about the establishment of FANFABO.

Multi award winning author, poetess, the brains behind Botswana Literature Awards, renowned publisher and Managing Director of Poeticblood Publishers Dr Lame Pusetso is of the view that FANFABO will be the voice of the literary works of the country to the authorities.

In an exclusive interview this week, Dr Pusetso said “We hope to see us partaking in the usual National Arts Festivals, benefitting from availed funds, assisted with financial aids and having spokespersons in the creative industry. I believe that having an entity that assists authors with monetizing their work may also bring a rise to new books being published and released as it will be motivating enough to see local authors winning financially.”

She further stressed the association should open up publishing companies to affiliate so that they are able to share common goal of supporting authors together with the association.

“This will also improve the relationship between the authors and publishers when they are affiliated to an association that has their good desires at heart,” Dr Pusetso said.

Author, Inspirational Speaker and Literacy Consultant at Poeticblood Publishers, Precious Tlou expressed contentment about the resurrection of FANFABO, stating that it should organize creative writing workshops and seminars for the stimulation of literary expression.

“FANFABO should also establish links with local, regional and international organizations with similar objectives for the betterment of authorship in Botswana. It should also organize exchange of experiences between authors and publishers in order to promote growth to higher level of literary standards.”

Inspirational writer, Author and Attorney, Trish Waboraro, chipped in and said that FANFABO should create networking platforms that will integrate writers from all walks of life as well as international inspiration, collaborations and partnerships.

“It should advocate for authors’ rights, protection and security of their work throughout generations. FANFABO should be a collective voice for writers and every party in the literary arts. Authors as individuals have not had an impact, they are supposed to have but the association can create that collective voice that will be heard across board.”

When further laying down her expectations, Waboraro said “It is our expectation that our rights as authors; being our intellectual and copyrights be safeguarded, protected and highlighted to the society at large. Authors have struggled for so long with the power to create business and rake money out of their work. We would want to see platforms created that empower writers and authors on how to position themselves and their work.”

With all said and done, the establishment of the FANFABO is a significant step towards protecting the rights and integrity of authors and their work. FANFABO will provide a platform for authors to come together, support one another, and advocate for their rights. By promoting collaboration, networking, and literacy, FANFABO aims to create a thriving literary community in Botswana. With the support of the Copyright Society of Botswana, FANFABO is poised to make a positive impact on the lives of authors and readers alike.




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DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.


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Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.


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Women in Science: Breaking Glass Ceilings

16th November 2023

Women scientists have made significant contributions to the field of science, yet they continue to face numerous challenges and barriers. Despite their remarkable achievements, women represent only a fraction of researchers globally, and their work often goes unrecognized. The need for scientific role models to inspire the younger generation is urgent. However, organizations like the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are working tirelessly to empower women scientists and promote gender equality in the scientific community.

The Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO have collaborated for over two years to support and recognize women scientists who have achieved scientific excellence. These organizations have awarded more than 100 laureates, with five of them going on to win Nobel Prizes. These women researchers, who have worked in various scientific fields across different continents, are not only changing the world through their discoveries but also serving as role models for aspiring women scientists.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programs annually support over 250 talented young women researchers. Through regional and national programs, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO provide crucial support to these researchers during their thesis or post-doctoral studies. While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to achieve true gender equality in science. However, both organizations remain determined to make this vision a reality.

Recently, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO hosted thirty winners of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 14th Rising Talents Sub-Saharan Africa awards in Kasane. These awards recognize African women scientists for their outstanding research. During a press conference, Fondation L’Oréal CEO Alexandra Palt emphasized the importance of empowering women scientists in Sub-Saharan Africa, a continent that suffers greatly from climate disruption. Palt highlighted the challenges these women face, including overcoming prejudice, sexism, and harassment, to become accomplished scientists.

The finalists of the awards are scientists, PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers who are advancing various disciplines such as biology, agronomy, physics, mathematics, genetics, and engineering. Their goal is to improve the daily lives of Africa’s people, whether through advancements in health or the environment. These women, such as Dairou Hadidjatou, a pioneer in cardiovascular disease treatment in Cameroon, Esther Uwimaana, conducting research on potential tuberculosis vaccines, and Mwende Mbilo, innovating clean energy solutions in Kenya, are driven by their desire to advance science and society.

The need for scientific role models to inspire the younger generation is crucial. Palt emphasized that Africa currently represents only 2.5% of scientists globally, making it challenging for young girls in Africa to pursue scientific careers when women researchers in their countries are often invisible in the media, scientific publications, and international forums. To address this, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO have increased the number of young talents awarded from 20 to 30. These researchers also receive leadership training to enhance their communication and negotiation skills, as well as their ability to address harassment and speak publicly or with the media.

By highlighting the achievements of these women scientists, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO aim to break the glass ceiling and provide them with the recognition they deserve. It is essential to take urgent action on multiple levels to enable these talented women to emerge onto the public stage and be acknowledged for their excellent work. Only then can we truly achieve gender equality in the scientific community.

In conclusion, women scientists have made significant contributions to science, yet they continue to face numerous challenges and barriers. Organizations like the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are working tirelessly to empower women scientists and promote gender equality in the scientific community. By recognizing and supporting these women, we can inspire the younger generation and create a world where women in science are celebrated and their work is valued.


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