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Champions of HIV Documentary honoured

Irene Shone

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LEGABIBO MOUTHPIECE: Bradley Fortune

Treat All Champions were yesterday awarded with certificates for the outstanding work that they have done throughout the year in creating awareness about HIV/AIDS across the country.

Their documentary has benefitted all age groups as it features both the young and the old from 19 to 72 years old. The documentary is an initiative of the American Embassy in collaboration with PEPFAR, the ministry of health, NACA and BONEPWA.

BONEPWA has four districts of the seven priority districts in the country. Through this initiative, 30 Treat All champions were trained in public speaking skills, so that they can communicate messages clearly to people living with HIV.

All the champions are living positively with HIV. The objective of the initiative is to reduce stigma as more people living with HIV talk about their lifestyles and status to enable more people to relate and accept them.

All the champions present at the event expressed gratitude at the initiative, saying it has helped to reduce stigma and also helped in educating more people on HIV. ARV Therapy Coordinator, Layani Mandiwana-Malemane said there has been stigma around HIV, which prevents people from enrolling on treatment once they test positive.

This she said contributed to the numbers of infected people who didn’t enrol in treatment. “Today we celebrate champions, the people living openly with HIV and 12 of them have collectively shared their stories through the Treat All documentary,” she said, adding that this will help control the epidemic.

Some of the Champions were awarded with special awards for the hard work that they have put in making people aware of HIV. Pontsho Lesenyo Sekisang, 21, was awarded with the Outstanding Work in reaching key populations while Stanley Monageng was awarded for Travelling long distances to reach the most communities.

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FREE AT LAST: LGBTI persons celebrate

Yvonne Mooka

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CELEBRATION TIME: The LGBT community celebrated the historic ruling on same sex romance this Tuesday

Thapelo Matshameko, a transgender woman who last year was attacked at Trekkers night club in Gaborone is over the moon about the High Court ruling that overturned a law that criminalised same sex relations.

A trans-woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. In response to the ruling, she told The Midweek Sun that even though she has had it tough before with people calling her ‘Brazen’ and to stop behaving like a woman, she is now happy that the law recognises that they exist. She said that Batswana are now becoming tolerant towards Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my bae, and I came all the way from my house wearing a dress. People that know me loved it and my boyfriend loved it even more,” she says, adding that the verdict will also help other LGBTI persons that are in the closet to come out.

In a previous interview Metshameko pleaded for assistance from members of the public to help her do a surgery that would make her a complete woman. For Motswakgakala Sithole also known as Motswafere in music circles, the ruling shows that Botswana is one step closer to gay marriages.

“Thank you to all the visible gay people. We take punches for those hiding and those shaming us for being visible and exercising our rights. You guys attended court cases with pride and you have carried us to freedom,” he said.

He also thanked Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), lawyers in the case, the media, and friends of the LGBTI community for their support. Phio Kenosi who identifies as trans non-binary asexual woma-romantic, (romantically attracted to the feminine essence), was also ecstatic.

“It is obviously showing that we are moving in a new direction that is positive and inclusive towards sexual and gender minority,” he said.

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Wame – a little einstein in the making

Irene Shone

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LITTLE EISTEIN: Wame Kangumbe

Wame Petit Kangumbe, 12, is an Optometrist in the making.

Kangumbe envisions taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the next level by inventing something scientific in the future.The standard 7 pupil at Ratsie Setlhako Primary School in Palapye impressed everyone during the BIUST 5th STEM Festival and Research and Innovation Symposium with her sharp answers during the fest.

The little Scientist believes that the entire country should embrace science and do more experiments, to find out more about our physical environment and shed dependency on foreign countries in terms of Science and Engineering.

Her secret to relating with different topics so well, is research and more research. “I like researching. We have Wi-Fi at home, and so I often use my mother’s phone to type different topics and interact with how everything is related. I always prepare for the next lesson through researching,” she said.

She said the poverty in Africa can only be eliminated through STEM. “If everyone could take interest in STEM, we would go further in terms of uplifting the status of our economies as African countries,” she said.

She urged her peers to believe in themselves and be serious about their education. “When you write down your notes in class, make an application of what you want out of them. Everyone’s life is in their own hands,” she advised.

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