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What 2018 has taught me

Yvonne Mooka

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The year is coming to a close and amongst the festivities and hopes for 2019, I think it’s important for me to look back over the past twelve months.

Not only to give myself a pat on the back, as we all deserve one of those for getting through another year, but to take a look at the lessons I’ve learned before I start to jump head first into what I hope 2019 will be like.

It’s always a huge mixture of feelings for me towards the end of a year. My December workload tends to be over the top and I start to panic to fit everything in. I then realise I haven’t done the basic Christmas list items such as cards, presents, clothes, among others. So not only do I want to see what lessons 2018 has taught me, I want to sit back, take a deep breath and allow myself this time to look back over a successful year before we’re celebrating the start of the next!

So much to be thankful for
Life is great and I really do have an abundance to be thankful for. For a safe warm place to live, for friends and family that offer me unconditional support and love and a job that leaves me feeling fulfilled and encouraged to achieve more. This doesn’t mean I had it all together. We all experience a rollercoaster of emotions and nothing should ever undermine the way we feel in that moment, but perspective is always a beautiful thing. One thing I’ve done this year that I would like to give myself time to do even more so in the next, is to have a brief moment at the end of a day to think about what I’m grateful for. Even the most basic of things can lift you up and make you realise just how great life is and it has encouraged me more than ever to give my time, love and support where there is need.

Create time for loved ones
I think 2018 has shown me to value my spare time and moments I spend with my family and friends even more. My year 2018 has been as busy as never before and sometimes time was getting over me. It hurts to miss special moments in your children’s lives; like birthdays. To miss their games at schools. Children love having their parents around at their school functions. They get excited at going for a swimming with us. We make their day when we converse them about changes in their lives. And when we giggle and laugh over small things together. As parents our children see us as their number one cheerleaders.

God still reigns
Like everyone else, I experienced a few ups and downs in 2018. But one thing I remain thankful is the hand of God over every situation I encountered. I learned that worship is a powerful warfare weapon. And of course I also learned that All things work together for good…(Romans 8:28). Above all, God is a covenant-keeping God. Individually, we must know our covenant rights.
I am praying for you that your faith will not fail.

Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
Twitter: @yvonnemooka
Email: yvonnequeen2003@gmail.com

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Bureaucracy impedes youth empowerment – Tshekedi

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama said government’s bureaucracy hinders youth participation in economic development.

Speaking during the Youth Awards on Saturday, Khama explained that the society has adopted the word bureaucracy and they live with it. “This word has contradicting terms with the way the youth think, this confirms the space between the youth and how we deliver. The honour is on us to deliver an enabling environment, we talk so much, we have had discussions in pitsos,”

He pointed out that, financial institutions have difficult regulations that hinder youth to access funding for their respective businesses. “When a youth approaches a financial institution, the first question would be where is your pay slip?, secondly, what security do you have? And they will say it’s bank regulations. We live in the bureaucracies of these regulations and it has become our DNA,” said Khama.

Over the years, government has introduced programmes that promote youth entrepreneurship, which include financing, capacity building, market access and marketing an outreach. Currently, the ministry is reviewing the Youth Development Fund to improve training of beneficiaries and encourage consortia and cooperatives.

Recently, when presenting the budget for the Ministry, Khama highlighted that the youth cohort constitutes the majority of the population and this is supposed to present the country with an opportunity to harness the demographic dividend. “Their energy, educational level and technology skills should be exploited to propel our country forward,” he said.

He also indicated that the youth is faced with socio-economic challenges including unemployment, poverty, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. “Therefore we must intervene to give them the best possible opportunities to achieve their dreams and help our country realize the ideals of vision 2036.”

Meanwhile, government disburses P120 million yearly as funding to youth enterprises and about 919 businesses have been funded in the last financial year. The youth have raised a lot of challenges in doing business, including high rentals for operating space, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities.

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Have a clear succession plan for peaceful transition

Matshediso Fologang

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How have we as a people treated succession? Though in our society succession has always been determined along patriarchal lineage, traditional leadership succession has not always been smooth.

There are known stories where families broke up in a battle for succession. Immediately in my mind comes the last split of the Ba-ga-Malete in 1892. The succession was based on the bravery and not on the strength being the first born child. Throughout Botswana many merafe have a history of succession that didn’t follow the rigidity of patriarchy.

Batswana as a people believe that talk is far better than war. Ntwakgolo ke ya molomo. We are a people who would spend a whole lot of time openly discussing a matter before a decision could be reached. Discussions on any matter put before a gathering of family, clan and morafe was never finalised without thorough discussion. All present regardless of their economic strength participated fully without hindrance. Decisions thereat were reached through consensus. Traditional leaders would skilfully announce the collective decision arrived at.

The good thing about this method of allowing all to participate – Mafoko a kgotla mantle otlhe and the Mmualebe bua gore monalentle a tswe lagwe – was basically premised on the principle of what our current crop of men and women who have read big books would call “participatory democracy.” Democracy therefore has never been an imported phenomenon amongst Batswana. Democracy has always been in our DNA. Regarding succession therefore it has always been based on the consensus of the majority.

The leader though selected among the royal family, his character also played an important role in determining his suitability. As we embraced western type democracy we have in our different political homes defined our succession plans. As a nation we have defined our processes of succession. In the age and era where, unlike in our tradition, we have written these, we do not therefore rely on memories. Our forebears relied on memories and nothing was ever in black and white.

However, our forebears knew succession if not properly handled could bring strife and instability amongst morafe. We were then not part of a collective of nations and therefore what transpired in our little morafe did not necessarily impact our relations with other merafe that much. If not handled well it could create a loophole for other merafe to wage a war against the morafe .

If any such person who had been overlooked for whatever reason felt strongly about such decision, he would either remain part of the morafe as a junior leader or migrate with his supporters. Peace would prevail. Even those who had held fort for their younger siblings would want to hand over a united morafe to his successor.

In modern society, a predecessor takes pride in the performance of his choice of successor. Travelling through history one envies the succession of Kgosi Ketshwerebothata Ikaneng and Mokgosi III and that of Kgosi Mmusi and Linchwe II. Such were Batswana leaders who worked together for the better interest of the merafe they led. What now and whither peace and love for the downtrodden?

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