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Reclaiming your sanity

Yvonne Mooka



My life is as busy as it gets. Away from my household duties, I also do community work that involves hosting seminars, doing ministry work and being a regular guest at local radio stations. I am passionate about serving. Nevertheless, it comes with too much burnout.

With all the psychological warfare bombarding us on a daily basis, we need to reclaim our sanity. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me keep my sanity. I hope you will begin to think of yours and appreciate the magic they do on you.

My family is my secret weapon. I love knowing that I have a home to go to every day after work. I have realized that you can achieve so much, and that it is even amazing to celebrate with your family. Being outdoors and being active while creating memories is a huge stress release for me. Some of the photos of my family where we’re looking the happiest are when we’re doing activities together. We also like to go on long drives where destination is really a bonus. Too much laughter!

Using my phone to capture daily moments that make me smile, and sharing some of them on Facebook and Twitter to make everyone else smile is a recipe for happiness. If you have a smartphone, why not live a little? Take those pictures. One day you will be a memory. My late brother used to complain about my obsession with pictures. Whenever we met, he would know. Our family get-togethers were always incomplete without me taking pictures. And now that he is gone, I have his many pictures on my phones.

The to-do list will never end, ever. I’ve learned to give myself permission to sit and shape my eyebrows, or read a book, or watch a silly African-American movie, or anything that doesn’t involve ‘getting stuff done’ without feeling any guilt about it. I don’t do it as often as I should, but I’m getting better at it. Make sure you take time for yourself, so that your well is full enough to give to others.

Life with God is remarkable. Knowing He is there with me always gives me the peace that surpasses understanding. Talking to Him in prayer gives me confidence to face my days. I worship Him to be intimate with Him. Over the years, I have seen how amazing God is. It is very important to have a personal relationship with Him.

We all have to deal with the unpleasant circumstances of life. What we need to do is shift thoughts towards a more positive frame of mind and take control of how we react. When we are dealing with the pressures of life, we don’t need to add ridiculous expectations on ourselves. If there are high expectations, it puts you more at risk for disappointment if you fail to meet them. I believe more in excellence than perfection.

Facebook/Instagram: Yvonne Tshepang Mooka
Twitter: @yvonnemooka

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Bureaucracy impedes youth empowerment – Tshekedi

Keikantse Lesemela



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



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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