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Pomp and celebration at IndoTswana Day

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The IndoTswana Day held this past Sunday at Gaborone Interntional Convention Centre (GICC) sprung a few pleasant suprises to the delight of patrons among them President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi and First Lady Mma Atsile.

Besides the cultural performances and fashion show depicting the rich diversity of both India and Botswana’s cultures, the event presented a unique feature of women empowerment as it was exclusively organised and completely run by women.

High Commissioner Dr Rajesh Ranjan’s welcome address was basicaly to acknowledge the shared values that underpin the bilateral relations between the two countries. These include democracy, pluralism, expanding economic engagement and longstanding people to people ties, as attested by the growing numbers of Batswana visiting and studying in India and the Indian Diaspora in Botswana.

He excited the audience when he revealed that India’s ongoing general elections has registered over 900 million voters and that the counting will be done in less than a day. India’s elections will be completed on May 23, 2019 while Botswana is bracing for its poll this October. The greater part of the night was dedicated to performances, eating and drinking as well as a donation handover of P111,111 to Ipelego Community Trust and sharing of experience by Mrs Jamal Ahmad, a recipient of the prestigious award Pravasi Bhartiya Divas – PBD 2019.

Ahmad received the award in Varanasi U.P, India on the 21st January 2019 as a token of Indian government’s appreciation of her outstanding service in Botswana.Accompanied by her husband, Mrs Jammal Ahmad, who is the Chief Eecutive Officer of the Jamal Group of Companies told The Midweek Sun that she came to Botswana in 1971 and taught at Gaborone Secondary School before joining the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning as a Librarian and later moving to Industry of Home Affairs.

She left the public service in 1981 and then started Jamal Trading Company, which would later grow into many other companies – BSS Property Investment Comoany, Nata Timber Industries, Eezze Build and Construction Works. Also patronising the India-Botswana Cultural Day were Minister Unity Dow and Chief Justice Terrence Rannowane as well as Indian business leaders among them Manhar Mooney of Room 52 and Ramachandran of Choppies retail stores.

To cap the night Elmy Mabe, a Motswana woman sang a Hindi song while two Indian ladies going by the tag, Bollywood Girls performed a rendition of ‘Tsaya thobame oba bolae’, which they said was dedicated to President Masisi.

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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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