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Athletes conspicuously missing

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Local athletes were surprisingly missing at the Gaborone International Meet (GIM) athletes press conference held ahead of the track and field competition that took place this past weekend in Gaborone.

The only local and top athlete present was 400m runner Baboloki Thebe at the event meant to give athletes a chance to discuss with the media their preparations ahead of the annual meet. It would prove even more embarrassing and disappointing when other participating nations that had been reported to have already arrived in Botswana did not show up either.

It was also at that time during the press conference, that one of the GIM returning sponsors Mascom, through its representative Tirelo Kooagile mentioned that he was actually seeing Thebe for the first time. He said that the star athlete was actually taller in person as he has only seen him on television.

It would even turn more awkward later that evening during the sponsors night meant to recognize and appreciate all who had contributed to the success of the 2019 meet, none of the local athletes were present but only a few athletes from the likes of Nigeria, Malawi and Lesotho managed to grace the event.

Botswana had over 200 athletes participating at the 2019 edition of GIM. The Meet Director, Glody Dube was quick to take the blame for it all, saying it was actually neglect from their side. Though they had sent out invitation to athletes, they did not arrange with athletes properly in terms of transport and other logistics.

Dube explained that the few foreign athletes that managed to attend the press conference and the sponsor’s night were accommodated at Oasis motel, which happened to be the venue for the two separate events. “Zambia, for instance is housed at the other end of town and I believe they found it difficult to travel this side,” Dube said.

As for the absence of local top stars such as Onkabetse Nkobolo, Isaac Makwala, Christine Botlogetswe and Galefele Moroko among others, Dube said that there was no proper arrangement made for them to attend the event either. He added that it might have also proved difficult for them to attend because an athlete requires lots of rest a day before competition. “We will look into the matter going forward so as we do not find ourselves embarrassed or inconveniencing athletes,” Dube noted.

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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