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Yvonne Mooka



Many people know Trish Waboraro Kwati as a vibrant lawyer, author, popular MC and worship leader. What they do not know, she says, is that she has been to hell and back. The 31-year-old Bobonong woman shares her sad childhood memories:

Her parents divorced when she was six years old. “All I know is that my mother was kicked out of her matrimonial home by our father with four children. “He had turned our mother into his punching bag and was a deadbeat drunkard who treated his wife like a doormat. Ten years after her divorce, she could still narrate her painful story like it happened yesterday,” she says, adding that “her two missing front teeth reminded her of her abusive marriage.”

Trish grew up seeing her other family members going through the same ordeal of physical and verbal abuse. “One of my relatives was threatened by her lover at gunpoint at a police station. In another incident, I wanted to take it upon myself to beat my relative’s boyfriend after he assaulted her in front of me,” she says. At 13 years old, she was accused of wrecking her neighbour’s marriage. She tells The Midweek Sun that the rumours were started by people in her neighbourhood in Bobonong.

“I still do not know why they did that. I had not even had my first boyfriend yet, and I knew nothing about boys. “But again, growing up, I was always outspoken and a go-getter. That character made some people believe the accusations levelled at me,” she says. She says that the woman who accused her of home wrecking would insult her so badly that it got out of hand as she also extended the insults to her mother. “My mother was sick at home, struggling with diabetes. One day when she was being taken to the hospital the woman stood by the fence with another neighbour shouting: ‘Kare wa swa ke AIDS. O tlogela bana ba gagwe ba re thubela malwapa. A a swe,” she says. This, she says, affected her academically as she was known as a homewrecker.

“One day I was walking from school and one of the village rascals shouted at me, ‘Heela wena lebelete ke wena, o tsaya gore ke bokwete go thubela batho malapa? O tla swa ka bonana…” she recalls.
She says that her mother died at the time she was being accused of home-wrecking. Trish, as Kwati is popularly known, somehow blamed herself and felt she could have survived if she had not tried to defend her against her accusers.

Abused by the father of her son
Even though Trish says that she once told herself that no man in her life would abuse her, the worst happened when she met the father of her child. It all started with emotional and verbal abuse and blackmail, as she puts it. “He’d use words like ‘bi**h’ on me, telling me that I’m not a woman enough,” she says. She stayed in the relationship because the more the abuse escalated the more she felt she needed to make herself a better woman for her boyfriend.

“He wanted a slay queen and a light skinned girl; in essence she was expecting the raw village girl in me to become a slay queen overnight,” she says. One day, she says, her boyfriend pushed, strangled and told her he was going to kill her. He told her: ‘Three holes do not make you a woman. You are not a real woman, not even enough to raise my child.’ This, she says, remains the biggest insult she has had from a man. Explaining what he meant by ‘Three holes don’t make you woman,’ Trish has this to say:

“This was to say that me having a vagina, an anus and a pee hole did not qualify me to be a woman.” The memories of an abusive relationship last long, according to Trish who adds that it took her seven years to start looking at men and trusting them again differently after her experience. She is now using her testimonies to encourage women to have a life of purpose and to know that they do not need men to complete them but to complement them. She has also written two books – The Worship Leader Manual and Broken, the latter talks about finding purpose in her pain.

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A welcome snitch

Yvonne Mooka



CELLPHONE TRACKER: Tebogo Aaron says criminals have labelled him a snitch for helping the police track people’s stolen property

Tebogo Aaron works hand-in-hand with Botswana Police Service to track down missing and stolen cellphones.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, the 38-year-old man from Mahalapye says that on average, he traces between 25 and 50 mobile phones per day. He runs a store called Gadgets + Collectables, with two branches in Airport Junction and Phakakane’s Acacia mall.

Even though he sells a variety of gadgets, among them cellphones, Bluetooth speakers, laptops, it is the business of cellphone tracking that has given him a niche in the market. The Business Management and IT graduate says that his cellphone tracking business makes him stand out. “We are now in the era of cellphones. Almost every person has a cellphone and again, people steal them at a high rate,” he says.

Aaron provides police with leads, allowing them to do recoveries. He helps people who come with a police affidavit. “I have attracted hate from thugs thinking I’m a snitch,” he laughs.
But how long does it take for him to track down a cellphone? He says that the gadget becomes traceable the moment a sim card gets inserted inside.

His observation is that people have a tendency of buying stolen gadgets something he says is risky as one ends up charged by the police for buying a stolen item.
“Thugs steal phones with the intention to sell them, not to keep them. They want fast cash,” he says. And he says that thieves would go to an extent of creating fake Facebook pages to sell their stolen cellphones.

“Immediately after selling them, they delete the social media accounts while the buyer is left with it. People must take precaution,” he says. One of the people who have benefited from Aaron’s service, Lerato Lepang says her phone and wallet were snatched from her on June 4 in Molepolole.

“I reported with the police. A week later I heard of Gadgets + Collectables and decided to give it a shot. I went to the store on July 13 with a police affidavit as well as my phone details.“Five days later I received a call from them saying they had details of someone who had my phone,” she says. Another person Masego Mokgwatlheng says Aaron managed to recover her phone after a month in June.

She had forgotten it in a cab and traces showed that the cab driver had sold it to a Zimbabwean man. “I am now using my phone. It was made easier because I had a police affidavit,” she says. In addition to cellphone tracking, Aaron also tracks lost or stolen pets, bicycles and luggage. He has five employees.

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Mixed reactions to Masisi’s law on home-operated businesses



President Mokgweetsi Masisi intends to simplify the process of starting micro-businesses to make it less demanding. This entails retracting licenses for starting small businesses such as tuckshop, manicures and many others.

The Midweek Sun went out on the streets to hear views of the people about the new bill.A boutique owner based in Kanye Thapelo Dioka said it is a good initiative but he worries that Batswana will even set-up businesses which are not environmentally friendly.

“I have long struggled and been unable to rent out my spare bedrooms to try feed my family, due to stringent procedures of acquiring licenses,” said Dioka. Kolobetso Maswabi lamented that for a long time young people have been paying expensive rentals. The new law will help in starting and maintaining businesses as there will be no rentals to pay.

“For some of us who stay next to big malls the law will be an advantage, I am going to operate business in the backyard,” she says. However some had doubts about the new law, describing it as a campaign strategy and a desperate effort to gain political mileage. They will only believe it when it is signed into law.

“Why would he retract licenses when elections are about to take place and there is a need for them to explain more on what they mean about small scale businesses,” asked another entrepreneur.

Tiraone Basenyafela, an entrepreneur with disability who does leather works, lamented that they have long endured charges for licenses and at times failure to renew the licenses results in losing them.

“I believe that only big shops should be required to have licenses, not small businesses and struggling individuals like me,” said Basenyafela.

President Masisi explained that the new law intends to help Batswana improve their livelihoods and graduate from poverty, but added that licenses will still be required for those seeking to deal in food businesses and others that could be potentially unfriendly to the environment.

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