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TO HELL AND BACK

Yvonne Mooka

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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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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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