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Bishop Keikanetswe’s tomb divides Dutlwe residents

Yvonne Mooka

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THE LONE GRAVE: Villagers are uneasy about this grave and want it relocated but Thulaganyo Keikanetswe (insert) and his family are unmoved

Residents of Dutlwe in the Takatokwane constituency are unsettled about a tomb of Bishop Frank Keikanetswe who was buried in the middle of the village 24 years ago. Keikanetswe was the founder of Seventh Day Adventist Church in the area after he arrived from work at Gauteng mines.

When The Midweek Sun team went to Dutlwe last week, it was a shocker to find an iron grave fence (Tshipi ya lebitla) under a big tree by the side of the road, right in front of a residence. Two women in their mid-30s say it has caused havoc in the village. “Apparently he told his family to bury him inside the kraal that was where it is lying. “But now our children are afraid of passing next to it and they say it gives them nightmares. Some say they hear voices when they pass next to it at night,” said one of them.

This is what Kgosi Douglas Segwagwa also said, that the tomb has divided the village with people saying the bishop’s children should dismantle it altogether and leave the ground where it is situated flat, or dig up his remains and go and bury them at the village gravesite. Kgosi Segwagwa, the late bishop’s nephew said that the deceased first started the church in Letlhakeng and moved it to Dutlwe when he got married in the 1960s.

“The church was always full but after a few years people started leaving it until it was just him and his wife and children. People were not happy with his leadership style,’’ he said. He said that in the past, they buried people inside kraals. However, he said that by 1995 when the bishop died, they had already erected a gravesite. “His children refused to bury him at the graveyard and said he had instructed them to bury him inside the kraal which is next to his house.

“The kraal is no longer there, now the tomb is lying in the open. When villagers suggest for it to be removed, the children refuse,” he said.  In response, his first born son Thulaganyo Keikanetswe said that his father was a man of faith who moved mountains with his sermons on social justice and preached against oppression of human beings. He said that his father was not a favourite among chiefs for preaching against their oppressive leadership style, which landed him in prison one June afternoon while he was praying. Recalling how his father got to be buried inside a kraal, he said that he actually built it with him.

“One morning we woke up and went and built a kraal the whole day. That same day I was shocked to hear him say that the kraal is his tomb. He was not sick or anything,” he said. After some years, Thulaganyo, then a teacher at Palapye, said he was tormented by a dream showing him his mother was ill. Shortly after, he learned of his father’s admission at Molepolole’s Scottish Livingstone Hospital.

His father passed away within a week and that was when he told the whole family and village that he had been instructed that he should be buried inside the kraal.
“We have even discussed our plans with the Landboard to renovate it and put a modern tombstone and they don’t have a problem with it,” he said, rubbishing claims to have it removed. One of the major tarred roads in Letlhakeng has been named after the late Bishop.

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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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