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GO-GETTER: Lame quit her job at Alexander Forbes to venture into catering business

It is Former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama’s humour, nobility and how he is welcoming to individuals from all walks of life that will forever be entrenched in Lame Llebako’s memory of the day he came over for lunch.

“None of us are perfect, we all have shortfalls but anyone who can see and recognise the humanity in another person, has my utmost respect. It is all that matters to me,” stated Llebako. The 39-year-old food vendor got a pleasant surprise last week Thursday when the former president and his security detail visited her spot along Independence Avenue for a meal. “I usually see him because he uses this route a lot when he goes to his house. He always smiles and waves, but even-though I have seen over the years that he is a person who likes to interact with Batswana, him eating my food, under a tree was a really special moment for me,” she said with a reflective smile.

Infact, Llebako says because of who he is and the security around him, she expected him to take the food and probably throw them in a bin when he got to his house to eat “a fancy chef prepped and inspected meal.”On that day, she woke up at 5am as she usually does to get ready for another busy day at the ‘office.’ She says she was busy prepping and cooking food for the day when she got a call from one of the gentlemen who works for Khama to find out if she (personally) will be at the spot and what would be on the menu.

“He said he had a surprise for me. I didn’t think much of it because the guys buy lunch from me sometimes. I told him yes, I will be serving today,” she revealed. “Later on as we were setting up, the guy who called me came over but didn’t sit down to eat as he would, instead he was on his phone a lot and pacing up and down. “Two black cars were also parked a short distance from us and the two men just seemed a little strange to me. Still I couldn’t figure out nor was I prepared for what would come next.” As she was busy serving her customers, Llebako says she lifted her head and came face to face with a smiling Khama. It was so abrupt and Llebako says she didn’t even hear his car pull up.

“Everyone was taken by surprise. We exchanged pleasantries and he stood in the line waiting his turn, even as people in the front offered to let him go in first, he declined. Khama ordered a P20 plate of rice, asked for a combination of both chicken and beef with butternut and coleslaw. “He specially asked me to not put too much because he doesn’t eat a lot,” Llebako chuckles. He then sat down on the chairs and table provided to eat.

He had brought his own fork and knife and a bottle of water. “It was such a great experience, not just for me but my customers as well. He was gracious and kind, made time for everyone who wanted to chat or take a selfie with him. It didn’t feel forced and was really genuine,” she said. Since the visit, Llebako says business has boomed. “We are definitely seeing more people, new faces, many of them hoping to get a glimpse of him passing through and some outrightly ask if he will be coming again,” said the catering business owner.

“All we are doing now is working hard to carry the momentum going forward. We strive to cook delicious food everyday because food sells itself and retains customers. That and talking to people nicely, taking in any negative feedback and turning it into positive improvement.” It is a formula that has seen the former Pension Benefit Consultant at Alexander Forbes’ catering business register amazing growth since October 2016 when she started. She had been doing it on the side while she was working full time. “I would wake up at 4 every morning to cook before the girl I had hired to help me serve arrived.

“At lunch time, we would set up near my office and lunch was served!” Two and a half years later, she owns Lopkel restaurant in the Main Mall and employs five people. However, she continued with Food Street vending to cater to individuals who can’t afford or have access to her restaurant.

“Working for someone, (who doesn’t even know me) just wasn’t enough for me. I could also see that being in that space, I would never be able to live the kind of life I want for my family and I. It is also about building a legacy for my children,” she stated. During school breaks, her 13-year-old son works with her in the business. “It’s a family affair and I love every minute of what I do.”

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He was shot!



The family of Rakops Chief Letang Segaise is convinced that high-ranking officials are behind his gruesome murder.The family has vowed that it will not rest until justice is served. Segaise was laid to rest last week after his burnt body and car were found in the bush a few kilometres away from the village.

The chief had been missing for more than 40 days. “Of course we know who is responsible (for the heinous crime) it’s just that we do not have enough evidence to prove it but this was a well-orchestrated plan by big names with flourishing bank accounts,” said an angry family member who preferred anonymity.They believe that the killer is well prepared and has covered his or her tracks well to reduce chances of ever getting caught.

They say people were hired to do the dirty job and that the “big guns” behind the murder are watching quietly from high places while “we waste our breath screaming for justice.”
This week Segaise’s family accused the government system of failing them. A member told The Midweek Sun that they have long asked the Police to grant them permission to go on a peaceful protest against ritual killings in the village but are being sent from pillar to post.

They said they went to the police for the permit only to be told that they should seek help from the District Commissioner, who allegedly sent them back to Police.Rakops station commander Thito Freeman said he advised the woman who called him that they have never heard of a family wanting to demonstrate because they would not know how to classify them.

“Permits are obtained here and it is normally organisations or unions but a family is a first and I do not know where to place them in the eyes of the law,” he said.vThe family member said the family is now scared to publicly air their opinions because it is proving extremely hard to reason with the government. “How can we reason with them when they do not want to listen, we are nobodies to think we can take on the mighty government.

“They will easily squash us and airing our views here on newspapers is angering them,” they said. The family shared that they have received a half baked report that indicates that Segaise was shot with a gun on his left ribcage. They suspect that the criminals who killed their father were aiming for his heart. The family is now struggling to come to terms with what happened to one of their own, whom they described as a departed hero, The family member said acts of people disappearing without a trace in the village have become commonplace, but nothing is being done about them.
It is for these reasons that they wish to unite the community with a peaceful demonstration.

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‘I have lost a pillar’

Yvonne Mooka



HAPPIER TIMES: The late Roda with Rorisang

Rorisang Matlhaku – boyfriend to the late Rodah Putsini Kegontse – says she was an ever-smiling girl who loved giving people advice and was always there for them whenever they were experiencing challenges.

Kegontse, 19, took her own life two days after Independence holidays inside Matlhaku’s house in Ramotswa. In an interview with The Midweek Sun this week, he narrated the painful ordeal.
“She had travelled to her home village of Kanye for Independence. She surprised me by coming back to me after two days.

“There was an entertainment event which we both attended with friends,” he said. Around midnight, she asked to be dropped off at Matlhaku’s house, where he said he would join her a bit later.
Matlhaku stated that around 2am, he asked his younger sister who was with him at the event, to go and drop him off at his place. “As I passed by the bathroom, I noticed the bathtub was full of water and I thought my girlfriend had probably just finished bathing.

“When I entered the bedroom, I saw her lifeless body hanging inside the wardrobe and I quickly called my sister to drive back to my place,” he said. Matlhaku, 27, said that she had no clue what could have led his girlfriend to take her own life as she was likeable and jovial. “She was the most loving person I had ever met. She put me first before everything. When I asked her why at that age she loved me that much, she would say it was embedded in her. She even quit alcohol saying it wasn’t right that she was drinking while I wasn’t,” he said,

He said they started dating this year March. But again, he said Kegontse exhibited signs of depression. She would tell him that she used to burst into tears while in class while at secondary school becaue she felt at the time that her spirit was not well or that nobody liked her.

“She felt she wasn’t beautiful enough, that she was worthless and that people were always mocking her about her weight loss, but I always assured her that I loved her with my whole heart,” he said.
He described her as a simple person and a God-fearing young woman. “Whenever I came to her with my problems, she would advise me like a mature person, leaving me feeling better.

“She even joked that I should pay her because I had turned her into my business advisor. She used to call me every morning saying I should wake up and go and work for Basmati rice and not pap, saying we should aim higher and work for expensive things. She was my pillar,” said the man who runs a horticulture business.
Kegontse was buried this past Saturday in Kanye.

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