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KISS AND MAKE UP

Yvonne Mooka

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Award winning Kwaito-Kwasa star Odirile ‘VeeMampeezy’ Sento and his long-time dancer Coming Soon are at it again! In the latest development the dancer is accusing his former boss of exploiting him for the 15 years that he was working for him.

Coming Soon shocked Facebook users on Saturday morning with his live video that he recorded around 7am trashing Vee. The 4 minutes 20 seconds long clip narrates how the pint-sized artist has abused the Democratic Republic of Congo dancer over the years. He is inside a car with another man and starts off by saying that people undermine him. “O bona Coming Soon, batho ba mo nyatsa,” he says, adding that he has made people rich. Clearly, Coming Soon is sloshed as he keeps saying ‘Ga kena sepe. Ke batla go boela gae. Batho ba nnyatsa.’

He says that he has made people wealthy and they now drive Mercedes Benz cars while he has no car to his name. He says that his parents are worried that he has nothing to show in his 15 years stay in Botswana. “15 years, ke dira bo Go Swa Motho, Go Swa Motho. Ga kena sepe. Ke tlhabolola monna yo mongwe. Ene o humile,” he says, constantly adding that God will help him. He however repeats that Vee is his brother and that he loves him dearly. “He is my king, man. I love him Vee Mampeezy.’’Vee was civil in his response. “Coming Soon is my brother. He is also like a son to me. I won’t defend myself in this issue. If I do so, I’m going to start exposing a lot of things that will harm my brother. I choose to lose. If you feel I’m the bad guy, it’s ok. I’d rather take the bullet for him”.

He went on and encouraged people to keep on supporting Coming Soon, describing him as a good dancer. He says that even though Coming Soon is now independent, he fully supports him.
He also attempted the salary issue, where he is often criticised for not paying his dancers well, saying he was not going to expose their salaries. “We run a company, we are professionals. All I can say is we have a lot of incentives for our staff members. Yes we do buy people cars, especially when we are happy with their work,” he says. Vee Mampeezy also wonders why dancers always call their bosses ugly names when they part ways. But again, he has a question: Why is that they always stay so long? Yet claim to be exploited when they leave?

Fans respond
Fans of both Vee and Coming Soon took to social media to respond to the beef. While majority emphasised that Coming Soon was influenced by booze to quash his former boss, others said he was actually honest about being ill-treated. “People always tell the truth when they are drunk, especially when the issue had been in their heart for a long time. Vee has been exploiting Coming Soon,” said one Mothusi Kaboyaone. There were also those that recalled the time when Vee bought Coming Soon a BMW 320 car, describing Coming Soon as an ungrateful, irresponsible man with a sense of entitlement.

“Your employer pays you. What you do with the salary is up to you. You can’t compete with your boss. No matter how smart you are, don’t have a sense of entitlement,” said Gorata Mabiletsa, adding that she was once Coming Soon’s neighbour in Gaborone and that the dancer loved alcohol and partying. But again, there are those that say Vee and his former dancer will soon have to go out for a meal and settle their small beef. Fans might as well expect a hit from their misunderstanding with Comin Soon’s out-of-this-world dance moves.

The two men have a history of being on and off, and like Vee is saying, they are more like father and son. Actually, of all the dancers that Vee has worked with and those he now has, Coming Soon remains very close to his heart. Coming Soon has since deleted the video from his page.

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Youth lament slow pace towards ICPD commitments

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Young people representing Botswana at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) in Nairobi, Kenya last week have expressed disappointment at the slow pace at which governments are moving towards achieving ICPD25 ideals.

Trevor Oahile, a youth advocate and student at the University of Botswana participated at the Nairobi Summit to highlight on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of men and boys.
Oahile hosts a radio show sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Don’t Get It Twisted on Yarona FM. The show deals with issues that affect boys and men. Oahile participated in a panel discussion at the Summit on the involvement of men and boys in accelerating the ICPD promise.

He is of the view that countries needs to work together to end violence that is perpetuated by harmful gender norms that are antagonistic to progress towards the ideals of the ICPD agenda. “Botswana government and private sector are still challenged to invest a lot of money into implementing their commitments,” Oahile said, adding that Comprehensive Sexual Education on the other hand has to be rolled out to every school in the country.

“We also acknowledge that it is important to avoid stereotypes that impact decisions that people make. Men and boys often avoid certain services because they are known to be for girls and women,” Oahile said. Millicent Sethaile was at the Summit as a youth ambassador from an organisation called Her Voice, which funds and offers grants to smaller organisations that advocate for SRHR in communities. In her view the summit was significant because it was an opportunity for countries including Botswana to make commitments to fulfill the unfinished business of the ICPD made 25 years ago.

“What struck me the most is that I realised that Botswana has a long way to go to achieve the commitments she set for herself.”Sethaile also observed that the four commitments including to strengthen access to family planning, the reduction of maternal deaths, reduction of Gender Based Violence, provision of quality, timely and disaggregated data are activities that were already in the pipeline and have been discussed before. “I believe we now have to come up with actionable items that we can work on so that we can effectively deal with current challenges.”
For 18 year old University student Michelle Simon, the Nairobi Summit was a reality check, an opportunity to reflect and map the way forward.

“I realised that there are so many challenges, especially in Africa concerning SRHR,” Simon said. She also realised that Botswana has a lot of catching up to do to implement the commitments of the ICPD. “I also realised that issues including youth in power were left out.” Botho Mahlunge on the other hand comes back from the Summit with a conclusion that there are a lot of predicaments that young people find themseles in across the African continent including GBV and teenage pregnancy.

Programmes need to be intensified to ensure implementation. Mahlunge is also of the view that there is minimum youth engagement on issues that affet them the most. “Young people are tired of always convening about the same issues. It’s time to see the outcomes of Summits and Conferences,” Mahlunge said. She advised the youth to also be willing to engage when the oppotunity avails itself and to take up programmes that have been set to help them. Mahlunge said that failure to educate our young people on sexuality “is the reason so many girls are getting pregnant and infected with HIV.”

She said the continued exclusion of young people in rural areas from sexual and reproductive health and rights discussion is also to blame for the prevailing state of affairs. “Young people in rural areas are completely vulnerable. They are so far removed from the little information and services available to young people in urban areas,” Mahlunge observed.

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Safe communities for our women and girls – Moalosi

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Gender Based Violence (GBV) has been identified as one of the critical issues that impede women, girls and men from fully enjoying their human rights and unleashing their potential. Delivering his State of the National Address (SONA) on Monday, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said government is concerned about the rising statistics of those affected.

The National Relationship Study of 2018 revealed that 37 percent of women and 21 percent of men have suffered some form of violence in their lifetime, which occurred within Intimate Partner Relationships.

To address this problem, President Masisi says government will intensify the implementation of the National Strategy Towards Ending GBV. The Strategy focuses on the comprehensive care and support of GBV survivors; the Prevention of new GBV incidences; Strengthening national capacity to address GBV; Improving efficiency and effectiveness of the coordination and management of the national GBV response; and Strategic information and knowledge management on GBV.

Just last week, Botswana Non-Governmental Organisations represented at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, committed to ensuring that all is done to end GBV.CEO of Botswana Gender Based Violence Prevention and Support Centre, Lorato Moalosi who was presenting on behalf of Botswana NGOs said having reflected on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda since 1994 and on what has changed on Sexual GBV, they are equally disturbed by increasing levels of SGBV in Botswana communities.

Her desire is to empower communities to come up with their own solutions to end SGBV. Moalosi told participants at the Summit that NGOs in Botswana commit to contracting and ensuring robust community engagement, including starting indigenous and disability movements on SGBV to galvanise and mobilise communities to prevent and respond to SGBV. Their plan is to also develop sustained gender transformative programmes that mainstream HIV and GBV, as well as to expand reach and coverage of services and create community safe spaces for the hard to reach, as well as improve services in urban areas.

“We commit to utilising social contracting and ensure NGOs lead in the prevention of SGBV and in the response to ending SGBV at community level,” Moalosi said, adding that they also commit to mainstreaming gender equality conversations and break the silence on SGBV.

“We can no longer hold back. Our communities have to be safe for our women and girls,” she said. The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 that concluded hursday last week in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi represents a renewed, re-energised vision and community working together to act and deliver.

“Together, we will make the next ten years a decade of action and results for women and girls, keeping their rights and choices at the centre of everything we do,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.

Denmark’s Special Envoy for the ICPD25, Ambassador Ib Petersen said there will be no ICPD50 because women and girls around the world have waited long enough to have rights and choices.

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