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Gaborone Mayor pops up the question



When Gaborone Mayor Kagiso Thutlwe advertised his birthday party, ‘The Mayor’s Birthday Bash’ that was held last Saturday at My Kind of Place, Riverwalk, not many people knew what was on his mind. Perhaps, other than his famous Colgate smile as social media users call it, many were just looking for a night of dance and drinks with him. Those closest to him say he is generally bubbly and a great company.

But the mayor stunned people when he at some point went down on his knees proposing marriage to Botho Pearl Dipatane. In a video circulating on his Facebook page, he is heard asking the lucky woman whose life is about to change, “Please, I’m only asking you, will you marry me?” to the applause of the attendants, chanting YES! In an interview with The Midweek Sun, Thutlwe said that he had found his soul-mate.

He has always believed in having a family as he grew up in a nuclear family. He says he did the planning stage of the engagement without giving his fiancé a hint. He describes the soon-to-be Mrs Thutlwe as a God-fearing woman, his pillar of strength and a woman who believes in him and supports him. “She qualifies to be with me forever. As politicians, we need women who can run the race with us. We travel a lot hence we need women of prestige and honour. Women who will advise us,” he says. However, he says that they have not yet set their wedding date as they have to engage their parents first.

“I have to do things procedurally by paying lobola,” he says. For her part, Dipatane said that she was happy that Thutlwe proposed. She says that when they got back together this year May, the Mayor made his intentions clear that he wanted to make her his wife. “He was against engagement, saying he believes in a wedding,” she says. So when they went to the party venue last Saturday, she was just attending as a girlfriend with no expectations of a ring whatsoever. But she says she had been unsettled when Thutlwe asked her to wear a silver watch and silver shoes that he bought for her.

“At his party, he was restless throughout and I even took his phone as I wanted to ensure he enjoys his day,” she says. But again, she says she could not understand why the Mayor had no birthday cake and why he refused for her to buy it for him. “All along, he had been planning well,” she says. So when the cake finally arrived and the Mayor was ushered to the podium to speak, he also took the chance to speak well of her and how she has impacted his life, and proposed. “My man is very romantic, has a good heart and he likes people.

He’s a great man,” she says of him. Meanwhile, Thutlwe’s ex-girlfriend Kesego Maphakela who has a three year-old daughter with him says she wishes him all the best in both his personal and political life. “He is a wonderful father to our daughter, and even though our relationship didn’t work, I know he is not a bad man,” she says, adding that she has also moved on with her life. Thutlwe also shared that they have a good mutual understanding regarding their daughter. “We respect each other. We have a beautiful princess together,” he says.

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Botswana urged to sign Maputo

Keletso Thobega



Botswana is one of the five countries that have been advised to sign the Maputo Protocol. Botswana, Egypt and Morocco are the only three African countries that have not signed this Protocol. Adopted in 2003 and implemented in 2005, the Maputo Protocol is a ground-breaking protocol on women and girls’ human rights, both within Africa and beyond.

It compensates for the shortcomings in the 1981 African Charter with respect to women and girls rights. It includes 32 articles on women and girls’ rights, and also provides an explicit definition of discrimination against women, which was missing in the African Charter.

The Maputo Protocol defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction or any differential treatment based on sex and whose objectives or effects compromise or destroy the recognition, enjoyment or the exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life.”

The State of African Women Report 2018 stipulates that more still needs to be done to implement laws and commitments to the rights of women and girls in African societies. While there has been significant improvements in addressing issues affecting women and girls over the years, the report notes that commitment to girls and women’s right is still lagging behind.

The report highlights that:
“Three in five countries in Africa do not criminalise rape, young women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by HIV in comparison to men in the same age group, more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa and that gender based violence and sexual assault still affects women more”.

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Mama Rampa, the Good

Yvonne Mooka



NOBLE CALLING: Martha Rampa on a mission to rescue the underprivileged

Martha Rampa, project manager at AAP Home Based Care and Family Life Programme quit her nursing job over ten years ago to attend to the needs of orphans, poor and sick.

AAP has 3119 orphans and underprivileged children from South East, Kweneng, Kanye and Kgalagadi districts. The Non-Governmental Organisation aims at supporting, providing food, clothing, shelter, education, nursing care, counselling and supporting destitute, terminally ill patients and orphaned children.

According to Rampa, the thrust of the practice is the link between the patient and the clinical management services. “It is a person-centred approach, which ensures that patients receive the appropriate service in a supportive and effective manner. Destitute and orphaned children have over time become integral part AAP programmes,” she said.

Last Saturday, she organised an appreciation dinner for donors. It was a colourful event where beneficiaries had also come to testify about the way their lives have changed since they were enrolled.

One of the young girls said that she had given up on life as she was from a poor family. The under 15 girl said that through AAP, she managed to continue and is exceling at school. A young man under 20 said that he was moved from a settlement where he could not focus on his studies because of his family background.

AAP put him through a different school that has boarding. “At AAP, we call her mama Rampa. She is our mother and we are so blessed to have her,” he said at the event in Gaborone.

The primary aim of AAP is to rehabilitate and develop children in difficult circumstances such as orphaned children, street children, economically poor and socially oppressed children and work for the eradication of child labour and child exploitation.

Rampa said the vision is to help and give many more children a real and loving home which helps them to live and grow up to be free, healthy and independent individuals; to influence behavioural change of individuals, especially those in the realm of sex and family life and to introduce a change that will bring a transformation, which alleviates the impact of HIV/Aids infection and stops the spread of the virus within the community.

She said there were local companies that had committed themselves to giving the children food after every two weeks. Through her gift of counselling, she also assists with providing emotional and spiritual support including counselling to orphans, destitute, terminally ill and the poor. She also prays for them.

She said that since the project started in 2000, the focus was on the care of HIV/AIDS patients. Volunteers were trained to take care of terminally ill patients in their homes. “Due to lack of funds in supporting the volunteers, for three years only 45 were full time serving in the project with great results.

“A networking relationship was established with Ministry of Health/AIDS department and Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as other NGOs like BOCAIP, Clinics around Gaborone and Church leaders. We effectively communicated our mission to our leaders like Counsellors, Members of Parliament and diKgosi in the areas where we are operating,” she said.

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