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The essence of being a woman

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Tebogo LebotseSebego (PCH) She started playing netball in 1984 at Primary School and played through University and beyond. As a netball athlete, she has captained both the Under 21 and Botswana Senior Netball Teams. In 2007, she became the President of Botswana Netball Association, a position she fiercely held until last year. In 2017 she initiated Basadi Bomme Trust, which advocates for and solicits resources and support for various women sporting codes.

Lorato Moalusi-Sakufiwa She is director of Kagisano Society Women’s Shelter in Botswana. In 2013 the organisation received USD 20,000 from the African Women’s Development Fund to keep the shelter running through the provision of adequate bedding, cooking utensils and improved safety measures. The Kagisano Society Women’s Shelter was established in 1998 in response to violence against women in Botswana. Lorato ensures provision of temporary shelter, counselling, community education and outreach, as well as advocacy on critical issues connected to the security of women.

Pearl Ranna She is managing director of Unitech Farming. Ranna is also the founder of Women in Farming Expo, which started last year. The exhibition brings together relevant stakeholders in the Agricultural industry to support women who wish to expand their Agribusiness. She has spoken out against entitlement behaviour of the youth admonishing them to instead use their talents and gifts to help government fight unemployment.

Tsoseletso Magang Sport leader and former athlete, Magang is a woman of steel. She believes in mentorship of women and believes they carry almost all care giving responsibilities. “With the power of Olympism instilled in us, we can take over the world. Women should increase participation in physical activities, give others tips for gaining confidence and thus curbing sedentary behaviours that have taken over our children,” she was quoted at one of her empowerment events.

Malebogo Marumoagae The former Miss Botswana through her etiquette and consultancy company Bella Larissa hosted Women in Mining Botswana conference last year with the objective to inspire and promote women in the mining industry. Belle Larissa has won awards in the country among them, Woman in Business Award under the category of Young Female Entrepreneur of The Year in 2016.

Matlhogonolo Mponang Through her Tshiamo Gotlhe Mogapi Coaching and mentoring programme, Matty brings together not just women but a group of young people who want to have a change of mindset and see a world full of opportunities. The programme has put ordinary youth in conversation with trailblazers and renowned individuals who share their life stories with them. She started the program last year after realising that she could not accommodate all requests from people who wanted her to assist them with their resumes, career guidance and general mentorship. Growing up, Mponang was part of the Peer Approach to Counselling by Teens (PACT) started and facilitated by the Young Women’s Christian Association.

Beata Kasale The Voice newspaper publisher Beata Kasale continues to be an epitome of hope that women can make it in the media fraternity, an area believed to be the preserve of the male species. Through her work with Women In News, Kasale advocates for women to rise and challenge the status quo in newsrooms. “Women must make themselves visible. The media is about visibility. If they take a back seat, nobody will know that they are there. They should be more assertive,” she was quoted at one of the women’s day commemorations.

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BRING IT ON Ignatius Moswaane ready to serve Francistown West again

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READY TO LEAD AGAIN: Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane

Ignatius Moswaane is a former Francistown City Mayor and he served as Monarch Councillor until he took over the reigns as Francistown West constituency in 2014. The constituency had been in the hands of the late Tshelang Masisi before Moswaane took over.

Now the outspoken MP is ready to defend it.
He lists the construction of an additional secondary school at Gerald Estate, the undertaking of a P36 million streetlights project and construction of a road network at Monarch among some of his achievements both as Councillor and later MP.

“The peripheral servicing of the planned Central Business District (CBD) at Gerald Estate has been completed.  “Over and above that we have used the P10 million community development money from government to build houses, some of which we are renting out to public servants.“We have divided the constituency into three (3) clusters and each will have a multi-purpose recreational hall,” said the Botswana Democratic (BDP) Member of Parliament (MP).

He added that Gerald Estates and Phase 6 in Monarch will soon have a local center each owned by the VDC which will lease the shopping area to business. Moswaane initiated Monarch Development Centre to help the youth access government economic projects by, among other things, doing business plans for them for free. His next phase is to push for industrialisation of Francistown by using local resources. “Besides, Francistown must become an industrial hub for the region where, instead of SADC countries going all the way to Johannesburg and Durban to collect their cargo, the cargo is brought to the Francistown airport from their source be it Asia, or where ever by plane for the owner to collect the cargo here.

Our airport is under-utilised at the moment,” he noted. Another way of creating employment is for government to increase its efforts of using ISPAAD to help small scale farmers next to Francistown to grow fruits and vegetables to the extent that we do not import anything. Moswaane regrets government’s slow pace on allocating plots at Gerald Estates. “Since 2012 some 2500 plots have been serviced yet a lot of people from as far back as 1990s are on the waiting list because government is yet to allocate the plots.

The Minister had promised that the process would commence in December last year but nothing has thus far happened. If elected, I will follow up on the matter,” pledged the MP. He is also of the view that more resources should be invested in Nyangabgwe to make it a health facility of choice. “It should be turned into a state of the art hospital where special medical care is provided to attract even people from outside the country. The residents of Francistown need a district hospital,” he observed.

If he returns to parliament, Moswaane will move that the Youth Development Fund (YDF) be increased from P120million to P1billion and the Gender Economic Empowerment Fund from P50 million to P1 billion as well. Moswaane believes the country should build more technical colleges and brigades to carter for the thousands of students who leave school every year without the necessary grade needed as the entry threshold to tertiary schools.

In 2014, Moswane garnered 5304 votes against second-placed Habaudi Hobona of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) who was voted in by 3461 voters. UDC was represented by Shatiso Tambula who managed a paltry 950 votes. This year Moswaane will have to fend off competition from Dira Moalosi of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Mbaakanyi Lenyatso of the UDC.

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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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