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Hope for my people

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Last week I wrote about my experiences with dating and the importance of disclosing one’s HIV status early on in these relationships. Although I first tested HIV positive in 2007, I was in denial of the results up until I decided to test again in 2010. During these three years, I was eager to learn new things about HIV/AIDS. Everything that was said and how I physically appeared went hand in hand. It was a wakeup call for me.  I was weak. I lost a lot of weight; even my skin colour had changed. I also had a herpes zoster. The first person I told was my cousin who I confided in because of how we got along. I urge people to always weigh their priorities, make informed decisions on who you are disclosing to as some take it as a laughable thing. In 2010 when I came back from the clinic with my health card written a bold “positive,” I got home and gave my elder sister my patient record where “positive” appeared in bold font. I expected judgment, criticism, and rejection, but it came out the opposite. She was supportive and her husband, from whom I also expected the worst, told me ‘o seka wa itlhoboga o tla fola, (don’t give up now, you will be alright.)

They were my source of support, and their love gave me more and more strength each day. Disclosing my status to my family was the best thing ever as I came to realise that sharing with them how I live actually made life easier. It was comforting to know that they would help by reminding me to take my medication in time and go for my check-ups. I then went to the University of Botswana grounds to meet my best friend whom I had not seen in a while and she didn’t even know I was ill. When I met her she asked what was wrong and I told her I had been ill and that I was HIV positive. She shook her head and laughed it off as she thought I was joking. From her reaction, I undertook to start telling people I trusted, who were close to me. It took me going public in 2017 to encourage the younger generation like me to disclose their HIV statuses. The feedback that I am getting from my peers is amazing; they are very supportive and willing to change their lives for the better. This inspires me to work hard to change our generation for the better. Even though we still have people who prefer to stay quiet on issues relating to HIV, I say even if you are not infected, you are still affected.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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