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Young BNF firebrand dismisses Trade Dispute Act

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The President of Botswana National Front Youth League (BNFYL), Khumoekae Richard has described the Trade Dispute Act as a “dangerous law”. Recently members of Parliament debated a Bill in which teachers and other cadres were classified as Essential Services.

Addressing delegates at the just-ended elective congress of Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) over the weekend, Richard said the intentions of the Bill are evil and the regime wants to take away teachers’ rights to strike. He said the Trade Dispute Act will bring perilous and hazardous effects and that it spells doom for the youth in general. “I am submitting that it will act as transition line between youth unemployment and poverty. The government is both directly and indirectly sabotaging the very same young children she purports to shield,” noted Richard. 

He said when the teachers’ morale is at its lowest ebb, results will reach all time low and those efforts of educating young people will be in vain. “Essential Service classification opposes and defeats the existence of a democratic participative education system. All these efforts will be in vain,” added Richard. He said this move by the government is meant to reduce trade union members.

“This would weaken the humongous strength of public trade unions as it robs them of their valuable membership. Trade unions depend on these government employees as a secret bargaining tool. An angry teacher can’t produce results” he said. When officially opening the congress, President of BTU, Johannes Tshukudu said teaching does not meet the International Labour Organisation standard definition of instruments that categorised it as essential service.

“There are some suggestions from some in the Ministry of Education and government who strongly feel that teachers must have their own Act. We as teacher trade unions are opposed to such thinking,” he said, adding that they rather propose for separate regulations for teachers different from other public servants derived from the same public service Act of 2008 No. 30. “Teachers have been long robbed and we can no longer reverse to Egypt again. We have crossed the Red Sea and we are moving forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tshukudu and his camp emerged victorious after taking all positions on offer. Tshukudu was standing against his former deputy, Kenathata Dipogiso who lost with votes of 122 against Tshukudu’s 390. The former Secretary General Gotlaamang Oitsile is now the deputy. The elective congress was held under the theme, “Organising and Empowering Education Workers: A must for the Reconstruction of Botswana Public Quality Education Crisis.”

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BOSJE elevates jazz education in Botswana

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CHANGING LIVES: Music has the power to empower youth.

The Botswana Society of Jazz Education (BOSJE) will host the 9th annual International Jazz Day for the 3rd time this year at the Maitisong theatre. According to the founding chairperson Akhutlheng Mogami, the society was formed to create a platform for jazz musicians and aspiring jazz musicians to grow and share ideas and even have their work documented.

“As a society, we have realized a need for jazz education. There is also no documentation about jazz in Botswana, which makes it difficult for both the teachers and students when it comes to teaching and learning about jazz as there is no local content to refer to. It is also for purposes of funding applications to run workshops and host festivals and exchange programs that we needed to have a legally registered nonprofit making entity as this one,” she said.

BOSJE was officially registered on the 31st of August 2015 with the registrar of societies and some its objectives include to ensure the growth of Jazz in Botswana and development of jazz education; to build jazz community by advancing education and research; to document, preserve and archive our Botswana jazz heritage; to promote skills development and performance through jazz camps, exchange programs and jazz shows and festivals, and to also develop new audiences.

In January 2017 the society formed a youth jazz big band (Big Bands). Mogami noted that they managed to bring together young people from all walks of life to teach them about jazz and how to play jazz. Since then, the band has been growing substantially both musically and professionally. She noted that The Big Bands in Botswana project which aims to put together jazz bands in schools and communities all over the country. “The project brings together young people and teaches them to play music in an ensemble set up.

The project commenced on the 15th of February 2019 with the primary objective of this project is to bring positive social change through music. Children who are involved in this music program receive a music education, which we believe will lead them to improved overall academic success. The children will also learn the essential skills needed for the 21st century workforce.

In addition to that, these children will also have a platform to exercise their creativity, and all this will in turn grow their confidence.” The band has graced the Masire foundation annual gala dinner, International Jazz Day, Annual De Beers sight holders Dinner, and Gaborone toastmasters among others.

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Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego drop love sin gle

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NEW OFFERING: Benson & Diva Vebrok’s listening session rocked

Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego recently released their joint single titled Ha o ka leba. The two launched the song at a listening session at Greenberry Gardens. Music artists including Nono, Franco and promoters PP and Gloria Dzwikiti as well as other industry role players flocked the venue to listen to what the two have to offer and they were not disappointed.

The single is good quality – from the melody, lyrics, rthyme and production. The divine diva Diva Vebrok adds a golden touch with her smooth voice while the bold and eloquent Phutego’s voice complements hers as he breaks out into poetry.

Director of ceremony at the listening session Berry Heart also kept the crowd galvanised throughout the night with her energetic spirit. President of Music Promotions Zenzele Hirschfield expressed appreciation for the support rendered to the two and highlighted that it is important for artists to support one another. “I am honoured to see that that many people in the local music industry have come out to support their fellow artists.

This means a lot and we really need to unite as artists all the time,” she said. She sang praises for Diva Vebrok who she said was passionate and hard working. “She is more than just an artist but also an influencer and entrepreneur. She is one of the women in the music industry who work hard and never give up on their craft,” she said.

Phutego impressed the crowd with his words of wisdom as he appreciated being featured by Ve brok on the single. “It was great working with her as she is passionate and hard working. Women are the pillars of society and as such they should be respected. I have no regrets about this project because I am confident that we produced a great love song.”

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