Masa Square Hotel recently unveiled a tantalizing new menu at two of their leading eateries, Don Carlos Restaurant and Carlitos Café. The menus have been inspired by the Masa Square Hotel desire to appeal to an increasingly nuanced palate for refined cuisine, as Batswana appreciate and look for a more continental flair in their food adventures.
The media were recently treated to a tasting session, where they got a chance to lick their fingers and marvel at the new creations. Don Carlos Restaurant and Carlitos Café are amongst the top popular hotspots for hotel guests as well as locals looking for anything from a quick nibble to a formal sit-down meal. Looking to cater for every need and a diverse range of tastes, both the restaurant and the café believe in constant revision of their menus to allow for evolving options to satisfy the discerning food lover.
Guests to the popular eateries can expect a fusion of flavours and an unforgettable culinary experience. The new Don Carlos menu comprises of starters like cream of mushroom soup, a must have, and beef ravioli (a creation that melts in your mouth), while signature dishes consist of vegetable lasagne and Moroccan Kingklip en papilotte.
The Moroccan dish is very interesting, as it comes wrapped in what looks like a parcel, and as soon as you unwrap the parcel, you are blown by a distinct flavour and spices. For those who love pizza, their gourmet pear, prosciutto & gorgonzola is certainly a must try. To top it all, their dessert options include Italian kisses; a dream come true for anyone with a sweet tooth and the soon to be famous Masa Square Tiramisu.
Chef Ngoni, who has been with Masa Square Hotel for over a year, is confident the new menus will leave a true mark. Speaking about the exciting news, Chef Melissa Ngoni pointed out that they have been working for a while to identify the perfect complimentary flavours to infuse into their new menu with the perfect culinary harmony for the taste-buds.
“This is themed around diverse cuisines and we have really worked to ensure a full sensory experience from the very first bite,” she explains. For his part, Masa Square Hotel General Manager, Hayden Bowl had this to say about the new creations, “We are very excited to launch this after many internal tastings to ensure everything is primed to perfection! We look forward to the feedback from our valued guests and customers, as we continue our culinary adventures together!”
Donald Molosi’s new book titled, Dear Upright African scooped the Best Narrative Award at the African Authors Awards 2019 held in Johannesburg, South Africa recently. Molosi is a Botswana-born actor and writer and in Dear Upright African, he shares personal stories of his student experiences in both government school and private school in Botswana. Molosi further uses these anecdotes to advocate for the decolonization of the curriculum in schools across Africa. The book bears a foreword by Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Last month Molosi was invited to address ambassadors and diplomats at the African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium and the contents of Dear Upright African formed the basis of his address. Speaking from Johannesburg where he is currently on tour with the book following the win, Molosi says that, “to receive this African Authors Award is an honor I will always deeply cherish. I dedicate this award to the life and legacy of Dr. K. T. Motsete, a Motswana educationist and pan-African who advocated against colonial education in Africa in as early as the 1930’s.
In his time, Dr. Motsete built afrocentric schools in Ghana, Botswana, Malawi and other African countries. He did so in order to offer Africans an alternative to colonial mission schools and to preserve our indigenous African languages. There were schools where, for example, Ikalanga was taught. Presently, the Botswana government has effectively banned Ikalanga from the Botswana classroom. The education revolution that Dr. Motsete and his generation began is the same one that my generation of upright Africans aims to complete.”
The African Authors Awards are held annually in Johannesburg, South Africa and this was the second installation of the ceremony. At the event, held in the Sandton suburb of South Africa, Molosi’s Dear Upright African faced competition from numerous books by African writers living in Africa and in the diaspora. Dear Upright African initially clinched the nomination in April 2019, less than a month after its worldwide release.
According to Molosi, the book also tells stories of his activism in Botswana, such as an incident where Rainbow School of Gaborone decided to ban Afros in 2017, which saw him engaging the Principal to ensure that learners there are allowed to keep their afros. It also includes another incident that followed his TED talk at Maru a Pula School in 2017 also advocating for the inclusion of African history in the African classroom, it caused online outrage from a White teacher at Maru a Pula who found his proposition ‘ungrateful’ and called him abusive.
Following his win, Molosi will officially launch Dear Upright African in South Africa. He will follow that up with a month-long book tour of South Africa for all of August. Since its worldwide release at the beginning of March 2019, Dear Upright African has already been launched in several countries including Tanzania, Zambia, Somaliland and Germany.
According to the co-organizer of the African Author Awards, Anthea Thyssen-Ambursley, Molosi’s work stands out because “Molosi is a leader. Reading his work leaves me speechless and excited. Words fail me. Because of Donald’s work existing, Botswana and South Africa will never be the same. The African future looks bright because he is unlocking minds.” Echoing the sentiments of Thyssen-Ambursley, co-organizer Barbara Strydom profiled Molosi’s works at the award ceremony saying that she first encountered Molosi’s powerful writings when she read his first book We Are All Blue two years ago: “Molosi’s work is important and he wants a better future for Africa’s children. His message is clear – he says the time is now for the African child. He wants us to know our African story so that we can build our continent.”
The Botswana launch of Dear Upright African is scheduled for later in the year. Dear Upright African will also be one of the festival books at Gaborone Book Festival to be held in September 2019. The book is available online and at select bookstores in Botswana. For delivery services upon purchase of the book, readers in Gaborone may contact 73410039 to place an order.
Raphael Pholo says art is a means of communication and to reflect society. The 25-year-old self-proclaimed introvert points out that he wants to be a voice. “Every voice can speak forth a solution; I want to speak against social ills, help find solutions to societal pressures and challenges, and to every life challenge holistically.”
A recent art work by the young man that piques interest is of a man carrying a sewing machine with a pair of scissors in his hand, depicting a tailor, and titled Self Employed. He explains that the artwork speaks of the unemployment rate in Botswana. “The solution to the devastating reality of unemployment is self-employment,” he says. Pholo, who hails from Tobane village, explains that his work is inspired by everyday life and human experiences. He is particularly interested in the lives of Africans. “I try as much as I can to capture happy moments, the struggles, the smiles, the tears and pain, the vulnerability… I want my work to communicate the life of an African child in every aspect.”
Pholo cannot point out a particular time when his love for art was ignited but he asserts that art “has always been in me.” He recalls how as a boy growing up, he would draw on sand with his finger, on the floor and walls of an abandoned old house at his grandmother’s place. He says he used mosidi (charcoal). Nowadays he uses graphite pencil, acrylic paints and pen. Since those days as a boy who won art awards at school, he has been discovering himself as an artist and experimenting with different mediums. “I am most comfortable with pen and charcoal because they produce monochromes. It is also always easy to convey deep emotion with monochrome art.”
Pholo says there is an abundance of talent that should be nurtured and celebrated. “Evidently, if you can visit the art gallery at the national gallery right now, you will see mesmerizing artworks by local talents.” He however says there is room for growth in the art industry in Botswana. He further says reception from the public is still lukewarm. “Batswana only appreciate commissioned art portraits of themselves.
They are barely interested in buying random art pieces but their buying and appreciating our work would be the only way for our art industry to grow.” He adds that support usually comes from outside Botswana, which is quite unfortunate. “I had people from South Africa showing enthusiasm in my work and expressing interest in buying it. But not a single Motswana has bought my work. The art industry needs support to grow.” He adds that another challenge artistes face locally is the shortage of reliable art suppliers. “Even the ones that are there are limited in terms of the materials on offer and this can limit you as an artist because you work with what you have.”
Pholo has been invited to participate in an art exhibition in a few months’ time and he is excited to finally share his work on a larger platform. He believes subsequent exhibitions will follow as his star continues to rise. He remains undeterred in his passion and believes in putting in effort to get results. He says that doing art requires hard work, discipline, determination and constant planning. “Working hard and practicing more are the core values that keep me going; practice perfects a skill and betters a talent.”
The Okavango is Calling cultural festival, which is scheduled for 4th-7th September in Maun, is an annual event targeting the diplomatic community and this year organisers are promising a one of a kind event.
The event is organised by Ghetto Urban Designs and over the past week, they held a meeting to brief diplomats about the progress of the event. The event seeks to celebrate and showcase the Okavango Delta as the 1000 World Heritage Site, and is supported by UNESCO. According to organisers, it seeks to promote intercultural exchange, tourism and cuisine of the 22 countries which have embassies in Botswana, non-governmental organisations, parastatals, companies and other stakeholders. Highlights of the event will include the official opening slated for September 4th as well as exhibitions, and the theme for the day is traditional attire.
On the second day, guests will have the chance to tour the Okavango Delta by boats and mekoro, as well as have scenic flights and go on hiking expeditions. Day three will see guests having a chance to feasts on cuisines from different countries at the Food Festival, Arts and Craft expo. The event will conclude with a music festival on the last day.
Speaking in an interview, Thato Sebati explains that the first event was held last year, and that this year, they were going big with an estimated budget of P3.5 million targeting 3000 guests. He also says that they hoped the embassies will come and showcase their culture through fashion, food and business. He also called on the Embassies to send in big delegations in order to see what Botswana has to offer. “We are calling on the ambassadors to come and also bring the business community from their respective countries,” he says.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) will not present a complete audited financial report to members at the upcoming Annual General Assembly (AGA) to be held in Gaborone this coming weekend, BG Sport can confirm.
If anything, a draft report may be issued instead. This is the second year in succession that the association would have failed to produce the report well in time. The 2017 and 2018 audited reports were only presented at an Extra Ordinary Meeting that the BFA convened in October 2018. Disgruntled BFA members this week confirmed that they have received official notification regarding the AGA from the association without financial reports in the information pack.
This is despite the constitution saying formal communication should be made seven days before the date of the General Assembly. The notification should contain the agenda, the president’s activity report, the financial statements and the auditors report together with any other relevant documents.
This has left disgruntled members believing that it has become custom for the association not to produce the report. Moreover, they allege that tempers flew at Lekidi offices this week with members of the National Executive Committee said to be unpleased. Without holding anything back, the members sharply pointed a finger at the BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo, the accounting officer, saying he better have answers as to why things are seemingly going astray.
It appears the members are not at all pleased with the CEO as they added that since Mfolo joined BFA back in 2017, his team has not been able to furnish the members with the financial reports in time. In response, Mfolo admitted that the auditing process was still ongoing but did not take blame for it. “It was an issue of regions sending incomplete information and this has largely caused audit delays,” he said. The CEO explained that in the past, only the BFA office report was compiled however they now have to include reports for all the 17 regions, Botswana Premier League and women football, among others.
“It is not an excuse however we also need them to do their part to ensure that the process is completed well on time. This should not call for any worry as we intend to normalize the matter going forward,” Mfolo said. He assured that they would be taking action against those that submit required information after much pushing. Mfolo noted to convene an Extra Ordinary Meeting is costly and has to be avoided. They are however headed that way. Meanwhile, there is overwhelming fear that should BFA continue failing to produce the reports on time, it will only worsen things with the already strained relationship between BFA and the Ministry of Sports.
Minister Tshekedi Khama recently said he will be keeping a close eye at BFA and it was alleged that he even demanded access to the association’s audited reports. It was alleged that the Minister was a concerned man in that millions were splashed at BFA with results not showing.
The international football governing body, FIFA is also probably paying attention to details and might not take lightly to BFA failing to produce audited reports on time. In a recent interview with BG Sport, BFA president Maclean Letshwiti said nobody was safe before FIFA. The governing body is reportedly busy doing a clean up campaign and will not take light issues that suggesting maladministration. Nevertheless, Mfolo hinted that they would be submitting a report to FIFA next month.
FIFPro, which represents professional footballers, has announced that Black Forest has been banned by FIFA Disciplinary Committee from signing any new players for violation of contractual agreements.
The ban will be effective from January 2020. “We have been banned from signing players for the transfer window of January 2020,” Black Forest Team Manager, Mompati Ditiro said. It’s no secret that at the start of the Debswana First Division Magoleng will be with their usual young talented players. For the past few seasons what has been at the heart of Magoleng was a strong emphasis on producing and nurturing young talent.
“We are signing players and we continue to bring many special talent to the team. Currently, we are in talks with several teams and we have 70 percent chances of returning to top flight football in the next season. We are carefully signing players and we are putting into consideration the transfer ban in January.”
Producing a crème of players was the second nature of the side which fed the local giants with the finest players. Now they have lost their best quality for nothing and are at the brink of collapse as they continue to lose more players in the transfer market.
The recent players to dump the side are Maikano Maikano and Donald Botshoma. Botshoma has since found a home at Gaborone United. “We have lost our best players because teams deceive them, it’s not that they pay us a lump sum or anything, they trick these players and we are left without any choice but to sell them. We will produce even better players than we have produced.”
Recent sources have told this publication that the team is nearing collapse and their First Division status might be up for sale. Quizzed about their eminent collapse and if they will be selling their status, he said, “We are not going to collapse and we are not selling our status, those are just rumors which are far from being true.”
Amongst the big names that have donned the Forest regalia are Thatayaone Kgamanyane, Gofaone Mabaya, Lynoth Chikuhwa, Maikano Maikano Tonderai Nyakuba, Donald Botshoma, Michael James and many other talented players.
Age defying, 35-year-old Zebras striker, Joel Mogorosi is currently one of the hottest free agents in the domestic football. This should not be the case given his advanced age but the Kanye native has several teams baying for his signature and as things stand, he is currently weighing his options. Gifted with physical strength above average football IQ and natural leadership skills, the former Township Rollers winger continues to rob father time on the pitch.
Mogorosi who runs by several monikers including Mahindra, Spitfire and Juluka continues to carry his own weight, both at club and national team level. This past season Juluka, now in the twilight of his career has endeared himself to both Rollers and Zebras fans, has kept his stock on the rise and put younger players to shame after finishing in the top 3 goal scorers of the BTC Premiership this past season. Despite being in his mid -30s, Juluka has proven to be a freak of nature in keeping his speed and goal scoring prowess, proving to be an asset to any club he chooses. In most cases, Juluka exhibits primal instincts and oozes confidence behind the ball, which has proven the hunger he still retains for the game.
The past few weeks have seen Juluka dominating the off season and transfer window deadlines as supporters and stakeholders continue to speculate on his immediate future in the coming 2020/21 season. It seems like football has been good to Juluka with a career spanning close to 20 years and the winger has enjoyed success and eluded controversy and career ending injuries that has marred the careers of some of his contemporaries. Having started a semi-professional career at the then BMC in the early 2000s, Mogorosi has travelled the world including Cyprus before coming back to Township Rollers and later Mochudi Centre Cheifs. Through all his travels and adventure Mogorosi remained a top player and rarely lost his form where ever he went.
It was not long before South Africa PSL side Bloemfontein Celtics came knocking and secured Mogorosi’s signature. A two-year consistent spell at Celtics saw Juluka’s popularity and myth grow on both sides of the border. After the PSL spell Magosi triumphantly returned to Botswana where he would help in the rebuilding of Township Rollers into a local Juggernaut. What is even more amazing about Juluka, who quickly became a football brand in his own right, is that he juggled club football with international success at the Zebras. Hardly articulate, Juluka usually puts his point across and inspires young players during big matches. Perhaps one of Juluka’s lowest points was failing to compete at the 2012 Afcon finals when the team made their maiden appearance at the African showpiece.
This coming season, Juluka will probably be authoring the final few chapters of his stellar football career. As things stand, the player is said to be at a stalemate with his beloved Rollers who are reported to be offering less money for his services. Speculation is that other local teams have expressed interest in Juluka including Security Systems and Extension Gunners. In an interview this week, the Botswana football living legend said there are currently five league clubs after his services.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am not after money.
There is no way I can make money from football at this age. I am aware that the end is near,” he said.Despite his humble demeanour, Juluka commands an illustrious career that would make a compelling biography. Having played for the national team since 2005, Juluka said he has over 100 caps for Botswana and has lost count along the way. I have always been part of the national team and I am definitely in the top five of the most capped players in the national team. Quizzed on how many trophies (league and cups) throughout his career, Juluka said he has lost count of this too.
“I have won just about every trophy in the country. The only one I have not won is the newly introduced Orange FA Cup.” The player who is definitely not shy when speaking about his achievement said part of his success is that he never missed training. I was always serious about training and stayed passionate and hungry when it came to football. Mogorosi credits people like Daniel ‘Chico’ Nare and Patrick Sibanda as inspiration for his long career. These are the people I started out with when I played for Maletamotse.
The senior ladies football team competing at the ongoing 2019 edition of the COSAFA Championships staged in South Africa made history by reaching the tournament semi -finals this week.
Botswana advanced to the next round of the tournament after holding Zambia to a goalless draw this past Tuesday. Both teams advanced to the knockout stage with Botswana placed as best runner up.
The local ladies have indeed delivered on the assignment at hand, which was that they advance from the group stages this year. For the first time ever, Botswana came close to reaching the semi finals last year but crashed out in the dying minutes of their game against South Africa.
Despite the core of the senior national team being away in Slovakia preparing for the Olympic qualifiers, the promoted senior team has put a splendid show in South Africa. To this end, the team has not conceded but has four goals scored in three matches. The senior team began their campaign on a high note against Namibia, ending the match with a 1-0 score line. The local side went on to humble Mauritius with a 3-0 drubbing and ending the group stages with a goalless draw against Zambia.
The Mares will face off with Zambia once again in the Semi finals while the hosts who are also the tournament defending champions, South Africa, will play Zimbabwe to determine finalists.
It will be interesting to see how the local ladies respond to their first ever semi-final appearance or if they have drawn inspiration from the men team, the Zebras. The Zebras reached the COSAFA finals recently but failed to bring it home, also suffering defeat to Chipolopolo, Zambia. The women final will be played this coming Saturday.
Meanwhile, the under 20 ladies have bowed out of the competition with two losses and one win. The young Mares could only manage a royal exit by beating Eswatini 3-0 on their last game of the group stages. However, it was not enough to save the day as the team was humiliated in their opening games against Zambia and Tanzania.