The Botswana Football Association (BFA)‘s decision to reinstate the Premier League Management Committee with immediate effect has rubbed the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board the wrong way.Following the controversial acts and irregularities that played themselves out in the open at BPL office last week, resulting in one planned game being aborted and the league board divided, the BFA early this week moved swiftly to reinstate the long lost Management Committee to address fixtures.
A decision that the BFA thought as a cool down remedy that would restore order at the BPL office. Nevertheless it seems the fire has not been put out yet, if anything, BFA has further angered the BPL board. Allegations reaching this publication suggest that sometime this week, the BPL wrote a letter of displeasure to the BFA president about the recent unfolding developments. However, BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo has denied receiving such a letter from BPL.
Meanwhile, it appears that the BPL board feels that BFA acted on emotions when they decided to reinstate the committee without even involving them. A story carried by BG Sport last week questioned why the BPL office did not have a Management Committee despite the fact that the BFA constitution demanded such. The Management Committee should be responsible for the control and administration of the premier league competitions. The club chairmen were conflicted when it came to issues of fixtures and as such, they were now pointing fingers at the BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thabo Ntshinogang for turning BPL office into a one- man show.
Nevertheless this week, when BFA saw the need to bring back the Management Committee, the BPL was visibly thrown to the dogs by the football mother body. The BFA leadership even issued a press statement, apologizing for the controversial aborted Miscellaneous and Township Rollers game. The BFA National Executive Committee even assured that they are investigating the matter and will get to the bottom of it and remedial actions will be taken if necessary.
On the other hand, the BPL office never publicly apologized. In fact, prior to the aborted game, Ntshinogang had written a letter to Miscellaneous telling them that there shall be consequences if they did not attend the scheduled game. He had at the time seen nothing wrong with the decisions his office made prior to the cancelled game. It remains unclear if BFA feels that BPL is to blame for the outcome of events or not. Nevertheless the tricky part is that section 12.5.3 of the BFA constitution that speaks of powers of the premier league board says that the board is responsible for the appointment of the management committee headed by the Premier league Executive Director.
According to Mfolo, the Executive Director in this regard is Ntshinogang. Quizzed if BFA was not stepping on BPL toes more so that the board as per the constitution should appoint their own committee, Mfolo was defensive arguing that when things go wrong, they have the authority to act within the best interest of football and with that, they had to intervene.
BG sport has it in good authority that BPL was not present when BFA met with the reinstated Management Committee this Monday. In fact those who were present at the meeting have told this publication that the meeting was very brief and only informing them that they are now back at BPL. The man who is heading the committee, Booker Bannister, when reached for comment said that BFA has not given them any details as to what they need his team to do. “I feel I cannot comment at the moment because we are yet to be told why we have been reinstated and what it is that we need to do,” he said.
The Management Committee was dissolved in 2017 when Rapula Okaile was the BPL board chairman. It was alleged at the time, that there were wrangles between the BPL board and the Committee. The board felt the committee was disrespecting their presence while the management committee also demanded respect from the league board. Mfolo however said that they will be following the constitution this time around and if all want to protect the image of football, they have to find common ground and operate in a manner that will prevent the BPL’s name to be brought into disrepute.
The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development has committed to sponsoring the 2019 UFAK Karate Championships with a massive P 3 million, BG Sport can confirm.
Just last year, BNSC, while still under the guardianship of former chairman Solomon Reikeletseng, refused to be involved in the hosting of UFAK. Reikeletseng had at the time said that Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) had not followed proper hosting procedures.
It had to take a lot of convincing and negotiations from BOKA, including pleading with the freshly appointed Minister Tshekedi Khama that BNSC finally had a change of heart early this year. The championships will be held in Gaborone on the 9th -14th July.
To prove that indeed BNSC was now committed to assisting BOKA host a successful event, BOKA was slapped with a seven figure sponsorship letter last week.
According to information retrieved from the leaked letter addressed to BOKA, BNSC has advised BOKA to review the budget for the championships and align it to the funds allocated. However, the president of BOKA, Tshepo Bathai, when reached for comment played his cards very close to the chest and could not confirm if indeed they have received the sponsorship communication from BNSC. He admitted that the championships will be held in three months’ time and they are hoping that the Ministry through BNSC will assist them financially.
Bathai added that they do not expect only government to come to their financial rescue but hoping that even private entities will come on board. He revealed that they have a budget of over four million and the hope is that they will be able to raise the funds as the continental tournament fast approaches.
The competition he said came at the right time when Botswana is busy readying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Hopefully, local Karatekas will use the tournament to improve their chances of qualifying for the Olympics. Bathai noted that preparations for the upcoming event are ongoing and at an advanced stage. In fact, the World Karate Federation, Vice President who also happens to be the UFAK Vice president Bechir Cherif, is expected to be in Botswana early next week.
“Cherif will be here from the 25th to the 28th March 2019. During his visit, he will meet the Ministry of Sport, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the BOKA Executive Committee and also tour the competition and training venues,” Bathai said.
BOKA will be using the UB indoor Sports Arena for the competition and yet to finalize on the training venues to be used. At the end of his visit, Cherif is expected to share his thoughts on preparations made by BOKA so far.
The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) will be sending a team of five athletes to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships scheduled for Denmark next week. The team which is currently on camp include some of the finest half marathon runners in the country comprising of three men and two women.
The men’s team includes Rapula Diphoko (Diacore), Sesebo Sbula Matlapeng (Diacore) and Tlholego Keitshokile (Mmadinare Athletics Club). Only two women including Mema Tiango (Diacore) and Mosadikwena Maitumelo Gotswakgosi (Diacore) will form part of the team. In an interview this week BAA spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba said the team is currently on camp in anticipation of the world championships. “The team was selected at the end of the Cross-Country finals which were held in Palapye last month,” he said.
The BAA mouthpiece said the local team will be making a return to the world championships after being absent for a number of years. “Botswana only competed at the IAAF Cross Country world championships held in Uganda last year. This competition provides local athletes with an opportunity to win prize money that ranges between P80 000 and P300 000).”
According to Ramatshaba members of the team have used the BAA Cross Country Series that runs from November until February to prepare for the international showpiece. He further explained that the race will feature the 10 km cross country format currently used in Botswana. “We have been given a quota for one male and one female athlete, which mean we will be paying flight tickets for the rest of the team.”
Ramatshaba said other teams like Kenya were given more slots because of their recent performance at the IAAF event. “If we give an impressive performance at the race, our quota is likely to be improved.” According to Ramatshaba the international event will be expected to help local athletes as they will be embarking on other high-profile events like the Diacore Gaborone Marathon (DGM) which is scheduled for May. Meanwhile, Ramatshaba said the team will be travelling without a coach because of financial constraints. Brian Mosweu is expected to travel with the team as manager.
In a rather surprising turn of events this week Zebras caretaker coach Mogomotsi Teenage ‘Mpote’ appointed Joel ‘Juluka’ Mogorosi as team captain for the Saturday 2019 Afcon qualifier against Angola.
Mpote who recently caused an uproar among football supporters after leaving the on-form veteran striker out when he announced the new Zebras squad. However, the national team's coach seems to have made a U turn and called the Township Rollers forward to the squad and awarded him the captain’s arm band. Mogorosi who has served the Zebras for the better part of the decade is currently the top goal scorer with 15 goals in the BTC Premiership. The decision by Mpote was enough to leave many supporters and other stakeholders dumbfounded and questioning the coach’s judgement.
During a recent press conference, Mpote made it clear that he preferred younger players in the Zebras line up. Mpote went on to explain why ageing Mogorosi is not in the squad despite his stellar form. In return, Mogorosi remains diplomatic and cordial when responding to the decision to leave him out of the Zebras squad. “It is up to the coach whether he needs me or not. I respect any coach’s decision. Whatever Mpote did I am happy with it, I am not going to cry over this. He has his reason,” Mogorosi said in a recent interview.
Meanwhile, Mogorosi is currently preparing for the Saturday game alongside his team mates in Francistown. In a brief interview this week, Botswana Football Association (BFA) spokesperson Tumo Mpatane confirmed that Mogorosi is the team captain for the Saturday encounter. However, Mpatane said appointing Mogorosi is purely a technical decision which cannot be questioned. Furthermore, Mpatane said there is a lot of unity among players in the team.
“The team consists of players who are familiar with one another having played together in the under 17 and Under 23 national teams,” Mpatane said. The BFA mouthpiece said Mogorosi is already hard at work and guiding the younger players. After the training session this afternoon Joel encouraged the younger players to move on from their previous teams and concentrate on being Zebras players. Mpatane said it was their hope for supporters to buy tickets and come to the stadium in good numbers. The Zebras have since been eliminated from the 2019 Afcon qualifiers.
The ladies senior national team coach Gaolethoo Nkutusang has put her head on the block to defend Botswana Football Association (BFA) and instructing her players to attend camp with their own boots and trainers.
This week allegations surfaced that there was disorder brewing ahead of the scheduled camp as the ladies have been asked to bring their own training equipment when reporting for camp this coming weekend. It was alleged that the ladies could not be provided with the items as normally done.
Nevertheless, Nkutusang when responding to the matter was quick to shield BFA saying it was actually her idea that players bring their own items. “They will be provided with those boots by BFA however in the mean time while they wait, I asked them to bring their own boots,” the coach said. Ronaldo as the coach is widely known, explained that they cannot waste time waiting for the training equipment to be delivered while they have a few days from playing their first Olympic qualification game against Namibia. Botswana will play Namibia on the 5th of April in Gaborone.
The coach said the squad to face Namibia has already been selected and names will be released soon. With that, Nkutusang said that the ladies should not be cry -babies and toughen up saying that being called up for national team duty means that a player has an opportunity to be signed outside the country if they impress.
“How will they play to perfection if they are busy complaining about new boots, I suggest they use their own boots so that they can be comfortable enough to run in them. A new boot can make a player uncomfortable and they start making excuses, however we have no time for excuses,” defended Nkutusang. Experience has even taught the lady that has been coaching the team for more than five years that players normally fit the new boots and put them aside for their old ones. She noted that its not like the ladies have nothing to use as the players are active at their respective clubs.
The coach went on to say that even the men’s team does not come to camp leaving their boots at home and that is the spirit that the ladies should also adopt. Nkutusang went on to say that BFA have their own shortfalls however they are really trying to rectify their mistakes and resurrect women football. The coach expressed confidence that Botswana will in the near future have a competitive women football side, as the BFA Technical Director, Serame Letsoaka is a man busy at work.
Now with, the recent arrival of the German expect Dr. Carolin Bruan, who will be in Botswana for a period of two years,has boosted Nkutusang’s confidence. For his part, BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo said that there is no how they cannot provide the ladies with the much-needed equipment, as they really want to build a competitive ladies team. He explained that there might be some delays but the training gear will eventually come. BFA recently signed a five- year deal with the English sportswear and football equipment supplier Umbro. It was announced that Umbro will supply the national teams with training and off field apparel.
Attending The MoTown Afro Night concert featuring America’s all time finest Rhythm and Blues outfits, the Temptations and Manhattans last Friday, awoke my childhood moments, reminiscing the secondary school days of Record Nights.
That is when the afro hair and curls were cool as we mimicked the lyrics and in most instances dismally failing to get them correct except for the beat and rhythm that blended very well with natural footwork found mostly in black communities. Everything went near perfect this past Friday, had it not been for the poor sound quality and starting the show late, a matter which led to supporting acts like Refilwe Boloseng, Joe Nina and Cheek to Cheek subjected to a raw deal. Other than that I can say I was really enthralled.
Most impressive was when Tshepi, the local artist cum show organiser, performed with the Temptations, a song they recorded together. The black Americans were back at the ancestral Africa, as they doled out the lyrics in the Setswana language.
The Temptation opened their second appearance on stage with, ‘standing on top.’ The audience could not hold any longer when the Temptations followed with another greatest hit of all times ‘Treat her like a lady,’ a song composed by Ali- Ollie Woodson and Otis Williams. The crowd was lost in excitement durng the delivery of a medley featuring songs from their 2006 Reflection album, which was nominated for the Grammy awards for best Traditional R&B performance- with the track, ‘how sweet it is to be loved by you’ and ‘I’ll be around,’ from the 1972 Spinners album.
Peculiar with The Temptations is, they stick with their style of dancing, call it old fashioned or whatever, but to them it is an art, drilled whole heartedly and with impressive discipline. Having fully introduced themselves it was now time to jam, starting with the song ‘Glad you can be here,’ then followed with a track originally done by O’Jays –‘You’re my favourite person’ before doing yet another people’s favourite, ‘Soul to soul’ from their Special album released in 1989.
The last track was a song written by Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland in the same album named ‘Ain’t too proud to beg,’ a very painful son of a man begging a girl not to dump him, also written by Whitfield and E Holland and recorded by the Temptations with David Ruffin on lead vocal, Eddie Kendrick’s, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, and Otis Williams on background vocals and instrumental accompaniment by the Funk Brothers. They closed the show with a 1965 track, ‘My girl,’ which still remains a hit today and as I was seating next to my girl, Mmapula, I could not love the moment more.
The Manhattans also did not disappoint. If it was a competition between the two, I guess the judges would have found it difficult to judge. The Manhattans performed 15 plus one songs and completed in grand style with ‘Let us kiss and say goodbye,’ in a slow tempo. They took off to the stage with the up tempo song ‘Never too much’, then from their 1973 album singing ‘the day Robin sang to me.’
Bow’s love song, followed by ‘It feels good to be loved so bad’ as well as ‘There’s No good in goodbye’ from their 1978 album, all done in slow tempo . The next list of songs were; ‘I kinda miss you,’ ‘Never find another find,’ ‘here comes the hurt again,’ ‘girl of my dreams,’ and ‘wish you were mine.’
The dancing on the ‘Shining star’ track was impressive, stepping forward with left, then backwards across before doing 360 degrees turn around. Having won the hearts of the audience, the Manhattans completed with an encore of ‘Kiss and say goodbye’ in a slow tempo.
The first boat safari cruise in the southern part of the country is offering the public an experience worth sharing. Officially opened for business in February, the Crocodile Pools River Safaris is selling and offering its clientele the opportunity to experience a boat cruise right on their doorstep without taking the drive to either Kasane or Maun.
Located in the exclusive Notwane suburbs, a two-hour drive offers thrill seekers with a chance to learn and appreciate the beauty of the Notwane river as well as experience the rich bird life in the area, and wildlife. Guests have an opportunity to take either the morning or afternoon cruises. The Notwane areas and Crocodile pools are home to a wide variety of bird species. In total, there are close to 229 bird species out of a total of 593 bird species in Botswana.
The diverse Notwane area offers low woodland, rocky kopjes, river side woodland, river islands as well as reed swamps, which are perfect for the hundreds of birds that call this place home at different times of the year. Besides the birds, depending on the time of, guests can spot animals such as Kudu, Bush buck, Impala, waterbuck, brown hyena, black backed jackals, grey duicker, vervet monkeys, chacma baboons, lesser bush baby, leopards, warthogs and more. Most interestingly, one might spot the Nile Crocodiles, water monitor lizards, and the Southern African python.
For city dwellers, time at the river is the best therapy. The minute that the guide, Melawana Nature Kenosi starts the engine, you start to breath a new, fresh air. The atmosphere this side is different. Residents of this side of the neighbourhood really enjoy and love tranquil peace. You are instantly taken on a short-lived adventure, and your thoughts just take over. Also, the excitement and anticipation of seeing animals such as the Nile Crocodiles just adds to the fun. Along the 4 kilometre stretch of the river, we excitedly spot the crocodile even just for a brief second as it dips its head back into the water.
Mike Brook, tells this publication that they wanted to open up the Crocodile pools to the general public. The idea, he says, came to life following one of the books that he published. The book is none other than the Crocodile Pools Botswana – History and Biodiversity. The book tells the story of the flora and fauna of the area as well as the rich history of the area.
Besides this book, he has other books under his belt including the Botswana’s Diamonds – Prospecting to Jewellery”, The Journey of Botswana’s Diamonds”, Wild about Botswana”. He also says that since the official opening, all of the weekends have been fully booked, and that they have hosted close to 25 nationalities from countries that include Russia, India, and South Africa. Brook is an avid bird watcher, and his knowledge on the bird species is very handy for those who wish to know more about the birds in the area.
His wife, Dudu Brook explains that the Crocodile Pools River Safaris is a family owned business. She also says that they wanted to share with the public a bit of Notwane as most of the public do not have access to the area which is privately owned.
“Our target audience is everyone, including students, and the general public,” she says. She also notes that beyond experiencing a river cruise, they wished to educate the public about the environment of Notwane and its history.
“For some people, Kasane and Maun are far, so they can experience a boat cruise twenty minutes from Gaborone,” she explains. Prices are P250 for adults, and P200 for children between 5 and 12 years. To assure the public about their safety, she notes that they provide life jackets and that they also have an emergency boat in case there is an emergency. Besides the cruise, the public can nibble on finger foods and snacks on sale. They also have a shop that sells a few items including Dudu’s famous quilts, and various merchandise, as well her husband’s books.
Following up on suggestions from the public, she says that they are looking into having chalets to offer accommodation, as well as have a small coffee shop. For those who wish to do photo shoots, and have birthday parties, and showers with a difference, they are taking bookings.
For the reigning Mr Botswana, Bonalenna Moetsabatho, being in his position feels like he is the CEO of the country and he says that he is preparing to bring home the Mr Universe crown from Phillipines.
He tells BG Style that he considers himself a CEO of the country because he has to work hard all the time to make sure that he has everything in order. “It feels good being in this position more specially that I have always had a dream of becoming Mr Botswana one day. I consider myself to be on the level of the CEOs because this is not a place to sit back, relax and rest but a very challenging and demanding one.
I managed to earn my role and will execute what is expected and required from me whole heartedly,” he said. Moetsabatho says that among the tasks that he is working on as Mr Botswana is to sensitize the society at large about gender-based violence. “This I do by marching or walking against it. I always target national events to also take part as I preach about some of these social ills in our country,” he said, noting that he has so far cycled against Cancer, with focus on Prostate Cancer.
He says men are still lagging behind in taking measures to know their status and getting proper help in time. He emphasizes that through the support of his managerial team, he has a number of activities that he is delicately working on. “Nonetheless, I have postponed some of them because of the reasons beyond my control as some of the partners are still held with other commitments,” he explains. He also does motivational talks in schools alongside the Minister of Basic Education. “I also aim at engaging students in arts, especially in rural settlements, as far as Okavango,” he says.
“I have observed that arts are becoming more relevant in the generation that we live in, so I want to encourage their young as it can unleash amazing talent from the country,” he says. He adds that arts can create employment and young people need to be equipped with the right fundamentals, mindset and appropriate mentorship. “Visiting and spending time with children with Autism and Down Syndrome in Tlokweng is also part of my activities, and I will be visiting them soon,” he says explaining that most of the people in the society do not understand much about different lifestyles that people with disabilities live.
Therefore, he aims at sensitizing people about Autism and Down syndrome to make sure that people with such conditions also have inclusion within the communities. He tells BG Style that he would be leaving for Mr World International competitions with his team by mid May.
“I am really working round the clock and doing all I can to make sure that I nail my goal of making the nation proud. God willing and with the support from everyone else I will manage to reserve this crown and bring it home,” he said.
Young Epilepsy Botswana will next weekend join the world in commemorating World Purple Day, as they raise awareness on the Epilepsy condition.
Epilepsy is a disorder marked by sudden recurrent episode of sensory disturbance. It is a condition that can be controlled and can affect anyone at any given time, according to the founder of Young Epilepsy Botswana, Ithabeleng Khan. She tells BG Style, that once one is diagnosed with this condition, their lifestyle also changes as there is still stigma around this condition. She was diagnosed with Epilepsy when she was 14 years, and this motivated her, through her mother’s help to form this organization and sensitize people about Epilepsy.
“Epilepsy awareness, known as PURPLE Day world wide was founded in 2008, by a nine year old person in Canada, by her own struggle of isolation,” explains Khan. She told BG Style that through her research on this condition, with her mother, they also saw the need to honour PURPLE Day in Botswana to make sure that they create awareness among people living with disability.
“The day’s main effort is to educate people about this disorder and reassure, those with a seizure that they are not alone,” she said. Khan is therefore thankful to a variety of sponsors who have come on board to help them commemorate this day, especially Grand Palm Hotel who have always been supporting them.
Their research acknowledges that over 75 million people worldwide are affected by Epilepsy, which they say it’s equally important for the world to know that seizure can happen to anyone at any time without warning and for no apparent reason. This year’s theme for the commemoration of the day is, ‘Epilepsy is a condition and can be controlled’. Main Sponsor, GrandPalm Operations Manager, Keletso Bogatsu applauded Young Epilepsy Botswana for this great move, saying that as a hotel they have also learnt something and their staff already know how to deal with a seizure.
Chairperson of Autism Botswana, Maletshwane Mauco emphasizes that Epilepsy and Autism patients need support other than discrimination because they are not contagious. She explains that it is often difficult to tell if an autism person has Epilepsy but the red flag however is a seizure and abnormal staring as well as stifling of muscles. An epileptic student, Shir Gobind Sharma, aged 13 years says that being an Epileptic child is not ideal as it even obstructs the learning process at school.
“I have been living with Epilepsy since I was four years old and it has been difficult for me because I can’t do some of the things that I like,” he says, emphasizing that he has to live a different lifestyle not by choice. Among the challenges that he faces, he cannot swim alone, has memory loss due to his medication, slow in understanding and reading which has an overall impact in his education.
There would be a walk on March 23 followed by massage sessions at Mosha. Bogatsu says they do this to help them relax and enjoy themselves as they often face stigma in the society. The walk will start at 06:00 am from GrandPalm to Zambezi Towers in CBD, where they will also enjoy aerobics lead by Botswana scout. Botswana Bikers Club will also be there for entertainment during the 10 Km walk.
Botswana will this week join the rest of the world to commemorate World Poetry Day. The event, organised by a local organisation, The Black African Poets Organisation in collaboration with the university of Botswana is pencilled to take place on Thursday at the Old Naledi Grounds.
This year, the event is held under the theme; Teme Yame Sekao Same. Various works of poetry and images of poets would form part of the proceedings of the day. In addition, Botswana poets would showcase various forms of poetry on the day. The Policy Specialist at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture, Dineo Phuti is slated to deliver the keynote address. The Director of UNESCO, Prune Motsewabeng is also expected to address guests.
According to a press release, the objectives of the World Poetry Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expressions and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. The release further explains that the day also seeks to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between other arts as well as theatre, dance, music and painting. It also seeks to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in media so that art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one that enables society as a whole to regain and asset its identity.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), University of Botswana, Department of African Languages and Literature.
The 2019 edition of the commemorations marks the third time that The Black African Poets Organization is holding the celebrations. The organisation was established in 2008. It seeks to amongst other things: develop resource base for Batswana poets, and poetry in the digital space which will include formation on reading partnerships.