The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) will tomorrow host the National sports awards ceremony at the Baisago Convention Centre. The biggest question however is if Ofentse Bakwadi of Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) will finally receive the Sports person of the year crown or not.
Bakwadi, a four -time consecutive sports man of the year nominee has seen the biggest award of sports person elude him perennially. Back in 2016, Zibani Chikanda of Boxing beat him to the race, in 2017; Karabo Sibanda of athletics bagged it while last year, it was Emmanuel Kgaboetsile, a Badminton Umpire who was named the man of the night.
It remains to be seen if the 34 year old will this time around smile all the way to the bank or he still has to play the waiting game a little bit longer. Shaykex, as he is known to his peers specializes in Kata and has in the past few years conquered Africa and named continent champion. He comes to the glitz and glamour night having won Bronze in individual Kata at the commonwealth championships last year and also won silver at the Africa Karate Championships in Rwanda.“I really want the sportsperson award with every fibre of my being, I have won the sports man back in 2012 and in 2017 but I never got the taste of the glamorous award,” Bakwadi said this week.
Baboloki Thebe, the 400 m runner, will also come as a dangerous threat to Bakwadi’s envisioned kingdom. Thebe, who has seen his career marred with life threatening injuries, finally rose to the occasion last year after being downed for some time. The young athlete won Gold at the 2018 Africa Athletics Championships and scooped silver at the commonwealth games. He also assisted the 4x400m men’s team win Gold at the same competition. It will be a much needed breakthrough that Thebe has been longing for, the young athlete has been living under the shadows and lime -light might be what he needs ahead of the upcoming 2020 Olympics. Both Thebe and Sibanda burst into the athletics scenes a few years back and Sibanda was somehow fortunate to win both the sports man and sports person award back in 2017.
On the ladies’ side, Christine Botlogetswe, 400m runner appears well positioned to get the sports woman award. Botlogetswe, who recently earned herself a name of ‘PB’ for personal best, had a relatively good year too. She helped the ladies 4x400m relay team win bronze at the commonwealth games and also a silver medalist at the 2018 Africa Championships.
However, Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe of Volleyball is also anxiously waiting to learn if she too will be named amongst the best. Gasekgonwe has proved to be a most valuable player locally and was selected best attacker at the Zone VI Club Championships.The junior female category and one of the highly contested areas has Entle Maungwa, who outdid herself by winning bronze in the female individual Kata at the Africa Karate championships. Besa Masaite of Chess had a rich year conquering both Africa and dominating local competitions.
She also made her maiden appearance at the Chess Olympiad. Another possible winner is in Oarabile Tshosa who was placed 5th at the International Schools Championship in Morocco and a bronze medalist during the 100m battle of Region 5 games. Other nominees include James Freeman of swimming, Bernard Olesitse of Athletics and Denzel Seetso from Tennis under the junior male sportsperson.
Familiar names of Tshepo Bathai (Karate) and Mothokomedi Thabano (Chess) made it back to the sports administrator list together with Duncan Segabo of BOTESSA. Mogomotsi Otsetswe of Athletics will clash with Peter Molefhe of Karate for the coach of the year accolade while Edwin Masuge, Bose Mokgwathi and Bonolo Joseph are lined up for the sportsperson with Disability male category
The man who contested for Botswana Tertiary Schools Sport Association (BOTESSA) presidential seat Jomo Moalosi, is not going down without a fight. He has appealed the BOTESSA elections committee’s decision that saw him pushed out of the 2019 elections race.
Moalosi, together with Keorapetse Setlhare had shown interest in the presidential elections that were scheduled for the 22nd of February 2019. The nomination period for the elections closed on the 8th of February and the elections committee embarked on a verification process of the two candidates. According to a document sent to BOTESSA member affiliates dated the 11th of February, the elections committee vetted out Moalosi while Setlhare was endorsed.
“Only one candidate, Setlhare, met the requirement outlined in article 10.2 of the constitution and the elections guidelines. If at the close of nominations there is only one candidate validly nominated, the committee shall declare publicly the candidate to be elected. Mr Setlhare has been validly nominated and duly elected president of BOTESSA,” reads part of the document.Reacting to the matter, the unhappy Moalosi confirmed that he is indeed appealing the matter because he was treated unfairly. Moalosi, former BOTESSA Secretary General (SG) said that he was being crucified for things that happened back in 2014 when he left his SG position.
Apparently, Moalosi was not present at the committee handing over ceremony in 2014 and now the chickens have come home to roost. “They used the amended 2017 constitution to throw me out, the law that requires an official to hand over when their term comes to an end did not exist back then,” Moalosi said. Moalosi noted that it was unfair that the 2014 issue has been brought back to life to attack him adding that he did not even miss the ceremony intentionally. “I had a family bereavement to attend to and I had informed both the then outgoing and incoming president of my absence. What is surprising is that my deputy did the secretariat handover for our office,” he said.
On the other hand, one of the officials that took charge of the BOTESSA office in 2014 told BG Sport that no explanation was given regarding Moalosi’s absence during the 2014 elections. Keitumetse Gobotsamang, an additional member at BOTESSA elections committee said that he believes they have followed the procedure in carrying out the 2019 elections verification process, however he refrained from commenting further since Moalosi has appealed the matter.
Chairman of the appeals committee, Mohemedi Masale confirmed receiving a formal complaint from Moalosi and said investigations are ongoing on the matter. Masale noted that they received all the necessary documents this past Saturday and that the expectation is to reach a decision within 14 days after receiving the appeal. “If he still feels aggrieved or any party is not happy with what we will present to them, then they can proceed to other structures, in this case, the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC).”
Meanwhile, the newly appointed President Setlhare has already hit the ground running. His first assignment was the First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) BOTESSA awards held in Gaborone this past weekend. Speaking to this publication, Setlhare says in his first quarter as president, he is more interested in uniting the association. “We need to be united for us to achieve goals. I am happy that even former BOTESSA leadership have availed themselves to assist grow the association,” he said. Setlhare explained that having been a tertiary student himself, he fully understands the struggle of their players, who are their key stakeholders.
They intend to meet with members of the Student Representative Councils (SRC’S) in all schools. He said that BOTESSA as the feeder to senior national teams needs to package their product well and make the game appealing even at national level. “The biggest challenge that I have picked in most of the institutions is that there is no proper coordination of school activities and the SRC are the ones who are active. The kids are always alone and we need to speak to management so that they assist players,” Setlhare said.