Gontse Sechele, 30, has been doing body building for the past 12 years. But what drives him to do this not very common sport, one might ask? Two things; the desire to be different and the desire to show people that you can be anything you want to be in this life.
From a young age he had always wanted to be different or do something different from what other people were doing so body building came like an answered prayer. As is the norm when a person chooses a path different from others, it has been a challenging road for Sechele.
He has witnessed people he was close to abandon him when he most needed their support. However, he realised that it was part of things he had to overcome in his life and so he filed them in the ‘lessons learnt’ box.
In 2009 he lost his mother to cancer which was devastating for him as she was his best friend. It was a blow which left its mark on him for a painfully long time, but he eventually came to accept it.
In the five years he has been staying in Gaborone after relocating from Francistown, Sechele is proud of his achievements. “I have come a long way, although I am doing well now there was a time I didn’t even have a place to live, I was sleeping at the gym,’’ he reveals.
But this is one of the things which reinforces his belief that one has to leave the past behind to make it in the future. He has won Mr Botswana four times with the latest being last year. He has also taken part in international competitions; one in South Korea, Australia and South Africa. It was in South Africa in 2015 that he finally managed to scoop third place thus qualifying to compete at the World Fitness Federation champions slated for June this year.
If he takes first place, he will finally qualify to be called a professional body builder. So dedicated is Sechele to his sport that he takes into account everything that goes into his body. He cooks his meals for the next day in the evening but if he doesn’t manage, he wakes up at 3am the following day to cook. This is a job he does meticulously as he has to make sure that he weighs all the food before he cooks it.
He also chooses his food carefully as he says everything has to balance as it affects his body and can therefore adversely affect his sport in the long run if not carefully monitored. As a way of ensuring that he stays fit, he has a workout routine which he varies from time to time. He does this to ensure that his body gets the right amount of exercise it requires. He explains that if the same exercises are repeated over time, the body will adapt and no results will show.
In his opinion, body building as a sport is slowly but surely growing in Botswana. He believes competitions like Mr Botswana have played a big part in the sport’s growth in the country as body building is a big part of the competition. He sees this growth again in the number of companies which have come forward to sponsor him, something which he is grateful to his manager Kaedi Khama for as he’s the one who handles that part of his sport.