This past weekend many of us were spoilt for choice. As a result, travelling was made easy and, or even cheaper for some because one was presented with an opportunity to enjoy oneself at a place nearer to one’s residence as the country came alive with all kinds of entertainment for those who like indoor and outdoor activities.
Such activities spread throughout the country ranged from sporting activities, weddings, musical concerts, cultural activities and business and leisure. For economic reasons, BG Travel confined itself to the Greater Gaborone area where there were many places to visit any time of the day, either with the family or on one’s own.
The place that I frequented was the Consumer’s Fair organised by the Fairground Holdings and was used as a window for corporate, private businesses, government departments and individuals to showcase as well as market and sell their services to the world.
What attracted me most was their slogan, ‘It is more than just shopping’. Being an inquisitive person, I wanted to find out if the organisers have lived up to their word. What perhaps was evidently clear is that countries like Kenya know how to market themselves. This is one country which never fails to attend any show in order to market and sell some of its great exports, being different types of tea, coffee, honey and other related products. The same applies to Lesotho women who come here with their fashionable German print dresses, shirts and attires, as well as Swaziland who specialise in in-house décor and Zimbabwe with their arts and crafts, handbags and shoes.
It was equally pleasing to note that Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) did not just come there to impress farmers to consider selling more cattle to them, but equally took advantage and improved their bank balance by their different types of meat be it corned beef or packed raw meat.
If I had a prize to give for the most attractive stall, I would have simply awarded it to Debswana, followed by Botswana Police and the Department of Broadcasting respectively. Forget about the armed police both uniformed and plain clothes officers that surrounded the Debswana stall each day when the diamonds were on display at the stall, were simply there to execute their mandate in case unscrupulous characters were tempted to misbehave.
But the good thing about it is that many people both young and old got to see the real diamond and learned how it is processed from the friendly Debswana staff who manned the stall. Botswana Police Service (BPS) too is worth commending, in terms of the design of their stall, which was just too simple but equally appealing.
The most attractive gadget in the stall was the huge motor bike used by traffic police. It was amazing to see how people of all ages and shapes wanted to snap their pictures either near or seating in a riding position on top of the expensive BMW motorbike.
Department of Broadcasting Services (BDS) surpassed their usual trend of taking the radio to the people through commercial radio station RB2. But, they enlightened many Batswana, allowed visitors to mingle and interact with their favourite announcers and DJs.
Without doubt the centre of attraction was the Set Top Boxes (STP) that were distributed for free. However, the department charged with the responsibility to disseminate information to the public, used the moment to continue educating the masses about digital migration as well as testing people’s knowledge on how the STP works and is connected to the television.
At Fairgrounds Holdings everything appeared great at the trade fair, save for the fact that the boxing ring was assembled just too close to the exit point and this drastically affected the traffic movement during the time of bouts. The most worrying fact is that as usual, there were many toys on sale, and most parents appeared to buy their children toy guns and pellets.
Parents appear to care less about safety as some of those toy guns had laser light which can be harmful when pointed directly to the eye. Secondly, no one seems to care to teach their children not to just shoot a gun once it is loaded with pellets or whatever, because they could either injure themselves or a passerby.
There is also the question of safety. Did all the parents who bought their children toy guns and masks as a way of showing love, ever bother to inform themselves about their safe custody once they reach home? The truth is save for the fact that the other is a toy and cannot kill, the fact is a real revolver and a toy gun look the same, and thieves can use the same toy gun that you have bought to rob you. In some cases many get injured or are killed trying to resist thinking that maybe the thief is carrying a toy gun.
Another family event that was exciting was the Motocross of African Nations (MoXAN) which attracted a good number of African top riders from far afield as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia at its newly-constructed track – Wings Moto Park in Mmamashia. It was a great event.
The weekend could not have been complete without attending the much-talked about Jazz at Molapo Piazza where American based Jonathan Butler was the star attraction. It was a moment worthwhile and pity those who did not attend one of the greatest live shows ever.
Prior to the concert - the jazzman-cum-gospel singer, Butler visited Nanogang Secondary School - a school adopted by GIMC organisers (NCJSS)- where he gave a word of encouragement to students before serenading them with two songs.