With only a month in office, the newly elected Botswana Taekwondo Federation (BTF) Executive Committee is already running into trouble. The federation is currently in disarray with the national team fuming and calling for the leadership to be removed from office with immediate effect.The Vinay Naicker led federation was re-elected in September 2018. Naicker was first elected president of the federation since 2013.
This week some BTF athletes expressed their unhappiness with the treatment they receive form the Association and feel the only remedy is for Naicker and his team to vacate office. They athletes alleged that they are under appreciated and every time they air their grievances they are threatened with expulsion from the team.
They also say the team selection process is unfair and biased, “When I compete against another athlete and lose, then in a few days I learn that I have been picked instead of winner, it does not make sense,” claimed one of athletes who preferred aninomity for fear of victimization. The concerned athletes further complained that they hardly compete but they are referred to as a national team.
“Most of them last competed in 2016; even local tournaments such as club championships hardly happen and there is hardly proper communication from management,” one of the athletes alleged.“There was an international tournament that we once attendedm and we were like lost puppies with baggy tracksuits and no proper competition gear. We survived on bread and were hungry most of the time, this is sad because the leadership does not care about us,” another claimed.
They went on to say that at one point they were told that their allowances and appearance fees were used for transport costs and they will be reimbursed but nothing has come forward. They have tried to seek answers from the management but it was all in vain.
Reached for comment this week, BTF Technical Director Gladys Njoroge rubbished the allegations. Being in charge of the technical aspect of things, Njoroge explained that they have the wellfare of athletes at heart,adding she is more of a mother figure to the athletes.
“I do not understand where all that is coming from, I am a strict leader and I do not tolerate indiscipline, proper actions are taken against those who do not follow the rules, however I cannot say I am abusive,” she said. However, the athletes went on to accuse Njoroge of nepotism, saying she sent her brother Samuel Kimani Njoroge of Kenya to Korea for a training course and in the process neglected local athletes.
Njoroge explained that her brother was not representing Botswana in Korea but his own country Kenya, something that is confirmed by letter from WTF dated 8th September 2018, which Identifies Kimani as a delegate from Kenya.
Njoroje also dismissed accusations that she sold the team donated uniforms.
“Those are all lies, the matter was reported to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and even the Ministry of youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, we have been cleared of all those accusations now they are coming up again,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of the Federation Jang Su Kim when reached had a mouthful to say. He called the Federation rotten, saying there are many operational anomalies at BTF. In fact, he has already written a letter to Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), detailing his concerns. Kim was the one responsible for receiving and handling the donations from international bodies when he was deputising Naicker.
“It is true what the athletes are saying, they were sold donated uniform. I even told the president about what was happening however, Njoroge denied all. I know the difference between Korean donated items and items bought elsewhere, I am a Motswana but was raised in Korea, I know these things,” claimed Kim.
In his letter to BNSC, Kim complained that there were no clear reports at BTF on how funds were used and that BNSC has to cross check items donated by WTF from 2012 to 2017 as a lot of the items were missing.However, Njoroge believes that Kim is manipulating the national team and feeding them with all sorts of negativity.
“I am very disappointed in him, I have supported him and today because he is no longer sitting in the committee suddenly there is a commotion,” she said. Njoroge revealed that there has been a division in the Federation of late and suddenly even the national team wants them to step down. She said it was unfortunate for someone of Kim’s age to be misleading the young ones.
“Majority of those athletes currently do not belong to any club because they have since moved away and want to form new clubs,” she noted.
Currently there are only three clubs registered with BTF.
The athletes say they cannot get anything done because they are considered irrelevant, as they are not members. Njoroge told this publication that the right procedures have to be followed for them to be affiliates saying they have about five pending requests.
Quizzed on why there are only three clubs at BTF and if BNSC was well with the issue, BNSC Technical Development Officer Bobby Gaseitsiwe said they usually want the affiliate to have clubs in other villages or have a plan to grow it to other areas in Botswana.
Gaseitsiwe said they have to look at each application on its merit because there are sports which are very young in Botswana, and it is their responsibility to support them grow. “Some are Olympic sport and it is in our interest to make sure that we fully support even though on face value they can be seen to be small. Others are too expensive to start and also be grown around the country due to their sophistication,” he said.
Naicker’s eligibility as presidency is also being questioned as allegedly, according to WTF Statutes, a member nation (MNA) president, unless otherwise approved by WTF, shall be a citizen and resident of the nation or territory that the MNA represents.
Naicker is from South African.
In his response, Naicker said the issue was news to him and he is currently a council member of the Continental Union and had never been aware of such a ruling. Naicker said he has contacted the Continental Union and the President of the Continental Union whom is the Vice President of the World Taekwondo for clarification.
“They indicated through the secretariat that this is totally a member national issue (Federation) and neither WT (World Body) nor WTA (Continental Union) have any authority over who presides. We are governed by our Federation Constitution and the Laws of Botswana,” he said.Quizzed on how they endorsed the BTF president, Gaseitsiwe said he knew little about the World Taekwondo Constitution.
“We are more guided by the Constitution approved by Registrar of Societies. The World bodies do work with their Affiliates independently and we have no direct link with them. Our affiliates have their members who pay subscription to them. Same as our affiliates pay annual subscription to BNSC,” noted Gaseitsiwe.
Gaseitsiwe went on to say he was not aware of any signs of storm brewing at BTF, “I have never seen any letter at our office and our doors remain open to all, including the athletes,” he said.
Former Botswana Chess Federation president Tshepo Sitale says he has no regrets about the decisions he made at the just ended Africa Chess Confederations (ACC) elections, staged in Batumi Georgia when he pulled out of the continental presidential race at the last minute.Sitale went to Georgia as a man ready for war. He was armed and ready to takeover as African chess president after a rigorous campaigns ahead of the elections and had actually convinced some that he was the right man for the top seat.
However, Sitale pulled a surprise shock when he decided to withdraw from the elections at the eleventh hour and resorted to forming a coalition.This meant that Sitale and camp supported Essoh Essis of Ivory Coast. That, however, did not stop Lewis Ncube of Zambia from retaining his presidency, winning the vote 23-21.
When speaking to BG Sport this week, Sitale said that he has no regrets because it was never about him but Africa. “I took the decision to withdraw because I wanted to unite Africa by simply supporting another presidential candidate. We had to form a coalition and try reducing chances of Ncube retaining the presidency,” Sitale said.
Sitale explained that Ncube had always aligned himself with the new FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich of Russia and when Dvorkovich won the FIDE presidency, it became clearer which side votes will go.“I could not be selfish and refuse to step down, it was in the best interest of Africa and the decision was taken by a team and not me alone,” Sitale explained.
Even though all did not go according to plan, Sitale said he is not lost to ACC but not certain about contesting for the ACC presidency again although he will back any capable horse in his corner. The biggest lesson he learnt through it all is that campaigning for the top seat does not come easy; by nature, they are very costly and require dedication and time. Sitale and friends spent over half a million pula in his campaign and still it was not enough to cover all bases.
“We had the assistance of few however, the bulk of it was from our very own pockets, unlike the Russians who are financially stable, we had to work extra hard with our limited resources to convince masses that we also have what it takes to lead Africa,” he said. The former BCF president said he was grateful for the experience because it actually made him understand Africa better. He was able to understand barriers making it hard for Chess to reach greater heights in Africa.
“I have realised that we have five regions in Africa that are totally different from each other with different approaches and mind-sets. This has since sharpened my leadership skills and taught me how to be a team player. I have also learned how to manage different people,” Sitale said.Meanwhile, the newly elected ACC vice president Tshepiso Lopang from Botswana said she has already set the ball rolling.
Her immediate task will be to devise and propose appropriate development strategies for federations. “I will monitor federation strategies periodically and analyse support given to members. I will work with our members and other key stakeholders to enhance results,” she said. Lopang also wishes to take stock on the current chess development situation in Africa collectively with the ACC Board.
She is of the view that development has been stagnant in the continent due to lack of resources and minimum support from the mother body.
The Region 5 Youth Games Gaborone 2018 Local Organising Committee (RYGLOC) this week unveiled the games’ mascot, the bird character named Kgori. The 8th edition of the games is scheduled for the 7th until 16 December 2018.
The colorful Kgori was unveiled together with the theme song, cauldron, medals and torch at the games marks and symbols launch in Gaborone.
Officiating at the event, the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Phillip Makgalemele said the colourful bird resembles youth spirit, togetherness, team spirit, excellence and excitement that the games will cherish.
Makgalemele noted that it was a high -flying bird that resembles the fact that the games will be showcasing all the athletes who have excelled in their respective sporting codes and now competing regionally.
He explained that the LOC decided to pick a unique mascot, an iconic Botswana bird associated with Bogosi. “I am delighted at the LOC who chose this bird, it has been declared a protected species as it is almost extinct,” Makgalemele said.
The minister said the mascot was relevant in that, this was the time to come together as a region and teach young ones about the most important things in life.
He added that the theme song was very catchy with a youthful beat and will be played throughout the region so as to get excitement amongst the youth.He said the cauldron which symbolizes leiso, will be lit from the day the games begin until the very last day, “We are saying as a region, we should gather around leiso and share ideas and experiences on how we could improve on talent identification.
We need to have a model that talks to us, investing right in sport such that we value for the money as well as the athletes benefiting,” he said.The Chairman of the LOC, Labbeaus Peloewetse said they are all ready to host the games. He noted that venues have been confirmed and other structures that needed to be installed are nearing completion. Various fields of play equipment, he said have already been delivered.
“Volunteers have been recruited and they shall be trained over this coming weekend, therefore preparations for the games are going well and in accordance with our plan,” he assured. He revealed that close to 2 000 teenage athletes will be in action and the games will provide an opportunity for new names to come to the fore in this regional competition.
The Gaborone boxing stable, Bond Boxing Promotions are scheduled to host an international fight on 26th October in Gaborone. The box and dine black tie event is expected to attract six professional fights featuring boxers from Botswana and South Africa.
The fight card themed, the Voyage will be headlined by Tshepiso Mokgadi from Bond boxing.
The 28-year-old Mokgadi will be facing Philip Musariri from the Delta Force boxing stable in Harare, Zimbabwe. The main bout will be six rounds at Junior welterweight. Mokgadi commands an impressive four wins, one draw and no losses while Musariri comes into the fight with five wins and two losses. Should he win his fifth professional bout, Mokgadi will be an inch closer to a Pan African title fight.
The undercard fights of the evening are expected to be even more interesting. The first undercard fight will be an evenly matched super featherweight bout, featuring former amateur sensation, Onkarabile ‘Scara ‘ Mothibedi from the Top 10 stables. Mothibedi who hails from Good hope will be facing Tshepo Khutloeng from Bond boxing. Both boxers are 24 years old with an orthodox stance. The records of both boxers mirror each other, both having won two fights and lost twice.
The third fight will feature Palapye debutant Boago Gaosego against Freeman Mabvongwe from Zimbabwe. Despite his tender age of only 20 years, Mabvongwe commands four fights with two wins and two losses. The fight will be contested at middleweight. The fourth fight of the night will feature the awkward super bantamweight, Thabiso Mpolokeng. The 22-year-old Mpolokeng will collide with Zimbabwe’s Tinashe Mutoza from Delta force boxing.
Mutodza who is ten years older than his opponent is a veteran with six wins and four losses. The fight organisers are expected to announce two more bouts that will be added to the card. In a brief interview this week, Bond boxing spokesperson, Katlego Olatotse said preparations for the big night are well under way. She further explained that boxing fans and enthusiasts should expect excitement and fireworks on October 26th.
This is the follow up to the successful box and dine event we organised earlier this year. The sponsors of the fight include Super A1 Maize meal, Legigo, Seen foods, Fairgrounds Holdings, BRES, Web tickets, Trador, insight and Bond Boxing gym.
The much-anticipated Botswana Life Classic Run Half Marathon took place this past weekend at Botswana Life Head Office in Fairgrounds Office Park in Gaborone.Godiraone Nthompe took first position in the senior male category in a 21.1km race at a time of 1:08:10.2, closely followed by Sesebo Matlapeng at 1:08:10.5 and Tholego Keithekile with 1:10:03.0.
Phatsimo Moikabi won the senior female category with 1:49:12.0 while Wame Ntwayakgosi managed to secure second position with 1:59:49.1 and Ai Homma coming in third with a time of 2:06:06.2. In the corporate challenge, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources(BUAN) came out victorious while Aon Botswana and BancABC took second and third place respectively.
In the 10km race, senior male category, Sylvester Koko crossed the finish line first with an astonishing 31:05.3 followed by Kagiso Kebatshwaretse with 32:48.6 and in third position, Goitsemodimo Mokgalagadi with 33:24.8. Under the junior female category, Oratile Nowe came out on top at 37:08.1 followed by Laone Moloi with 37:09.8 and Lame Nare clocking 37:10.7.First prize in the 21.1km race was P10 000, with second and third position winners taking P7 500, and P5 000 respectively in both male and female categories.
For the 10km race, winners walked away with a cash prize of P5000 while the runner up took P2 500 and P1 500 for third place.Botswana Life PR, Communications and Marketing Manager, Tebogo Keepotsoe said, “We are very happy with the turnout. People came out in their numbers to participate in the run, both young and old, which is truly comforting, as the Classic Run is not merely for professional athletes, it is our way of promoting health and wellness.”
The insurer expressed its determination to continue to play its part in promoting health and wellness and encouraging Batswana to live an active lifestyle.“We would like to congratulate all the winners and thank all those who participated in our silver jubilee.
We would also like to thank all our sponsors, partners and volunteers, with special mention to the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) for helping us pull off a smooth marathon. We are confident that next year’s run will be more successful,” Keepetsoe said.
Fashion designers from Botswana were part of the 2018 edition of the African Fashion International (AFI) Fashion Week that was held on October 4-7th at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, South Africa. Social media was lit with images and news about this big event. Each designer showcased a collection made up of ten intricate and exquisite pieces.
The designers were Aobakwe Molosiwa of Gilded Sands, Lesedi Matlapeng of KefSeddy designs, Mothusi Lesolle of IZaura, Sharon Taolo of Everyday Clothing, and Boitumelo Seboko of Rosetta Stone. The above-mentioned designers were sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture. Besides the four designers, Kutlwano and Gerty Mogojwe of Black Trash, and other local models also flew the Botswana flag high.
One of the highlights with the event was the fact that Batswana came out in large numbers to support and be a part of the Botswana showcase that was held on Saturday afternoon in the Tent, Melrose Arch. According to the Principal Public Relations Officer, Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Kristian Kabelo Mmusi in a press release, this was the second time sending representatives to South Africa.
Last year, the ministry sent designers and models to the then Mercedez-Benz fashion week (now called the AFI Fashion Week) in Cape Town.“The show was a great success and the designs were a great improvement according to the organisers. The Chairperson of AFI Fashion eek, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe was impressed and said Botswana seems to have so much talent in the fashion and modelling industry,” he explains.
He also points out that Chery and Gabatsholwe got to walk the ramp showing off pieces for the local designers, and other designers that includes David Tlale, Carducci and Maxhosa by Laduma. Furthermore, Matlapeng and Taolo got a chance to do a photoshoot of their garments with a top Image Consultant, Tendai Marowa. One of the designers, Lesolle, tells BG Style that one of his highlights, was when he woke up the next day, and saw Elle magazine featuring one of his outfits.
The support of the Batswana that came through to the event also stands out for him as something that he will always cherish. For her part, the Production Manager for the team, Matlapeng says this was the first time that she received such overwhelming standing ovation. Matlapeng points out that for her collection, she took the haute Couture route and wanted to surprise everyone.
“The feedback was amazing. I wanted to show Batswana that I can go all out and do an extra mile,” she explains. She further says that following the event, she has been invited to another showcase that pairs Art and fashion in South Africa this November. For those who were unable to see her work, she will showcase the collection at the upcoming Masa Fashion show event this October.
Molosiwa of Gilded Sands, points out that for his collection, he did something fresh and different from what he is known for. His ready to wear collection comprised of three dresses, tops and bottoms. His colour of choice was black and white. And he collaborated with a local accessory company, XITA accessories.
“I received positive feedback. And I am in talks with a blog that sells clothes,” explains Molosiwa, noting that he has had a chance to network and make connection through the event.
The youthful Gaborone Youth Singers choir is expected to mesmerise chorale music lovers at a one night of song and dance this Saturday at Maitisong Theatre in Gaborone. The show seeks to celebrate the milestones that the group has achieved over the past couple of years. The event, according to organisers also seeks to showcase the abundant talent that Botswana has in the chorale music fraternity, which can be a vehicle for diversifying the economy and creating employment for the youth.
On the day, music lovers will be treated to a repertoire comprising of western classical renditions, vernacular pieces and solo samples by experienced Batswana. The Musical Director of the group, Tshepiso Marumo reveals that the highlights of the evening will include solo performances of Opera extracts by talented performers such as Boyce Batlang, Mafika Gaborone, Ogone Pilane, Tshephiso Pati, Khumo Kereeditse, One Motlhankane, Ogopotse Keofitlhetse, and Keletso Letsile, as well as Nombuso Nhlanhla from South Africa.
They will be sampling extracts and songs by great local and international composers that includes Verdi, Mozart, Hendel, Bellini, and Donisetti, as well as Mohapelwa, KT Motsete and Luka Disho.“The show is a culmination of our success over the past couple of years,” he says. The Gaborone Youth Singers is a non-profit making organisation registered as a society, and it has been in existence for 21 years.
Over the past couple of years, the choir has had over 1000 members who have graduated from the choir either due to age or other life commitment, explains a press release. “This membership consisted of young people aged below 30 years, initially in and around Gaborone, and recently from all over Botswana. Some of such members are now conductors for school and church choirs,” explains the release.
The release further says that in 2016, (GYS) became the first choir to represent Botswana at the prestigious annual 40 year old Southern African Old Mutual National Choir Festival held in South Africa. This was after they were crowned champions in the regional eliminations of the same competitions against other big choirs from Botswana and South Africa.
Other highlights include performing at the 2017 Netball Youth Cup held in Botswana. In the same year, the choir participated in the annual Pan African festival dubbed FESPAM in Central Africa. The choir has also held concerts in both Lesotho and Swaziland. The release also points out that in 2017, the choir retained its regional championship in the Old Mutual National Choir festival, to once again represent the North West/Botswana region at the finals.
The long anticipated Mascom Live sessions night, featuring the legendary Oliver Mtukuzi and the sensational guitarist, Kapenda Katuta is scheduled for this evening (Friday) at Botswana Craft.Katuta tells BG Style that the night would be as glitzy as gold as they have taken their time to prepare for the session.
He says that he is humbled by playing alongside a legend like Oliver Mtukuzi and it is one of the moments he would forever cherish in life. The two men equally boast of abundant experience that attracts their fans from a distance. Having been in the music industry for so long, and worked with a lot of artiste across the world, Katuta says Oliver Mtukuzi’s talent is a river that has enough water for all nations.
“I had to take my time to do my rehearsals, knowing that I would be performing alongside this legend. His talent is raw and I compare it with a river filled with enough water to allow every nation to drink, because his music is enjoyed not only across the African continent but even out there,” says Kapenda.
Kapenda Katuta is a lead guitarist to a number of top groups in the Kwasa-kwasa and Rhumba circles. Nonetheless, he tells BG Style that he has also learnt to fuse different genres, in order to make sure that he caters to both the old and the young audience. On the other hand, he sings fluently in many languages such as Spanish, Brazillian and some African languages, which he says gives him pride when he is on stage.
“Singing in different languages is an honour to me, because I am of the view that a good voice, good beats and instrumentation describes music better. The use of languages in song is just a bonus to me,” he said. He promises a surprise performance at the event, as he reiterates that he has been busy preparing with his band.
On the other hand, he applauds Mascom Live Sessions for this great initiative of taking live music to the people. “It is not on a daily basis that fans get to see their favourite artiste playing live, so I just cannot wait to share the stage with this legendary musician,” he said.
Some 500 Gujarati families residing in Botswana this week joined the rest of the world to celebrate the Navaratri festival of worship and dance with their friends. Navaratri is celebrated as a festival of dance in Gujarat, a state located on the west coast of India and renowned as a hub for trade and commerce for over 5000 years.The festival has gained prominence all over the world wherever these enterprising business-minded people are found.
Leena Desai, the Chairperson of the Gujarati Society told BG Style Monday evening during the Gujarat Day celebrations at Maharaj Conference Centre in Gaborone that Navaratri simply means nine nights in Sanskrit. Nava means nine while Ratri means nights.
She said during these nine nights the Gujarati folk dancers perform various dance rituals (shakti/Devi) with much fervour and gusto to worship the Deity of woman power, Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga). The festival was held in Gaborone at the Hindu temple in Maru-a-Pula.Information sourced from Wikipedia, shows that the nine night’s festival of Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwina of the bright fortnight.
The festival comes to an end on the tenth day of Vjay Dashmi or Dussehra, when the idols of the Goddess Shakti are immersed in the river. Dussehra, meaning ‘ten days’, becomes dasara in popular parlance. The Navratri festival or ‘nine- day festival’ becomes ‘ten-day festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami, which is its culmination. The nine nights are dedicated to the three main goddesses of Hinduism – Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Navratri is separated into sets of three days. First three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga, the Goddess of power and energy. Next three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. The final three days belong to Goddess Saraswati who is worshipped to acquire the spiritual knowledge.Goddess Durga is also worshipped under nine different names for the nine days in Navratri.
Every day, she assumes a new character, a new look and a new duty. These nine forms of manifestation are Shailaputri, Brahmachartini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamaata, Kaatyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidaatri.