Lovers of Skechers, an American lifestyle and performance company for adults and children, can brace themselves for the opening of the store today (Friday) at the new Game City shopping complex extension. The official opening will take place at the end of this month. Trading under the slogan, Go like never before, shoppers can look forward to stylish shoes, flip-flops, golf t-shirts, and travel bags and golf shoes for men.
Store manager, Kitso Morwaeng recently told Style that everything in the store is branded Skechers and that they have sections dedicated to men, women, boys and girls. She also points out that shoppers should expect to get the best quality, comfortable and stylish shoes and various items in the store. “Our comfort is top notch,” she said.
Morwaeng also said that the clothes are made in countries that include Vietnam, China and Dubai. The Skechers franchise made its way into the country after its owners observed that there was a market for it. They partnered with a South African to bring the franchise to Botswana.
The American brand has its headquarters in Manhattan, New York, USA, and it was founded in 1992. According to Wikipedia, it is tipped to have earned more than $3 billion in revenues during the 2015 fiscal year. In January 2016, the company was said to have employed more than 9200 workers worldwide.
Wikipedia further states that in its early years, the brand specialised in utility style boots and skate shoes, but later diversified to include thousands of athletic and casual styles for men, women and children as well as performance shoes.
Over the years, Skechers has used artists such as Meghan Trainor, Kelly Brook, and Sugar Ray Leornard for its branding.
A rude awakening! Indeed, a rude awakening as the world watched in great disbelief the rise and triumph of a potent concoction of right-wing populism and sheer lunacy packaged and braded, Donald Trump.
I have no doubt that the sheer magnitude of this shock, must have recorded high on the Richter scale. It certainly is of volcanic eruption proportions. Trumpism, as the die-hard followers of potent ideology prefers to call it, is premised on exploiting racism, bigotry, hatred and fear to attain a political goal. Hard as it is to come to terms with the reality that comes in January 2017, the Trumps would be swapping their already luxury home for the iconic Whitehouse, the one thing we can at least all agree on is that Trump heavily relied on racial resentment and patriotic animus as high-octane fuel to power him to the Oval Office.
From day one, hate has been the dominant strategic component of his campaign. It was by far the most defining feature of his political message, effectively rendering his take on economy and foreign policy immaterial footnotes. Essentially, Trump normalised hate and prejudice.
It is therefore, almost impossible to ascribe Trump’s victory purely to his showmanship, wealth and policies (if any) while ignoring his open intimacy with right-wing populism, which premised on white supremacist ideologies. Essentially, hate has won. But the politics of race and hate are not anything new to mainstream American politics, particularly to the Republican Party. Remember the racial abuse that President Barack Obama had to endure to the Oval Office; he was literally not accepted as a legitimate American. But Trump has just taken the fever of hate, lunacy, loathing and ‘otherism’ to a level never seen before in contemporary societies.
Let us bear in mind that, in 2012, Trump commissioned investigators to go to Hawaii, Obama’s hometown, to ‘dig’ for his birth certificate. Subsequent to this, polls showed Trump leading in the conservative vote even though he had not announced his intentions to run under the Republican card. Essentially, Trump had found an opening that had long existed within the conservative front: racism. Trump has been trading in hatred, paranoia, and irrationality. His own brand of the politics of hate had connected with a significant portion of white audience. In hindsight, there is nothing surprising that he has expanded this base by unleashing sweltering hate on immigrants, Muslims and other people of colour.
Trump has proved to be the political pivot that the hate-spewing white nationalists were long looking for to leverage and propagate their hate. No wonder, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) endorsed him and other White supremacists flocked to his campaign.
Trump’s campaign also cashed on scaremongering. He decried Mexican and other immigrants as “criminals” who were threatening to overrun United States. He even at one point suggested ISIS was about to invade the United States under the pretext of immigration. He claimed the Generals in charge of US policy knew nothing and that Obama was sympathetic to terrorists and absurdly insisted that Obama and Clinton had founded ISIS. In other words, US national security was in the hands of fools and traitors.
Throughout the campaign, Trump's demagoguery and bigotry were not bound by facts."Make America Great Again" was a revisionist slogan designed to capitalise on hate, resentment and bigotry. Trump’s chief currency was anger anchored on racism-driven ignorance. Trump’s victory is an ugly victory because it was oxygenated by hate and bigotry.
Former Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General, Daniel Kwelagobe has delivered a damning verdict on the once mighty Domkrag. According to him, the party which has been in power for the past four decades is now on “slippery ground” and in need of immediate change at leadership level.
The ruling party is heading for its elective congress this weekend in Mmadinare, just a few days after the nation celebrated the BDP and Botswana’s founding president, Sir Seretse Khama’s birthday. Thirty-five (35) years after his passing Seretse is still renowned for building a formidable and united BDP. His firstborn son, Ian Khama will this weekend lead a disjointed party to a congress which political pundits say will test his succession plan. Khama’s anointed successor Mokgweetsi Masisi is contesting the position of party chairman-a contest that will test his own popularity.
He is contesting against Ramadeluka Seretse, Seteng Motalaote, Moemedi Dijeng and Biggie Butale. But Kwelagobe, who holds the record of being the longest serving secretary general for the BDP thinks the once mighty Domokrag is now on a sick bed and has called on party members to stop denying the fact that the BDP is on slippery ground. “A sick person who keeps denying his or her condition cannot recover,” he said, addressing delegates in Francistown in his quest to garner votes for Tebelelo Seretse.
DK, as Kwelagobe is popularly known, served the BDP as secretary general for 27 years and was later voted chairman of the party. The man who served as Member of Parliament under all the four Presidents, including Sir Seretse Khama, threw his weight behind Tebelelo Seretse. “I support Tebelelo Seretse because I know her. She has the wherewithal to turn this party around if elected,” he said. Even President Khama is aware of her capabilities, said DK, because when she “contested against me for the same position back in 2010, he sang her praises.” He reminded that former President, Festus Mogae once told women to use their numbers to empower one another, when they demanded him to appoint them to decision making positions in the country, “I repeat this appeal to you today. Use the congress to elect a competent woman to a decision-making position,” said DK.
Meanwhile, Tebelelo Seretse is confident that she will emerge victorious at the congress. Should she achieve that feat, she will be the first woman to hold the position of chairperson in the ruling party. “I have covered the entire country canvassing for support and I must say I am humbled by the reception,” she told close to 40 delegates at Tati River Lodge in Francistown on Sunday, “This is despite the fact that I have got no money. I already feel the weight of your expectations ahead of the party elective congress in Mmadinare,” said the former cabinet minister who returned from the United States of America (USA) recently where she served as Ambassador. Seretse, who has served as board member for several organisations including Debswana, Botswana Life and Bank of Botswana told the meeting that she is the only one among the other contestants for the post of chairperson who has represented the party in debates. “I have competently represented the party in a number of debates at the University of Botswana (UB), Matlho-A-Phage and other fora,” she reminisced.
She explained how she also raised money for the party and even acquired a kombi for the BDP Women’s Wing when she was its chairperson. “If you do not vote for me, it will not be a loss to me but to the party,” she said. Kwelagobe added that Seretse would bring reforms for the benefit of the party and the country. “If no radical changes are made in the party, forget about winning the 2019 general election,” he opined. DK, who during his heydays used to amuse people at public rallies by suggesting that a win by the opposition was as impossible as a donkey growing horns, told the meeting that the possibility of an opposition government in Botswana now exists.
The BDP veteran who lost his parliamentary seat in Molepolole to the opposition in the last general election said that even Masisi supported women empowerment. “When he returned from the African Union (AU) meeting in South Africa recently, the Vice President explained that one of the issues discussed and agreed upon by the African leaders was the empowerment of women,” he said. The first woman to contest an executive position in the Botswana Democratic Party was Margaret Nasha when she sought to be the party chairperson. She lost to Daniel Kwelagobe.
In 2010, Tebelelo Seretse contested the position of party chairperson but also lost to the then incumbent, Kwelagobe. Three years later, for the third time in a row, another woman, Pelonomi Venson contested the party chairpersonship against another new entrant, Samson Moyo Guma, but also lost. The party chairperson is effectively the party vice president although the latter provision does not exist in the BDP constitution.