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The Don Moore I knew

The first time I met Mr Moore, was in February 2010 at the Francistown newsroom upon his return from holiday.

I was introduced to him as the new intern specialising in sports.

He mentored me and I must say I managed to survive this male dominated beat because of him.

He was very patient with me and took his time showing me the ropes and whipping my stories into shape for publication and I learnt a lot from him with each passing deadline.

He was very particular about quality journalism and would ensure that I did thorough investigations, research and submit a well balanced and detailed story.

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I remember in 2013, when he sent me to do a story on Miss Botswana auditions. He said, ‘I do not want you to do this as just an entertainment story. I need you to find an interesting angle’. I went to audition for Miss Botswana. He bought me a dress, weave, jewellery, paid for my makeup and the P250 registration fee.

“If those people are going to accept your registration fee, then I will know Miss Botswana auditions are a scam. You are chubby and we know they are looking for models. That’s where your story is, Miss Botswana in the making, Go and do that feature and Chenjelani will do the photo-shoot,” he said

Indeed, they took my P250. I went into the auditions room, I was asked if I had a child, why I think I can be Miss Botswana, my talent and so forth. When I finished, I removed the weave and that’s when Gugu Mavuma recognised me. I laughed and left. I wrote a nice feature!

We travelled a lot together attending football games outside Francistown especially when Tafic was playing. Mr Moore was a great fan of Machimenyenga. His dream was to take the team to Europe for bench-marking. Unfortunately it was not easy for a club that was run by a society and everyone had a sense of entitlement.

He was man of his word, he had a golden heart and was always willing to help people. As a form of winning motivation, he used to pledge winning bonus for players.

Normally, he would give the club management to pay players and they would divert the money.

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I told him to give me the money and after the game, they queue and I pay them.

Tafic did not like it and some even went to an extent of not talking to me.

That did not bother me much because I did the right thing.

So, one day we travelled to Phikwe where Nico was playing against Motlakase. When we returned we found a road block before Serule.

I suspected there was armed robbery in the area because the police officers were armed.

The officer stopped us and asked for drivers licence. His drivers licence had been expired for six months.

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I started negotiating with the officer, I told him the old man had been in the UK, he was not aware his licence had expired and that his English one was valid and he had unfortunately left it at home. The officer understood and allowed us to proceed with our trip.

On Monday we went together to the Department of Transport to negotiate penalties, I showed the officer his passport as proof that indeed he had been out of the country and he got help.

During my stay in Francistown I had become his self-appointed Personal Assistant because he did not have a mobile phone and people always called me when they couldn’t reach him on landline.

Two weeks ago, I told him I was on leave and he invited me to Morgan Bay, but I promised him I’d come in December for the festive holiday.

Unfortunately it was not to be as he sadly passed on a week later. Rest in Peace Sir!

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