The government’s clarion call for able citizens to donate to the Covid-19 Relief Fund has bought the best out of many Batswana.
Across the length and breadth of the country, companies and individuals continue to contribute through different mediums, nobly aiding government’s efforts to cushion the blow of the Covid-19 pandemic on her needy citizens.
In Francistown, 32-year-old businessman Pako Serumola has joined countless others in taking a leading role in ensuring no family goes to bed hungry by donating to the Francistown City Council.
Through his newly opened gym, Fitness Factory, which operates from Tati River Mall, Serumola handed 50 food hampers worth over P10, 000 to the Town Clerk, Lopang Pule last Thursday.
In a brief interview with The Voice on the sidelines, the young businessman said the gesture came from the bottom of his heart, which ‘skipped a beat’ after observing what has been going on around the world and in Botswana.
“It dawned on me that our government is overwhelmed. Our government needs help if we’re to defeat this pandemic!” he stressed.
An Optometrist (eye doctor) by profession, Serumola also runs Healthy Eye Optometrists in Ghetto, an enterprise that, like many others, was adversely affected by the lockdown regulations.
“We depend mostly on walk-ins; so if there’s no one walking in the city, even though we’ve been identified as an essential service, we are also going to sink,” he explained ruefully.
His gym also had to shut down following government’s directive on gymnasiums and hair salons.
“When it started we were told we could only allow 100 people. Then it went to 50 and eventually 10 people. It didn’t make business sense to continue operating. In fact, because I’m also a health conscious person, I long closed my business on 24th March before government issued a directive,” he said.
Despite the beating his businesses have taken, Serumola selflessly dipped into his pocket to put food on the tables of 50 families in the second city.
“I can’t tell you today what the future holds. To be honest it looks grim, but I know that so many have been hit far worse than me. I can afford to take a little from my savings and share with fellow Batswana,” he stated simply, a short explanation of an act that will make a massive difference in the lives of 50 families.
The optimistic entrepreneur advised businesses to think outside the box to keep their entities afloat in these trying times.
“I am currently thinking of engaging transport service providers and see if we can’t find a way of picking and dropping off our clients. We have clients who need their service to get help from Healthy Eye Optometrists. There should be a workable solution,” he said.
“Hopefully this thing will go away and we can all go back to work soon,” he added.
Until then, government will be relying on Good Samaritans such as Serumola to provide further light during this dark period.