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Creating her own luck



The only girl in a family of boys, Tsame grew up spoilt by her brothers and hardly imagined a time she would need to fend for herself away from her loving family.

However in 2008, the girl from Tonota with a protected childhood was hit by a reality check when she was suddenly thrust into a whole big new world when she arrived in the UK to pursue her MBA studies as a self sponsored student.

“ The first six months were a nightmare, I honestly hated it. Nothing seemed normal. The icy weather, environment, language, culture; everything was foreign and unsettling Talk about understanding how a fish must feel out of water. I was in the deep end and had to swim or sink,” she says.

Eleven years later she remembers someone telling her that if she can live in London, she can definitely live anywhere else in the world. “I cannot emphasis how true that statement is,” she says.

Explaining how she survived in a fast paced environment Hopkins says she was clear on the rules of engagement right from the beginning.

“I decided on a strict lifestyle of very little play and total concentration on school.” Eventually her determination paid off and she successfully attained her MBA and got a job with Lloyds banking group, one of the biggest banks in the UK. Ambitious and career driven, she poured herself in the job and progressed quickly.

“I met and worked with some amazing people, learning so much along the way. It was exciting to work in various divisions, including Insurance, Savings &Investments, Group Reference Data Systems, Change Management and now the unique chance of working on one of the biggest transformation projects within the business. In addition to her role, Hopkins extended herself to her Bristol community through her volunteerism with Refugee women of Bristol.

“I was not only giving my time and assisting with projects but I too got to learn more about myself. It also helped in keeping me centered. Corporate can be competitive and demanding especially when one has also set themselves timeframes for success,” she notes.

Luckily, it was opportunities outside of work that allowed Hopkins seven greater discoveries of servitude and allowing nature to take its cause.

“The charity was a fantastic organisation and led to my involvement with others as I discovered my interest to live a more meaningful life giving back. The truth is self-reliance and financial freedom of women goes a long way in building stronger communities,” says the woman who has become even more curious to explore being involved in charities back home especially those geared at social and economic upliftment of women.

As she got comfortable and happier in her role as a professional and community builder, Hopkins started a family.

“I met my husband in 2011. He proposed three months later and we got married three months later, so we were together for six months in total before we tied the knot. I did not only take up my friend’s name but we also got blessed with the most beautiful baby girl. My husband is fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. The Lord really listens and exceeds expectation,” she says with a smile.


What she likes best about working in the UK is the fact employers understand and encourage strong families to the point where career breaks and flexi hours are recommended and encouraged for new moms.

“I appreciate that there is a strong culture of family and therefore it is not frowned upon to choose family over work. This can be the man or the woman. In fact one could be judged harshly for choosing career over one’s strongest asset: the love and bond of family ties. So now that I am a mom, I work reduced hours while looking after my little girl. That has also given me time to reflect on my life and consider my next interests,” Hopkins explains.

Commenting on her home country, Hopkins is adamant that only until one has travelled the world can one truly appreciate the unmatched quality of life that Botswana offers.

“Botswana is truly one of the most fortunate nations. However, people must not be complacent. We need to be open minded and driven to build on as much knowledge and experiences as we gain to keep building on our own,” says Hopkins.

As a reminder to herself and others, she says, “Life is not a competition of who has more of what, so there is no need to be envious of someone else’s life. I just wanted to be me and very proud to be me. As I continue to discover more I can’t help but thank the almighty for his blessings.”

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BDP quash UDC election petitions

•UDC’s petitions do not incriminate our candidates- BDP



Botswana Democratic Party has moved swiftly to counter a petition lodged by the Umbrella for Democratic Change before the courts seeking nullification of election results in some of the constituencies that were won by the ruling party.

The Voice is in possession of the notices to oppose by the BDP and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) lawyers. The BDP has made known their intentions to have the UDC petitions quashed through points of law.

The BDP, through court papers served to the UDC this Wednesday, point out to certain irregularities and failure on the part of the UDC to meeting certain requirements to constitute a petition according to the Electoral Act.

In the court papers the BDP say that it is common knowledge that the UDC want the High Court to declare the constituencies void on the basis of corrupt practices, commission of illegal practices by the BDP, DISS and connivances of certain officers employed by the IEC.

“The petitions do not disclose facts necessary to enable the High Court to make a decision under Section (105) 1 of the Electoral Act. Without these material facts the High Court cannot void the election. The remedy is therefore not available to the petitioners,” read the court papers.

The BDP through their lawyers further state that the petitioners attribute the commission of the corrupt illegal practices to certain officers from the BDP being President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Satar Dada, Mpho Balopi, Dr Comma Serema, Banks Kentse and Moemedi Baikalafi aided by the DISS and certain officers from the IEC.

The BDP argues that the UDC failed to prove that the candidates in the disputed constituencies were engaged in “the commission of corrupt and illegal practices of BDP candidates or with the knowledge and or consent of any of their election or polling agents. The candidates have not been put on notice that the corrupt and illegal practices are attributed to them or their polling agents,”

The BDP also dismiss other petitioners citing that in other constituencies the UDC failed to give the other candidates including those of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) the chance to participate in the election petition. “They say they consulted Ndaba Gaolathe but he was not the candidate of the constituencies in question,” the BDP argue.

Turning to the affidavits made by Baikalafi, which the UDC heavily rely on, the BDP have also quashed his claims citing that they are not lawfully authenticated.

“Without a verifying affidavit, the petition in so far as they relate to ascertation attributed to Moemedi Baikalafi are a nulidity,” the papers read.

The main respondents, the IEC which is the body responsible for the running of the electoral process, on the other hand argue that their part in the petitions is not clearly stated by the UDC- as the law dictates.

They further argue that the IEC is not properly before court in respect that all remedies and reliefs that the petitioner seeks against the commission are incompetent. “This is more so the Petitioner challenges the elections that were conducted by the 1st respondent (the IEC).”

The UDC and its candidates are expected to respond to the BDP and thereafter a date will be set for arguments. The judges have said that the cases are a matter of urgency and should be dealt with and disposed of in 90 days (by next year February).

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Your daughter is not yours




A cheated husband who unknowingly raised his brother- in- law’s child as his own for three years ended the marriage in court this week and demanded a refund.

Gilbert Tom, on Wednesday divorced Mpale Tom nee Roberts after DNA tests results revealed that that their last-born child was not biologically related to Tom. They had been married for 15 years.

Tom, 50, became suspicious that his wife was cheating in 2009 when his brother in-law got into the habit of dropping off Mpale at their house after work.

Mpale, 43, fell pregnant in 2016 and when the baby was born, her husband was shocked that the baby was a spitting image of his older sister’s husband.

He then launched his own investigations in Mpale’s phone where he found messages that confirmed his suspicions
Some text messages revealed that Mpale was so much in love with her brother -in -law that she was even prepared to bewitch her husband’s sister to get her out of the way.

After finding out for certain that he was raising a child who was not his, Tom served Mpale with divorce papers.

She did not contest the divorce and readily confessed in court that Tom was not the father of her three-year-old daughter.

Divorce was granted and Judge Gabanagae ordered that the child be excluded from Tom’s responsibilities.

WIFE: Mpale

However Tom went further and demanded that his brother- in- law and his ex- wife pay him costs of raising a child that was not his, which are to be determined by court at a later date.

According to a relative who refused to be named for fear of victimization Mpale and her brother-in law worked together at a mine in Toteng village in 2013 and the family suspects that was when the disgraced couple started the affair.

She said coincidentally in 2016 the two found another job and moved to Francistown together.

“These people were too deep. We never thought they could do that to their partners and we thought they just related well as family members and little did we know that they were dating. This is painful for both families and it is very unfortunate that an innocent child has now been caught in the middle,” said the concerned relative

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Mokubilo man accused of rape



Letlhakane Police are investigating an incident in which a 28-year-old man allegedly raped a 34-year-old woman in the early hours of Monday morning (25 November).

The lady was on her way to Mokubilo Clinic – walking from the lands – when she reportedly met her armed attacker.

Taking over the narrative, Letlhakane Station Commander, Michael Maphephu told The Voice, “She reported that the suspect threatened to stab her with a sharpened iron rod.

“The suspect was arrested on the same day and will appear before court as soon as the Magistrate returns from sick leave,” said Maphephu, adding he could not release the accused’s name until he appears in court.

The worried police boss revealed this was the 89th rape case registered in his jurisdiction since the start of the year.

Maphephu added that most incidents involved women returning home in the evening after drinking or walking alone in the bush.

“I urge people to always walk in groups when they come from the bars or ask for company from trusted people when using bushy roads,” advised the top cop.

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