Boikanyo Trust Phenyo counts being conferred with an honorary doctorate by the Academy of Universal Peace last year in Tirana, Albania, as one of the achievements that give her much joy.
But, it is just one of many that she can list. The Diplomatic Mission, Peace and Prosperity has also appointed her a Peace Missionary; an honour given to those who have made an outstanding contribution to society.
As a young girl, Phenyo knew she wanted more out of life. She put in the work both in class and on the track field. “Although school was quite far, I ran the entire distance every day and was never late.”
Her efforts bore fruit and won her early successes. She would go on to amass many more awards and gain recognition for her community building projects.
After teaching mathematics and physics at Letlhakane Senior Secondary School for four years and getting involved in the modelling and pageantry business, she decided to expand her horizons and move to the United Kingdom.
Phenyo has now called the U.K. home for the past 10 years. She acknowledges that living in a foreign land comes with opportunities–but it also presents challenges. She says of her experience, “In addition to culture shock at the beginning, I had to battle subtle or hidden racism, which led me to resign from my teaching job and invest in what also drives me: social entrepreneurship”.
Influenced by her passion for pageantry, Phenyo invested in building what is now an illustrious portfolio.
In 2012 she was crowned Mrs Commonwealth International. She says the pageant’s encouragement of the participants to run charitable projects for the benefit of their home countries aligned with her vision.
Her Botswana heritage remains dear to her and she continues to use her access to various platforms to plough back to the country of her birth. “It has been humbling to see some of the projects I have undertaken come to fruition. These include raising funds for learners’ needs, raising 10,000 pounds for school amenities and acquiring a bus for learners.”
Other projects that have generated interest in Botswana include extending support to Team Botswana during the London Olympics. She is the recipient of numerous accolades: The Empowering African Women in Europe Award 2013, African Achievers Award 2013, Panache Global Recognition & Award for Excellence 2014, International Achievers Award (IAA) 2014, Top 100 Outstanding Africans Making a Difference 2015, Best Motivational Role Model 2015, Outstanding Supporting Judge 2015 and Top 100 Outstanding Africans making a difference 2016, Lifetime Achievement Award from the IAA 2016, Ladies Of All Nations International Global Ambassador (LOANI) Award 2016 & 2017.
“These awards have certainly catapulted my speaking engagements and media presence. I hope to continue engaging with many more women especially from home to not just share ideas but to aid each other in claiming our rightful place in society.”
Although Phenyo is proud of her achievements and embraces the status that comes with the recognition, she is quick to point out that it has not been a solo effort.
“We are a team and run the Botswana Community UK. This is a non profit organisation whose main mission is to promote the culture and tradition of Botswana in the UK.”
This has meant hosting numerous events including exhibitions and taking an active role in Botswana-led events. She regularly helps with the organisation of Botswana Independence Day celebrations in London, and recalls Botswana’s 50th Golden Jubilee Celebrations with pride.
“ I appeared on the BBC documentary Black and British – A Forgotten History”.
She has appeared in various publications, has had interviews with Touch Base Africa and Fabulos Magazine.
She has been a catwalk choreographer and guest judge at numerous beauty pageants including Miss Commonwealth, Miss England Rugby, Miss Portugal UK, Miss London Borough, Miss Africa GB, Miss Southern Africa UK and many more.
She was honoured to meet the royal family at the Commonwealth of Nations Reception at Buckingham Palace in 2013 and recalls being completely bowled over by meeting author Lance Greenfield.
“Living in a foreign country has not been easy, however, with hard work and focus it is possible. The opportunities are endless. As a lifestyle specialist, my business is growing. I now have a client base of almost 8000. I have enlisted for an MSc in Business Management so I can attain skills to expand.”
Phenyo has packaged her skills to assist her clientele improve their lifestyles.
In addition to being an author, she also offers massage therapy, counselling, model training and beauty pageant consulting.
With all these achievements, Phenyo certainly deserves the unexpected selection for the Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts awards (BEFFTA) 2018 People’s Choice Award for her philanthropic work and leadership.
Visit her websites at www.boikanyo.com and www.princessboikanyo.org
66th Y-Care pre walk at Marokolwane farms
The Y-Care team in association with The Voice took on a 20km walk at Marokolwane Farms in honour of the late Mrs Beata Kasale-Kabango this past weekend.
Thieves rob BFA offices and Cricket Club
Central Police Station (CPS) are investigating a case in which thieves broke into Botswana Football Association (BFA) office early last Thursday morning.
Station Commander, Superintendent Mothusi Phadi, says they have not made any arrest in connection with the break in and theft.
He said according to two night watchmen who were on duty, they were attacked by a group of eight men who beat them up and tied their hands and legs before breaking into the office.
He said their preliminary investigations indicate that a Canon camera and a mobile phone, all worth P15 000 were stolen.
“We received a report around 4am on Thursday. When the police arrived at the scene, they found the security officers’ two dogs dead. We suspect they were poisoned during the attack of the officers because we found a piece of meat and the dogs had some white foam coming out of their mouth. The security officers were taken to the hospital to be treated for trauma and they have since been released,” said Phadi
The Station Commander said there was also a break in at the Cricket club and they believe that after hitting the BFA offices, the culprits broke into the bar and stole alcohol beverages of an undisclosed amount.
Phadi said investigations were still ongoing and that they are yet to make any arrest.
Young Author Pens Kofi Annan tribute
Freelance journalist and acclaimed local author, 26-year-old Khumoetsile Magonare has published a book titled ‘Kofi Annan, An African Dream’.
The book is a fitting tribute to the former United Nations Secretary General and tells the story of his life, leadership and quotes that inspired the world.
The Ghanaian diplomat, a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, passed away at the age of 80 back in August 2018.
Devastated by his death, the young author managed to find productivity in her pain.
“I was mourning as the rest of the world but developed an inspiration which became a dream during the grieving period. I took my diary and wrote down the idea and that is how this book came up,” explained the Pitsane native in a brief interview with Voice Entertainment.
Khumoetsile, as the wordsmith is widely known, described Kofi Annan’s quotes as a living testimony to the life he lead.
“He was an example to all and his quotes emphasise his faith in the youth. He believed in the minds and existence of young people to make a change.”
One of the quotes chronicled in the book reads, “Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.”
Another quote that stands out is, ‘We are not only responsible for each others security. We are also in some measure responsible for each others welfare.’
“This is a book anyone can pick up in the morning and flip open on any page while taking a cup of coffee. It’s a must have for motivation,” stressed Khumoetsile whose previous work includes ‘A Pillar of Hope’ as well as co-authoring ‘The Reality Check’ with Nlingi Simon.
“Apart from writing books I am the founder and host of ‘The Truth With Khumo’ which is found online or on Facebook,” continued the creative, whose prowess with the pen is matched by her mastery of the spoken word.
Retailing for P200, ‘Kofi Annan, An African Dream’ is set to hit local bookshops by the end of the month.