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Helping a Friend

RIP: Don Moore

For many Batswana, Don Moore will be remembered as the white guy who created The Voice.

I will also remember him as a man who loved to help others and never stopped striving to become a better person.

Emmanuel Manferrari, the friend Don was trying to rescue last week when they both passed away, was also a beautiful human being. They were my friends and I miss them.

I’m not saying Don was a saint, and his efforts didn’t always work out the way he hoped they would, but his heart always seemed to be in the right place.

Even during the early days in Francistown when legal costs threatened the existence of his beloved paper, Don stuck to his principles and published controversial articles that risked more lawsuits whenever he believed the stories contained information the public needed to know.

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But Don was also willing to pull the plug on eye-catching, sensational articles when he thought they might harm innocent people and do little good.

Those were difficult decisions because titillating tabloid journalism was definitely one of Don’s goals at The Voice.

So was an exciting back page, and he loved his football.

He supported Tafic and he used the paper to support the Zebras… and I suspect the Voice press pass he used to attend top-flight games was one of his most cherished possessions.

We worked on match reports together in the office, played together… sort of, on The Voice seven-a-side team and spent a great deal of free time discussing football developments in Botswana and in Don’s country of birth.

And some of my favourite memories of Don are from the road trip we made to see England play the USA, my home country, during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

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My wife had passed away six months before that match and as much as Don wanted to see England play, I think his main objective was to cheer me up.

That’s why when I heard he had charged into the raging Indian Ocean surf to try to save Emmanuel, I wasn’t entirely surprised.

I was shocked when I heard Don and Emmanuel had died, and I felt pain for their families’ loss and for my loss of two dear friends, but I also felt proud of, and even a little bit happy, for Don.

He died the way he had lived, trying to help a friend.

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