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No Janu-worry!



No Janu-worry!

Molaya kgosi trust preaches financial empowerment

Molaya Kgosi Trust hosted the first installment of their 6 Degrees of Separation Interactive Sessions in Maun last Saturday.

Speaking at the event,which has already been held in Gaborone, former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo revealed the 2020 theme is financial empowerment.

“We believe financial empowerment is one key foundation of getting your life together and living a purposeful life,” explained Kenewendo, who is also a founding member of the trust.

However, Saturday’s session took place under a special theme relevant for the first month of the year,‘No Januworry 2020’.

According toMolayaKgosi Trust memberLaone Dessert, it has become common practice that almost everybody is broke and ‘eating cabbage’ in January as a result of over spending during festive holidays.

“It is now a culture in our country that when January comes everybody is broke and borrowing money because we failed to manage our finances. We forget that December salaries are supposed to pay for January expenses,” Dessert highlighted.

The session, which was facilitated by Kenewendo, was intended to educate and inform the young women on how best to survive ‘the cabbage month’.

‘No Januworry 2020’ was tackled by three panelists: Dr Didi Biorn, Tebogo Nhlato and Trevor Modise, who stressed the importance of budgeting and sticking to the budget.

Biorn briefed the audience on the psychological perspective, noting that ‘black tax’ (a term used to describe youth who share their salary with immediate and extended family) is real and must be budgeted for.

She also encouraged people to know their limits and have boundaries when it comes to helping out friends and family financially.

“We have to exercise emotional intelligence in order to avoid falling prey to social pressures of spending money,” she said.

The three panelists also highlighted the need to understand the relationship we have with money in order for us to handle it better.

The participants were urged to utilize various banking services to their own benefit, with the advice that there is more to just having a bank account.

MolayaKgosi Leadership and mentorship program is a non-profit organisation established under MolayaKgosi Trust.

The programme filters from the Young African Women Leaders Forum initiated by the former First Lady of The United States, Michelle Obama.

It seeks to bridge the gap between generations, promoting intergenerational dialogue on career and leadership.


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Battling for booze



Battling for booze

Liquor industry wants alcohol sale ban lifted

Botswana Alcohol Industry Association (BAIA) is lobbying for government to follow the example of neighbouring countries and lift the ban on alcohol sales.

Their main reasoning being that citizens who live close to the border may be tempted to sneak out of the country in their desperation to buy liquor. They note this would be detrimental to the economy as well posing a serious health hazard.

The Association Chairman, Mothusi Molokomme told Voice Money they believe the ban – in place since 27 March – should be lifted to allow the public to purchase alcohol and consume it at home.

As much as the main focus is for bottle stores and wholesalers to open for trade, Molokomme revealed they also want bars to be opened, noting they are the only centres of distribution in some of the country’s remoter areas.

He stressed that bars should be allowed to operate on a ‘takeaway’ basis but only after they satisfy Covid-19 prevention protocols.

“The main worry is that there will be loitering around the bars. But it is our belief that operators will strictly adhere to the regulations and allow for takeaways only,” stated Molokomme.

The Chairman pointed to the recent surge in homebrews as indication that the ban should be lifted.

During the period of lockdown, the police have recorded escalating cases of homebrews, which in some instances have even led to the loss of drinkers’ lives.

“There is also a regional factor because South Africa has announced it will be opening next week. Namibia is opening as well and Zambia has always remained opened and because of our porous borders, we may see the illegal coming in of liquor,” continued Molokomme.

He said areas located along the borders of these countries pose a threat to liquor contraband.

While the association advocates for the ban to be lifted, he says as the industry, they will also intensify their message for safer consumption and promote good behaviour among consumers to exercise precautionary measures.

“We are hoping that we will reach an agreement. It will be difficult to convince government when it comes to opening of bars, but we cannot sideline the bars because, in some areas they are the only available points of sale,” reiterated Molokomme, who doubles as the Managing Director of Distell Botswana.

The association was scheduled to meet with the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), Peggy Serame this week to map a way forward regarding the sale of alcohol.

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Crafting a new life



Crafting a new life

The Enterprising Welder Me and My Business

Absorbed and happy in his work as a car mechanic, an unlikely request from a client three years ago changed the course of 35-year-old Bokamoso Selthabi’s life forever.

The self-taught welder now designs and makes various products from metal, including troughs, trailers, cages, kraal fences and other farm implements.

Having initially set-up shop in the North West of South Africa, his home of three years, the Morwa native retraced his steps back to Botswana to continue Bucha Rest Welding.

Recalling the meeting that altered his existence, Setlhabi told Voice Money he was working as a mechanic when a customer asked him to build a trailer for him.

“I made the product for him. After that he brought two more guys wanting my services. From there it grew into a fully-fledged business,” he explained.

“The business has now been running for two years based in South Africa. It is only at the beginning of this year that we relocated to Botswana,” continued the multi-talented craftsman, adding he briefly explored the Namibian market as well.

While he is still new to the local market, with much of that time blanketed by Covid-19 restrictions, Selthabi admits he is yet to reach a point where he can say business is as good as it was in South Africa.

“So far it has been a bit difficult locally. Some of the products that we do like metal kraals are still not highly rated here but we are working hard to market such products as a good alternative to wooden kraals,” he noted, a steely determination evident in his tone.

Setlhabi explained that one of the perceived disadvantages of products like metal kraals is because the metal conducts heat.

However, he points out that this can be overcome by simply applying paint.

“The good thing about it is that it is durable and lasts longer than other materials used to construct kraals,” he highlighted.

Despite the current low uptake of his products, the enterprising welder is optimistic his fortunes will soon turn around.

“It is promising because, when you work with customers who are not used to what you are doing, you have to carry out extensive marketing of your products. We hope when life goes back to normal after the pandemic there will be some improvement,” he said, adding that items such as feeding containers have proved popular and are in demand.

“We also have customers waiting across the country,” he added.

Other challenges – and the one Setlhabi describes as his biggest – is copycats who attempt to duplicate his work ‘but often fail to match my skills’.

“We have social media pages where we post our products. People would want to do exactly the same but often do not succeed because our designs are unique and the quality is top-notch,” said the National Craft Certificate (NCC) holder proudly.

As the business is still at infancy stage, he has engaged one person to assist but hopes as the enterprise grows he will be able to employ more.

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