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The golden-hearted giver

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Philanthropist Gorata Phakedi felt she had no choice but to quit her job in the Delta when it conflicted with ‘what she does best’ – helping those in need.

The golden-hearted 32-year-old Mabutsane native has contributed immensely to her community through her charitable works.

She has big plans to do even more in the future.

In this interview with Voice Reporter, KABELO ADAMSON, Phakedi highlights both the hardships and joys in running One Another Charitable Society (OACS), an organisation that is moving mountains despite little financial muscle and no sponsors.

What inspired you to establish a charitable organisation?

This came after the realisation that Mabutsane is a small village and we were all well raised by our parents.

We asked ourselves what we were doing to say thank you to our village!

The idea is to leave behind a legacy because in the end we are going to leave this world.

It doesn’t make sense to earn a lot of money which is only for your satisfaction yet someone next to you is suffering.

Kindly share with us some of the initiatives that OACS has undertaken.

The society was officially registered in 2018 and we are based in Mabutsane. Basically we are a charitable organisation.

In our society, we have lots of activities that we undertake and the main one is a football tournament which we host annually during the Easter Holidays.

The tournament consists of teams from Mabutsane as well as those from neighbouring villages and we are hosting the tournament for the fourth time.

We don’t have any sponsors at the moment, which requires us to finance these activities from our pockets.

This year we decided that we are going to step back from the tournament a little and leave it for the teams to run.

But issues of logistics will always come back to us.

Any other schemes you oversee?

Yes, last year we introduced the Orphans Tea Sessions. When we started these sessions, the idea was to make it a national event.

This year already, six people from different villages have shown their interest in hosting the sessions.

The motivation behind this initiative was after losing my mother at the age of 26, I asked myself how must a six-year old in the same position feel.

So, the main purpose of the tea sessions initially was that we come together as orphans, share tea, experiences etc.

During our first session, people who lost their parents a long time back were able to find closure.

One thing I have picked up is that the reason some people are tormented by the passing on of their loved ones is that we don’t allow them to cry their feelings out.

Another initiative we have is that every December we give out 10 food hampers to 10 families in our village, each picked from the 10 wards that exist.

Those families are chosen by a Ward Headman.

Sounds interesting! So even without a sponsor, it seems you’re managing to make quite a difference?

Yes, I have also personally adopted a 2020 Form One class for Mabutsane Junior Secondary School and will be with them until they write their Junior Certificate exams, providing them with motivational talks during the period.

The reason why I have adopted the school is that it has been performing badly academically.

People believe by adopting a school one needs to have a lot of money, which is not true.

You can adopt it by providing motivational talks like I do. You can also organise fun days, especially for boarding students because it can be frustrating for those students – fact is one cannot spend the whole day reading!

Every year, during my birthday I hold an initiative towards improving other people’s lives.

GOLDEN-HEARTED GIVER: Gorata Phakedi

Personally I do not spare any money towards the celebration of my birthday; instead I am the one who gives.

This is something I do during my birthday which comes on the 10th of February and every year I run a campaign towards this cause.

Putting a smile on someone’s face is what makes me sleep peacefully at night.

We don’t have much but we try and this is the whole point of OACS!

How does the organisation survive without a sponsor?

We finance activities from our pockets honestly. We have approached many companies but it seems like they do not understand what we do.

But we are hopeful something positive will come up this year.

I believe having done these activities for the past three years, someone out there will be convinced this is something they can put their money in.

Other than the financial challenges really we have a support base in Mabutsane and would be honest to say we have many other challenges besides that.

It’s obvious you have a passion for humanitarian work. Is this something you were born with or did it develop as you grew up?

My mother was a giver but she never forced us to give. I personally learnt the importance of giving, especially giving and expecting nothing in return.

You give because you want to make a difference in somebody’s life, not because you want someone to see that you have given!

I am mentoring one guy who I am very proud of. He donated a house which he built with what he earns from Tirelo Sechaba!

He doesn’t earn much, but because he understands the concept of giving, he did it.

I always tell the people that I mentor that I don’t have money, but only heart to give and it is love which drives me every day.

I had to quit my job last year where I was working in the safaris in the Okavango Delta.

I had planned the Orphan Tea Session and had scheduled it to coincide with my off-days.

Shockingly, when it was my time to go on off, I was told I am not going anywhere!

I had to write a 24-hour notice because, although I was getting a salary, they wanted to hinder me from doing what I believe fulfills my heart.

And thus my first Tea Session went ahead.

When you are not busy with charitable works, what are you up to?

It’s not like I am anti-social or anything, but when I relax I will just be home.

And finally, Thank God It’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

I will be going to Hukuntsi to bury my mentor who has sadly passed on.

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Entertainment

Zeus to release Pieces of the Now

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Zeus to release Pieces of the Now

One of the few local artists to ever receive the coveted Chanel O award for the category Best Male Award ; Zeus (Game Bantsi ) is currently working on his much awaited album, which he hopes will reignite his 2014 fame.

Voice Entertainment visited Zeus at one of his rehearsals where he is also preparing for his fourth album, which will be called ‘Pieces of the Now’

The last time Zeus released an album was back in 2013 dubbed “African Time”. Commenting on his next offering Zeus said, “The coming album will have about 15 songs but as you can imagine we have not finilised the list. I have featured about four guys in the album one guy called Rane Rap who is based in the US and another rapper from Namibia called Dollars or Yens as well as Owie and ONx Da Poet.
It is a really exciting project that has been a long time coming and I really can’t wait to have it out,” Zeus said.

Catching up on his thoughts on the state of the of Hip Hop at the moment, the “Gijima” rapper said, “Today’s hip hop music is more diverse that it gets credit for. The biggest problem is not that everything had gravitated to one sound, which is an arguable view, the biggest problem is how media covers the current hip hop.”

Asked to elaborate Zeus said, “There aren’t enough acts who are very organic in their appeal who get coverage. There is still a lot of lyricism in the game.”

But who does Zeus believe is the best rapper in BW? The energetic rapper who is also part of the organizing committee of popular Jam4brunch event said, “There are different traits we can look at and each one of those traits someone excels at. Ideally you would want an artist who can bring all those together from flow, to content to multiple perspectives and storytelling. When I think of flow, I think of Veezo View. When I think about say perspective a guy like Frost comes to mind.”

When I think of new age hip hop trap soul kind of vibe a guy like Manne dilla comes to mind, But if I am to name someone who brings it all together I would say arguably ATI. I can’t overlook him. But all the other mentions are special names,” Zeus said.

However there is no MC Zeus will rather not face , “One thing I have maintained is that one should be always ready to fight. I am confident enough to say there is no one I would shy away from if they want to go at it.”

Zues has another collaborative project with rapper Nomadic also expected to be released this year.

In the mean time he has released his single, Gotta get mine, which has shot up the ranks in the local charts.

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Entertainment

Shocking, Botswana ladies take over Jozi’s night life

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Shocking, Botswana ladies take over Jozi's night life

Ladies from Botswana have taken over the South African prostitution market.

Shaya has observed how some ladies mainly from the corporate world; especially banks have invaded Pretoria and Johannesburg where the business is thriving.

If you think Shaya is lying, visit one of the well-known brothels there and the number of familiar faces you would spot hard at work soliciting for clients will shock you.

Is it not time we legalise prostitution here to avoid putting our sisters at risk of possible Xenophobia attacks while trying to earn a living?

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Entertainment

Fire in the bus

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Fire in the bus

Football in Africa involves more than just training and kicking the pig’s kin about.

No in my motherland, the world’s popular sport involves all sorts of rituals.

Shaya has heard about chickens and snakes being slaughtered to fortify playing grounds.

Itchy powders made from dead lizards are apparently sprinkled on playing kits to confuse opponents.

Whether this works is a story for another day.

Yours Truly however knows that no African team has won the World Cup.

Recently an incident involving Jwaneng Galaxy FC had everyone talking.

Apparently one of the technical team member’s luggage caught fire as the team passed Kumakwane on their way to Orapa for the second leg semi final clash with Orapa United.

Strange enough no other bags caught fire, but only the said technical staff member’s luggage.

Conspiracy theorists claim that the bag contained muti meant to strengthen players or weaken opponents.

This was however never confirmed, what is not in dispute though is that Galaxy lost 1-0.

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