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Woman of many parts

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Woman of many parts

From telly to Politics

Motamma Horatius is a former reality competition television series, Big Brother Africa- The Chase season 8, 2013 contestant.

The 33-year-old Serowe born queen became Miss Universe Botswana Finalist in 2012 and in the same year she won Miss World Tourism Botswana.

In 2016 she got honoured as Goodwill and Tourism Ambassador in Lagos, Nigeria and appointed to advice the governor of Kwara State on the tourism industry.

Apart from being a model, Horatius is also a songwriter and a singer having collaborated with artists like Mingo, Team Distant, Dj Gouveiya, Dj Kuchi and Angelo Collins from South Africa.

She is also television and radio personality having worked at local radios stations and in SA.

In politics, she broke the record by becoming the first Female Youth Chairperson of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Gaborone Bonington North Constituency.

Honourable Horatius recently won the General Elections as a Councilor for Itumeleng Ward Block 3, Gaborone.

Our Reporter Portia Mlilo had a chat with this young politician about her political journey, the challenges she faced and her ambitions.

Q. When did you develop interest in joining politics?

A. I have always loved politics from a young age.

I remember when I was 16, I wanted to vote and I was told that the legal age to vote was 18.

I decided not to apply for an Omang (ID card) because it did not make sense that we were not allowed to vote when we were eligible to get IDs.

I only had Omang two years later when I went to tertiary institution because it was needed for me to enroll.

In 2009 I showed interest in standing for Botswana Democratic Party Primaries as Council Candidate but I decided to do home work first, getting to know people in my ward Block 3.

Q. How easy or difficult was it to join active politics?

A. I realised people in my ward did not know me so I embarked on a journey of building my name.

I am an academic so I decided to spread my wings and therefore I joined the creative industry.

I used my fame to uplift lives of my fellow young people when I was Miss Botswana and Posh Model.

It really helped because I was sharpening my public speaking skills.

I became Chairperson of Gaborone Bonington North Youth Committee for BDP.

I was the only female chair.

I joined the BDP Youth National Executive Committee that’s when I stood for Bulela Ditswe last year and won.

It was very tough, that is where my campaigning skills were honed. House –to- House campaign was not easy.

Opposition in the previous elections won the constituency so I had to convince people that I am the right candidate.

Q. You managed to defeat four men you stood against in the general elections, what was your strategy?

A. Hard work. As a woman you just have to accept that even though we say we are equal or striving for equality truth of the matter is that we are not.

For you to be taken serious, you have to work harder go all out and not rely entirely on your campaign team.

At first people refused to open gates, they shunned us but I was very patient and persistent.

Some were saying I should buy them to vote for me and I told them if my opponents give them more they would go for them so I could not do that.

Q. Was there a point where you thought of giving up?

A. I always strive for positivity.

When I started this political journey I had a campaign team and along the way they changed and supported one of my opponents and de-campaigned me.

I think they doubted me because I was standing against two former councilors, the person I defeated during the primaries surfaced as an independent candidate.

It was really painful, I shed a tear.

When I won primaries I was pregnant and two weeks after giving birth my campaign team turned against me.

I was forced to hit the ground when my child was three weeks. My mother had to take my child to her house so that I could focus on the campaign.

It was really tough and that was my lowest point.

My male opponents were insulting and attacking.

Their campaign teams members came to harass and intimidate me at my house until I reported them to the police.

Thank God I managed to pull through.

Politics is not for the faint hearted and I think that is why women don’t make it.

My husband Thatayaone Horatius was always there for me. He is very supportive.

Q. What are the challenges of Itumeleng Ward that will be your priorities to solve?

A. There is poor drainage system so people experience floods during heavy rains so we need steep culverts.

Inner roads are also not tarred and in some streets there are no lights.

There are lots of youth who are unemployed and into substance abuse.

There is a lot of crime, burglary and car- break-in.

I am also part of neigbourhood watch so we decided to clear bushy 15 open spaces so that people can use them to start small businesses.

I went to council and they advised us not to erect a permanent structure and utilise the space.

Q. Any ambitions of becoming the city Mayor?

A. Hahaha (she laughs).

I was fighting to win on the 23rd of October but it appears my campaign was vigorous.

A lot of people got to recognise me even those not in my ward.

So I received a lot of congratulatory messages with a request to become a Mayor from some of new councilors.

Ok, why not give it a try?

With the energy I have, if that happens Gaborone will come to life.

With my international experience I believe it is high time the malls, shops operate 24/7 to create more jobs because people would be working on shifts.

I just hope other councilors will see my potential to trust me to lead the city.

Q. How did being part of Big Brother change your life?

A. It helped me to broaden my network base and Batswana started to know about me.

It really opened doors for me and it was the best platform locally and internationally.

During my campaign people remembered me from the television. I am really grateful for that.

Q. What advice can you give to young aspiring politicians?

A. Build yourself. Let us know who you are besides politics and have your own income so that you do not become captured by your financiers.

Have a thick skin because politicians when they get intimidated they forget about what they have done and they are supposed to do to serve the community’s interest.

Never lose focus no matter how much a person pokes you and never forget the people who put you there.

Be genuine, politics is a science, an art and it is also spiritual so people know when you are telling the truth and when you are lying.

Just tell the truth and you will make it, even without money.

Q. Who is your inspiration?

A. My maternal side of family women are leaders.

My Grandmother Gaonyafale Phuti was Bishop of St John in Mahalapye and she built the church and it went down to her children and grandchildren.

I also draw inspiration from other women in leadership positions like Sheila Tlou, First Lady Neo Masisi, my Member of Parliament Anna Mokgethi, Bogolo Kenewendo and others.

Nelson Mandela is also my inspiration, having been oppressed for 27 years and still found it in him to forgive those who wronged him.

I think that’s an amazing quality to have.

That is why I forgave those who turned against me during campaign.

My President Masisi, I really admire his emotional intelligence.

Q. Thank God it’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

A. It is going to be very hectic, I will be attending Mosadi Tia event and there is also Small Businesses event I have to attend.

After the elections I haven’t been feeling well and last week there were floods due to poor drainage system in my ward so I will be visiting affected families.

On Sunday I go to church.

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Renewed hope for the youth

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Renewed hope for the youth

He is one of the youngest Ministers in the country’s history.

However, at the age of 36, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, McDonald Chilliboy Rakgare already boasts a rich political background.

From his days as the University of Botswana (UB) School Representative Council (SRC) President, to his vocal time as the Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) President before joining the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Rakgare is well travelled in the world of politics.

The charismatic politician also has an insider’s understanding of the media, having worked for Yarona FM and Duma FM.

Ten years after it started, Rakgare’s political career reached new heights at last year’s general election, where he received 6, 350 of the 11, 116 votes casts to claim Mogoditshane constituency from the Alliance for Progressives (AP).

This week, Rakgare, in his capacity as a Minister, visited The Voice newsroom for a tete a tete with reporter SHARON MATHALA about the vision he has for the youth.

Mindful that some responsibilities will be lifted off his large Ministry with the introduction of two new Ministries, after exchanging pleasantries he shares…

Q. How would you summarise your political journey?

A. My political career kicked off when I was still a UB student back in 2009 and I subsequently joined the BNF.

I later resigned from BNF to BDP after a few differences.

With the BDP I believed in the leadership then of Rre Motswaledi, Ntuane and others.

I was with the youth committee and I differed on many occasions with the then President Ian Khama so I left.

Khama wanted to destroy our country and we now have our country back with President Mokgweetsi Masisi!

I then joined BCP, which was well organised.

I was with the BCP for six years and it really shaped me into the politician I am today.

Q. But why then leave the BCP? Did the party’s decision to join forces with the umbrella have anything to do with it?

A. In 2014 we differed with the UDC on principle as the BCP. Subsequent to that was the report of Rre Motswaledi and the UDC still failed.

Some things are internal but the UDC is not organised, its leader is not organised!

I had a serious problem because should Batswana vote for us we would have a problem of leadership.

Q. How would you describe the leadership skills of President Masisi?

A. Masisi has a love for the country. He is an intelligent man.

The BDP needed someone to appreciate the work of the elders and veterans.

The democrats are happy. They have renewed hope for the party. He runs the party with consultations and inclusion.

Q. Taking you back to when your win was announced for the parliamentary seat of Mogoditshane constituency. What was going through your mind?

A. Some said I did not show emotion. What was going through my mind was how I was going to take the constituency forward and the people who voted for me, how I will fulfill my promise and change their lives.

I knew I would win; the team had done its homework.

The people liked President Masisi, even from the Kgotla meetings one could see.

Q. But one can never be too sure in politics, what made you so confident of victory?

A. We went into the election with six incumbent councillors who had done pretty well.

But also our party manifesto spoke volumes towards the transformation Batswana and the people of Mogoditshane yearned for.

Q. Moving on, you were eventually appointed a Minister. Did you expect such an appointment?

A. I never expected it! It came as a surprise to me despite the background I have in sports and issues that affect the youth.

When I received the call and was summoned in to be told, the first thing I did was ask the President if I had heard him properly and he gave me a piece of paper to sign against my name.

I thought the President would go with someone more experienced but he knew what he wanted, and I guess that was me!

Q. You are taking over a position once held by heavyweights such as Tshekedi Khama and Thapelo Olopeng. Did that not shake you a bit?

A. Not at all, Rre Olopeng did his part but there are ways in which I look at things.

What we will do going forward is not about me.

I have an able team which I am confident will steer this ship forward.

Q. What is your vision for the Sports sector?

A. What we will do is give young people a platform.

Our youngsters are doing very well in different sporting codes.

The issue is to give them the right tools, the money.

We will resource our sporting codes; we will build the facilities and introduce sports and coaching at primary level.

If we want to compete with international stars we need to give our stars a fair chance.

Q. And as for the Arts?

A. We have young people who are creative and innovative.

We will support them fully.

We will capacitate them to create wealth and facilitate the process.

It is still a bit too early for me to go into detail but we do have a plan going forward – let’s have this conversation again in six months.

Q. Any international events planned for Botswana to host? I know the Forbes Under 30 Summit is coming to town in April, apart from that?

A. We have two in the pipeline.

I would not want to reveal which – we already have teams on the ground working around those.

I can assure you, they will be a first for Botswana!

Q. Sounds intriguing! How do you intend to address issues of alcohol and drug abuse amongst the youth?

A. About 60 percent of our population is made up of the youth and more than half of them are unemployed.

This you are likely to get as a government.

We as a government need to seriously introspect and come up with job opportunities for our youth but that is a long-term solution.

For now government will build a Rehabilitation Centre as well as be more visible in schools with campaigns and mentorship programmes.

Q. Is that not what the alcohol levy was for? Why is it taking such a long time to deal with this phenomenon?

A. That was the intention to have and build Rehab and Rehabilitation Centres with it, but that has not happened.

Q. What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

A. I would tell him he can be anything he wants.

You can be anything you want in life. Just focus.

Take every day as it comes – look at me, I am a full Minister!

Q. What can you say to the youth who abuse social media and in turn bully others?

A. I stand here as a Minister and I really don’t know what can be done.

I log onto social media everyday and it’s disheartening what I see.

I think its starts really from home.

We should start having the conversation with our kids at home around the use of social media.

Q. Do you still play football?

A. Of course! Yes I do, very much so.

I am a really good midfielder, I might add.

These days, however, they play me up front.

You should come watch one of the games.

Q. Apart from ministerial duties and scoring goals, what else do you get up to?

A. I spend time with family because honestly I hardly have any spare time.

I leave early for work and come back really late.

Q. Thanks God It’s Friday, what will you be up to this coming Friday?

A. I will be addressing a Kgotla meeting in Mogoditshane.

Q. Any parting words?

A. Well I will just say corruption has no place in the current administration.

The rot in Government is huge, people went all out to destroy our country and steal from us.

We are going to have an investigation.

There is something in the works which will assist us with this.

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Celeb edition with Casper the Dj

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Celeb edition with Casper the DJ

Having enjoyed a stellar 2019, establishing himself as an ever-present on the entertainment scene, Casper the DJ has high hopes for the new year. The trendy 24-year-old music man joins an exclusive club by becoming the first CELEB EDITION of the year.

Briefly summarise your music career for us?

My birth name is KgosiTshiamoSabone.

I started Disc Jockeying in 2011 when I was doing Form 4.

It’s been a nine-year rollercoaster, having featured on a number of big musical festivals along the years.

I dropped a six-song project two years ago‘Strings Attached’ which is still available on all digital platforms.

What inspired you to venture into Deejaying?

Mostly my love for music.

It was amazing to know how many people I could make happy by pressing buttons and merging two songs into one!

If music didn’t work out, what career would you have gone for?

Accounting. Numbers are probably my next favourite thing after music.

Would you ever post a nude picture of yourself on social media to promote new music?

I’ve done a few controversial things but I’d never go that far!

What can fans look out for from you this year?

A lot! My team and I are working on my ‘One Man Show’ set for 28 Feb. We are trying to sell the best eight hours from a solo act you will see in a while! I’m working on new music as well, for now I can confirm at least one single for the year 2020.

You are known for your fashion sense. What is the most expensive item of clothing you own?

It’s definitely a pair of shoes.

If you could choose one superpower what would it be?

Reading minds. I’m a curious guy.

I’m always interested in knowing what other people are thinking.

What’s your favorite action movie?

I am really not a movie person.

Who is your local celebrity crush?

MsGeeKays.

Have you ever been arrested or had a run in with the law?

Does almost arrested count? Jokes!

I have had a run in with them though – it was for a car accident in 2018.

Five things people don’t know about you?

  1. I’m loud,I’m always talking
  2. I love my sleep
  3. I’m short so it amazes people that my shoe size is size seven
  4. I have this fantasy of being buff!
  5. I’m not too good at replying people over the phone – I’m a horrible texter

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Karim turns to Kwasa Kwasa

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Karim turns to Kwasa Kwasa

Having tried his luck as House Kwasa and Hip Hop, the multi-talented Onamile Ownah Wanga aka Karim has finally settled for Kwasa Kwasa.

The Beetsha native’s latest release is called ‘Mogata’.

The EP comprises of six tracks and incorporates a number of languages, including: Mbukushu, Seyei, Ikalanga, Sesubiya, Setswana and English.

The album opens up with ‘Sepoko’, then ‘Becha’ featuring Russ Décor and ‘Mogata’ featuring Malembe.

On track four is, ‘Motsene Mosimane’ which features the trio O-B, Quadra and Malembe, with ‘Appa’ and ‘Tlogela Bojalwa’ rounding up the album.

The title track is one of the songs to look out for.

If marketed well, it has the potential to transform Karim into a force to reckon with.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Carlos Ditsheko at CMD records in Maun, for Kwasa Kwasa lovers, this is a must have album!

RATINGS: 8/10

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