As the year 2010 comes to a close, the Sunday Standard, hoping that none of us will turn into a pillar of salt, can’t resist looking back at the memorable incidents and people who, during the year, fronted the news pages, shook the waves and, other than changing or influencing history, will definitely be remembered – be it for the good or their bad deeds.
These are the special moments that brought crocodile tears to many, the painful that left us in awe, the just too funny that had us crack a few ribs, the bitter sweet and all too hot moments of 2010 – the moments that earned ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ from amongst us.
Gone but not forgotten
The late Louis Nchindo (May his soul rest in peace) might have disappeared mysteriously in the wild but he will, however, remain in many people’s hearts and minds. Having exited life unexpectedly and sailed through it amidst controversy, the alleged lies, crime and corruption, the late Nchindo not only left a loophole in a marathon case involving him, his son Garvas Nchindo and Joe Matome, but also left questions lingering on his supposed suicide.
He spent his last years being arraigned before courts, with his name being splashed in newspapers for very wrong reasons. Suddenly, the recipient of the Presidential Order of Honour Award went from good to bad, friends turning their backs on him as he soldiered on, heavily laden with life’s cumbersome troubles.
The other hole he left is in Joe Matome’s heart. Matome will spend two years in jail serving for what was initiated by the late former De-Beers General Manager. From where we stand, Matome will take even longer to forget his departed partner in crime for leaving him to do time alone.
Waving Botswana’s flag…but higher!
Emma Wareus definitely did not need to get any older to wave her flag at the 2010 Miss World pageant in Sanya, China. Beating all the maidens from Africa, Wareus spotted the first runner up, making Botswana proud. The 20-year-old beat 115 of the world’s finest beauties and became the first Motswana to win in the prestigious pageant. The young lass answered the adjudicators’ question by stipulating that, to her, the Miss World pageant means femininity, and that she actually believes ‘femininity is me’.
Well Ms. Wareus, we couldn’t agree more!
On the one hand, Amantle Montsho did her part and left a mark imprinted in Botswana’s history books. Monsho became the stronger woman and brought with her a gold medal from the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
And what of Uyapo Ndadi who was recognized internationally among┬á9 other young active citizens┬áhonored at the 2010 Junior Chamber International Ten Outstanding Young Persons on November 3 at the JCI World Congress in Osaka, Japan.
He and Dr Joseph (Rwanda) were the only two honorees from Africa.?Ndadi’s award recognises his sterling and admirable work on human rights, especially among the marginalized in our societies, including but not limited to people living with HIV and AIDS. He is hailed for having created new case law protecting the marginalized and also pushing for law reform to offer more protection to such people.
These three young people of Botswana put our country in the books and made 2010 all the more special for all Batswana. We only hope their stars shine even brighter all the way and that they pave way for the younger generation to follow in their paths!
Barataphathi kiss Domkrag goodbye
Will we ever forget the reeling experience form March 29 2010? Most definitely not! For the first time after 48 years, Botswana’s ruling BDP broke down, following irreconcilable differences among the disgruntled members. Though traditionally faction ridden, the BDP never broke down since it was formed.
The split has since been expected to reshape the country’s political landscape since independence four decades ago.
Of BEC, BOSETU and students
The decision by the Teachers’ Unions to down tools and boycott exams this year shocked many. After failed talks on remuneration between the Botswana Secondary School Teachers Union (BOSETU) and the Botswana Examination Council (BEC), thousands of students countrywide suffered as teachers refused to assess their practical subjects as well as declining to invigilate. While we sympathize with the teachers’ plea of being paid worthy amounts for their input and even involving with work outside their core responsibilities, it is a pity that students were caught in the crossfire! For one, students were faced with a difficult situation of having to rely on complete strangers during the most straining, scary and nervous time of their life; they were also denied a fair chance to give the exams their all without worrying about a Dictation paper where the invigilator stammered, swallowed the words or couldn’t read at all or an invigilator who cared none about keeping to rules or one with an abusive nature who reportedly slapped them around at the itch of the hand!
We also wish that Mma Moitoi should have protected her own – in this case teachers. If at all she cares about her ministry she should have backed teachers up rather than treating them like lifeless puppets that can be tossed backstage and ignored.
The “mirror mirror on the wall, I’m the best of them all” approach was not at all necessary. We however hope that all students who sat for exams this year nonetheless prevailed or overcame all circumstances that befell them during their exam tenure.
Troublesome Bakgatla troubles
Where do we even begin with the infamous Bakgatla Ba Kgafela? Damaged cellphone towers, flogging pregnant women, flogging pastors and just about anyone in the village (assault, bodily harm, et cetera, et cetera) and, my favourite, nights spent behind bars!
This tribe will be remembered way into 2011 and beyond, and given their pending occasions at the courts, it will be hard to forget their deeds any time soon.
Unbelievably, in the center of it all, stands a renowned human rights lawyer crying for permission to whip people “convicted” outside a court of law! While their ignorance and primitive behavior in such times is hopeless, more annoying is the Kgosi-kgolo, who is annoyingly misleading his tribe, the human rights lawyer he is. Somewhere he lost it and doing everything wrong. He was trying to be a big player and have his name remembered as a tough chief who kept and disciplined his tribe, too bad he will be remembered as the human rights lawyer chief who violated human rights, had charges against his name, escaped from custody and spent some time in jail!
The other joker in the tribe surely should be none other than Unity Dow, a former judge for goodness sake! I don’t understand how she too can be deep in the gibberish galore in the tribe.