It was a chilly Saturday morning when members of Botswana Media and Allied Workers Union (BOMAWU) from all media houses across the country took a rare opportunity and travelled all the way to Serowe to celebrate and commemorate their profession in the name of World Press Freedom Day.
It was an international celebration set aside for journalists to celebrate their profession and sacrifices made by their predecessors.
Under the theme: “Critical minds for critical times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies,” this year’s Press Freedom day sought to break down boundaries set by socialisation to combat existing prejudices and segregation.
This colossal task can only be made possible by the proper conveyance of factual, truthful, balanced and fair information through the various media platforms being both traditional mainstream media and new emerging media.
When addressing the residents of Serowe alongside the members of BOMAWU the President, Phillimon Mmeso emphasised the importance for journalists to uphold media ethics and fight for better working conditions.
As a community services gesture, members of BOMAWU and their supporters pooled together their personal resources to make quite a donation in the form to the Serowe SOS Children’s village, which houses 120.
Some of these families live in houses that are integrated in the community. BOMAWU’s host Councillor Solomon Dikgang of Tidimalo ward emphasised the importance of such gestures and that in an organisation it goes a long way especially when drawing up budgets seeing as the funds that could have been used to buy toiletries could be converted to the needy children.
The members of BOMAWU were then treated to a tour by Scobie Lekhutile and Thalefang Charles of the different historical sites like the museum, the first president’s Sir Seretse Khama’s homestead and the burial place of the royal family, which is meticulously embedded on a hill a stone’s throw away from the main Kgotla.
World Press Freedom day is an annual commemoration and according to BOMAWU president Phillimon Mmeso it will continue to travel the width and breadth of the country spreading the media agenda and making a difference in the communities they visit as much as possible.
This year’s commemoration was made possible by the generous donations from organisations like Standard Chartered Bank, Mascom Wireless, Debswana and Choppies Super Stores.
Media houses Sunday Standard, The Voice, Gabz Fm, The Francistowner and CBET also made generous contribution.
Individuals such as Kgosietsile Keletso Rakhudu, Itumeleng Ramsden (Goddess Foundation Mentorship) and the general membership of BOMAWU also played a part.