Thursday, June 13, 2024

Frustrated Dube quits teaching for love of sport

If it was according to Glody Dube, he would have retired from secular work as a teacher at a ripe old age of 65 years.

“My desire was to retire at age 65 being the retirement age placed by Botswana government or when I was tired and my body giving in,” he says. As fate has it however, he now finds himself walking away from secular work at just 45 years of age. 

The end of May this year will be the last time he will stand blackboard duster and chalk in hand to teach in a formal classroom. “I am currently serving my notice as I handed in my resignation letter end of February and May will be my last month as a teacher,” he explains. 

Frustration and government bureaucracy has arm twisted him to retire early from his job. His imminent resignation comes after his employer, the Ministry of Education (MoE) refused to grant him  leave from work to concentrate on organising the much-awaited event.

The MoE’s decision to refuse to grant Dube a leave from work came after some alleged sabotage from some individuals within Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and Ministry of Sports. The said individuals had allegedly connived and informed Dube’s superiors at work to refuse him leave as the grand prix was his private event. He complained that his employer’s continued refusal to grant him leave was forcing him ‘to organise the event from a classroom’ as he juggled it with work.

In the midst of such hostility, Dube offered to resign as the chief organiser of the Botswana Golden Grand Prix, something which would have jeopardised the event. Only an intervention from the government through the Ministry of Sport (MYSC) however made him to reconsider the decision. 

Following his threat to quit the Botswana Golden Grand Prix, some high-level meetings were held with the officials from the Ministry of Sports. “After seeing the seriousness of my case, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Sports Kitso Kemoeng reached out to me. We then had a meeting on the 27th of February, the same day I was to resign from the event. Even though I cannot divulge the details of the meeting, I am glad to say it went well,” Dube says. 

Two days after the meeting, another one was held with Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Board Chairperson Morule Morule, chief executive officer Tuelo Serufho, BAA representative and the Director of sport Moreetsi Bogosi. 

While parties in the matter acknowledged mistakes had been made in the handling of issues, he still could not get the leave from work he sought. Instead, he was requested to delegate someone he trusts to negotiate sponsorships on his behalf while he is serving out his notice of resignation from work. 

“I then chose Serufho to assist me in this regard. He has been with me in the struggle and I trust him,” Dube explains. “Another good thing that came from these meetings was that we managed to acquire a letter of support from the government which we had been requesting for so long. This letter is of great importance to us because it backs all sponsorship documents,” he adds.

While this brought some little solace, the realisation that he was being nudged off the event left him with no option but to walk away from work. “I love teaching but my first love has always been athletics. So, instead of resigning from Botswana Golden Grand Prix, I have decided to resign from my profession as a teacher,” he explains.  

Dube says his resignation is motivated by his wish to ensure Botswana delivers a successful event. By quitting secular work, he believes he can now put my whole focus on the gold tour without a clash between the two.

Through all this turmoil, Dube says he has learnt some big lessons which he will never forget. He goes on to add that he is happy a solution was found even though it is one that places him in the unemployment ranks. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper