The controversial Ignatius Musemburi of the infamous Television Training Institute and Mahube News is at it again ÔÇô this time executing Miss Teen Africa Botswana.
As the name of the pageant suggests, some teenagers were recruited around April this year from schools around Gaborone to participate in a modelling and character building show, modelled around Botho (humanity) that would culminate in the finals in November.
This reporter has it on record that his daughter, doing Form 2 in Gaborone, was one of those who were nominated via an SMS that was inviting the teenager and her parents to Plot 34248 Block 8 in Gaborone, where the modelling lessons would be undertaken.
On arrival at the house, it was realised that the man behind all this was Ignatius Musemburi, and this reporter developed some cold feet over the whole issue, judging from some of his projects that have turned out as flops and, in many cases, many people being swindled out of thousands of Pula.
Ignatius Musemburi made headlines when, some time back, he set up a television training institute on the eve of the advent of Botswana Television (BTV). The Institute promised training and securing of jobs in the industry, both locally and in South Africa. A lot of young television aspiring professionals lost money when such promises were not delivered. They went on a rampage, demanding their money and Musemburi just went under.
Years later, the Zimbabwean national started dishing out adverts in the local media for training of journalists, again promising jobs and further studies in the profession.
Mahube News ÔÇô a local newspaper only circulated for a month or two around 2007 with limited copies and advertising then went under, again the people involved went berserk demanding payment that had been made to the journalist training agency that never materialised.
For Miss Teen Botswana, a fee of P100 was a prerequisite for the participation of the teen.
On arrival at the house this journalist met parents who were kept waiting for some time before a young lady appeared from the inner rooms of the house, which is being used as residence, offices as well as the modelling hall.
After a short and uncoordinated explanation of the whole pageant, parents started asking questions of security for their kids and the essence behind the show, which the lady could not explain but directed the parents to the directors of the company who were not readily available to field the questions.
Parents got suspicions and did not take any further steps for their children to participate in the show.
From April this year, there has been a hive of activity at the house, which resulted in the company putting a sign post at the corner of Tololamoro Road and Xanikwe Crescent where the house stands, clearly labelled ‘Miss Teen Africa House’.
Among the promised things was an unspecified first prize, some extra lessons for the kid and the final dinner where parents and their child participants would be invited at Gaborone Sun Hotel where the finalist would be announced.
Last Saturday night there was a party at the house which lasted all night, with the teenagers treated to lots of alcohol and loud music that made it difficult for neighbours to sleep.
The children intensified the noise as they got drunk around midnight, breaking beer bottles on the road that could be seen strewn all over the place on Sunday morning.
From the look of things, sex must have been practised quite a bit because of condoms that were seen around the place.
Contacted for comment on his mobile on Monday morning, Musemburi claimed he was in a meeting but assured us that he would call back which he did not do.
On second attempt to contact him around 1200hrs, Musemburi did not answer his phone, only sending an sms a while later.
“Hie saw your mis cal. Please send a questionnaire to [email protected] that way would be easier,” said the SMS.
On another attempt to call him to find out if he was working on the questionnaire he said he was out of the office but he would attend to it as soon as he got there. At the time of going to print he had not responded to the email neither was he picking up his phone.
An SMS was sent to him that we were going to print with one side of the story to which he replied: “No problem as long as nothing is defamatory.”