Thursday, October 1, 2020

“O Icheke” hampered by Tswana polygamist culture

“O Icheke”, a song by a local artist, that was adopted as a national campaign to address multiple and concurrent partnerships (MCP) has proved to be having minimal impact among Batswana.

The stakes were high at that time because “O I cheke” was seen as a key to achieving Botswana’s long term goal of zero new HIV infection by 2016.

Due to its popularity, it inspired the government to adopt “O Icheke-Break the Chain” as a way of discouraging the MCP that World Bank Representative is currently worried about.

Almost three years ago the song, which enjoyed the airwaves, was adopted as part of the national campaign to address MCP with a multifaceted strategy.

Kgosi Maruje Thabo Masunga says the tswana traditional culture influences such  relationships.
Masunga’s statement comes after the┬áWorld Bank representatives indicated┬á that MCP was still a concern despite the high level of awareness on issues of HIV/AIDs.

He said though Botswana is modernized, the culture itself has not changed and it influenced many┬ápeople’s lifestyles.┬áHe stated that polygamy still exists though it has been dismissed as part of tswana culture in the past.

Masunga said that though it has been in existence, it has been dismissed early because most Batswana still continue practicing it.

He stated that research could have been undertaken before polygamy was dismissed as part of tswana culture. 

“It might have been dismissed early while it┬á exists in our cultural set up. Polygamy that seems to have gone underground could have dire consequences in our culture,” said Masunga.

The chief said that though he is not pro polygamists, its consequences might be influencing the MCP relationships.

 He was worried that though other cultures were still practicing polygamy, they have managed to contain HIV/AIDs.

However, Bangwaketse Paramount Chief Kgosi Malope II noted that the tswana culture is not influencing the MCP relationships. Malope said  MCP was a worldwide trend.

He said that it is influenced by the behavior of certain individuals. He said that tswana culture alone cannot be held accountable for MCP.
 
Balete Paramount Chief Kgosimosadi Seboko also contended that such relationships are not influenced by tswana culture.
 
The World Bank Country Manager, Constantine Chikosi, stated that the bank has shifted from their focus on funding for treatment. He said they are now currently focusing on awareness because treatment alone was not enough. He was worried that the MCP was a concern among Batswana.

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