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Revive culture of reading- Olopeng

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng says there is a disturbing observation that Batswana do not have a culture of reading.

Officiating at the launch of Ditso Publications titled, Moments of Independence: An Anthology of stories from Botswana by Batswana, said the ministry’s mandate was to promote a culture of reading in this country, especially among young people.


He said the ministry often gets feedback from libraries clients that there were not enough books written by Batswana, about Botswana or on Botswana.
“We also hear that our libraries are full of books on foreign content, foreign setting and foreign language,” he added.
Olopeng therefore, called on Batswana to adopt a new outlook and take active role in gathering local content and crafting it into an exciting, readable piece of work for immediate use by the members of the public.


He said libraries were a perfect plan to disseminate their library work because they constitute 59 per cent of public access venues.
Minister Olopeng explained that he was glad because these stories in the book amazingly capture the essence of the former and late president, Sir Seretse Khama’s call when he spoke of the importance and value of preserving and promoting the nation’s intangible cultural heritage through publications.


“His patriotic position was that Batswana should believe in their past and culture. However, with globalisation, our past and culture are increasingly becoming challenged.
I fully agree that we are part of a global village, but we should not forget our roots if we are to prosper as a nation,” he said. He explained that the first President put it very straight when he said “It should now be our intention to try to retrieve what we can of our past. We should write our own history books to prove that we have a past, and that it was a past that was just as worth writing and learning about as any other.”


Chief executive officer of Collegium Educational Publishers, Soso Mweendo said through Ditso Series’ titles such as, Movements of Independence that Botswana’s voice is added to the ongoing discussion on the recognition of and respect for the diversity of cultures in this age of globalisation.
She said the serieswas doing this by showcasing what lies at the heart of the late Khama’s call, the importance and value of preserving and promoting the nations intangible cultural heritage through publications.


She said many people had made contributions to Botswana such as politicians, bureaucrats, academics, lawyers, farmers and business people. He also said the book was a captivating autobiography, tempered with narrative that is written in accessible diction.


“It is a subjective and partial retelling of the nation’s history through personal experience, before and after independence,” he added.
For her part, Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, challenged every Motswana to begin writing stories of their memoirs, autobiographies, and biographies and have them published by reputable publishing houses like Collegium Educational Publishers.


Moments of Independence gathered voices of 10 Batswana, some whom were present during Independence Day in 1966, while others were born post-independence.
These include legends, statement, and philanthropists of Botswana from all walks of life.


The authors are the late and former president Sir Ketumile Masire, the late  former minister of education, Kebatlamang Morake, former Ombudsman Festina Bakwena, Kgosi Mosadi, Andrew Sesinyi, Professor and High Court Judge, Key Dingake, Media Consultant and Co-owner of the Voice newspaper, Beata Kasale, Alliance for Progressives president, Mr Ndaba Gaolatlhe, former president of Botswana’s Women in Business Association Tumi Mbaakanyi, and philanthropist and development practitioner Gogontlejang Phaladi.


They narrated what independence means to them, their families and the nation as a whole.
These narratives serves to preserve our memories of the attainment of the country’s independence, challenges of the nation building in the immediate and aftermath of independence, up to now when the country is so developed. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : GABORONE

Event : launch

Date : Dec 03 Sun,2017

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