Babereki ka nna (my coworkers)

In my latest column in the Montrose Daily Press (which you can read here), I mentioned that I had distributed a survey to coworkers at one of my non-governmental organisations so I could share the results with you.  This NGO is the smaller, scrappier one of the two for which I work, and I’m impressed with my coworkers’ ability to perform under adverse circumstances.  And I’m proud and pleased to call them friends.  Here are the survey responses from some of them.


Emmah is Life Skills Officer at my NGO.  He’s 31 and he’s from our village.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree of Business in Tourism Management.  He was raised by his mother and has an older brother.  His happy childhood memory is his first day at primary school.  On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, you’ll find him taking his little son out for lunch.  In ten years, he wants to own several pre-schools.  Four words to describe him are: calm, honest, enthusiastic, loving, and trustworthy. His favorite foods are setampa and seswaa.  Emmah thinks I would be surprised to learn that he is versatile and can do many things (I’m not surprised). He wants Americans to know that there are many investment opportunities in Botswana, and that Batswana are friendly and love Americans.


Masego is our intern for the next few months, helping Emmah in the Life Skills department.  She is 26 and  studying for a Diploma in Social Work, and she has a Diploma in Human Resource Management.  Her home village is Bobonong.  A happy childhood memory is collecting firewood and eating tree sap, and then walking 10 kilometres to the lands to visit her grandma every Friday.   She has one brother and three sisters.  On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, you will find her cooking and washing laundry.  In ten years, she wants to be married, have her own family, and own a successful company.  Five words to describe her are:  calm, respectful, obedient, loving, and caring.  Her favorite food is seafood, especially prawns. She also likes dumplings and beef stew.  She says I would be surprised to learn that she’s an introvert.  She wants Americans to know that Botswana is the most peaceful country in the world.

Katlego is the Finance Officer.  He’s 26 and his home village is Ramotswa.  He


has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, with a double major in Economics and Accounting.  He has two older brothers.  On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, you’ll find him hanging out with his friends.  In ten years, he wants to be a financial manager or chief financial officer, and own a group of companies.  Five words to describe him are:  kind, patient, smart, open-minded, and curious.  He wants Americans to know that Botswana has the highest quality of diamonds and a very good tourism industry, and that it is a peaceful nation.



Tidimalo is our Community Outreach Officer.  She’s 31 and from Tumasera.  In response to my question about her professional and educational background, she gave me her whole CV!  Prior to coming to my NGO, she was the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Mothers Union Orphan Care.  She has a Certificate in Secretarial and Administration.  And for my question about her family, she prepared a family tree!  Her family consists of her mother, two older sisters, two younger sisters, and two younger brothers.  Her father passed in 2002.  She says, “In my family, we love each other.  In fact, I am from a traditional

Tidimalo’s family tree

family whereby we plow and rear animals.”  On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, she’ll be enjoying music, chilling with friends after cleaning her bedroom (and she says she loves cleaning), and then buying drinks and having them at home.  In ten years, she wants to have a family and a successful life, and be “able to give back to the community where possible.”  Five words to describe her are:  loving, humble, playful, and beautiful lady.  Her favorite meal is papa (stiff maize meal porridge), meat, and rape (similar to spinach).  I’d be surprised to learn that she is short-tempered.  And she wants Americans to know that Botswana is a peaceful country, a land of tourism, with minimal population.