Married into the Khama royalty, Thea has defined her purpose very well – from being a fitness enthusiast to coaching people on unleashing their inner selves, she is unstoppable in fulfilling her passion for conservation. Writes KEITEBE KGOSIKEBATHO
She burst into the Gaborone social scene as a sensational fitness enthusiast that left men – who until then viewed fitness as their preserve – trapped in a fit of envy. This was none other than Thea Khama.
The frequency of her participation in numerous fitness shows and events at which she dazzled many and continued to win hearts has, however, gone down with time. At this point, they have totally stopped.
In case you are wondering where she could be now; she has made a comeback, but this time with a different agenda altogether. We meet Khama at her newly opened offices in Phakalane. There is a bit of construction work going on, but her calmness and poise immediately tells us she has everything under control.
Still wondering what she has up her sleeve? Well the soft-spoken 46-year-old says she is now doing something she has been doing for a long time - coaching. Before then she had not realised that it could be a viable business.
She explains that although fitness and coaching may seem unconnected, they are in fact more related than one may think as they both have something to do with the development and fitness of the body and one’s inner being.
“I think and know that I have added value to Botswana through fitness and it is now time to move to something else,” she says.
Evoking inner power
Khama recently opened Innercore energetics coaching facility. According to her, Innercore coaching is about empowering a person to embrace the moment, evoke their inner power, using a methodology of Consciousness Coaching which facilitates one to evolve their consciousness.
The consciousness, she says, constitutes being holistically aware and awakened to the greater whole. It is, according to Khama, a state of being more than a state of doing.
“Within a coaching session you are coming to terms with your present, becoming the designer of your own life while moving towards a greater goal – one that you are choosing to bring into existence,” she says.
She adds that the kind of coaching she offers is none judgmental but rather offers a safe space for a client to explore what it is they want and who they want to be.
“I am there as your support and accountability partner to make sure that you get the results you want to achieve,” Khama says.
According to her, coaching is about empowering a person to connect with their inner core. “My coaching can unlock the internal barriers that keep you stuck and searching for answers.”
Innercore coaching, she says, assists one in creating new ideas to fast track their success, aligning with clarity and creating their vision and legacy in the most empowering and inspiring way they choose, experiencing a sustainable increase in self-worth, confidence, enthusiasm, and integrity and being happy and in full self-expression.
Coaching politicians, artists, execs
She is so far coaching individuals, ranging from artists to politicians, executives and students. She also offers team building sessions, workshops and seminars to corporates and students.
As a mother, Khama has a distinct interest in youth. She has been working with various NGOs to offer talks and coaching to kids. She runs a programme with Gaborone Senior Secondary School (GSS) called Teen Spirit, where she offers coaching to students. She has been running her own youth camps for three years now.
“Just remember that you are not your problems, challenges or what someone else tells you, you are. You are much more than that - go and discover,” she says.
Who is Thea Khama?
She is originally from New Mexico, USA. She came to Botswana after completing her high school to join her mother who was then working for UNAIDS in Botswana. It was during this time that she met her future husband, the now Minister of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama. They now have two children 23-year-old Kaedi Sekgoma Khama and Tahlia Naledi Khama.
While her mother and father in-law Seretse and Ruth Khama’s love story ranks among the world‘s beautiful love stories of all times, theirs has its fair share of interesting episodes too.
They met and fell in love while quite young, after realising that she was pregnant with their son, Thea had to choose between attending college in the US and coming back to Africa to be with the father of her child and she chose the latter. A few years after welcoming their second-born, daughter Tahlia Naledi, they decided to get married.
She speaks fondly of her wedding day. While she had stayed in Botswana for quite some time before her wedding she was not really accustomed to how traditional sengwato weddings were conducted. So when on her wedding day thousands turned up to celebrate in pomp and song in Serowe the new bride was not only awed but was left with more love and appreciation of her husband‘s roots, custom and culture.
“It was beautiful. Everybody was happy and in a jovial mood; they danced for more than four hours non-stop,” she said.
Looking back Khama says although it happened unexpectedly she is glad it happened because not only was she given an experience of the culture she married into but was also initiated on what is expected of her as a royal ngwato bride.
“In the evening Aunt Naledi and other women took me to her house where we sat in a beautiful candle lit courtyard and she told me all that was expected from me,” she recalls.
And yes, she was also draped with the traditional shawl only won by married women during weddings and other formal traditional gatherings by her in-laws.
Her love for Botswana and the people is made easier by their accepting nature and the love and support she had always got from everyone. As a very reserved individual Khama says she cannot recall ever getting discriminated against.
“I always hear stories from people saying they have been badly treated but I honestly cannot recall ever being mistreated by anyone,” she declares.
This partly explains how she has managed to spend Christmas year after year with her in-laws in Serowe hassle free.
She, however, is excited that this year, she will for a change break away from the tradition, and get to travel with her family to the USA to check on her mother. They also plan to visit Cuba.
Besides the fact that her husband is now the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Khama‘s own mother was an environmentalist hence it comes as no surprise that she also has an interest in environment and wildlife.
She is a patron of several organisations including Men and Boys for Gender equality, Our Heritage, and Children in the Wilderness. She is also the global ambassador for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions Global March and also works with Elephant Ignite.