When he declared his intentions of filling up the National Stadium, locals dismissed him with outright contempt. They even made jokes about him. That didn’t deter Tshepiso ‘Kast’’ Molapisi – who is now one of the most celebrated people in the country at the moment. This came about as a result of his unbelievable feat of walking 1000km to promote his Fill the Stadium campaign. No one has ever done that locally. He recently warmed many hearts when he went to Moreomabele to meet the young boy who gave him a P1 donation and vowed to support him and his dreams. But for every child there is a mother. Kast’s mother Mmemme Molapisi – a musician herself – has watched the rise of her son with admiration. She has watched as people hurled insults at Kast, but his resilience overwhelmed her. She says Kast grew up as a creative and talented child. “His interest in music has always been there. From a young age guys like Vee and Scar would come to my house and I could see that they were very passionate about music,” she says. She guided him into knowing that he can do his music after doing well academically in school. He managed to pull through it all and eventually finished at the university.
The 1000km walk
She recalled how the walk came about. She overheard him discussing it with his friends when they were going on a Christmas vacation to Mozambique. “I just overheard them and I could hear that they were arguing about it. I never took it seriously or even commented on it. His friends even tried to tell him that he could not be able to make it,” she recalls. According to Molapisi, the issue continued on the journey back home and she was not convinced about it. He told her only a week before embarking on the walk that he will be going to the airport to fly to Maun. She still couldn’t believe it at all. She had a sleepless night after he left. Both she and Kast’s wife Veronica Molapisi were concerned about him. But all they could do was to wish him well and that was the most painful thing for her as the mother as she could not picture how he was going to succeed. “Batswana were saying sickening things about him; what they did was mob justice. I wanted to reply to all those people especially on Facebook. He said to me I need this criticism, and that is why I will make it. They were saying all painful things and it was just here and there that he had support in the beginning,” she says. Molapisi loved how her son took the criticism. On the third day when his son told him he was tired after leaving Maun, she told him to come back and not worry about those who would think he was a failure. All she wanted was for him to come back home. The next few days she could hear that he was picking up strength as his body got used to the gruelling walk.
Walking with son
After he arrived in Francistown they were flown in by Botswana Hotspots to meet him. She was consoled by how active and happy he seemed. They took strolls around the shops because he complained about getting tired when he sat down for a long time. Many influential people began calling and congratulating him. Some wanted to meet him because they could now see that he was serious. “Him passing through our home village (Mmadinare) is one of the things that I thought was very thoughtful of him,” she says. After the overnight in Rasesa, Molapisi thought she could just take a car and follow behind – she wanted to try and walk. When they got close to Gaborone she felt the pain in her feet even the next day and that made her understand the pain that he felt in the beginning when he started the journey.
The humble, quiet Kast
She says one thing that Batswana are beginning to appreciate about Kast is his humble nature – a trait he has always had. To her, she is just a quiet son who does not drink alcohol and has always cared about people. “Kast has become the best child that each and every mother would be proud of, and I have always been. He is my only son and has always been a father figure since his father passed on when he was young. What people see now is the Kast that I have always known and who those close to him have always known,” she declares. She dismisses claims that he might have cheated along the way, saying her son will never do that. Those who finished the last lap with him can attest to his speed and that eventually silenced critics. She recalls how some people pleaded with her to stop Kast from undertaking the walk to avoid death. “I am very proud of my son and what he has achieved. I encourage Batswana to always support their own from the beginning and not only want to associate themselves with success,” she enthuses.