Collegium Publishers have launched a book titled ‘Moments of Independence’ which features Batswana who have done incredibly well in their fields of specialty. A collaboration work of 10 authors, the book provides a fascinating and penetrating insight into ‘Moments of Independence’ through an array of Botswana voices. The book has been constructed in a way that it poses questions and opportunity for someone to find their own voice in defining their own independence. Those featured in the book are the late Sir Ketumile Masire, the late Kebatlamng Morake, Festina Bakwena, Kgosi Mosadi Seboko, Andrew Sesinyi, Beata Kasale, Professor Oagile Dingake, Ndaba Gaolathe, Tumi Mbaakanyi and Gogontlejang Phaladi. Almost all of them graced the launch of the book and signed for those who were in attendance and made the first purchases. Collegium Educational Publishers CEO Soso Lebekwe expressed delight about the book – the second to be published under Ditso Series by Collegium. She said the book marks a historic moment, as she recognised all the authors for the passion and dedication that they showed in the product. She said it is their pride to provide high quality books for people of the 21st century who challenge their world. “Collegium took this bold step in 2007 when we first introduced Ditso Series, and that was the call from the first President Seretse Khama to write our own stories for the good of Botswana generations and the world at large,” she said. She said the book is a personal retelling of Botswana’s history through personalised experiences before, during and even after independence.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng said it was one of his ministry’s mandate to promote literary works and it is in their interest to see that books are published and that is why they have been making workshops in order to encourage upcoming writers and guide them. “We want to cultivate a culture of reading in this country, especially among our young people, and the library feedback always shows that we have so many books there which are not written by Batswana,” he said. He called for a new outlook in dealing with literary works and appreciated the narrative in the book by different individuals because that is a patriotic decision by all those who took part. The master of the English language Andrew Sesinyi who has also written so many books writes in the book about how it was just a few months after the day of independence in 1966 that he came to the city of Gaborone which was carved in a pictorial of the evidence of the times, with the surroundings which were dusty and the sightings that were a far cry from the infrastructural luxuries of today. “I was looking and listening to an unspoken commentary of underdevelopment, abject poverty, squalor, misery for human, wildlife and livestock but I was an unfiltered fitting in that tapestry of scarcity and nothingness,” he said. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko encouraged Batswana to write autobiographies and have them published. In the book she talks about independent children being a marvel to guide and raise because they make a noticeable difference between a happy and an unhappy parent. “Communities that excel compared with those that don’t are due to independence as opposed to dependent people. It is true that institutions that hire and keep independent workers excel in performance and the same can be said of independent countries,” she said.