With a gloomy financial outlook and experiencing challenging, tough economic times, Francistown residents were recently treated to a well-orchestrated, organised, and intellectually stimulating motivational speakers that uplifted the audience. Some of the speakers strongly hinted to a positive ‘forecast’, revenue wise, to the city’s future. The seminar was themed, “Go Hunt Your Dreams!” and fell under the auspices of a series entitled ‘Imwiko Carlos Sebina Coaching, Mentoring and Motivational sessions’. Closure of the Tati Nickel Mine and retrenchments that occurred at Mupane gold mine, as a result of poor performance of metal price’s at the time, has had a profound impact in making the economic situation in Francistown quite dismal and dire. With far much less money circulating within Francistown as a result of the lay-offs and those who outright lost their jobs, households are finding themselves fiscally challenged. The financial ‘picture’ in Francistown is further worsened by the unemployment scenario, which doesn’t just include those who have been retrenched, but also school leavers who are not absorbed into tertiary institutions and unemployed graduates. The director of ceremonies was Lamu Samu presenting an impressive array of panellists, whose expertise varied from an agrarian economy specialist to music promoter guru and amongst others, a female financial whiz who has been able to infiltrate the male orientated world of mining.
The panellists gave uplifting, motivational presentations and snippets of their life stories and how they executed accomplishments. This was the most opportune platform for those wanting to glean an insight into the business world and to those intending to plunge into it. Each panellist brought to the session his or her own personal ‘secret for success’, with the ‘thread’ of hard work, tenacity and never giving up as well as being focused being ‘woven’ into and underpinning their speeches. The message to Francistown residents is that from the optimism expressed by the speakers, there was an inkling to a positive, ‘bright’ economic forecast that would ‘catapult’ the city out of its current financial quagmire, as hinted by one of the panellists. First Quantum Minerals Botswana’s Babe Makwinja spoke of the resurgence of the world markets and intentions of countries in the Asian region to build new humongous cities, requiring copious amounts of steel and other metals. Demand for Botswana’s copper and nickel would set in motion a series of events that could lead to the re-opening of Tati Nickel mine in future. When and if this occurs, fiscal activity in Francistown will be positively stimulated, unemployment reduced and a general improvement in the state of circumstances in the city’s state of revenue and monetary circulation. Makwinja’s speech was filled with an underlying strong ‘prophesy’ of a resurgence in the mining sector. This is manifest in her company’s current interest in mining coal deposits in the vicinity of Sese village. So far they are engaged in a feasibility study with things looking favourable for the project to be given a ‘green light’. If this project were to come to fruition, the economic ramifications for the region and country as a whole will be positively astronomical and extremely beneficial.
Farmer Opelo Mothukuthedi, on the other hand, gave a learned, detailed, and revealing presentation into the world of farming. He is managing director of Genesis farms as well as co-founder of Appsmart Mobile. His speech focused on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of farming and the challenges one may face in this sometimes brutal vocation. Other panellists included Theo Khumo, CEO and founder of African Wax Prints, and social initiative movements like Mma Mosadi movement and Tonota Youth Empowerment and Leadership Hub, as well Gregory Sekga, Francistown born and bred businessman, who has become a ‘force to reckon with’ in the events planning and managing business. Bonno Ngaka, another Francistown-born and bred resident who is CEO of Colastraw Records, gave an awe inspiring and riveting talk. The last speaker, who also happened to be the’ architect’ and brains behind this motivational initiative was Carlos Sebina, a man from humble beginnings as a technician at BTC, went on to dive into the ‘murky waters’ of business, and successfully end up owning various business interests, with Destiny Car Rental being their flagship. The session was a resounding success.