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Life Matters Botswana fights social ills

06 May 2021

While COVID-19 has negatively affected our way of life, there are areas that have been spared, especially the use of technology which has eased dealings in movement restricted era.   

Some individuals and the businesses community at large are engaged in converting their communication strategies to social media platforms and some other technological forms to interact. Facebook and WhatsApp among others have become popular. 

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have injected speed into the technological advancement, as measures aimed at containing the pandemic somehow concided with the use of technology. 

In the absence of gatherings to communicate this has spurred people to conduct meetings virtually. 

The pandemic has brought with it challenges to society among them job losses, psycho-social issues and other social ills and therefore calling for the relevant authorities to engage the affected parties by among other offering counselling service to those affected by the new normal. 

As face to face counselling could not be offered due to COVID-19 protocols, usage of social media platforms have come in handy to feel the void.  

Life Matters Botswana is a typical example of the companies that came into being as a result of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Such as the saying that tough times call for tough measures after being retrenched from his job due to COVID-19, Mr Goitseone Bakani could not just fold his arms and watch the sun rise and set. He thought of what to do to make ends meet and from the comfort of his house, he registered a company; Life Matters Botswana.

“Initially, I was not clear why I registered the company, however, I got inspired by the challenges that people were going through while under lockdown. As social media was the primary platform of communication, I came across challenges that were raised by people across the country, among them shortage of food, cases of gender based violence, cases of people who were losing their jobs, stress related issues while others could not make ends meet due to the lockdown,” he said.

What he read inspired him hence the birth of Life Matters Botswana facebook page. It was created solely to raise an appeal and ultimately find solutions to challenges that were faced by the community.

 “My focus was on engaging people through topics that will motivate and give them hope. The social media platform was used by my followers to share their challenges and get possible solutions from others,” said Mr Bakani.

Even though some individuals posted their ordeals and in dire need for help, Mr Bakani said it was unfortunate as some reacted with negative comments bound to worsen the situation.

 His main aim being to address challenges at hand, as the administrator of the social media platform, he would advise those hurting to only focus on the positive comments.

 “I was able to engage with other stakeholders to donate food hampers to those who were in dire need during the lockdown,” he said.

Mr Bakani said the social media platform has grown and currently boasts of 124 864 followers. 

He said it was disheartening to learn that some of the people who posted heartbreaking stories seeking help were later discovered to be false, and cited an individual in Ramotswa who was assisted to start a tuck shop business. He said they later learnt that the story that was posted was false.

Additionally, Mr  Bakani has revealed that there were family issues where arbitration was required. 

He said during the lockdown some family members could not cope with the challenge of staying for long with other family members and therefore retaliated by developing abusive behaviour.

He engaged lawful authorities such as headmen of arbitration and social workers to arrest the situation. 

Mr  Bakani said in June Life Matters Botswana launched an online dating platform called Lifetime Relationships Connection. 

“The dating platform has yielded some positive results. From December 2020 to date eight couples got married and soon they will be sharing their testimonies on our social media platform,” said Mr  Bakani. 

Mr  Bakani said 10 of the couples that were connected failed to establish meaningful relationships.

He expressed delight over his project ability to address some challenging social issues, and helping others to connect and start families.

 “At Life Matters Botswana we are ready and willing to assist in instilling positive societal values. I appeal to everyone going through challenges to be patient as some of the solutions will not be instant, but the good will gradually be achieved,” he said. ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Moshe Galeragwe

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : 06 May 2021