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Nkwakwana combi driver turned Counsellor

04 Nov 2022

A child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.

This is one of many African proverbs that ring a bell with 38-year-old Ms Gaone Nkwakwana, .

A mother of one, Ms Nkwakwana is a vanguard for hard work and has, upon finishing her Cambridge, not wasted any time but acquired herself a combi to hassle her grind by way of transporting school children in the city of Francistown.

This has been the Malalatau-born sole fascination since 2017.

Through her day-to-day interface with schoolchildren, she has developed a deep-rooted passion for pupils, especially their wellbeing, right from pre-school to secondary school.

A natural good listener, Ms Nkwakwana has become a shoulder to cry on for some of the children who have fallen victim to ghastly acts, including sexual molestation.

“My relationship with the kids has grown remarkably and the bond is so strong it cannot be severed.

They have grown comfortable around me and feel free to discuss anything they want with me including the challenges they are facing at either the school or home,” she relays to BOPA in an interview.

Some of the children, she tells BOPA are sexually molested by the very people they have put their trust in and are oftentimes afraid to blow the whistle because some of the perpetrators take care of their day-to-day upkeep.

Other children, she says, suffer abuse at the hands of fellow pupils who, per adventure due to bad upbringing, have turned out to be bullies to the school community; something Ms Nkwakwana discloses is part of the reason the academic performance for many children has plummeted.

In worst-case scenarios, bullying has caused some pupils to quit school for fear of victimisation.

The experiences meted out to pupils have thus far forced this combi driver to look for ways to intervene and make life bearable for some of the young people, to the point that she has devised motivational talks and travel expeditions for the children to escape albeit temporarily, from the toxic city environment.

“Ke simolotse go nna le di motivational talks le bana ka 2017 morago ga gore mongwe wa bana a nne le kgatlhego a sena go bona senepe same ke le kwa Crocodile Farm mo Francistown.

Selo se se ne sa nkgwetlha gore ke rekisetse batsadi mogopolo wa go ja nala ga bana le gone go tla ka thulaganyo ya go ba sidila maikutlo dikole di tswetswe,” she said, explaining the genesis of both the travelling expeditions and motivational talks, the idea she relays was readily accepted by the majority of the parents.

Some parents, she says, bought into the idea immediately and wanted to embark on such voyages with the children, and it has been so to date.

The maiden trip took Kids Adventures (the name of the excursion) to the crocodile farm in the city of Francistown and three parents went along with the children.

The adventure, according to Ms Nkwakwana, was more of an educational trip, where pupils were taught about the life of a croc.

Not only that, the children tasted the crocodile meat. 

She relays further that the trip, usually undertaken at the end of the school term, helps relax the children’s minds away from the hustle and bustle of the city and school environment.

Also, children are able to interact with one another and their parents in a relaxed atmosphere.

In April, a total of 55 children made it to the motivational talks that were held at the Marang Hotel.

Ms Nkwakwana was not happy about the low turn-up, which she attributed to the expensive nature of some of the facilities they had to use for the talks.

Kidz Adventure is working round the clock to find cheaper ways to host as many children as possible and impart important life skills and knowledge to them.

During the Marang Hotel event, professionals such as psychologists, a representative from the Girl Child Association in Serowe, Francistown South MP, Mr Wynter Mmolotsi, teachers, as well as academically astute students’ motivated fellow pupils, graced the event.

To further improve on the talks, Ms Nkwakwana intends to forge strong synergies with important stakeholders, among them; the social and community welfare office, the kgotla and schools.

The all-girls motivational talks will be the next event, where pertinent issues of concern affecting the girl child, particularly adolescents, will be discussed at length and in detail.

Parents do not want to lag behind and have, out of volition, solicited Kidz Adventure to facilitate them so that they could also be part of the solution to the social ills affecting children.

The extent of the work and its sophisticated manner has forced Ms Nkwakwana to undertake a certificate course in Trauma and Counselling, and she is planning to go further up the academic ladder to acquire more knowledge on the subject matter.

“Ke tlhokana le go nna le maitemogelo a a tseneletseng gore ke nne mo seemong se se siameng sa go thusa bana ba ba iphitlhelang ba lebagane le diemo tse di tshwenyang,” she says.

Her nuggets of wisdom are that parents should desist from niggling unpleasantries in front of the children, as doing so could have bad effects on the overall upbringing of the children.

Any decorum displayed in front of the children is acceptable, she says. ENDS


Source : BOPA

Author : Mooketsi Mojalemotho

Location : FRANCISTOWN -

Event : Feature

Date : 04 Nov 2022