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Bakoko turns new leaf in career

16 Feb 2023

Thirty two years of service, characterised by absolute dedication to work, firm diligence in the discharge of duties and willingness to go an extra mile, will go down as defining tenets in the book that is Mr Moses Bakoko’s life.

On December 31 last year, then aged 54, the Paje native officially handed back the vehicle logbook and keys that had for many years been the basis of his job as a driver at the Department of Information Services, and set out on a new and completely different path of life.

Optimistic as would be expected, Mr Bakoko without doubt relished the opportunity to serve as kgosi of Paje under the Department of Tribal Administration.

His appointment as kgosi, while opening up new horizons for him, drew the curtain on a job that will remain dear to his heart beyond his stay with the Department of Information Services, a job that he became synonymous with from the tender age of 22.

During his 32 years with his previous employer, Mr Bakoko never limited himself to just staying behind the wheel, but instead spread his wings and took up other roles, at times performing up to three roles to get the work done.

Occasions without number, armed with his vehicle and public address (PA) system, he would start off by publicising events, most often kgotla meetings and the next morning he would drive to the venue, set up and operate his PA system while simultaneously taking notes to later compile news stories.

Driven by a burning desire to see a well-put-together product at the end of his working day, Mr Bakoko became a household name in Radio Botswana’s Tatediso ya Dikgang programme while his byline also featured repeatedly in the DailyNews.

All these, he did with great precision despite his lack of training in journalism and earned him commendation from all that he encountered in the course of his work.

“I joined the department on September 25, 1990. Three months later in December while Mr Mojaboswa Jabeng (the messenger/reporter) was away on leave, the bureau chief, Mr David Matshidiso directed me to cover some kgotla meetings and this was where everything started,” he explains.

Upon his return in February of the following year, Mr Jabeng put fuel on the embers of a fire that had begun burning in his absence, taking Mr Bakoko through the ropes in reporting for radio and the rest, as is often said, became history.

Mr Bakoko reckons that his stay in the employ of the Department of Information Services was indeed a colourful experience that had, as would ordinarily be, its own highs and lows. Of the highs, he cites a healthier work ethic where public officers made work a priority.

“Re ne re sa lekanye tiro le madi le fa dikgwetlho di ne di le kalo. O tlaa gakologelwa gore nako eo le maranyane a a kanakana a a ditlhaeletsanyo a ne a seyo; e ne e le tlwaelo gore e re bosigo o robetse lepodisi le bo le tla go go tsosa le tla ka molaetsa wa gore kamoso go tsoga go phakelelwa golo gongwe mme ka boammaaruri tiro e tsoge e dirwa ka botswerere ke botlhe ba ba amegang,” he says, reminiscing of how back in the day employees soldiered on with work despite widespread challenges.

A plus specific to the department that also made Mr Bakoko’ stay with his former employer pleasurable was the availability of several in-house training opportunities for employees of different levels over the course of years.

“In addition to many that I benefited from, in 2003 I had the opportunity to undergo a year-long audio installation systems course at Madirelo Training and Testing Centre, where I got to acquire in-depth knowledge on how to operate the PA system. I’m also happy that in 2018 I was given the opportunity to be trained to operate the more contemporary PA system that is used for the president” he says.

While he looks back with great pride, the now Kgosi Bakoko yearned for a public service whose loyalty to the country is unquestionable.

“Se lekanyeng tiro le madi; nnang boineelo le lorato mo lefatsheng la lona le mo go ba le ba direlang. Tlotlang mowa wa tirisanyo-mmogo,” he says.

To Ms Masego Serameng, Kgosi Bakoko has indeed been cut from a special type of cloth, with a laid-back personality, an ever optimistic outlook of life and a drive so strong that he will always do his utmost to get work done.

Ms Serameng, who was the administration officer when Mr Bakoko was stationed in Letlhakane, was awestruck by the endless commendations from the various stakeholders that the office’s news reporting team that comprised Mr Bakoko, Mr Jabeng and the late Ms Cynthia Mabona constantly drew.

“Our team of reporters was a force to reckon with. It was through the team’s unrelenting dedication that the Orapa/Letlhakane mine bought the office its first ever computer in 2003 after officials from the mine had visited the office and found our reporters using a typewriter,” she noted.

Mr Bakoko’s honesty even in situations where he could potentially get into trouble stood out for his then colleague, who recalled a 2004 incident in Mokubilo where while packing up his PA equipment after a day’s work while his vehicle was idling, a mentally-disturbed man jumped in and reversed the vehicle, crashing into another that was parked a short distance away.

“The next morning while I was at pains to complete the CTO (Central Transport Organisation) forms and make my recommendation as his supervisor as to whether I deemed him to have been careless or not, he walked into my office and admitted that he was wrong to have left his engine running while the vehicle was unattended,” she says.

Beyond work, Ms Serameng and Mr Bakoko’s relationship evolved into family and to date the duo continues to participate in each other’s family events, a tradition that they started two decades back.

Kgosi Keletshwaretse Phetsogang of Mmatshumo who had an opportunity to work with Mr Bakoko in different capacities is convinced that given his caliber the latter will fare quite well in his new role as kgosi.

He believes background and experience in the media will count in Mr Bakoko’s favour.

“As a person from the media, he will be in a position to research; he will read the Penal Code so as to be able to preside over cases well. I know some people think dikgosi do not read, but we do,” he adds.

Kgosi Phetsogang has made it his personal assignment to support Kgosi Bakoko and ensure that his tenure is successful.

Former councilor in Letlhakane, Mr Johnson Kelaotswe has no doubt that Kgosi Bakoko will not only handle bogosi well but will also have a spot in each of his people’s hearts.

“Ke dumela gore tiro e o tlaa e tshwara ka manontlhotlho. Ke dumela gore batho ba gagwe ba tlaa mo rata tota,” he remarks.

Mr Bakoko, who spent most years of his service in Letlhakane, leaves the Department of Information Services at a time when he had been stationed in Serowe for 11 years. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Keonee Kealeboga

Location : SEROWE


Date : 16 Feb 2023