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BNYC celebrates the Day of the African Child

1-0000000Phillip Makgalemele, Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public AdministrationBotswana National Youth Council(BNYC) today held a commemoration for the Day of the African Child at the BNYC complex in Gaborone.


The celebrations, under the local theme "Conflicts and Crises in Africa: Lessons for Botswana, Lessons from Botswana," included a range of activities from workshops featuring motivational talks to entertainment features including drama, music and dance. To mark the auspicious event, public figures and delegates from various international and non governmental agencies were in attendance, in addition to a vast crowd of students and youth.

Delivering the keynote address ahead of the workshops Kaone Kario, who took the country and the continent by storm when she was declared winner of the Nokia Face of Africa challenge in 2005, urged young people to always remember that their stories are important, relevant, and that they do matter. She encouraged young people to never regard their background and upbringing as the bane of their existence, but rather to embrace their heritage. "You are authentic," she said, emphasizing the importance of embracing their African identity.

To mark the celebrations the day's events were dedicated to the youth and they were given the platform to air their views on matters that affect them. Giving a motivational speech as part of a workshop program, run earlier in the day Berman Keotshepile Berman, a student from Legae Academy, urged youth to recognize the importance and value of knowledge. Drawing inspiration from the Soweto Uprising, he encouraged young people to never let their voices go unheard.

The day's panelists, Ms Tshepo Mosweu and Dr Sethunya Mosime, discussed the Children's Act, providing an understanding for the crowds in attendance. Ms Mosweu, a lawyer, went into detail about the provisions of the Act pertaining to the protection and well being of children, before welcoming questions from the attendees. Dr Mosime, a Sociologist at the University of Botswana, expanded the discussion by drawing attention to culture and social media in reference to the youth and to the Children's Act in particular.

In his official remarks the Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Phillip Makgalemele, expressed his gratitude at being a part of the occasion.

Addressing the crowd, he reflected on the historical significance of June 16, being a commemoration of the 1976 Soweto Uprising. "This day not only elicits painful memories of the past, but it also provides yet another opportunity for reflection as Botswana, as Africa, into how far we have come, what we have achieved, and the legacies we are building for our children," Makgelemele said. He urged young people to take leadership roles seriously as they may determine the leaders they will become tomorrow.

The BNYC Chairperson, Kisto Masi, declared that young people are the most important people for the day and as far as the mandate of Botswana National Youth Council is concerned.

Masi said "It is as much our moral obligation as it is our responsibility, that we repeat the message of bravery, of courage and heroism, that was displayed by the young people of 1976."

Rounding off the celebrations, were performances by Ngwao Letshwao, Vee Mampeezy, and Kast among others which were met with thunderous applause from the crowd. The spectators, who were mostly youth, reveled in the antics and drama provided by the entertainers, delivering well deserved 'kudos of appreciation,' to the performers.

 



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