Batswana were on cloud nine yesterday when countdown to golden jubilee celebrations reached the 50-day mark.
One of the 50-day countdown activities was in Gaborone where the Minster of Youth, Sport and Culture, Mr Thapelo Olopeng expressed gratitude that Botswana would celebrate its 50 years anniversary as a peaceful and united nation.
As part of the buildup activities for the 50 years anniversary main celebration, Mr Olopeng said his ministry conducted consultations countrywide with local authorities, urban development committees and religious organisations.
For that reason, he urged youth to “come closer and watch what is happening right now as we prepare for our 50 years anniversary, because when it comes to another 50 years anniversary, which would be the sedentary, they would be able to do it properly. I also urge Batswana to be positive about the future and celebrate the achievements of their country.”
On September 30, 2015, President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Kham lit a roving torch that was taken around the country.
The torch, Mr Olopeng said, had already covered 420 villages and settlements. It was expected to be in Gaborone on September 25.
Radio Botswana had also been broadcasting live from different villages with a plan to reach over 20 villages before September 30.
Furthermore, he said a decision was made that from September 1, media would play 100 per cent local music every day in order to encourage and show support to local artists.
“It has also been decided that from September 1, we will no longer have what we call BOT50 Fridays, but we are now going to have BOT50 days, because we are all going to wear our Botswana colours every day until September 30,” he added.
Still at the same event yesterday, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Tshenolo Mabeo, unveiled 50 years anniversary commemorative postal stamps.
Minister Mabeo said the stamps were part of his ministry’s contribution to mark Botswana’s 50 years of independence in collaboration with BotswanaPost.
“I stand proud to say since August 2014, this is our sixth term issue in collaboration with our young designers through a series of training workshops to impart knowledge and up skill designers on the size and art of stamps design,” he added.
Some of the works that followed training sessions, he said, included the national symbols stamps and buffalos in Botswana stamps, “which have gone to receive accolades and good reviews from the Commonwealth.”
Postal stamp design, Mr Mabeo said, required special skills to convey message clearly and within the confines of a small space.
“And we are happy this year, for the first time, stamps design was included in the President’s Day art competition,” he said.
The launch, Mr Mabeo said, marked a great occasion in the country’s history “that we have condensed in these set of stamps- chronicling the involvement of our nation, economy and way of life through themes, such as health, education, sport development, water, infrastructure (roads and buildings), rural development and gender equity”.
“These set of stamps depicts Botswana, then and now, under these broad themes. The stamps also recognise that 50 years on, the country has been transformed. It continues to be stable and is now realising new forms of creativity, intellectual and artistic expression,” he added.
Today, Minister Mabeo said, the previously dominant cattle industry had been replaced by diamond, telegrams were replaced by fax and e-mail messages, the health and education systems had been upgraded beyond imagination and tribal and ethnic loyalties had been largely replaced by national loyalties.
Furthermore, he said heavy investment in the development of different forms of modern infrastructure had also pulled the country together and made it a cohesive home.
Today, he said buildings in Botswana were constructed in whole locally sourced and imported materials.