Dumelang, my name is Ellen Onneile Mogotsi. I’m a 31-year old Motswana and here’s my profile.
“Onneile” basically means, “I was given/God has given”. The name, as my mother told me, was inspired by her faith. I have many pet names some of which are hideous so I will not be sharing them; although growing up my grandmother gave me the pet name “Ndo” – I don’t have a clue what it means, but I believe it was given out of love.
I am a Clinical Psychologist and a Human Resources Consultant by profession. I currently work at DDT College of Medicine as a Human Resource Officer. Although challenging in so many ways, I love my job as it involves working with people, which I have to say is such a joy. The bulk of my work involves navigating personalities and characters as well as aligning talent with the right job/duties/description within the organisation. I suppose if you are in HR or any profession that deals directly with people on a day-to-day basis, you would understand my sentiments better.
I would describe myself as a free-spirited individual, who enjoys a good time with good company. I have a strong personality and I definitely love to dominate (in the best way possible of course), especially professionally. I would also describe myself as a highly opinionated person who believes all’s fair in love and war. All in all, I’m a ball of fun and then some. I think other people might describe me as a stubborn go-getter, a loving individual that’s sometimes too blunt! I can’t say anyone has ever been described me in a negative way, at least not to my face! Hahaha.
Hobbies? Oh yes, I have a few active hobbies. LOL! I enjoy reading a whole lot and occasionally I write as well. Every now and then I offer counselling on a part-time basis, or when there’s the need at different organisations I’m affiliated with.
In a year from now, speaking from a professional perspective, I hope to have done a Master’s Degree in Public Health and moving towards studying for a PhD. Speaking from a personal point-of-view, I hope to have completed a project I am currently working on, which is not so much a secret but is better kept under wraps for now.
My home village is called Ramotswa, which is very close to Gaborone. I currently live in Tlokweng, which is just outside of Gaborone.
Ramotswa is an exciting little village that is home to the Nguni Tribe of the Balete ethnic group, which is led by a female Chief (Kgosi Mosadi Seboko) whom I have met on a number of occasions. Ramotswa is a peaceful and earthy village. Although Ramotswa is my home village, I actually grew up in South Africa (primarily Johannesburg), but I spent a lot of time in the village when I visited Botswana. I always came back from Ramotswa rejuvenated and refreshed; the people there are warm and welcoming and have a different way of doing things. This might be due to the fact that it neighbours the South African North West province villages, such as Lehurutshe, Mafikeng and Zeerust.
Ramotswa is also a very cultural/traditional village; to this day they still host the Bojale (females) and Bogwera (men) initiation traditions. It’s essentially a right of passage tradition, where boys and girls go up in the hills and take part in a ceremony through which they cross over from adolescence to adulthood. I wish I had a better understanding of these traditions, so I could offer a more personal insight. All I know, from a personal perspective, is that my uncle went for Bojale in March/April this year and literally took a month’s leave off work for the event. That’s how serious the tradition is!
Tlokweng is a decent place to live, since relocating from South Africa; I have found solitude in Tlokweng. It’s not as busy as Gaborone and people live their own lives without bothering anyone, except of course during the weekend when everyone is out to play. In comparison to Ramotswa, Tlokweng is more developed especially being a few minutes away from one of Gaborone’s largest malls, Riverwalk, where you have access to banks, hair salons, cinema and good eateries.
I can’t really comment on what it was like growing up in Botswana as I grew up in South Africa. However, I can touch on my experiences when I visited Botswana as a child and also my experience since I relocated from South Africa. Botswana is a peaceful country and my siblings and I would visit during the school holidays. I always felt I was going to a place where I could be one with my thoughts, tap into the calmest areas of my mind and find inspiration. Basically, I regrouped in Botswana before heading back to the fast paced, hungry, aggressive city that is Johannesburg. Visiting Botswana was always such a joy, catching up with my parents and having my favourite traditional meal “Dikgobe” (samp and beans) – yum!
Has anyone inspired me? I draw inspiration from so many different people and places, but I will have to say my father has been the most inspirational person in my life with his humility, tenacity and zest for life. My dad is the friendliest person you could ever come across and I honestly think he doesn’t have the word “no” in his vocabulary. Through his trials and successes, I have learnt how to manoeuvre my way around this sometimes hot and very cold world.
Is there anything about me people might be surprised to know? People might be surprised to know that I am an extremely shy person. I don’t know why this surprises people but yes, it is true, I’m shy.
My greatest achievement is being a mother to my gorgeous dimple faced daughter, Zoe (pictured below). She is such a joy! Professionally, I would say my greatest achievement is receiving the well-regarded Chancellor’s award in my current role at DDT College of Medicine. It makes me very happy and proud to see I have had a positive impact on people’s lives!
I am a proud Motswana because we’re an accommodating nation, full of love and peace. All the amazing cultures that come out of this beautiful country make it a fountain of tolerance and make Botswana home. The peace in this country is one thing that makes Botswana stand out. Where peace abounds many wonderful and glorious things manifest!
If I could change anything about Botswana, it would be to move away from the clutches of other countries and become more independent. Botswana is a diamond hub and possesses many attributes that attract many tourists, investors, families and friends; it needs to stand tall and own the crown.
I have visited many places in Botswana – Kasane, Ghantsi (beautiful wildlife and tourist areas), Francistown, Palapye, Mahalapye, Serowe (His Excellency’s hometown), Selebi Phikwe, Shakawe, Mochudi, Kanye and other surrounding areas. I haven’t visited Maun but hopefully will very soon, as I have been told many interesting tales about its beauty and attractions. Beyond Botswana, I would love to visit Italy and sample authentic Italian food, as well as sightseeing and “go itlhatswa matlho” (feasting the eyes, LOL!). Mauritius would also be a lovely place to visit for some water therapy and a breath of fresh air.
Botswana turned 50 last year and the celebrations were great, rightly so. Going forward, I wish to see more awareness given to Mental Health issues, as we are lagging behind in terms of understanding mental health and where/when those who suffer need to seek help.
I discovered YourBotswana initially through Facebook. Through discussions with the founders, it was explained what the website goals are and what it aims to achieve. In all honesty, my first impression of the website was WOW! I was blown away! It’s so well put together and has impeccable graphics; it’s informative and thought provoking. I’m hooked; I have a good feeling about this project.
I’ve enjoyed all the posts; they explain the country’s culture, relay local news and entertainment segments. They are always well written and very catchy! It’s obvious a lot of work and research goes into the content! I was motivated to become a Friend of YB because one of the founder’s exceptional writing skills is inspiring.
I would love to see a poetry section introduced on the website; maybe invite both aspiring and renowned poets to post samples of their work, whether it relates to Botswana or anything really. I am of course biased because poetry is sort of my shot of tequila LOL!! The guys are doing such a great job at YB, keep it up and thank you for having me as a friend! Kea e rata (I love it).
Thanks for reading my profile.