Realeboga Mashadi

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Dumelang, my name is Realeboga Mashadi. I’m a 21-year old Motswana and here’s my profile.

My name, Realeboga means we are thankful. My name was inspired by my mother’s, which is Kelebogile, the meaning of which is I am thankful.I actually have two pet names (or nicknames) – Rea, short for Realeboga. The other one is Shosho, which is fairly common in Botswana but doesn’t actually have a meaning. It’s just an affectionate name that parents often call their kids.

Currently, I am a Marketing intern at CENE Media, having recently finished school. I was at Botswana Accountancy College, where I studied Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership. I don’t feel there’s that much of a difference between personal and professional me. Apart from having basic emotional boundaries at work, I see myself as someone who’s bubbly, always fascinated by new things. I am always looking for answers and ways to improve as a person.

rea-mashadi4I think people think of me as someone who’s loud, confident and incredibly full of energy. I know for a fact that some of my colleagues at CENE Media think I’m hyperactive haha. The Customer Service line manager always tells me I’m too full of beans, especially first thing in the morning when I come bounding in and greeting everyone before heading off to my office hahaha. “Little ball of energy’ she calls me LOL. The one thing people always seem surprised to know about me is that I’m ambidextrous.

Hobbies? Hmm…  I’m at the stage in my life where I no longer believe in calling things hobbies, I’d much rather say I have a lifestyle. I am a poet, an artist, a sports fanatic in the sense that I play multiple sports and I partake in personal training.

In a year from now – my hopes are left to be vague. This is because at this stage of my life, I have set everything out for myself based on my hope for growth, whether it is mental, emotional or physical. I hope to see myself having made great strides in every aspect of my life. I hope to embark on a spiritual journey of growth.

My Background…

I come from Moshupa, a large village in the Southern District of Botswana with a population of just over 20,000. Just 56km west of the capital city Gaborone,my village has a combination of both modern and rural life. With its hills that dot the landscape, Moshupa really paints a sight to behold!  Like a picture out of any fairy tale, birds, rock rabbits and other rare multi-coloured reptiles are a common sight up the hill behind the village Kgotla and elsewhere in the village. It truly is picturesque! The village has its rich history too.

Moshupa is also President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s home village.

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There’s a lot I would love to say about the lush, green landscape, the modern touch that it has embraced while it maintains its focus on our culture. But I have to save that for my next poetry piece hahaha.

I live in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. I believe that there’s always a difference between living in a village and in a city. For one; Gaborone is filled with a lot of many different cultures. It has become the one place where people meet. Gaborone feels like the x that everyone tries to find; the America of Botswana, the land of growth and hope. Although I am not saying Moshupa doesn’t bring hope or growth, there are just much more vibrant energies in Gaborone, in my opinion.

Growing up in Botswana has been different, partly because I am also from South Africa. Growing up in Botswana has shown me how small the world really is and how much we need to appreciate and show gratitude for every single thing we have. I have learnt to look beyond what is on the surface, to sometimes stop and admire the environment in Botswana, to take a breath and create my dreams.

The gorgeous scenery and landscape that Botswana is blessed with gives me a lot of inspiration for my art, for my poetry. It’s all very beautiful and to a large extent, very raw in its wilderness, open and expansive spaces; simply breath-taking. Living in Botswana has shown me that people can come together and work towards achieving a common goal. I believe growing up in Botswana is a unique experience unlike any other.

rea-mashadi1The person I draw inspiration from is an obvious choice, my mother, because not only is she a part of me but she has always been there for me. For me, she represents growth, exhaustion, hard work, optimism and happiness. She has strived to be where she is and I respect that more than anything in the world. She did not give in to the world; she went for her truth and is content.

My greatest achievement so far for me personally, each and every stage that I pass through my life is an achievement. As a poet, my belief is that there is no greater achievement until you find yourself at the point where you are ready for death. Not because you have given up but because you know that you lived your life happy.

About Botswana…

What makes me proud to be Motswana the most is my pride. The way it’s been cultivated in me to love my country, be proud to be Motswana, to be proud of my culture and love and respect all people of Botswana regardless of social standing, race, religion or age and the way I am willing to stand strong and support my country if need be. My pride stands for Botswana.

I believe what makes Botswana such a wonderful country is Botswana’s interaction with its people. Our culture teaches us to communicate, to be kind and to be grateful. Those, in my opinion, are the reasons why we will grow and dominate.

Is there anything I would change about Botswana? I believe in not wishing for change, I would not change our country because I know that we are destined for growth, for development. That feels more permanent than change, it feels more hopeful than change. 

In terms of travelling around Botswana; in all honesty, I could do with travelling around Botswana and seeing what’s out there! Most of my travelling was done with my parents when I was small. Naturally, I don’t have much of a recollection of those places now. But the main thing I thoroughly remember enjoying was all the knowledge I collected from that.

I would love to explore my city of Gaborone fully so as I can write about it. Once I’ve seen all there is to see in Gaborone, I’d be looking to go ahead and see the rest of Botswana. I don’t have any specific area in mind because I want to see all of Botswana’s beautiful and various landscapes, from the delta to the Chobe and the Tuli area.

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Outside of Botswana, I’d like to see the world because I’d relish the opportunity of writing about every single one of the countries! I’d want to start with South Africa because I feel like there’s another part of me that I would like to know and understand more.

Speaking of food, as far as traditional Botswana food goes; I love it all. I mean, I love food and will eat just about anything. Botswana food is very simple yet so delicious. It’s interesting because we don’t use a lot of spices and actually, our traditional food is very middle of the road but I love it. While I don’t have a favourite meal so to speak, my go to meal is rice (not very traditional but a firm favourite in Botswana) served with a variety of salad and chicken. This may sound a bit OTT to some, but it is a very common meal in Botswana.

With Botswana celebrating 52 years of independence today; going forward, my one hope for my country is growth. When we grow, we evolve into the better version of what we are. I feel like Botswana has a lot of room for growth and right now, I believe it’s actually possible. I don’t know but I honestly feel as if we are on the cusp of something big and that’s exactly what I want for Botswana.

YourBotswana…

I discovered YourBotswana through one of the founders, who spoke very passionately about the reasons she and her husband initially set it up. I was blown away by the fact that they both work tirelessly to put Botswana out there through YourBotswana out of their own pockets with zero funding. They have full-time jobs and do this around their jobs, yet do a fantastic job of it!

My first impression of YourBotswana is that it’s very eye-catching as well as being well written.  Straight away, I was drawn in to find out more and being in Marketing, I love the clean lines of the website. I think it’s a fantastic marketing tool and representation of Botswana and to see ordinary people doing this out of their love for Botswana is truly humbling.

The articles I enjoy reading the most are the ones that are animal related, especially the post about rhino poaching. The main reason I was drawn to the post was because I want to write about animal safety, about the pain that animals feel and how destructive people are becoming because of poaching. This gave me further insight into an area I’m keen to write about.

I was motivated to submit my Friend of YourBotswana profile because of the passion with which the owner spoke about Botswana and its people. I wanted to be a proud Motswana eager to share our story with the world. I also read some of the other profiles they ran before mine and was inspired to also share something of myself as a proud citizen.

YourBotswana to me is fabulous as it is. I can’t think of anything else they could do with changing or adding. I like it exactly as it is. I would just urge the owners to carry on doing the fantastic job they’re already doing.

Thanks for reading my profile.

3 weeks ago

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