Last Updated
Friday 28 August 2015, 18:00 pm.
Our heritage

There was an unusual recent full page advert in Mmegi placed by Universal Builders Botswana inviting those with imagination, talent and a sense of creativity to submit their ideas for the design and construction of a national landmark - something to rival the Eiffel Tower in France, Tower Bridge in London, the Pyramids in Eqypt, the Sidney Opera House, the Taj Mahal in India and so on.
By Staff Writer Mon 31 Aug 2015, 19:43 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Our heritage








The idea does seem to replicate so many other initiatives that have popped up in recent years - which appear to represent a need for this very new country to catch up or even match those which are so much older. The idea is, of course, a touch bizarre. Features, landmarks, if you wish, cannot be created according to a perceived need to compete with the most remarkable that the world possesses.

Here, we cannot build a pyramid, even a small one - why would we wish to do so?  The problem is that whilst many of the world's great historical buildings were designed and constructed with the deliberate intention that they should be recognised as great buildings, be remarkable, admired and best of all, loved -  they were also designed to be used, to be functional.  Many were built to meet a religious need, for commerce, or transport or today, recreation.

The many remarkable buildings that have been constructed in recent years in the oil rich kingdoms of the Middle East, or in Malaysia, were not the result of an advertised competition for a new national symbol. They were the result of hardnosed commercial decisions taken within economies which had the cash

to involve the most reputable of the world's architects.  Their designs were expected to be audacious, awe-inspiring and unbelievable.

And thus rival anything the poor old Egyptians ever managed or even dear old Eiffel.  If we really do have pretensions that this country belongs in such a league, the dismal, depressing experience with the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport terminal building in Gaborone should have brought us shudderingly down to earth.We now know that this building was indeed designed to reflect absurd and wildly impractical notions of worldly status.

But like Icarus, we crashed. Yet here we are again, searching the locker for that elusive something, a new slogan, a logo, a brand, a vision which will somehow encapsulate everything that this country was, is and hopes to be. We have run through this bag of expensive tricks and found, unsurprisingly, that only few of them have really worked.

So, learning nothing, we still seek to try out more. For me there are so many major needs to be met and problems to be overcome. I would prefer to get those basic needs sorted out - for clean water, proper sanitation, decent food and shelter - rather than distracting ourselves with fantasies.



Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Monday, 31 Aug 2015
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   10.3413
1 GBP = Pula   15.9490
1 EUR = Pula   11.6144
1 YEN = Pula   0.0853
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7752
1 Pula = USD   0.0967
1 Pula = GBP   0.0627
1 Pula = EUR   0.0861
1 Pula = YEN   11.72
1 Pula = ZAR   1.29
Stock Exchange
STOCK EXCHANGE: Friday, 28 Aug 2015
DOMESTIC STOCKS
BARCLAYS
440
BIHL
1438
CHOBE
623
CHOPPIES
520
CRESTA
100
ENGEN
817
FNBB
387
FSG
269
FURNMART
135
G4S
360
LETLOLE
223
LETSHEGO
315
NAP
242
OLYMPIA
20
PRIMETIME
288
RDCP
230
SECHABA
2850
SEFALANA
1272
STANCHART
1269
TURNSTAR
282
WIL
480
IMARA
274
have a story? Send us a Tip
  • Previous
    Schucks! Pay Back The Money!
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 28 Aug - Thursday 03 Sep :::
    Schucks! Pay Back The Money!
    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    Paper Towns
    Fantastic Four
    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
  • Previous
    Schucks! Pay Back The Money!
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 28 Aug - Thursday 03 Sep :::
    Schucks! Pay Back The Money!
    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    Fantastic Four
    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
  • Previous
    Paper Towns
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 28 Aug - Thursday 03 Sep :::
    Paper Towns
    Schucks! Pay Back The Money!
    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    Fantastic Four
    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
    Minions
Selefu
All the president