Batswana where over the moon at Bot50’s 50 Day Countdown towards the golden jubilee event that was held at the University of Botswana (UB) stadium on Thursday.
At the event, the Ministry of Transport and Communication made its mark on the Bot50 festivities by contributing commemorative postal stamps that were unveiled by its minister Tshenolo Mabeo. The stamps were part of the ministry’s contribution to mark 50 years of independence in collaboration with BotswanaPost.
Mabeo stated that his ministry has been collaborating with local designers through a series of training workshops to impart knowledge and up their skills on the size and art of stamp design. “Some of the works that followed training sessions, included the national symbol stamps and buffalos in Botswana stamps, which have gone to receive accolades and good reviews from the Commonwealth,” he said.
Mabeo added that postal design required special skills to convey message clearly and within the confines of a small space. He further expressed his excitement over the inclusion of stamp design in this year’s President’s Day art competition.The stamps were showcasing the country’s progress since gaining its independence in 1966 to date. Mabeo further explained that the stamps chronicled the involvement of the nation, economy and a way of life through themes such as health, education, sport development and gender equality.
“These stamps depict 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 said.
Maneo further pointed out that the previously dominant cattle industry had been replaced by diamond; telegrams were replaced by fax and e-mail messages while on the other hand health and education systems
The minister also highlighted that heavy investment in various developments such as infrastructure has also played a role in the development of the country as it has also attracted various foreign investors. All these were shown in the stamps which he encouraged the nation to buy and keep as souvenirs to remind them of the country’s 50th independence as it only comes once in a lifetime. For his part, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng said the event marked the celebration of a united and proud nation. He said his ministry worked hard to make Bot50 a memorable ocassion.
He said the roving touch covered over 400 villages and settlements. Furthermore, he advised the public to wear national colours everyday from September 1 till the big day. He added that on the same instance, the government’s radio stations will strictly be playing local music only.
“In all our activities we have been consulting different stakeholders such as dikgosi, councillors, development committees and religious leaders,” he said. He further urged the youth to come closer and watch what was currently happening as “we prepare for our 50 year’s anniversary because when it comes to another 50 year’s anniversary, which will be the centenary, they will be able to do it properly.”
He urged the nation to be positive about the future and celebrate the achievements of their country. Furthermore, Olopeng urged the youth to be responsible and not excessively indulge in alcohol.