Speakers at the funeral service of The Voice publisher, Botlhoko Beata Kasale-Kabango, sang her praises, each describing her as one of the country's media moguls.
More than having been a media guru, they also told of a warm, caring, selfless and hardworking woman, who touched many people’s lives in different ways.
The funeral service, held at her farm in Marokolwane, attracted mourners from all walks of life including the media fraternity, representatives from different organisations, as well as friends and well wishers.
Kasale’s remains were ferried from Marokolwane to Mahalapye for cremation after viewing.
A long list of speakers started paying their tributes shortly after her body left the farmyard.
One of the most sincere and touching speeches was from Kasale’s 12-year-old grandson, Kgololesego Junior Kasale. Junior, as he is affectionately called consoled mourners, telling them about his granny’s selflessness, and how she touched the lives of many in her lifetime.
“On her 50th birthday, she donated blankets to the less privileged,” Junior said, giving one of the many examples that defined the kind of person his grandmother was. The young boy also described his granny as a hard-working professional who accomplished a lot.
The young lad’s words were reiterated by government spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay, who spoke as a friend at the funeral, and not in his capacity as a government employee. Ramsay said Kasale was a friend to people from different classes alike.“She had a golden soul. The world feels a little empty without her,” Ramsay said.
He added that Kasale connected with everyone she came in contact with, adding that one of her biggest strengths was her ability to listen to the views of others.
He said he and Kasale debated on a variety of issues throughout their friendship, but whether they agreed or disagreed on certain issues, it was a pleasurable experience.
Mpho Irene Kwape described Kasale as a true visionary who had creative ideas, which she transformed into a successful business, which created jobs for many people.
“Beata employed many people at The Voice as well
Women In News (WIN) coach, Batsho Dambe-Groth, described Kasale as zealous about women’s empowerment. Dambe-Groth was delivering a speech as representative of the WIN Leadership Programme participants.
“Beata was a founding mother of the WIN programme, having been a great advocate and advisor since WIN began eight years ago. With her vast experience and expertise, she was the Africa Strategic leader for WIN at its inception and she was a member of the Steering Committee, which guided the content and implementation of the programme in all the countries.
“Beata was respected and she made life easier for WIN because she could open any doors within the Botswana media industry. I am told by the director, Media Development of WAN-IFRA that she was one of WIN’s most vocal advocates and supporters and she was instrumental in shaping the programme to what it is today,” Dambe-Growth said.
Some of the WIN participants present at the funeral lit candles for Kasale and stood behind Dambe-Groth as she was delivering the speech.
Africa director for the WAN-IFRA WIN project, Tikala Chibwana described Kasale as a hard-working woman, who approached issues in a professional manner. “Kasale was one person who would tell you to your face if she didn’t like something, rather than hearing about it from other people,” he said.
The many hats Kasale wore in her lifetime include, but are not limited to, being a strategist in various spectrums including market research, needs assessments, media development and evaluation with organisations such as International Media Women’s Foundation (IMWF), African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP), Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Press Union, Gender Links, Panos, OSI, OSISA and AMARC.
She received the Presidential Certificate of Honour in 2010, in recognition of her contribution to the development of the country through media and human rights advocacy.