Janet Hermans

Janet, as many will know, died in California on September 18, September and was buried on the 20th. She had left here earlier in the month in order to be a family stand-in. Had a sudden pain, was whipped into hospital, diagnosed with extensive cancer and within days, was gone. The shock waves reverberated and in no time the brilliantly created We Love Janet website with its sub title, the story of an inspiration, was inundated with comments from around the world.

If there are others who still wish to add a comment, they may find http://www.janet.hermans.net/ to be a revelation. It is a remarkable outpouring of love, admiration, gratitude, and memory recall from those of us who shared some part of her life, her personal interests and concerns, family first, then music of all kinds, books with relevance to this country and the San. Self evidently she touched so many people in so many different ways. But there she was, a newly married, very beautiful wife, ex the Woodrow Wilson High School Washington D.C., ensconced in, of all places, the Imperial Reserve, Mahikeng from where the British were still administering the Protectorate. Then the move to the new Gaborone and the start of new friendships, with not least, the Stephens, Hardies, Hincheys, the Murray-Hudsons, the Landell-Mills, the Egners and the Winstanleys, And dare I suggest, with the new Vice President and later with another.

Then, there was an emerging new interest – the Botswana Society, with its massive symposia, its journal, Botswana Notes and Records, new friendships, with Alec Campbell and the beginning of a long lasting working partnership with Doreen Nteta and her in and out involvement with the Society over such a long period. And my own special appreciation for her support when in 2006/07 the Society was left hanging on by its finger tips, and she stuck with Derek Jones and myself in helping the Society to survive for another day.  And then the establishment of Maitisong  opened another door for her – she participated gleefully in David Slater’s 2006 production of the Mikado.  And, I believe, in several others. Music meant much to her – hence the baby grand piano in her Kgale View home – but her taste was extraordinarily broad ranging from Chopin to Bob Marley and even, and excitingly, to the segaba and setinkane which she learnt to play at a Ramatea music workshop.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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