In a world struggling with numerous social ills such as corruption, divorce, alcohol and drug abuse, particularly amongst the youth, drivers of change such as Ashley Thaba are lending a helping hand. She spoke to Mmegi Correspondent, NNASARETHA KGAMANYANE
US-born Ashley Thaba is determined to make a difference in her adopted motherland. Arriving in Botswana in 2000, she worked with government junior and secondary students on Character Development and HIV prevention in the Francistown area.
The experience and her training has helped Thaba become a motivational speaker, life coach, parenting consultant and author addressing real life issues such as depression, corruption and ethics, alcohol and other forms of abuse, fake prophets and others.
Thaba also writes articles, which are circulated in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and eSwatini, with five other states showing interest. She has a YouTube channel called Ashley Thaba, and Mom to Mom: Parenting Consultation page on Facebook.
Thaba has also distributed books and hosted her motivational talks at various local schools where she focuses on motivating young people to become better and more responsible members of the society.
“I address real issues such as character development and morality,” she said. “When you talk about real life issues, a lot of people can relate to that.
“I always refer to what the Bible says about all the issues that I discuss. It’s not me complaining about that.
“I don’t blame people because with the Bible there is always hope. I point out what God says about that topic.
“If you read all my articles, you would realise that I never sugarcoat anything.”
Thaba points out that all her work deals with issues that could develop Botswana and the world at large. Her articles inspire people to speak out, help them have inner peace and live a better life. She grounds all her articles in the solutions found in the Bible, with the hope that readers can also locate the place of hope found in the sacred scriptures.
“Recently, some studies claimed that the majority of Batswana men cheat and this shows that the country
“People need to speak about this and we need better character development, starting from the youth going up.
“This is about individuals and each person playing a part in making Botswana better.
“It’s not about pointing fingers at each other.”
One issue that Thaba has been on the crusade about quite passionately is corruption and the need for ethics to be instilled from a younger age. With more and more young people becoming more accepting or tolerant of corruption, as can be seen in the proliferation of get-rich quick scams, especially on social media, the intensification of ethics training is critical.
“People have a tendency of saying it won’t hurt if I get a little money. “The world is putting people under pressure by telling them to have more money, have more power.
“I am trying to write to people that live a proper life and have inner peace. “Everyone wants power and more money, but they are going about it the wrong way.
“You think this is going to help you but at the end of the day it does not.
“At the end of the day you are going to feel trapped, your mind is not at ease because people are going to blackmail you. If you go deep in the dark it is going to end up killing you.”
In all her interactions, however, Thaba focuses on carrying love and not condemnation.
“I don’t want a situation whereby a person becomes ashamed of their choices therefore compromising their wellbeing. I want them to reflect back at their mistakes and correct them so that they can have inner peace,” she said.
She continued: “Change has to come from an individual”.
The mother of three is using the platforms at her disposal to make a difference in the lives of Batswana.