I wish to start by wishing you well and all God’s blessings upon your life. Needless to say you are such a beautiful woman, and here I am talking about beauty that is deeper than skin deep.
You have been A mantle of beauty and pried for our nation. Ka Setswana o seaparo se se ntle sa mokgabo le ipelafatso sa Batswana. A mantle you are thus you were called Amantle. This you have lived up to by putting Botswana on the world map and demonstrated how to love Botswana wa rona, our pride, your destination is.
It has been a long journey of pain and anxiety for you. I know the world can be cruel. I believe in justice because the God who called me to prophetic ministry has called me to a Ministry of justice for one and justice for all.
This justice is justice for all God’s creation because “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). You are part of God’s creation as I am. The trees, births and all animals and plants belong to God and deserve to be treated with love, justice and dignity.
My heart has been crying out for you. Crying out because while no so long ago we competed to be next to you, to have your contacts, to say you know us; that we competed to take you out for lunch upon your numerous victorious returns to this beloved country so sooner did we infest ourselves with this thing that causes amnesia. How many of us called you in the last few months of anxiety. Well that should not move your concentration from the bull’s eye. You still have a long way to go.
My worry is that a lot of us seem to be hypocrites. I will not be surprised to hear your cry “injustice!” In fact you will be justified to. I have heard and read that “justice delayed is justice denied.” I hear the announcement that you have been banned for two years was announced over Botswana Television. Botswana as a nation not just the Botswana Athletic Association has betrayed you, but forgive us, you are much stronger and wiser not to fold your arms in bitterness. What took so long for the verdict to be made, and it had to be maximum sentence.
We have treated you like you are a hard core drug user or addict without even providing rehabilitation if that is what we thought you were. But lo and behold, I doubt any one thought that of you, but nevertheless we treated you as such, but you are a strong woman. Amantle, believe you me, there are greater things awaiting you to embrace. We are still going to love you, to respect you, to pride in you. Remember we from temporary amnesia, in no time we will pretend we never treated you with contempt, do not stoop low when that time comes, you are much more than that.
The Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. avers, “The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Those victorious moments on the track before millions of people, the standing ovations you received, the cocktails and lunch invitations you got at the moment of glory are not as valuable as the experience you had from the moment the same world was told you failed a doping test.
The true moments of your definition are those when you arrived and there was no completion over who takes you for dinner or lunch, when you cut a lonely figure and people started talking in hushed tones.
These defined the ultimate measure of Amantle. The ultimate measure of who Amantle is played itself out during times when you were treated like biblical lepers, shunned by those who “loved” you.
You are a strong woman. Remember this year 2015 we commemorated 20 years since Beijing, yet we continued to treat our women with disrespect as we did to you. But remember, “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm” (Publilius Syrus), but you are just not anyone.
You had to go through the fire and you were not found to be wanting, that is the ultimate measure of a woman you are. As the billows and tempests rolled you were never distracted, shaken, yes but not shattered. They could only help strengthen you for bigger things, for bigger victories, for more mesmerising celebrations!
As you forge ahead, as you press on to bigger victories remember that “anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength” (Charles Spurgeon).
There is very little if anything we can do about yesterdays, they are gone, be not anxious about tomorrow, you need today’s strength to conquer your tomorrow, anxieties will only weaken your much needed strength and be fodder for tomorrow’s sorrows.
Lastly my dear lady, “what we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God” (Eleanor Powell). It is about working on what we should become that is our gift to our God. Be strong and give God a good gift by becoming a better strong woman who refuses to be brought down by challenges that are meant to strengthen you. You are our golden girl and gold must go through fire in order to purify it.
Finally, my apology for treating you this bad as Botswana, but rest assured, we will rise up behind you as we move to dizzy heights. To God be the glory.