Mbongwe - Sheer will to win the fight against tobacco use

Dr Mbongwe
Dr Mbongwe

It is not everyday that you meet someone whose commitment to a cause is never unshaken. Often times, people start something, then get derailed along the way and shift focus.

However, that has never been the case for Ramotswa-born Professor Bontle Mbongwe, whose commitment to fight tobacco use is unrivalled. She has lost many of her relatives at a young age due to the use of tobacco. This has become her main drive to champion the campaign against tobacco use and she is in it to win. Mbongwe is living truth to the Setswana saying that ‘Mosadi ke thari ya sechaba’.

As the first woman in Botswana to have training in environmental health, a profession initially dominated by men, her fight against tobacco use comes a long way back since her days as a public health professional in the Ministry of Health and Wellness. She has gone on to set up the Anti Tobacco Network (ATN), and receive awards, including the recent one, in recognition of her sterling role in the fight against tobacco use. She said her first eye opener was back on April 7, 1988 when the first World No Tobacco day was first commemorated. “I still remember the theme and the colour of the T-shirts prints... it was blue, black and white. I took two T-shirts to my mum and Dad in Ramotswa. The T-shirts were themed ‘Tobacco or Health, Choose Health’.

Editor's Comment
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Unfortunately, that day turned sour for those who were shopping at Sefalana Cash and Carry in Gaborone West Industrial.The exchange of fire that ensued between members of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) and robbers who had allegedly robbed a G4S cash-in-transit vehicle left two civilians dead, three robbers struck down, and an undisclosed number of citizens wounded.One deceased civilian is reportedly an employee of the Citizen Entrepreneurial...

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