Mmatshumu residents benefit from ‘Race for Rhinos’

All sorts of aircraft dominated Mmatshumu and Lekhubu skies
All sorts of aircraft dominated Mmatshumu and Lekhubu skies

LEKHUBU: The competition dubbed ‘Race for Rhinos’, which was held at Lekhubu Island near Mmatshumu, has benefited the residents, the village councillor has said.

Mmatshumu councillor, Goabaone Bolesitswe told Mmegi that over 80 people from his village benefited from the thrilling event.

He said that the event came to their settlement at a good time when they most needed it. The settlement is 40km outside Mmatshumu.

“We have been struggling to get bookings to this site, but today we are glad for the event because the event even benefitted many of our unemployed youth. Over 80 people from Mmatshumu had been temporarily hired here for security and litter picking,” said Bolesitswe.

He said Lekhubu Island is their historical site which they wish to benefit from. The councillor also described ‘Race for Rhinos’ as one of the activities, which can broaden exposure of Lekhubu Island.

He said because of the event, they expect to get more bookings in future which help in generating more income for other projects.

He noted that the Island was being taken care of by a community trust called Gaing-O, which he said, is running eco-tourism. He added that the trust should at the end of the day, be one of the beneficiaries of the event, as the public was charged a fee to view the proceedings of the day.

“Money raised from gate takings shall be given to the trust and we hope that even from other proceeds of the whole event, Gaing-O will be given something. We wish to have such an event annually as it attracted a lot of people from the surrounding areas. The turn-up shows that if the event can be hosted, the number of people coming shall increase,” he said.

Bolesitswe encouraged residents to continue  supporting activities like ‘Race for Rhinos’.

“Let’s learn to own such activities and become good hosts. We should not tarnish the image of the village when we have visitors so that they can come back again,” he said.

The acting manager for Gaing-O, Babatshanyi Mathapa, also called on Batswana to visit the Island. She said people should come and see what is being conserved in the Island. Lekhubu Island has a cave called Badimo Cave which is said to be used for prayers, traditional occasions and other activities.

Mathapa said the people of Mmatshumu formed the trust in 1945 with the intention to conserve the area and create jobs for the residents. But she said the Island is owned by the National Museum and Art Gallery.  She said currently 10 people had secured jobs on the island in the roles of guides, cleaners, guards and a driver.

There were many activities taking place during the day such as quad bike rides, airplane race, sky-diving and parachuting.

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