The changed face of Mantshwabisi

Mantshwabisi was moved to Botswana in 1992 for a better terrain PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Mantshwabisi was moved to Botswana in 1992 for a better terrain PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

An iconic sporting event that brought about all the swerves, the dust and the adrenaline, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race (TDR) affectionately known as Mantshwabisi, was not always this controversial, it is the people that made it so, writes Mmegi Staffer MOMPATI TLHANKANE

Forget about Generation Z, most millennials and those who came before would remember images of off road vehicles charging through the Kweneng district conquering rough, unforgiving terrain, the gruelling track in former host villages like Hatsalatladi, Metsimotlhabe, Kumakwane and Mantshwabisi. The race started in 1981 in South Africa as a marathon event in the then Donaldson cross-country championship, now South Africa Cross-country Championship Series (SACCS).

The event was moved to Botswana in 1992 for a better terrain. Before all Jwaneng and the brief stint in Selebi-Phikwe, the desert race used to start and finish right here in Gaborone at Game City. The race has the potential to inflict serious harm to the environment if it is run in one place for a long time. Therefore, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requires the race area to be changed every five years, which necessitates the need to look for alternative areas. The relocation of the host venue also provides continued interest in the event and new challenging terrain for competitors, which is in line with building a sustainable future for the race, attracting new entrants and retaining the loyal competitors.

Editor's Comment
Women unite for progress

It underscores the indispensable role women play in our society, particularly in building strong households and nurturing families. The recognition of women as the bedrock of our communities is not just a sentiment; it's a call to action for all women to stand together and support each other in their endeavours.The society's aim to instil essential principles and knowledge for national development is crucial. By providing a platform for...

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