I WAS ROBBED THIS WEEK! If you have been reading these columns or following me on Facebook, then you know my husband and I embarked on a faith journey last year to create a television show that would hopefully strengthen families across the nation.
We went around the country looking for a sponsor but no one would sponsor although everyone agreed the show was immensely needed, as it is no secret the family units are deteriorating which causes negative effects on every sector of society – from education, to crime, to divorces, to GBV, to corruption, etc. When strong families are absent, strong people are absent.
My husband and I felt God saying, “Do this anyway. Trust me to provide the finances needed to produce a show.” Three months ago, we began the arduous task of producing a top quality television show. This was harder than I could have ever imagined for one main reason – getting 40 audience members to agree to come on the show each Saturday we filmed. The concept of the show is that each audience should be unique and able to ask my husband and I whatever questions they want about our marriage. I would spend countless hours inviting hundreds because so many wouldn’t keep their promises when they said they would come, so to get 40, I would have to invite maybe 200. I did this for 13 different episodes. Two specific episodes were absolutely amazing! The effects of substance abuse on marriage and the effects of in-laws in marriage. For substance abuse, my father in-law – an amazing Kalanga man whom I deeply respect agreed to go on national tv and do the unthinkable for this culture. He agreed to share about his 42-year battle with alcohol and how it wrecked his life in so many ways – from age 18 until age 60 he tried to break free from the prison of alcohol but the pull was too hard. At age 60, he finally broke down before God and asked God to make him a new man. For the past three years, he hasn’t taken a sip and he credits that all to God’s working power. In that episode where he shared his touching testimony of exactly what was affected in his life, people in the audience began to get real. They had never heard of an older man sharing his story so openly.
Young people began to ask him – but sir, I am currently trying to quit cocaine… the pull is too strong! I don’t know how to do it! And my father in law wisely with the Spirit of God advised them based on his story. NOT theory – REAL LIFE! Then others in the audience began to speak out – others were struggling and shared their stories. Some had gotten free – marijuana, crack, alcohol – turns out many people have had times in their lives where they have struggled. It was amazing – people were counselling each other, sharing their stories, feeling inspired and encouraged – REAL change! The commanding officer of narcotics had been invited to the episode. He marvelled saying he had never seen something so powerful and now he was so excited that the show would be on national television to help anyone struggling to overcome substance abuse. Then, that afternoon, Percy’s parents stayed for a second episode on in laws. It was a gruelling day for them doing two episodes in one day, but they had travelled from Tutume and needed to get back home. Their only purpose for the 12-hour round trip drive was to do this show.
We thought it would be better to talk about in laws with our in laws actually sitting beside us. The show was amazing! Again, my parents outdid themselves. When Percy and I started dating 19 years ago, his parents were so upset! They were not going to see their oldest son marrying a white lady! What if he moved to America and never came back? What if he raised their grandchildren in a way that wasn’t the Kalanga culture? What about the fact I didn’t even speak Kalanga? NO! They were not going to have this! So they shared OPENLY how hard it was on them, the tears cried, the pain felt, the fear of the unknown future and begged their son to marry a black African girl.
As they shared their story, audience members asked questions like “even me, my in-laws don’t like me… how can we get to the stage you are now where you love each other?” Others asked, “My husband is from the north and I am from the south and we have problems with in-laws because we do things differently! How did y’all manage coming from two different continents? The audience questions were heart felt and excellent to draw out a conversation that would help any in-laws that were struggling to have healthy happy relationships.
These are just two of the shows I am giving as an example. The thief entered the home and stole the hard drive that had the footage of these shows. They are gone forever unless an act of God happens. Without that raw footage, it is as if these episodes never happened. All our hard work and our personal money spent – gone! Those shows and more were meant to encourage the nation! We are paying for this out of our pocket as we are passionate to help – we are raising support from America – not here. I write this newspaper article each week for FREE! All I have tried to do is help Batswana in any way I can.
I have dedicated my life to this mission. And now some thief comes and steals a P1,000 hard drive that he might sell for P100, but the footage he stole is priceless and of value to the nation! IT is irreplaceable. If you are reading this and you see any 3 Tb hard drive being sold – I beg you – no questions asked, take it back to G-West Police Station. I am praying for a miracle because I believe this show is not for me but for us as a country. Spread the word to anyone you know. We need a miracle.
Contact: [email protected] or Facebook page: Talking with the Thabas
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Dive In and Conquering the Giants. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.