Kgosi Setlhodi – Visionary Leader

| May 26, 2015

Many describe him as a remarkable leader who has the interests of his subjects in his heart. First, he is eager to restore and maintain dignity amongst his people.

He has made significant strides within his community since he was installed kgosi to lead Chanoga village in Ngamiland district in 2012.

He is young, vibrant, brave, and an inspiring traditional leader who believes in teamwork and perfection. Born and raised in Chanoga some 33 years ago, Kgosi Oateng Setlhodi was not born a leader but he has all the qualities of a true leader.

He grew up in the traditional way of looking after the family livestock and cultivating crops, and little did he know that one day, he would become a reputable figure with the ability to lead a village.

Apparently it was his humbleness and down-to-earth attitude in the face of great success and challenges that has earned him the respect of a community leader.

He is a poet, an artist, and a visionary leader who believes that people have thoughts which they should turn into words and actions. In an interview, he said the spirit of volunteerism has contributed a lot to his current reputation as he started taking an active role in community activities when he completed his Cambridge in 2001, because of the zeal to see people living better and dignified lives.

“I believe working for the community was a calling to me because I liked working with others when I was at junior school as I was in the Peer Approach to Counseling by Teens (PACT) group,” he said.

After Cambridge, Kgosi Setlhodi opted for voluntary works, including being a research assistant for three months in a National Aids Coordinating Agency (NACA) project dubbed ‘Rapid Needs Assessment for HIVAIDS Prevention, Care and Support at NokanengTsau villages’.

In 2002, Kgosi Setlhodi joined Humana People to People working as a field officer and one of his duties was embarking on door to door campaigns sensitizing communities about HIVAids related issues.

He also worked for YWCA and had the opportunity to open a new office in Ghanzi for the training of children on basic life skills, sexual reproductive issues and organizing activities that would benefit them.

At the time, he worked closely with prominent people like the then Ghanzi District Commissioner, Ms Ruth Maphorisa, now the DPSM director, who gave him great support.

He also worked with the District Multi-Sectoral Aids Committee (DMSAC) coordinator and, because of his hard work, he was elected the chairperson of Information, Education Committee (IEC).

Kgosi Setlhodi’s ambition was to run a construction company as he had completed a certificate at the then Maun Brigade Development Trust now renamed Maun Technical College.

However, after completion he heard about the Youth Development Fund and applied becoming the owner of a successful small stock project named ‘Setlhodi Investment Company.

Since he had a cordial working relationship with the residents and a rich potential, he was elected the vice chairperson of Chanoga South’s Village Development Committee (VDC).

“Within a short space of time I was elevated to vice chairperson of the entire village under the Umbrella Development Committee,” he added. The youthful traditional leader explained that Chanoga had remained without a kgosi for too long until the residents approached him to apply for the post because they believed that he had all the qualities of a leader.

He was also active in politics as, at one time he was the chairperson of Maun East BDP Youth League He also had ambitions to represent the Maun East constituents in Parliament.

“I was in a dilemma as I had to make a well informed decision between bogosi and politics, but I ended up choosing bogosi,” he added.He said he could not apply because he was aised that the post had its rightful heir from the Sekopo family.

He said the family approached him to hold the post on their behalf as the rightful heir was still engaged with other family commitments.

This was how his journey as Kgosi started in 2012 he called all the stakeholders and emphasized on developing a smart development plan in order to take the village to a higher level.

His dream was to see the image of the village being transformed and all people playing part towards development implementation. He engaged the village Development Committee, area councilor and headmen to share his vision roadmap.

Kgosi Setlhodi revealed that during the meeting, they formulated an activity plan that would address the needs and challenges of Chanoga and its catchment areas.

He said in their plan, they included every interest group including women, men, youth, people living with disabilities, and the leadership, as their aim was to come up with strategies which could answer their concerns.

He said the first activity in the plan was the training of leadership on good qualities of a leader to ensure they became brave and made visionary decisions that the country had taken in the past to provide a firm foundation upon which to build for the future.

The youthful leader had demonstrated devotion towards bringing developments to Chanoga village and his dream is to see his village in future being a choice destination especially that it has natural resources which could be turned into opportunities.

He shared some of the achievements since he become a leader such as securing a plot where the communities could start income generating projects.

He said the residents should refrain from labeling themselves as destitute because they were able bodied who could look for ways and means to be economically independent to sustain their future. Besides, the poverty eradication programme was there to change people’s lives

He believes that the spirit of self-reliance can enable one to have a dignified livelihood hence he encouraged the communities and the nation at large to uphold and execute the spirit of self-reliance.

“When I grew up, I was always taught that being self-reliant was the ideal way to making ends meet, as such I have always clung to the spirit and I never allowed anything to stop my way”.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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