This is a group of six(6) young people who are running a Catering Business, called Young Nation in Molepolole, Botswana. Three of the six members underwent the Entrepreneurial Skills Training by the UNICEF-Barclays collaboration. They hold the following portfolios within their company:
i) Ms Lebogang Leungonyana, aged 20 - The General Manager;
ii) Mr Donald Bakang Buthe, aged 18 - Human Resource Manager; *
iii) Ms Pearl Bokokwe, aged 18 - Secretary;
iv) Mr Aobakwe Gaaswediwe, aged 18 - Finance Manager; *
v) Ms Refilwe Rakolanyana, aged 20 - Public Relations Officer;
vi) Ms Kemo Kolane, aged 18 - Marketing Manager. *
The individuals with the asterisks next to their names did not undergo the training.
Infact, Ms Lebogang Leungonyana, was pursuing a career as a Seamstress and had just registered her company and had also managed to secure premises for her business when the Building Brighter Futures Project was launched in February this year. But, the next few months proved to be rather challenging and she encountered problems with regard to electricity, a sewing machine and even the premises. Thus, she gave up on that venture and chose to rather join the current partnership in May this year.
The catering business thats operates from Ms Lebogang Leungonyana’s granny’s home. Young Nation also enjoys great support from Ms Lebogang Leungonyana’s Mum, who provides both tremendous encouragement and guidance when required.
Young Nation’s clients are mostly young people who require them to cater for celebrations like birthdays or end of term/year parties and the like. They either provide the service at their premises (in this case Lebogang’s granny’s premises) or at the clients’ premise, whichever is preferred.
Young Nation’s trump card is that they provide these catering services within a culturally rich environment; in terms of the food items they offer, the environment in which their services are provided as well as the entertainment provided. The entertainment varies from the music played as well as to the games offered. In Lebogang’s own words ..”To transform and modernize Botswana’s cultural sector using environmentally secure methods and appealing ways of reclaiming our cultural heritage to enable it to contribute more to the Youth Sector.”
Traditional Bread called Mapakiwa which the team had the honour of tasting. Infact, the morning that we arrived to interview Young Nation, Lebogang was a bit late because she had gone to deliver an order for this bread, in the village.
The Culturally Rich Environment
Young Nation operates in the very scenic environment of a Molepolole Village, as is depicted in the picture below. It has a contract to host a Camp for School Pupils at the beginning of the December vacation where they will be providing both the catering services as well as the entertainment in the form of teaching the children traditional Setswana games.
This camp will be held some distance from the village and they intend using a fellow young person’s transport services. This is an excellent example of Youth supporting Youth. This ethic of reciprocation that they share is indeed very heartening to witness.
The vigour and enthusiasm that this group of young people display, particularly Lebogang is highly inspiring. This is the vision that Young Nation has for their venture - “Leading by example towards 2016, being independent and innovative towards our country; contributing to the promotion of employment as youth.” Young Nation is currently in the process of registering their business.