A heartfelt conversation with a friend earlier this year has given rise to a unique business idea with potentially life-changing results for the country’s male population.
29-year-old Bronia Lekula is the founder of ‘Father & Son Bonding Experience’, an initiative designed to bring father and son closer together whilst enjoying the scenic delights of Kasane.
It is a venture that is extremely close to the bubbly young entrepreneur’s heart.
“I was worried about the way fathers and sons relate to each other, especially in Botswana where many father/son relationships lack an intimate connection.
“Talking to my friend over the New Years holidays, he proudly boasted about sending his baby mama child support every month. However, he only sees his son twice a year!” explains Lekula, adding she realised this set-up was common in countless households around the country.
“Many men believe it’s enough to send money, that paying maintenance makes them good parents. They don’t spend time with their children, there’s no bonding and essentially no relationship,” continues the Serowe native, who pauses briefly before noting passionately, “I want to change things!”
Lekula’s solution: a weekend away for father and son in the tranquil tourist town of Kasane.
The package costs P8, 000 and includes return flights from Gaborone, two nights camping, a boat cruise along the Chobe River, with lunch on The Raft – the river’s famous floating restaurant overlooking the game-rich Sedudu Island – sandwiched in-between.
A game drive through the Chobe National Park follows, with the experience culminating in a braai on Saturday evening, which includes a coaching session facilitated by Lekula on parenting tips, as well as bonding exercises and games.
“The plan is to do it the last weekend of every month, leaving Gabs on Friday afternoon and flying back Sunday morning,” revealed Lekula, adding a refundable P2, 000 deposit is required upon booking, which must be made at least a week before departure.
“Those in the Kasane area can also sign-up, with the price of the flights deducted from the overall package,” declares the Business Information Technology graduate.
Lekula intends to launch her business this month, with three bookings already confirmed.
However, she admits she has struggled with advertising and is finding it tough to market the scheme.
“Originally I had hoped for a big-name ‘celebrity’ to sign-up for the inaugural March edition to help raise our profile – but that hasn’t happened yet,” says the driven mother-of-one, her upbeat persona slipping for the first time since the interview began.
Nevertheless, she remains resolved and is highly confident of a successful launch.
“We are targeting at least ten bookings for our first trip. The idea is to keep numbers relatively small to add to the intimacy of the experience,” states Lekula, who says she has already secured a deal with Flame of Africa but plans to approach Botswana Tourism Office as well.
“I will be promoting the country, giving locals the opportunity to see the incredible beauty and wildlife Botswana has to offer; that’s another big part of this concept.
“Going back to the example of my friend, he lives in Kasane but his four-year-old son, who stays in Gabs, doesn’t even know what an elephant is – that is not okay!”
In time, if the initiative proves profitable, Lekula plans to expand the experience to include other dynamics, such as mother/daughter, married couples and friends.
For now though, she is entirely focused on the father/son connection, a relationship she is determined to rekindle in families where the bond is lacking.
“I promise you won’t come back the same. The environment is amazing; the experience will bring about a new perspective and help create memories between father and son which will last a lifetime!”
NB For more details Lekula can be contacted on 72993886.