From city slicker to village dame
ADVENTUROUS: Mosidi Mokaeya

Woman leaves urban comforts for countryside bliss

Whilst many seek opportunities in towns and cities, 42 -year -old Mosidi Mokaeya has found treasures in moving to a small village just outside Gaborone.

“Mogobane is a beautiful village with amazing landscapes. The scenery is spectacular! A jog along Mogobane Dam would make you hate working out in a gym. The air is fresh, the view is simply breath-taking and my move there has brought with it healing and a sense of purpose,”she says beaming.

Sharing her reasons for the move, Mokaeya says; “I have a 92- year -old very strong and loving uncle called Malome Tshwene. He has lived in Mogobane all his life and never married. On my occasional visits to his place I noticed how deserted his household was. It was not as pristine as it had once been and due to old age he was no longer able to fully care for himself. I would clean and ensure he had cooked meals but would then travel back to Gaborone. Over time I felt the need to extend myself more and not just make it occasional visits. I now reside in Mogobane and have taken quite an interest in the happenings of the village.

Apart from enjoying the views and actively promoting the village to others, Mokaeya says; “Nothing feels better than looking after an elderly parent. At some point we owe it to ourselves to give back in whatever way we see fit, I don’t think its one size fits all. The tales my uncle tells me about my family is history that I would have never known. He is a great farmer and it is rubbing off on me hence my interest in growing food”.

In addition to the pearls of wisdom shared by her uncle, Mokaeya is quick to point out other benefits of living in a village.

“The city is congested with a lot of stuff that can derail me. The price of going out for example in Mogobane is way cheaper than in Gaborone. I find that I save a lot of money without necessarily changing much. It’s the setting that helps. It’s also quite safe in Mogobane. There was a year that I spent so much money on cell phones when I was still living in Gaborone because they would get snatched by thieves. There is nothing like that in Mogobane,” she explains.

Recently nominated Publicity Officer for Mogobane Development and Conservation Trust, Mokaeya says; “My task is to publicise the village and make it the destination of choice. I often find I don’t need to do much to fulfil this role as Mogobane is a natural beauty. Every time I invite visitors they make return trips. This has really boosted local businesses as visitors always bring with them spending power, buying either food, drinks and other services. Over time we (trustees) will generate real revenue from places like the dam and Dipopolere plantation to benefit the community.”

Full of gratitude, Mokaeya says the move has solidified her relationship with her family and given her a greater sense of her purpose.

Although the move has come with personal sacrifice, the upbeat Mokaeya is adamant that she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I have become the daughter my uncle never had. My uncle never married and dedicated his life to raising his siblings including my mother. When they lost their parents, my uncle as the oldest in the family, assumed the role of caretaker and guardian. He sent all his siblings to schools including my dear mother. Mind you this was at a time it was unheard of for a girl child to be sent to school. The assumption was that girl children would get married and get taken care of by their husbands, by my uncIe ignored all that and made her get an education. I love my uncle even more for gifting my mum with an education (she is a phd holder). The opportunities my mother’s education unlocked, afforded us a great life and I can’t help but think my uncle had a lot to do with this. Hence my leaving my two boys in the care of my mother while I look after Malome in his old age. I have never felt so much joy in my life!

Another positive to draw from the move, is going back to her first love; food.

“I studied Culinary Arts at Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School and later worked as a chef for the corporate giant; Debswana serving at the Orapa Mine Hospital kitchen. I enjoyed the job and all the comforts that came with working for Debswana. I got to indulge my love for all things to do with food until a personal tragedy had me quit work. I didn’t have a plan beyond that. Then as luck would have it, an unlikely conversation with a friend led me on a path am on now”.

Combining her love of food, reading and writing, Mokaeya wrote a piece for Sunday Standard and 8 years on she is still a regular contributor as a freelance journalist for mainly the Sunday Standard and The Telegraph newspapers.

“I couldn’t be happier; I get to combine my interests to serve both my personal and work space. Although journalism has since taken the spot of my first love, I am learning so much from my uncle that I have since taken on an interest in gardening. I am growing our own food and putting my cooking skills to use. I thoroughly enjoy hosting family and friends for cookouts as this is also therapeutic for me.”

When not chasing deadlines or tending to her new garden, Mokaeya loves to run and explore the nooks and crooks of her beautiful Mogobane village.

“It really is heaven on earth,” she quips in conclusion

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