Dynamite in small package

BOAT CRUISE ORGANISER: Thato Vincent Sebati

Boosting the Okavango Delta tourism

On April 29th, 2022, Okavango is Calling, will treat the business community to a cocktail boat cruise along the beautiful and calm Chanoga River.

Contents
Boosting the Okavango Delta tourismQ: I must say you are doing a great job by promoting this part of the country. Briefly tell us what this is all about and who is coming to the show?Q: How is the response so far, will all the said countries participate in the line-up of events?Q: This is an expensive line-up, are you sponsoring all these events?Q: Can we safely therefore say those are the confirmed sponsors for now?Q: Talking about “Always” sponsoring events, briefly take us back to where you started this project?Q: You must have done well then?Q: What motivated you to go into event organising?Q: What other benefits will Maun and communities along the Okavango Delta benefit from this besides the charity pledge?Q: How will all these will be achieved?Q: Sounds like a big yet achievable dream. Have you always been this ambitious?Q: How old are you now?Q: Kindly explain the “wake up a millionaire” that you mentioned earlier?Q: Interesting and good luck. What advice can you give to an 11-year old you?Q: What are your best and worst childhood memories?Q: Have you made peace with it now and does your body size in anyway have effect in your love life or business?Q: Are you a family man then?Q: As a little boy, what was your dream career and did you pursue it?Q: Do you mind sharing more on that?Q: Please tell us more about the new shows?Q: Understandable.Q: Besides organising events what else do you find joy in?Q: Your last word?Q: Thank God it’s Friday, what are you up to this weekend?

This according to concept director, Thato Vincent Sebati, the cocktail boat cruise is for the purposes of business networking and promotional activities ahead of a line up of activities that are to follow in the coming months.

The guest speaker of the cruise night will be a man who was at the helm of the listing of Okavango Delta as a heritage site in Doha, Qatar 2014; professor Joseph Mabaiwa.

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Following the April event, an arts and crafts exhibition has been scheduled for July while the last event will be in the months of September and October when countries will be showcasing their tourism, fashion, food, arts and photography of their respective countries.

The Voice reporter, FRANCINAH BAAITSE chats with Sebati about this seemingly great concept whose purpose is to bring more tourism to Ngamiland and Okavango areas.

Q: I must say you are doing a great job by promoting this part of the country. Briefly tell us what this is all about and who is coming to the show?

Okavango is Calling is an event that promotes Okavango Delta as our heritage and our tourism site.

The idea is to bring all 23 nations that have embassies in Botswana to showcase their tourism while we showcase ours.

Q: How is the response so far, will all the said countries participate in the line-up of events?

Already few have confirmed but response is good so a lot of them are still coming forward.

Q: This is an expensive line-up, are you sponsoring all these events?

I have always been sponsoring events from my pocket, yes but we have sponsors that we will unveil soon.

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Our air transport partners are Air Botswana and accommodation is Cresta Matlapana.

Q: Can we safely therefore say those are the confirmed sponsors for now?

Yes Air Botswana, Cresta Matlapana and Ministry of Environment Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism are our technical partners.

Q: Talking about “Always” sponsoring events, briefly take us back to where you started this project?

The initial budget for this project was P1.3 million because there were no sponsors at the time, I had to raise P500 000.00 in 2018 and we produced a documentary called Okavango is Calling, which Botswana Television (BTV) sometimes play and we came up with a radio show during covid-19 era, which airs every Friday on RB2 at 13:30 hrs.

Q: You must have done well then?

Yes and we are the only event that have its radio show in the world sponsored by UNESCO.

Q: What motivated you to go into event organising?

The love for being surrounded by people and giving back to the community.

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Be advised that 20% of our profit goes to charitable organisation within Okavango Delta area.

Q: What other benefits will Maun and communities along the Okavango Delta benefit from this besides the charity pledge?

Creation of employment, promotion of tourism, that will benefit the community along the Delta including economic development of the region and promotion of environmental conservation of the Delta.

Q: How will all these will be achieved?

The international community who are able to boost the economy in the region attend the event.

The community is able to share their businesses with the potential financiers to create employment.

Our dream is to have all OKACOM members to host the event on a rotational basis and this includes Namibia and Angola.

Q: Sounds like a big yet achievable dream. Have you always been this ambitious?

I have always loved to do things for myself.

I started my first company when I was 23 years old and I have never worked anywhere since.

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As we speak I have 18 years experience in the word of business and I know how to wake up a millionaire and yet again be broke the next day.

I went through challenges that have made me a better version of myself.

Q: How old are you now?

I am 42 years, I lived my life like a rock star but I am grown up now.

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Q: Kindly explain the “wake up a millionaire” that you mentioned earlier?

I made lots of money when I started but I had no clear direction of where I was going and everything that I amassed was sold by sheriffs, so I am a grown up and learning from my mistakes.

By the way Okavango is Calling is a multi million project that if things go well this year I will never go around asking for sponsorship the following year.

Q: Interesting and good luck. What advice can you give to an 11-year old you?

Dream and work hard on your dreams and never allow anyone to tell you that you can’t do anything to improve your life.

Q: What are your best and worst childhood memories?

I was always bullied because of my body structure.

I am a skinny guy so I hated my body.

Q: Have you made peace with it now and does your body size in anyway have effect in your love life or business?

I have made peace with that since I am always told that my body structure fits well in clothing.

Well I found solace in looking good since now I know I look good in clothes.

My love life is fine, she has accepted me the way I am but in the line of work I am doing “banna ba nnyatsa.” And it keeps me going.

Q: Are you a family man then?

I have kids but not married yet, but in a relationship.

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Q: As a little boy, what was your dream career and did you pursue it?

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and create wealth and employment for others because I was not proud of my upbringing.

Q: Do you mind sharing more on that?

Our country needs people who don’t need to be spoon-fed.

Young people are able so we need to create opportunities for them.

Covid-19 has taught us to think out of the box so I have another radio show coming soon sponsored by an embassy and obviously I am employing creative minds and also an Okavango is Calling TV show to document our tourism.

Q: Please tell us more about the new shows?

Okavango is Calling Glam In The wilderness business networking cocktail boat cruise is our second event after the breakfast meeting that was held on the 26th January at Cresta.

The glam in the wilderness is a business networking event on how we can promote our Tourism post COVID-19.

Be reminded this is a premium event and we are looking at former presidents, ministers, permanent secretaries, mayors, town and city clerks on the 29th of April hence we roped in professor Mbaiwa who has written a lot of scholarly articles on tourism.

Q: Understandable.

The third event is Okavango is Calling Arts and Crafts exhibition whose guest speaker will be honourable minister of youth on the 24th to 25th of July to promote arts.

We cannot talk about tourism and forget about arts and culture.

Q: Besides organising events what else do you find joy in?

I love travelling and I am also a public speaker.

Q: Your last word?

Covid-19 is still here and I urge people to abide by the protocols at all times.

Q: Thank God it’s Friday, what are you up to this weekend?

Mostly weekends I meet my team for them to brief me.

I also spend time with my family.

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