Gaona Dintwa on her health, failed marriage and looking to the future
Despite having gone through a widely publicised divorce from ex-husband Thobo Tlhasana, pint sized socialite and media personality, Gaona Dintwa, says she still believes in the sanctity of marriage and hopes to one day get married again.
Speaking to a room full of women at the Mmamotse Glow Events’ Sparkle and Glow High Tea, held in Mokolodi recently, Dintwa recounted how she got depressed two months before her marriage after getting the devastating news of her incurable endometriosis, a condition that rendered her unable to bear children.
“I was angry at God that I could not do the one thing a new bride does in her marriage, which is bearing children and growing a family with the man she loves,” she said, adding that they both made a conscious decision to go ahead with the marriage and prayed that her health would improve and she would bear a child.
The cheerful but frail looking Dintwa said her marriage turned sour after it became evident that her condition may be permanent, she related how she had to smile through all the confusion and noise -from in laws and well wishers on why she hasn’t conceived, the heart break of knowing she might never have a child and the physical agony she experienced every time she went on her monthly period (some of the side effects of Endometriosis are excruciating pelvic pain that usually occurs just before menstruation and lessens after menstruation, painful sexual intercourse and cramping during intercourse).
The 35-year-old, looking younger than her age, also to losing a lot of weight due to a complication she had during a procedure to try and repair the damage the disease had done to her internal organs.
She said she had to find a way to get through her days at the Mass-Media complex where she was a radio presenter and a radio and television news reader, something she did by focusing on the task at hand only to crumble apart when she got home.
“I cried myself to sleep every night and put on a bold face the following day,” she added, before highlighting that it was not easy.
“For the longest time people believed I did not want to bear a child for my husband. So I had to come out and tell them about my medical condition and also to help other women and young girls out there who might have the same medical condition as mine,” she said adding that she had had the condition since she was 14.
“No one suspected it could be a life threatening condition because it had been known that I experienced very painful period pains.
Coming out openly about her medical condition, Gaona said, was a decision she had discussed with her parents.
She said she wanted to come out about her illness in order to sensitize the public about the incurable disease that affects women’s fertility and standing in society because “Mosadi o bonwa ka lapa,” she said with tears welling up her eyes.
Speaking of her relationship with her ex-husband, Thobo Tlhasana, after the failure of their four-year marriage, Dintwa said she was at peace with him.
She said she had accepted the fact that they could never be together but revealed that they are very good friends nonetheless.
“We are very good friends, I always pray for him and wish him all the good things in life,” she said.
Sharing some of the life lessons her experiences have taught her, Gaona cited forgiveness for oneself.
“I never in life expected I’d be divorced and I beat myself up about it. I eventually forgave myself and that’s when I found healing,” she said, adding that she also learnt that talking about something helps other people not just herself.
Another lesson she claims to have learnt is that there is always something to be grateful for, “Always look out for that silver lining,’ she cautioned.
Talking about the future, Dintwa said her online documentary enterprise, Gaona Live, which documents Botswana’s movers and shakers, is fast becoming a force to reckon with as it has episodes airing on DStv channels 160 and Zambezi.