This past weekend the Cancer Association of Botswana (CAB) held a poetry session at Botho College dubbed Poetry for Cancer, this was an initiative aimed at bringing cancer awareness to the general public due to the rising prevalence of cancer in Botswana. Unfortunately, the turnout was low with less than twenty people attending.
Speaking to Time Out, one of the event’s organizer and CAB volunteer, Khumo Gaobolelelwe said that the turnout was disappointing and was an indication that Batswana did not take cancer awareness initiatives seriously. “This time around we used the arts approach to try to spread cancer messages through spoken word and these messages were supposed to educate, entertain, get people talking and get them to think about what they have learned and take action. But we believe the few people that came will spread the word and educate those who couldn’t come,” she said.
Performances were based on the cancer theme with songs and poems about cancer and how it has affected the society. The show featured inspiring performances by Kabo Leburu who performed songs titled “The African Child” and “Mabele”. Tumo Liwambano shared a piece titled “My feet” which was inspired by the myths surrounding cancer. Poet Onkemetse Sebenyane presented a piece titled “Growth: Overcoming and Finding Inner Strength”.
One of the highlights of the event was when a cancer survivor, motivational speaker and volunteer at CAB, Bontle Keketso Modige shared her touching story with the audience. “I was diagnosed with Nasophrageal cancer in 2000 when I was doing Standard 7. Luckily it was still at stage 2 and I took it as a challenge and went through chemotherapy. God gave me a chance to speak to the people about my experience. Cancer is not a death sentence, I managed to pull through so can you,” Modige said. Meanwhile, the show promised performances by Boikanyo and Kennedy Thal from My Star fame who were not able to make it but the acts on the day more than made up for the hitches and successfully disseminated the intended messages to the small audience. The Cancer Association will be celebrating World Cancer Day this year under the theme “To Dispel Damaging Myths and Misconceptions About Cancer” under the tagline Cancer-Did You Know? This year, their focus is on bringing information and support closer to those in need and offering hope to the community, patients, family and friends.