15th May 2018
Boyson Mokone awarded a certificate during the boot camp, by Montshiwa JSS school head, Moalosi Source:The Midweek Sun



Boot camps are for academic excellence and discipline of students, not sexual entertainment spots with young girls, cautions boot camp operator and counsellor, Boyson Mokone also known as G’Word in musical circles. Mokone said reports that soldiers get intimately involved with female students during boot camps are disturbing, saying as the ‘shield of the nation’ and ‘disciplined’ cadres, the army men are expected to be the ones to protect the girls. Such liaisons deserve the strongest condemnation especially that they are done under the cloak of trying to develop a young person. He said when done properly, boot camps mould students.

Mokone recalled the seven-day boot camp they had recently at Montshiwa CJSS, which had been requested by parents because they wanted to enforce discipline in their young. At that boot camp they shared the task with other organisations like Alpha Outreach-Botswana, and Walk of Hope as well as his own organisation Youth Of Hope Safe Haven (YOSHO). The ex-drug user maintained that children need boot camps while they are still young but that if their mentors make sexual advances on them they would soon refuse to go for boot camps.

He said drug usage by students is real and boot camps could help rectify the problem. They offer Drug Abuse Resistant Education (D.A.R.E), which most of the teachers really appreciate. Mokone said that the welfare of the children is very important and urged those conducting boot camps to desist from using the girl children as sex toys in their environment of learning. “We can’t win the battles we are fighting if we in turn are the ones exploiting, destroying and blackmailing the same people we are to protect. Those are our children,” said Mokone.

YOSHO intends to cover 60 schools through boot camps in two years. They have talent search and development programmes as well as life skills covering alcohol abuse, substance abuse and sexual morality talks among students. Montshiwa CJSS awarded Mokone and his co-worker Phemelo Segale with certificates for the impressive work they did in their school. Principal Education Officer1 for Guidance and Counselling in the Department of Special Support Services-Ministry of Basic Education, Marumuagae Bonang also indicated that boot camps are meant to enhance and supplement what the schools do in terms of moulding students.

He noted that the ministry is committed to the welfare and holistic development of the students hence they do not expect such issues of abuse. He said that although there are such allegations they haven’t received them at their office. He said they do not just choose anyone to do boot camp with the students and they usually engage teachers as well, to guarantee proper care for the students. “Boot camps should actually compliment what happens in schools on a regular basis as well as physical, emotional, spiritual aspects and team building amongst these young people,” said Bonang.

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