About 105 children from Gaborone’s biggest proverbial township, Old Naledi, were treated to a warm hearted surprise over the weekend. The children were shuttled to New Capitol Cinema in Game City to watch the Box Office record breaking Marvel movie ‘Blank Panther’ which continues to receive critical acclaim globally.
Spearheaded by Thabo Makgato, donations were made by the public to create an opportunity for the children to see themselves as ‘superheroes’. “I took on this initiative because I loved films since I was at least 10 years old and have always appreciated the lasting impact of motion picture. My other great passion is working with kids,” he said.
He continued; “Over the past 10 years, I’ve volunteered with hundreds of kids from all backgrounds imaginable. Black Panther provided a unique opportunity in that it is such a powerful film with an inspiring message that Africans are advanced, strong, regal and unencumbered by the limits the world has historically tried to shackle us with. Combining these two things that I have such a deep and lasting love for was a no brainer. I felt the message of the movie was one that all African children should hear.”
Regarding why he chose the infamous township for this initiative, he stated that he knew the impact it would have on the children’s sense of self: “Honestly, I chose Old Naledi for practical reasons and because I knew how impactful it would be for them. Practical in that I only had this idea two weeks before the movie opened, which is a very short time frame so I had to make sure we administrate it in such a way that we reduce the number of moving parts by centralising the collection area to reduce chances for liability.”
“After all, we absolutely could not allow for anything to go wrong. I realised also that they are greatly marginalized. I wanted them to see beyond their immediate surroundings and know that even the sky is not the limit for them. That they may have been born to a certain situation but they should know that that is no reason for them not to dream beyond it.”
“The kids had the time of their lives. They loved the experience from the second they boarded the bus to the time they got off it. After the credits rolled I had a conversation with them to explain that all the power, honour, innovation and strength embodied in the Black Panther credits lies within them as well,” said Makgato.
“This project would have never been possible without my brother Carlos and my family and friends who volunteered on the day. O3 Beverages, Alpha Direct Insurance, LEAD Consultancy, Mahube Express and the Diacore Gaborone Marathon, played a crucial role for this day to happen as well.”