Last week the Botswana research team led by Professor O. MmaB Modise held a debriefing meeting at Old Naledi in Gaborone. In attendance was Kgosi (Chief) and representatives of the various cultural and art groups.

This was our second visit to that community. In the first consultative meeting, led by Professor Rebecca N. Lekoko, we met Kgosi and community leaders to consult on the Whose Crisis study sharing the scope and nature of the project, but more importantly to hear their ideas, questions, concerns about the engagement with the research team.

During the second meeting, Prof Modise briefed the representatives on the intentions of the study and invited the participants to be part of the historic event to put Botswana on the global stage with their artistic inputs on how the pandemic has affected and changed the way of life of Batswana. The Chief further cemented our plea to the artists and reminded them how important the study would be in furthering the community’s aspirations and desire to share their knowledge, and perspectives on and experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in hope of better support and considerations from national governmental and organisational bodies.

In their response majority of the representatives pledged to partake in the study and the research team is now getting ready for the participatory approach they’ll be using for a mutually beneficial engagement throughout the project.