"Thari-E-Ntsho" is part of an age old slogan that ancient Batswana poets used to chant as a symbol of national pride:
"Re Bana Ba Thari-E-Ntsho!", "Bana Ba Mmala Wa Sebilo"
"We are children of the black leather strap - used to carry babies - Children of Black Lead! "
In July 2007, Bonty made her mark when she won the Bessie Head Literature Award in Short Story Writing for a piece titled “Which Doctor?”.
In October 2007 she launched her second self-published book titled “Patterns In the Sky”. This is a 40 page children’s story that explains the meanings and origins of Botswana’s world famous basket patterns. 1000 copies were sold within a month of publishing.
In November 2007, “Tlou -The Elephant Story” won third place in the Orange Botswerere Botswana Artists Award.
All the stories written and published by Thari-E-Ntsho Storytellers are based in Botswana. The intention is to record, share and reflect aspects of Botswana’s culture. Like all African nations, oral history has been the main medium for passing on Botswana’s history and folklore. As storytellers and historians pass on, this wealth of wisdom and knowledge goes with them the equivalent of a whole library burnt down. Botswana’s taboos, superstitions, beliefs is as diverse and as widespread as the cultures living in this country.
Bonty pictured with Jabu, Thembi and Morula, the three habituated African Bush Elephants - wildlife ambassadors of the foundation "Living with elephants".
Bontekanye Botumile (known as Bonty) was born in 1970 in Maun -Botswana where she now lives. She self-published her first book “Tlou -The Elephant Story” in 2006. It gained international success with 3500 copies sold to tourists visiting the Okavango Delta and Chobe within a year of publishing.
Women are predominantly custodians of culture, passing it onto to children in diverse ways that including story telling.
Bontekanye Botumile sees her role as a storyteller being to safe guard these dying ways for future generations, encourage a reading culture amongst young Batswana and sharing these stories with an international audience.
In short, an alternative record for “Keeping Botswana’s Heritage Alive!”