The Sedupenyane family have been gifted a renovated house, through the partnership of a BG Scribe and an Interior Designer

In a beautiful story similar to the popular US television show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Mrs Keboletse Sedupenyane walked into a newly renovated house this past Friday. The house, given a completely new look was something of a dream for the octogenarian. Flanked by her two sisters, the guests gasped and were literally blown away as they saw the transformed living room. With all the modern touches that any home owner desires, those who were tasked with bringing the vision to life went all out.

No costs were sparred. The main bedroom, where Sedupenyane will now enjoy a good night rests was another surprise. Stunning and with warm colours that are comforting, the whole aura of the bedroom is peaceful. Incredibly, the genius behind this project, KED Interiors had gone as far as upholstering one of her couches, and it now sits on the corner of her bedroom. She can now read her bible or enjoy her cup of tea in comfort. The big reveal is something that many Batswana have been waiting for since news about the project were announced.

For weeks, many have been literally camping on social media to get updates about the latest developments. And when the house was eventually shared on social media, they were literally lost for words. Some emotional, and speechless, the posts around the house and the project was trending, and is trending. Some were also keen to know where some of the materials was purchased from so that they too work on their dream homes.

The story of Keboletse Sedupenyane and her family is an emotional and heart breaking one. For twenty-nine years, the family has been through a difficult and emotional ride as they sought answers about what happened to their beloved son, James Sedupenyane.

The house was officially opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Member of Parliament for Kanye South, Dr. Lemogang Kwape. The renovation cost is over two hundred and eighty-four thousand (P 284 000). Key highlights of the house include the ceiling, kitchen and bedroom fittings. A brand new kitchen, fully fitted with a four burner stove and wall paper, painting, tiling and furnishing as well as breathtaking wholly transformed living room.

In addition to the impressive aesthetics of the house, a combined bathroom and toilet are the surprise additions to the house. Over and above that, water and electricity will be connected to the house, and funds for that

development have been put aside as processes for the connections are ongoing.

The Sedupenyane Extreme Makeover initiative is a result of a partnership between Coordinator of the initiative, a seasoned journalist, Phemelo Maribeng and a Citizen owned company, KED Interiors, with the generous support of their suppliers/contractors, including Board Master, Hyper Home, Exclusive Tiles, Boss Interiors as well as ED Lights. Other sponsors of the initiative include Colours of Sound, Brave Heart, Garona Group, CBET (publishers of Botswana Guardian and The Midweek Sun), Tsompie’s Tea Room, Kathiku Beverages, Vincent Excellent Tours, and Chef Gibson.

For almost two months, Sedupenyane and her family had to vacate the house and make way for the big renovations. Sedupenyane was seeing the house on Friday for the first time. And on Saturday morning, she could not bring herself to get up and leave her cosy room. In fact, she was said to have woken up after midday.

Speaking in an interview on Sunday afternoon, she explains that she really wanted to enjoy her new surroundings. Still lost for words, and hardly knowing what to say, she could only wish that God will bless those who were instrumental in the project.

“I have nothing to give them. I wish that God blesses them and that everything that they touch turns to Gold,” she said.

She further said that on her first night, she wanted to sleep on her own without any grandchildren. “I told them that I wanted to enjoy my new comfortable bed, without any disturbances,” she explained, adding that she wanted to enjoy each and every part of her house.

Her daughter, Elizabeth Sedupenyane was also equally impressed with the finished house. She said that she was blown with how the house took a new life after the renovations. “We really love our new house,” she said, still speechless.

Speaking at the official handover, the Project Coordinator, Maribeng was overcome with emotions and lost for words at the realization of this dream. She explained that this project is inspired by one of the longest running stories published in The Midweek Sun, which she has extensively covered. She explained that she was called to Selokolela by a higher power. She further said that when she recently reconnected with the family earlier this year she was troubled by the state of their house which was characterised by leaks, cracks and literally falling apart, making it inhabitable.

“This year being the 29th anniversary of James Sedupenyane’s disappearance, I wanted us to give them something that might put a smile on their faces. I wanted them to find comfort in this project that is meant to give them hope and look forward to the next day and the future,” explained Maribeng.

She further said that it has not been easy working on this project, citing challenges that ranged from sleepless nights of anxiety over its success and uncertainty in securing sponsors. “Securing sponsors has not been easy. But God has seen us through each and every one of the hurdles that we have experienced,” she said.

For his part, KED Interiors, Managing Director, Kevin D. Saseng explained that when he was first approached, he was compelled to come on board and put his expertise to good use. He said in total P 284 000 has been spent on the project. “Today is the day. We have gone all out for our mother, with love and we did not want any thebe back for this work. We only want prayers and her blessings in return. We were assisted by our partners in the industry. Everything used in her house, is of the highest quality,” explained Saseng.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Kwape hailed the initiative, particularly the youth who came together on this project and proved that they can work together towards a common goal and meaningfully contribute to their communities for a better Botswana. He also said that it was difficult to tell how Mrs Sedupenyane was feeling at that moment, and that too much happiness sometimes came with some pains. “I see happiness when I look at her, and the tears that I see today are of great joy. I am proud to have witnessed this moment today,” he said.

He also called on Batswana to take care of each other, reminding them to give to others when they have in excess for that is what makes and defines us as Batswana.

BACKGROUND On May 5, 1993 a soldier at the time, James Sedupenyane last bid his family farewell when he travelled to his employer in Francistown to request for a compassionate leave, following a bereavement in the family.

Since then no one has ever seen nor heard from him. This uncertain and painful reality for his family has not only been a bag of emotions for them but has also left them in an undesirable financial state as they continue to seek closure hence, The Sedupenyane Extreme Makeover initiative.