Kelebogile Olivia Molopyane nee Mosweu

“I’m a proud Black child born in the African Continent raised by a strong black woman. I am a student of life and an ambassador of love, life and laughter. I am Kelebogile Olivia Molopyane nee Mosweu.” Kele, as she’s known to family and friends, grew up in a township called Garankuwa, 65 kilometres from Pretoria, the executive Capital City of South Africa. Prompted by her own life experiences, she is committed to offering practical support to those who need it most. She toldLoop: “My childhood was chaotic. The first ten years were the best because they were spent at my grandmother’s. From then onwards it went downhill fast. I stopped living and experienced surviving. I became invisible as my mother’s marriage to my stepfather swallowed me whole. I have literally blocked out most of that period as a defence mechanism. My takeaway was to be a better parent. To offer a better environment than I ever experienced.” Food was rationed and there was barely enough space to house theextended family gathered there, but Kele said her favourite childhood memories were at her grandmother's house. It was there that she found solace. “She had 8 children; 6 boys and 2 girls. We all stayed in an 80sqm house rich with love and laughter despite the hardships that apartheid presented at the time. Christmas was my favourite holiday because that was the only time I experienced a buffet of food with no harsh rationed portions or policing of what you ate. We had food of all kinds including the watermelon. Back then that was the only time of the year we ate watermelon.” Now a qualified Mindset Coach, Kele has also authored a self-help biography which she says is meant to act as an empowerment tool and a beacon of hope for women who would’ve shared similar experiences. She is also the proud founder of AB4IR, a non-profit organisation whose primary aim is to educate and empower entrepreneurs on the continent. “I am currently CEO of the AB4IR Digital incubator where I work with start-ups in the ICT sector, helping them bring their ideas to life. So what do I do? I contribute to the betterment of our world by sharing my knowledge and experiences for the growth and development of others. I have had the idea to create an incubator for at least four years. I became vigorous about it early last year. The funding only came through this February and we are sprinting through this corona pandemic.” With the support of government and private sector sponsors, Kele’s NGO offers co-working spaces, business incubation, and support programmes meant to inspire creativity. AB4IR also offers coding and programming seminars to students and unemployed youth in an attempt to bridge the digital divide. “AB4IR is a concept that I have been pregnant with for way longer than even elephants get pregnant. It aims to bridge the digital divide in the ICT sector by imparting the skills to the less prevailed and availing technology and innovation. Through our business incubation programme, they will be supported by business mentorship and access to markets and funding. I am very passionate about this project and I plan to have partners all over the world so that we can have exchange programmes to empower these start-ups and introduce them to the concept of worldview.” Asked how she’s able to find balance, the mother of two said multi-tasking and compartmentalising are second nature. She explained thatsome of what she went through as a child, the many responsibilities she juggled while going to school, prepared her for life as it exists today. “I have always had to juggle a lot of things from a very young age. Since my siblings were much younger than me I was practically their mom. I dropped them off at day-care, picked them up, cooked, cleaned and somewhere had to make time for school. Then at some point, I worked 2 jobs while attending varsity part-time and managed to get my degree in record time. So I learned about multi-tasking quite early in my life.I also learned if you do what needs to be done when it needs to be done you don't need to stress about overtime. To this day I have always kept a principle of not bringing work home. I chose to be present for my children. To this day I play all sorts of games with my kids. I want them to enjoy me.” Kele said her life hasn’t always gone according to plan, even so, she’s grateful for all she’s been able to accomplish. “Initially I was going to be an Occupational Therapist, then a Psychologist and finally I became a Business Development professional. I had loved that Occupational Therapy was a fairly new concept to the black market. I had always wanted to be different. When my friends went to medicine, Physio and IT, I wanted OT. However, between feeling sorry for myself, family politics, racism and lack of funding, I could not see through my OT degree. Later in life, I took myself to school through the advice of a mentor and I registered for a business degree. I do not regret my decision. I still have a bucket-list affair with being a clinical psychologist and I think to a great extent that is why I studied consciousness coaching.” Unable to afford university tuition, Kele worked part-time at a retail store while pursuing administrative courses. It was at this juncture, she met the woman she credits with introducing her to business development. “I landed an opportunity to relieve the Chief Director's secretary at the National Department of Tourism who became my mentor. She encouraged me to study part-time for a business degree. This was where I was introduced to business development. This became where I landed my first full-time job too. I fell in love with business development; working with start-ups, organising events and travelling. This is where I got an opportunity to get on the plane for the first time and travel overseas. I have never looked back since.” Kele said every challenge and trauma she has endured, every obstacle she’s met on her life’s journey has pushed her to pursue something better. “I’ve experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse like so many other women around the world. I kept a journal, I played some good music, I went to therapy, I cut off negative people, I started loving myself, hugging myself and putting myself first. I learned to say NO and be okay with it.” She said first-hand knowledge about the challenges plaguing the more vulnerable members of society, strengthens her commitment to educate and empower those in need. She said her passion, drive and determination are fuelled by the memory of her grandmother who she described as a pillar of strength. “I hope she looks down on me and is proud of me. But also, I came from a poor background but I rose out of it. I have since made it my mission to support and encourage others like meand help them realize theirpotential. I was blessed to have had mentors that carried me through and shaped the powerhouse that I am.” By her admission, hers was a chaotic childhood so she’s determined to end the cycle by providing a stable and loving environment for her children. She said: “When all is said and done, my children are the reason I wake up every morning. There was a time I had given up on myself and on life. Since having them, I am fuelled every day to be the best version of myself for them and for other people that experience my space.” More than anything, Kele longs for the day that women around the world would stop acting small. She said the time has come for women to stand-up, show up, shout out and be counted. “You are enough, you have everything you need to get to where you want to be. Not everybody will like you and sometimes people will hate you because they envy you and that’s okay, that is their business, let them deal with it. Stay focused. Be clear about the WHAT and the HOW will fall into place. The universe will always send you the right people to help you with the HOW when you are clear with your WHAT. There was a time I had 2 jobs -7:30am – 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday as a temp secretary and Friday to Sunday as a temp Supervisor at a retail store- all this while attending classes in the evening for my business degree which I passed in record time with 14 distinctions. That was only possible with the help of God, the universe and the clarity of the WHAT. Everything is possible but only if you think so. Lift others as you rise and see what becomes possible.” When asked what she wants her legacy to be the mother, author and entrepreneur said she wants it to be known that she left the world better than she found it.

"Sorry we're closed due to COVID-19" read a sign outside a popular watering hole. (iStock Photo)

For those of us who started to feel like we're stuck in a whirlwind after the unsettling reality of COVID started to become the norm, it got real, real quick! Some may see the impact of COVID-19 as a cloud with a silver lining, while for others, it’s like living their worst nightmare. Our dials often tilt to the brighter side of things. However, notwithstanding, we sympathise withthose who share another POV,and may not be doing so well in lockdown. We ask that by the time you get to the end of thislist, you don’t dwell on the things you miss the most about being outside so much. Instead, head outside and try toreconnect with nature and your environment. Think of the brighter days ahead when social distancing, curfews, and face masks no longer flood your thoughts just before you head out. The Loop Lifestyle team asked around andthe response was overwhelming. The items listed are at the top of the list, tenthings we miss the most while stuck in lockdown… 1 Street food. From patties to jerked chicken (all parts: neck, back, and/or kidney). Many miss the cow’s skin soup from the lady ’round the corner or a homestyle lunch from the hole in the wall you can’t seem to walk/drive past. 2 The beach! Are beaches really closed? Why? Remember when planning a trip to the beach was as easy as gathering a few friends, or grabbing the essentials to backpack to some private beach on the North Coast or Portie? 3 Social life. It’s been a chore having very little connection to friends, loved ones, or even the people you can’t stand but happen to share the same circles. Fear not social butterflies for there’s hope. Though it may be an uncomfortably new experience the next time you link up with friends, it’ll be worth it. 4 Dining in! Isn't it strange thinking of the last time you had a meal in a public setting, either at your favourite restaurant or even at a family gathering? 5 Freedom. We empathise with the nomads on this one, as many miss being able to go about as they please. Excursions, private getaways, being able to explore and enjoy Jamaica, Land we love, the works… 6 The little things: the ability to the run to your nearest 24-hour pharmacy or to stop at the corner shop to pick up a pack of cigarettes, a bag juice, a pack of chips…the little things. 7 Having options. Many miss the freedom of choice in deciding where we dine, lounge, or go to escape reality. The ability to move without thought. For example, going to the movies, a club/bar, going out for a drink with friends, or just having the freedom move about without consciousness. 8 The office. Working from home has, for many, been quite the chore as personal issues interfere with work, parents are frustrated by their children constant needs. 9 Our livelihood. The very thing that makes Jamaicans unique, that “No Problem, mon” spirit, has been overshadowed by the impact of COVID-19. 10 Long lines in the banks. Believe it or not, respondees mentioned missing the long lines at the banks. Whether this means they also miss the snaking traffic or lines at the supermarket cashout, is still unclear. What are some of the things you miss while in lockdown?

Britain's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden holds the daily COVID-19 media conference inside 10 Downing Street, London, Saturday May 30, 2020. Sport has been the focus of much media speculation as Britain begins to be released from coronavirus lockdown. (Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street via AP).

The English Premier League has announced the fourthround of coronavirus testing revealed no further cases of COVID-19. A total of1,130 players and club staff were tested on Thursday and Friday as the competitiongears towards a resumption amid the health pandemic, having been suspended since March. Premier League clubsthis weekreturned to contact training and top-flight action is provisionally scheduled to restart on June 17. Four individuals returned positive results in the previous round of checks, taking the overalltotal to 12 since the league started its testing programme. "The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1,130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive," a Premier League statement read. "The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. "No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the league and results will be made public after each round of testing." Earlier on Saturday,the United Kingdom governmentconfirmedcompetitive sport behind closed doorswill be permittedfromthe start of June. Premier League chief executive Richard Masters welcomedthe decision, with the next stage of the process including consultations with clubs and staff over health and safety protocols. "We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on June 17, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved," said Masters. "This includes consulting with our clubs, players and managers - along with all our other stakeholders - as the health and welfare of our participants and supporters is our priority. "If all goes well, we will be thrilled to resume the 2019-20 season in just over two weeks' time." All ofthe remaining 92 fixtures are due to be broadcast nationally, though police have requested at least six – including the game in which leaders Liverpool can clinch the title – be played at neutralvenues. As it stands, Manchester Cityagainst Arsenal and Sheffield United versus Aston Villa are due to be the first matches played upon the restart.

An aerial view of Liverpool's Melwood training ground.

Sports events will be allowed to resume in England from Monday, without any spectators and providing they comply with the government's coronavirus protocols. The guidance for elite sports bodies was published by the government on Saturday as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed in March are eased further. It paves the way for the planned June 17 return of the English Premier League, the world's richest football competition. The guidance includes a request that social distancing must be maintained in matches “during any disputes between players and referees, or scoring celebrations.” Horse racing and snooker have already lined up events for Monday in anticipation of the end of an 11-week shutdown of sports. “The wait is over," Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said. “Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments.” Athletes and other staff will be required to travel to venues individually and by private transport where possible. Screening for coronavirus symptoms is required before entering. Where social distancing cannot be maintained — staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart — activities need to be risk assessed and mitigated. Media have been told to “minimise crossover” with others at the venue, including players. “This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors," Dowden said. "It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart. “This is a significant moment for British sport. By working with clinicians every step of the way, we are creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved.” The first major event after the resumption of sports is set to be the 2,000 Guineas horse race next Saturday at Newmarket, with jockeys wearing face masks. But the government is not yet prepared to allow non-elite sports to resume, denying regular citizens the chance to play cricket and football in a park. “We are working hard to get grassroots sport back up and running safely too so that people can reunite with their own football, rugby or cricket teammates and get back on their pitches, fields or athletic tracks," Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said. "But we will only do this when it is safe and appropriate to do so, based upon scientific advice.” The government, however, will from Monday allow groups of six people from different households to exercise outside as long as they remain twometresapart. Currently, only two people from different households can meet up.

Effective Monday, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) will increase the number of flights between Trinidad and Tobago. The announcement from CAL follows the declaration by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Saturday that Tobago was open for business. The third phase of the easing of restrictions comes into effect on Monday, which sees the reopening of the public service, retail stores, malls and bookstores. CAL advised that it will operate its flights in adherence to social distancing guidelines as set out by public health authorities. All customers are required to wear face masks at check-in, at the gate and on board the aircraft. CAL assured that cabin and flight crews are operating in full compliance with instructions set out by authorities and must adhere to strict procedures. Stringent hygiene protocols and adherence to international guidelines to combat COVID-19 also remain in place. CAL restated its commitment to the safety and well-being of all its stakeholders.

 St. John, US Virgin Islands. Photo: iStock/Chris LaBasco

Travel enthusiasts, on the hunt for a place to vacation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will be able to book trips to the US Virgin islands from June 1. This comes after Governor Albert Bryan Jr announced plans to initiate the “Open Doors” phase of the Territory’s path to return to normalcy after more than two months of COVID-19 restrictions. The Governor explained the reopening is based on the territory’s elimination of community spread cases. Despite the open borders, persons will be required to take precautions such as the wearing of masks. The Governor called on Virgin Islanders not to see the reopening as a signal to let their guard down as he noted masks are still required to be worn when accessing services. “As we lift the operating restrictions on businesses, we are going to be coming out there to make sure that everything is going okay and complying with our occupancy guidelines,” Bryan stated. Flights to the islands remain limited as only 15 percent of regular airlifts are operating at 30 percent capacity. Cruise ships will also be absent from ports at least until August. Bryan Jr added vendors in the tourist areas plan to reopen a week later.