In Conversation: Bonolo Selelo (Host, BW Thinking Law)

BW TechZone caught up Bonolo Selelo, a lawyer who wants to democratise access to information about the law through her platform, BW Thinking Law

Please tell us about yourself and your platform

My name is Bonolo and I am an attorney, conveyancer and notary public in Botswana. I have been practising for about 10 years now.  I started BW Thinking Law in 2021y as a YouTube channel before I went onto Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. The platform seeks to share legal information with the general public because my view is that everyone should have at least a surface-level understanding of how the law of Botswana works and how it affects them.

What challenges have you had in running the platform and how have you been traversing your way around them?

Different platforms have different challenges. For me, the most challenging platform is YouTube because it takes a lot of manpower to come up with a concept for a video. This is especially because my YouTube videos are long-form so they take time to actually research, record and edit. That's the reason why now my YouTube mainly hosts recordings of the radio segments that I do. As for the other platforms, though they haven't been as challenging as YouTube, having to constantly come up with different topics to talk about was the most challenging in the beginning until I came up with a programme for what I'm going to post. 

Do you have any plans to monetise your content on the platform?

If I gain traction like on YouTube and I get the necessary subscribers and stuff, I'll hopefully get on to their monetisation programme. Or if I get sponsors and other initiatives like that. But what I don't want to do is put my content behind a paywall because that then defeats the objective of what I want you to do, which is to share my views of the law with the general public.

How have you been able to adapt to creating content across the numerous platforms that you mentioned?

Unlike online platforms, where you can delete or edit, radio is very different. What I effectively do for all my platforms is start by explaining that the content is my understanding of the law and might not be everyone's understanding of the law. I also always encourage people to also do their own research, including going to look for the specific cases I talked about, as well as consulting other attorneys in relation to any specific thing. So I always make sure that I make it clear to people that this is how I understand it, and that I do make mistakes sometimes. This is something I also do on my social media platforms and that's why I constantly engage with people even on these online platforms.

What is your vision for BW Thinking Law?

The vision is to continue to share the law and to reach as many people as possible. Generally, I do want to get to a point where we're able to render legal services to people everyday people and not have them have to break the bank.

What are your overall thoughts on content creation in Botswana?

I think social media has opened the door to a lot of dialogue in different spaces and I think law is no different. In the last two or three years, we've actually seen quite a number of lawyers also do a lot of public outreach and share legal knowledge online so that's great. I think even from the legal fraternity perspective, people have realised that the sharing of legal information is something that is actually beneficial to the general population so that's something that is fantastic to see and I hope that more people join in. We can have open discussions and we get to a point where, at least on a rudimentary level, people have a fundamental understanding of what rights they actually have on a constitutional basis.

Interview has been edited for clarity.

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