Kampung Ulu Liawan, Keningau: Keningau lass, Marianah Barasanon has returned from a life-changing 6 weeks holiday in Botswana, a wealthy country in sub-Saharan Africa, BE news was informed.
Marianah, 32, seamlessly slipped back into everyday life and was deeply affected by the transformative experience of spending much of her time in a popular town called Lobatse.
“It was such an eye opener, I’m not sure my life will ever be the same after it,” Marianah told her coworkers as she returned to work at Chong Fui Teck shop in Keningau town with her usual packed lunch of nasi goreng with ikan masin.
“The people there are just like us here in Keningau!” exclaimed Marianah citing her one interaction with the Botswanan woman who was working as a cleaner in her hotel.
According to Marianah, the standards of living in Botswana, in particular in Lobatse was very similar to home. She noted that as high as 19.3% of people live below the poverty line in Botswana which was very similar to Sabah’s figure of 19.7%. BE news was able to independently confirmed these figures.
Marianah who once awarded a pelajar contoh tahun 4 SK Ulu Liawan, also noted an uncannily similar average income between Botswana and Sabah. Based on Marianah’s extensive experience as a cashier in Chong Fui Teck grocery shop, she noted that almost 70% of Sabahan acquire less than RM689 per month (US$181) which was almost identical to that of 1,808 Pula in Botswanan currency.
Marianah’s close friends, Mary and Suhailah, noted how different she has been after the life-changing trip. In particular, they noted that Marianah now feels more liberated than ever to find out that there’s a place somewhere in Africa where she could live happily with RM700 per month.
“In Lobatse, there’s no GST whatsoever and daily stuffs are much cheaper than in Keningau” added Marianah, to the approval of her friends. “I might consider opening my grocery shop there in Lobatse” said Marianah in joy. A one way ticket from KKIA to Gabrone, Botwana’s capital costs about US$1,084.