After a very objectionable and last minute cancellation of the country most renowned festive event Home Coming Concert, or HCC as eminently known, the entire country is on DJ Easy B who is the man behind this occasion.
At every small or big village in the Central District going North, South or Western part of the country, chilling outlets, or households even, people cannot stop talking about Home Coming Concert, which according to its followers, is headed for a horrific crash! And for a good reason- what a pure disaster.
Home Coming Concert has been going on for quite a long time now, and for the past three years the concert has been losing relevance. It started off with artists failing to show up, sound being bizarre or security being dumpy or not that taut. This on its own is a slip-up, and had to be dealt with. Fortunately, DJ Easy B has steadfast elites who will rather compromise their well-being and show up at the event that is lemon, but this time around, he showed them dust! Last year saw the best coming out of Home Coming Concert advertising, and one would have thought that the event will be a prodigious one, more so that the line-up was just remarkable.
HCC was accurately promoted, all year long. On Friday 27th September 2019, the event featured South African Dr Malinga in Kanye at a nightclub dubbed Hashtag on what they called African Tour. He was accompanied by Beat Movement and Thabla Soul, both from South Africa. The event was supported by DJ Easy B himself, DJ Lex as well as La Spinner. The following day Easy B hosted revellers at what they called Mahalapye Spring Picnic. Three days later, as one way of getting the event out there to its lovers, we saw yet another South African dynamo Prince KayBee does his magic at The United Lounge in Gaborone alongside the country most celebrated DJ Kuchi. HCC cohorts waited for the line up to be revealed, and half of it was released on the 28th November 2019.
It was actually half of their international acts, which comprised of DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Caiiro as well as the man of the year, Master KG. It was a burning combination of what party animals were looking forward to, but well, their desires were shattered at the very last minute. It must have been a hard pill to swallow…sad! Their Facebook post about this reveal reached close to seven thousand reactions, two thousand comments and close to a thousand shares. These numbers indicate how big Home Coming Concert is, and it’s all up to Easy B to earn his follower’s trust again, provided he wants to see HCC booming again. But, at this particular moment, the event is heading for a bang, and I mean a bad din, it’s sad but true.
Two days later, Easy B used all his powers to add yet another South Africans in his line-up. We genuinely do not know who advised him to reach this puerile decision, but what’s imperative for now is, it cost him his exquisite event. We saw hit maker of Akulaleki and tender love Shasha being brought into the equation, as well as DJ Jury. As if that was not enough, Easy B added Tshego, a hit maker of Hennesy. Fast forward to December 20th, a final line-up was publicised. It contained all the amazing artists from South Africa and local ones…and they all confirmed they will be coming.
Tables turned on the day the event was to take place, Home Coming Concert was cancelled. In a press statement released just exactly when party lovers were thronging Mahalapye Railways Stadium, the organisers said ‘’we regrettably wish to inform our loyal Home Coming Concert supporters that this year’s event has been cancelled. All booked artist were scheduled to be performing at their given time but unfortunately we could not meet our contractual obligations with some of the booked artists which led to a delay of the whole event. It is very unfortunate that the artist’s demands could not be met well in time. We wish to inform our loyal customers who have purchased their tickets that ‘there will be a makeup show early next year’. We would like to take this time to apologise to every one of you who was looking forward to this year’s Home Coming Concert as it was never our intention to disappoint all of you. The Home Coming Concert team is working around the clock to ensure that you guys get the best makeup show’’
This press release captivated different reactions and from what I perceived, the fans were not contented. ‘’Easy B sell this Home Coming brand, you have been at the helm for 11 years now. It’s time to let it go Uncle’’ Lesego Masisi aired her opinion. ‘’Give people back their funds, Batswana need to stand together for their hard earned money, cancelling so last minute while some people have already travelled, booked for accommodation, it’s not like you didn’t know the concert wasn’t going to be’’ said Edwin Tsietso. ‘’The line-up was too good to be true, I expected this. Bring back our money, this is obtaining by false pretence’’, Kaone Sebereko commented. As many as they were, some felt ‘’that’s the end of it all bro, let it go because the industry needs fresh minds now’’, said MJ Pilane. ‘’I am available to perform for P150 and a plate of food’’ Topo Gakebobone shared this hilarious comment. ‘’Why sell tickets before meeting the artist’s contractual obligations, you obtain money from Batswana under false pretence under Botswana police penal code. You must be arrested and charged’’ said Batshani Chakalisa.
However, the organisers assured those that bought tickets that they will get their money back from the same outlets they bought them from. Surprisingly enough, early this year refunds were not ready as organisers claim relevant people are not back at work to process everything for them. This must be a joke, but not a funny one! Well, they reiterated their apologies for the great inconvenience they caused, especially during festive season where everyone wants to be partying. Is this the end of Home Coming Concert? No one knows…and it’s only Easy B who can tell.
By the look of things, Home Coming Concert has reached bedrock! Request for an interview sent to organisers of HCC was not responded to the time of going to print.
Botswana once had a story love affair with the world’s biggest premium beauty pageant, Miss Universe. This was in 1999 when Botswana’s first representative at Miss Universe, Mpule Kwelagobe, effortlessly snatched the title.
It was every contestant’s beautiful dream to wear the crown, but winning at first entry was implausible if not magical. Kwelagobe made the country contented, and history was made. Taking a closure significant look at her performance at the Miss Universe held at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago, Kwelagobe battled it out on and off stage with 84 contestants and showed them dust. She was in the Top 5 spot with South Africa, Venezuela, Philippines and Spain. There are countries which snatch the Miss Universe title every year.
Miss Universe 2019 was a South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi. Mpule Kwelagobe scorecard looked pretty remarkable. She scored 9.05 out of 10 on her interviews, 9.18 swimsuit, 9.36 evening gown, semi-final average 9.19 and 9.48 on the Top 5 question. These results were good enough to earn her the crown.
However, over the years (since the crowning of Mpule Kwelagobe), Botswana has been fading away from participating at the Miss Universe. Between 2002 and 2003, the country did not participate in Miss Universe but in 2004, the country sent a winning title of Miss Universe Botswana to Ecuador, Miss Universe 2004.
In 2010, Mos Syde Worldwide Entertainment Group: an international entertainment and fashion company domiciled in Botswana took over the Miss Universe Botswana pageant after a six-year absence. Tirelo Ramasedi was crowned Miss Universe Botswana 2010, and represented the country in Las Vegas on August 23. As it is right now, Ramasedi is the only former Miss Universe queen still keen in having her name shine out there: she works closely on projects aimed at empowering women and young girls.
Sadly so, 2013 was the last time Botswana participated in Miss Universe. After five years of not participating at Miss Universe pageant, the first Miss Universe Botswana Mpule Kwelagobe took over the franchise. The winner selection of Miss Universe Botswana 2019 was to remark Botswana to Miss Universe 2019, however, was cancelled.
2019 marked another possible six years since Botswana lacked participation in Miss Universe. This drastic zero participation in this premium beauty competition paved way for our neighbours South Africa to sail smoothly at the competition. Zozibini Tunzi became an instant global queen and everyone’s favourite after displaying intelligence, poise and taking up space to be crowned Miss Universe 2019.
The pageant was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19. This will be the third time in the history of the competition in which the event will be held after the calendar year has ended: this previously occurred during Miss Universe 2014 and Miss Universe 2016 (in which Botswana was not participating).
Miss Universe Organization announced early this year that the competition would be held on May 16 2021, at Seminole Hard rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, United States. Zozibini Tunzi will crown her successor at this competition.
Botswana, will not be participating at the Miss Universe 2020, again. The weakening Miss Universe Botswana has been attributed to by internal fights within the organization. But why participate at Miss Universe?
The Miss Universe Organization is a global, inclusive organization that celebrates women of all cultures and backgrounds and empowers them to realize their goals through experiences that build self-confidence and create opportunities for success.
Women participate annually to affect positive change personally, professionally and philanthropically as inspirational leaders and role models. The delegates and titleholders that have participated in the MUO system are able to cultivate their personal, professional and philanthropic goals. These women are forward thinking and motivated not just talk about change, but to initiate it.
Prominent beauty pageants analyst in Botswana Morekolodi Smith took Weekendlife in an exclusive interview that it has been so many years of absence from participating at Miss Universe, and this shows that Botswana lacks consistency and commitment.
“The franchise holders fail to host a national pageant. I think they should hand over the license to Miss Botswana Organization because it hosts the pageant annually. Then the winner gets to participate in both Miss World and Miss Universe. They can maybe crown two representatives. Botswana has faded away from Miss Universe platform and fans have forgotten about it,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
Pranks, for a common man, is designated to the 1st of April- April fool’s day. Usually it’s the only day out of the entire 365 days one can make a fool of others and get away with practically anything, anything legal that is.
While there are fanatics who do it for amusement, there are some who do it to earn their daily bread and butter. Some obviously saw a niche to keep people fascinated especially in these emotionally straining times of COVID-19. For the record, they don’t play ordinary cards as you may think.
Their pranks are as big and as real as marriage wrecking and all the drama that comes along with it. Given Carter is not just your ordinary boy next door. The Tonota born prankster is currently taking the entire country on an emotional rollercoaster from the comfort of his home in Francistown.
At only 32-years, Carter BW’s skills of planning and executing a prank is what sets him apart from the rest. In fact one can go as far as to say that he’s the only prankster Batswana know.His ideas are unique and relevant, telling a tale that someone can sit and think about, perhaps learn from it because they are everyday life happenings that most people can relate to because they have a way of really hitting home.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, the versatile Given Carter (who is also a photographer) says the inspiration behind pranking was to introduce something not so common in Botswana, and challenge typecasts associated with art, especially modern art.
“Growing up, we only saw pranks on the television dominantly done by the whites. We never thought this is something we can do, or maybe we didn’t understand the logic behind it. But I guess, pranks are real life lessons we need, its only that they are shared in a more hilarious and sometimes obstinate way,” he said.
Given Carter told this publication that, he spends most of his time on the internet, learning more tricky skills. This is quite a remarkable observation because in this era of advanced technology, one doesn’t necessarily have to go to school to learn from the grassroot. The use of technology has made it easier for people to acquire skills and knowledge, and still do exceptionally well without being in class.
“Of course, a bit of it is common sense but I make use of the internet to learn more on how I can improve my craft. It is quite unpretentious to do a prank because they are real-life situations, so its not much of a big deal. I needed people to learn and I think I came at the right time because most people are online, and the reception is just incredible.”
He however shed light on his first video shot in Shakawe that went viral, subsequently leading to speculations of his crew’s arrest. Given Carter was however not arrested instead he was brought before the police for questioning.
“We were not arrested as people may think. We were called to write statements on what the prank was all about and we were released the same day. I believe maybe we went too far in what we depicted in the video because it’s something that the society is not yet ready to accept, but it has been happening for a long time,” he told WeekendLife.
In many Western countries, pranksters do this for a living through YouTube accounts and subscriptions. “As it is currently, I do not have a YouTube channel. I am still building a platform and I’m certain very soon it will be up and running. I am primarily focused on taking my craft to the people, and let people know more about what I do. So technically, it has been about familiarising people with the art.”
Even though that’s the case, Given Carter says there is room for paid partnerships and endorsements. After all, there is an entire crew which need money to pay the bills. He says with so much ideas spinning in his head, there is need for financial support to be able to dish out more seeing that people love his works and how realistic his pranks are.
Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.
In these unprecedented times of the overwhelming and the deadly COVID-19, it is only critical that people stand together and remain committed to helping each other, being kind enough to lend a helping hand in any way possible.
The contagious virus left people confounded, deprived and depressed. The pandemic shuttered many economies, industries and the entertainment sector was no exemption. If anything, the entertainment industry took the biggest hit of all the sectors but this was a hit felt in every country in the world not just a local tragedy.
There were tear-jerking testimonies of creatives, in particular artists, suffering from extreme hunger as events were given a rain check. Technically, social events have been shut for sixteen months now.
There were series of protests calling for the immediate opening of the creative sector, in a phased manner. Some brave yet unfortunate artists were arrested for taking up arms and protesting the strict COVID-19 regulations placed on the entertainment sector.
When protests failed and their laments falling on government’s usual deaf ears, prominent artists Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.
COVID-19 has created untold challenges for musicians in Botswana, but there are possibilities- challenges have a way of breeding solutions nonetheless.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday, Vee said the Battle to Develop Artists Welfare is aimed at inspiring artists to learn diversification, which has been lacking for quite a stretch amongst fellow artists. A lot of local artists depend solely on music, which on its own has been performing below par, and COVID-19 has brought that into clear view, showing how most artists in Botswana live off scraps, barely making money off their beloved passion- music.
“This project was born out of compassion. The world as it is now is experiencing a rough patch, and you can imagine how other artists are coping. It is really a struggle, and we saw it critical to jump on-board and help our fellow colleagues. It will help artists start small businesses, some will start short courses which will enable them to find employment in the long run.
For it to have weight, we incorporated it into a challenge on stage, performing our songs. We hope this will inspire business moguls to sponsor and pledge some monies towards this initiative,” said Vee.
Charma gal indicated that the live battle on stage has been supported with musical instruments, further indicating that this is a volunteerism project with no proceeds to gain from.
“We will divide and disburse proceeds to our fellow artists, I mean these are people we have been working alongside for so many years. There is no how we can be reckless towards them when we see how hard the situation is.
We are in this together, and we are going to stick together like that. Some have started already doing something, and meeting them half way is only fundamental,” Charma Gal told WeekendLife.
The duo stressed that Gaborone North Member of Parliament, Mpho Balopi, has pledged P50 000 towards this battle, further calling on other businessmen to come to the party. Vee says Balopi supported the initiative from the get-go, brushing aside allegations that the project is politically influenced.
Initiatives brought forward to aid the entertainment sector have caused controversy, with Vee emphasizing that not all artists will benefit from this particular charity cause. “We have artists who are struggling, and sadly so. Some of them were bread winners and there is no income coming in, making it hard for them to cope with the economic challenges.
There has been an increase in VAT recently, and such developments make the situation worse. Rigorous assessments will be done to identify our desired beneficiaries.”
Vee and Charma Gal will be battling it out on stage with the battle scheduled to take place on the 28th May 2021. Because events are still striped, the show will be online with COVID-19 protocols to be adhered to.