For the longest time, ‘skinny’ has been used to define sexy. Plus-size model Precious Mokotedi is defying the odds by shuttering stereotypes on being thick.
The fashion model has been strutting runways locally and internationally adding more piece of gold to her profile with something that has been shunned for years. More often than not a thick girl is curvy in all the right places which is what Mokotedi serves naturally without hesitation. Even though skinny is viewed as acceptable, what defines an African woman better is that extra meat and the curves we swing every day.
This is what tells the rest of the world that we are African. Prototypically, it is our pride and heritage. Now that people have adopted the western culture, losing weight has been imposed on a lot of people. Shedding weight for health reason is fine, but society and media cannot choose what is beautiful and acceptable.
After being told to lose weight, Mokotedi shared with WeekendLife that, that was the moment she knew she had to turn tables around to shun empty talks on women who are curvaceous.
“I was constantly being told that I would look beautiful if i lost weight. I decided to step into the limelight, just as i was, without changing a thing about myself, and reshape beauty standards. I decided to live up to my own expectations and standards,” she said. Confidence makes plus-size models to stand out. She attested that it takes a lot to stand in the spotlight, "flawed" and all, and not back down. “I admire all models whose careers are built on reshaping beauty, especially plus-size models,” she said.
She came into the industry through a pageantry as a contestant in Miss Plus-Size Universe Botswana. Thereafter she walked in a number of fashion shows including Fashion without Borders and Busisiwe Bantshi Fashion Show. She also did fashion shoots representing brands such as Rock Culture and Top Model Botswana. Adding more to her profile, she also featured in music videos with the likes of Girly O Dibodi and Tlamelo Malebe. “My most recent job is an ongoing project in progress, which I've been leading internationally, yet to be revealed. With the limited opportunities for plus size models in Botswana, I believe I've built quite a profile,” she said.
When starting off her career, she admits hitting her rock bottom and brining many walls just to be where she is today. “I hit so many brick walls in my quest to grow. The sabotage, the judgement, the rejection, the criticism, blow after blow, it took a lot for me to overcome opposing forces. Somehow at the end, it fueled my motivation to keep on pushing. My parents were have always been supportive, i can definitely say they gave me immense support throughout my journey. I could write a pretty thick book about everything they have done and all that I am still doing for my career,” she said.
Being a plus size fashion model is not a walk in the park as people often prefer the petite ones. Hence she played her game right to climb her ladder of success.
“I have grown thick skin to the criticism. Modeling is an art, the beauty of art is the diversity in unique creativity. I represent my own kind of beauty, that doesn't mean everyone will like it, but i do, that is what matters most to me. I appreciate my own kind of beauty,” she said. One of the people she look up to in her career is Canadian fashion model with a rare skin condition called vitiligo, Winnie Harlow. “I absolutely adore Winnie Harlow. She is not a plus size model, but she represents her own unique image, another shape of beauty. Absolutely inspiring,” she highlighted.
Today she lives to educate fellow women on self-acceptance and not to succumb to what society view as beauty. One of the highlights of her career is motivating other young girls who live under the pressure of people's standards. “I get a lot of messages from girls everyday who look up to me, that's the highlight of my career. I strive to see a world where girls are comfortable in their own skin, that’s the world I want to live in,” she hinted. Her lesson learnt throughout her career is to always utilize constructive criticism to her benefit.
“One can always learn a lot from other people, no matter how sure you are in what you know. There is always a room for improvement and growth. Never get too big for your own shoes,” she urged. The gorgeous University of Botswana thick model is eyeing bigger things especially in reshaping the narrative amongst people about being thick.
“There is so much i want to achieve, part of which is to introduce more opportunities for plus size models especially in Botswana. We are the underdogs, i want to be the person to change that,” she said.
Creativity is seen everywhere and these individuals did something recently that’s never been done before, and some are still killing it. We see creativity on streaming platforms, stages, runways, social media and boardrooms even. Some of them are revamping their businesses, and lately, clothing sale is thriving.
They love concept-driven designs, storytelling and they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that will leave footprints in the sand. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, these creative minds utilized the drawing board and they became cognizant that monetizing content will actually take them far, which is frank nonetheless.
This is commendable though, but the creative industry will still need support from government in order for it to flourish further. Allocation of resources (funds, facilities and empowerment) should be done consistently, creativity must be raised and at the end of the day, the economy benefits from that kind of investment.
Ever since he parted ways with his former manager, DJ Bougee Sid, Mahalapye born-pint sized, multi-award-winning artist, Hanceford Magapatona has been taking up space, unapologetically so. Han C has shown a strong will to take over the entire world, and he is in the right direction. He’s solely organizing the annual Mahalapye Spring Festival, which is taking place next weekend.
The Pepetetsa hitmaker raked some monies from his savings to put together this event. Mahalapye Spring Festival will feature Paige, Ubuntu Band, Khoisan, Amantle Brown and Double Up among others. Even though it didn’t come as a surprise, Han C was nominated at African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) in the US, under Best Male Southern Africa category.
However, the award was snatched by the late South African rapper, AKA. Its not all lost as Han C secured two nominations at the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs): People’s Choice of the Year and Best Male Single.
This entrepreneur has turned his dreams into reality, and his promising apparel business is now a fashion destination. Matter of fact, Motswagole weathered the storms to be where he is now because through criticism and social media bullying, he still leads the pack in fashion.
His social media accounts got deleted but through his online store, KM Sales, Motswagole is able to rake in some profits. He initially started selling from his car but now owns a busy store and has employed a number of young people.
KM Sales has been offering fashionable items (shoes, t-shirts, pants) and has been participating in various lifestyle events such as Garden of Drip where it showcases its products.
If there is one young entrepreneur to draw motivation from is Koketso. The business started from humble beginnings, at the time when he worked part time at Ipelegeng as a casual labor. Indeed, good things come to those who wait, or well, work like a slave today, live like a king tomorrow.
KAGISO LUDO DE KLERK
Vee Mampeezy’s ex-wife Kagiso De Klerk clearly did not sit and weep over their dramatic divorce. The famous social media influencer hurriedly picked up the pieces and went hard on promoting business online. She literally took social media influencing to the head and it is working for her.
This year saw her partnership with Shell reach greater heights, and obviously, she is raking lot of pulas from the deal. Kagiso has been making frequent appearances in top events in South Africa such as Bubbles in Spring and Gold and Diamond Experience.
After a long break from the limelight, renowned media and radio personality, Gaona Dintwe is back. She was missed by many on TV, and she’s back where she belongs, news anchoring on BTV. Gaona has also found a niche in podcasting. She is a host of her own podcast, Gaona Live Conversation, where various people share their stories on camera.
Some of what they discuss is Gender Based Violence (GBV), polygamy and drug addiction. This is highly commendable because even BTV doesn’t have programs that discuss these crucial social issues. The Lentswelemoruti native is also seen in various corporate events where she is engaged as a host.
Now that one-man shows are made fashionable, traditional dance guru and ex-convict, Ditiro Leero is joining the crusade and he will be hosting his also. The show will be held next month at Zone 4 Farm in Selokolela, but the there are traditional dance music artists who have been lined up to perform at the show. Matshana, Morwa Leka and Maswailathota will be doing their thing and probably bring some heat too. Ditiro Leero will be making history as the first traditional artist to host a one-man show in Botswana.
With only two months before Miss World 2023, the reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo is having many irons in the fire, preparing for the much-anticipated beauty pageant. Miss World 2023 will be the 71st edition of Miss World pageant and it will be held in India. Chombo has been spotted toning her body at Jack’s gym, a requirement that is taken seriously at the pageant. She has also been participating in charity events, something that should add to her profile at the Miss World.