PHLYHONEY: Goddess of too much entertainment!
When it comes to emceeing events and entertaining people, the likes of Poloko Mosarwa or Phlyhoney if you want to sound fancy seem to have earned their rightful positions in the game. Well, you will agree with me that emceeing is something that requires passion, experience, energy to grab attention of the audience just so they don’t get bored, and above all authenticity and relevance.
An event may last only for a few hours, but staging a successful event requires so much time, effort and attention to details. Naturally, one of the most important factors when staging an event is finding the right person to lead and guide the big occasion for you. Selecting a professional events host who has the perfect mix of professionalism, charm, and wit is essential for any big event to succeed.
In today’s world, for you to be the best as an event host, lifestyle events to be precise, you should be an amusing character. Show us your dance moves, shake what you can shake and let your audience feel your vibes. As for female ladies, it’s critical you have that make-up on fleek, shine…and let boys come closer and have fun in your event! It’s nice to note that we have such people here in this country that is doing exactly what I just said…Well, everyday people are looking for experts to help them in hosting events so they are a success. Corporates too are in dire need of potential experts to emcee their functions.
Clearly, this niche must be paid handsomely as lots of individuals are trying their hands. While some are still trying their luck in the game, some are already winning it all. And in this week edition of Weekend Life…we had a minute of chat with the country’s new phenomenal event host…Poloko Mosarwa! She is admired for her competence and intelligence in handling tough issues, thanks to her open mind and experience. She is a hard worker, a beautiful young woman who had to take a risk of quitting her corporate job to start new life in the entertainment sector. Her hard work and determination have seen her become an epitome of success in the society, and admired by many in an ailing town Lobatse.
Phlyhoney truly delivers when she has been called upon to do her thing that is why she is among the most influential women in the media right now. Her devotion towards creating awareness on gender based violence, women empowerment and child protection and speaking on oppressed women is really motivating. She is multitalented…she is an MC, activist, voice over artist, dancer you name it all can be a little challenging and overwhelming, and she aspires to be a TV presenter. She is legit! In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, Phlyhoney said being raised by an old couple of the then late 60s taught her not only discipline, but a sense of self-respect and determination. She is very lucky…if not blessed! ‘’I learnt a lot from this couple, they taught me values and principles that have shaped me into the lady I am today. I am kind, respectful, hardworking and most importantly I know how to hold up the family name in public and in the entrepreneurial space’’
Quizzed on why she decided to be an event host, she confidently said ‘’I have worked in corporate world for over 7 years and my heart still wanted something else. This is something I dreamt about every day and since I was young. I took a leap of faith and decided to quit and try something else because I didn’t want to be sitting in an office one day in my 40s regretting not having taken the chance when I could have’’ She believes whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve, and she is right! ‘’I have this desire to succeed and constantly challenging myself to do better. I believe the kind of people I associate myself with and the events I choose to host makes me relevant as well as challenges I come across that makes me develop a thick skin, and have the drive to push even further’’ she said. Everyone has that person they look up to as a source of inspiration.
Phlyhoney indicated that she does too have few people she draws inspiration from…just so she doesn’t give up before time. ‘’It’s only three people I look up to because they share what inspires me daily. They went from what they really wanted and became the best in their own rights. These people are still young but the level of hustle they have within themselves is just incredible. It’s Cassper Nyovest, Rihanna as well as our very own Vee. Besides emceeing and showing off her dance moves, Poloko revealed to this publication that she does digital marketing. ‘’I studied Accounting and Insurance at Botswana Accounting College BAC, Digital Marketing at UCT as well as Economics and Communication at IDM.
I own a digital marketing company, I build websites and do social media marketing for various companies and I also have a heart for community volunteerism. Just recently, I joined hands with an organization in Lobatse called Urban Rhythm Youth Empowerment and it’s aimed at assisting youth overcome challenges they might be facing. I also own a website that has some of the work I have done in the past. So yeah, besides holding the mic, I am busy like that. It’s a busy life after all’’ However, as exciting and flexible the entertainment industry is, it has its flaws. They apply to everyone long as it’s a creative, including event hosts. ‘’Our industry is very small and sometimes you have dodgy promoters who are not willing to give out coin that you worked hard for.
I manage myself and I have encountered challenges which I since learnt to tackle at all the time. It’s not easy, but I can make it seem easy. The industry is mostly run by male promoters that would always book male artists and MCs, and that is wrong in any possible way. I strive to change this with what I have to offer, watch and learn’’. She noted that as the year begins, she is ready for new developments and will be travelling a lot. ‘’2020 is a year of growth and lots of yes’s to all prospects. It involves a lot of travel and growth. I am so excited and wish for my followers to keep checking my social media and website for daily updates.
I am busy…and ready to rock your event, day and night, rain or no rain I am all set’’
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Dr Lame Pusetso comes to writer’s rescue
Multi award winning author of fifteen (15) books, Dr Lame Pusetso has put together a platform to empower local writers. Dr Pusetso is a President and Chairperson of the Executive Board of Kasapa Society.
She is also the Managing Director of Poeticblood Publishers and an owner of an online bookstore dubbed Mind and Soul Bookstores. Dr Pusetso has reiterated her commitment to helping upcoming authors, writers and poets in establishing their crafts and capitalizing on them.
In an exclusive interview this week, she said that she has put together a platform dubbed Botswana Literature Awards, which have fourteen categories.
When quizzed on what the awards stand for, Dr Pusetso said “writing as a form of art in Botswana is a skill that many have and have always been exploring. As a publisher, I have met different writers from all walks of life and some indicating that there isn’t enough motivation to keep going.”
In Botswana and according to the writer, there has been a limited representation of appreciation of authors. This is despite their efforts year in year out.
The whole intention of these awards really is to honor and recognize the hard work that local authors put in, when doing what they know best (writing).
“This is a way of appreciating their creativity and we will be doing this across all genres. The awards also act as a motivational tool to young writers who still have dreams of becoming best selling authors. Quite frankly, their works are of great importance and we cannot afford to let that slide like that.”
Dr Pusetso emphasized that all the winners will walk away with an award, a certificate and complimentary gifts to take home. “The two winners of Best Overall Author and Best Young Author will in addition receive book publication deals which includes book distribution and marketing for a year.
She gave a clearer picture of how authors can be a part of the literature awards.
“The awards are open to every author from the age of 7, must be a Motswana, and their book should have been published before or by 2022. For authors with more than one book, they are allowed to compete with only one book for one category, and different books for different categories.”
The young writer pinned hope on institutional collaborations, in order to stage the second edition of the awards next year, saying “We believe with these awards, the different institutions and stakeholders will show interest in helping nurture the literature scenario in Botswana.”
“It will also give authors hope and light to keep writing and penning down their stories for the benefit of all. We anticipate to host the next edition in 2024 with assistance from all interested parties.”
THE LITERATURE AWARDS CATEGORIES
Dr Pusetso stressed that there are fourteen (14) categories, and they are: Religious or Faith Based Book, Poetry Book, Children’s Book, Multi-lingual Writer, Best Collaboration, Setswana Novel, English Novel, Motivational Book, Best Young Author (7-13), Overall Best Author, Best Theory, Best Online Writer, Best Media Writer (Honor Award) and Honor Award (Long Serving Best Author).
EXPLAINING SPECIAL AWARDS
Best Media and Honor Award, Dr Pusetso said are not based on submissions but nomination by the committee. “For Honor Award, we want to appreciate the individual who has inspired the Botswana writing scenario over the years and even assisted numerous authors as both a writer and a community leader.”
The Best Media Writer award is meant to appreciate a journalist who is actively taking part in appreciating and helping authors in marketing, advertising and affording them a platform to showcase their works through their writing skills.
Meanwhile, the Botswana Literature Awards will be held on the 29th April and they are partially sponsored through the literacy grant. This is a grant under the Botswana National Library Services which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture.
Women’s Awards hit the ground running
The second edition of the much-anticipated Women’s Awards Botswana will be going down on the 27th May 2023 in Gaborone at Travel Lodge. The organizers of the prestigious awards have announced finalists, with three nominees per category.
Women’s Awards Botswana is established to empower women and celebrate them from all walks of life and across sectors. The awards raise awareness for women to be granted equal participation, particularly in decision-making positions, as one way of breaking the gender bias.
They also seek to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women from diverse industries in Botswana. Taking a closer look at the categories, He for She award celebrates and shines a light on men who stand and support women.
These are men who advocate for inclusion of women, men who stand against GBV and men who promote any service that can better women life. Her Abilities award looks into women who have shown determination to keep moving and achieve any goal they have set for themselves, regardless of their disability.
Other awards are self-explanatory. They celebrate women in arts, culture and entertainment, agriculture, creativity, innovation and technology, tourism and hospitality, community impact as well as organization supporting women.
ORGANIZER SPEAKS ON CRITERIA USED
When speaking in an interview, Founder and Director of Women’s Awards Botswana, Bofelo Zebe, said in their first edition, they had fifteen categories, which was enough for a piloting project.
“But we left out many industries or lines of work. After the event, we received reviews and suggestions, and there was an intensive evaluation that led to us increasing the categories to eighteen for this second edition.”
He said the nominees were voted in by the public, adding that the finalists were judged by a panel with the support of votes from their supporters.
When shedding light on what winners take home, Zebe indicated that there is an award trophy, certificate and goodie bags for all categories but “we are working to have financial sponsors jump on board so that winners and nominees can receive monetary incentives. We are also busy at work trying to retain our previous sponsors.”
THE 2023 WOMEN’S AWARDS BOTSWANA NOMINEES
HE FOR SHE AWARD
Desmond Lunga, Tlhabo Kgosiemang and Christopher Seagateng
BEST WOMAN IN ARTS, CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Ditshupo Mosoboloko, Thanolo Keutlwile and Seneo Mabengano
HER ABILITIES AWARD
Koketso Seleke, Goabo Kgasa and Mumsie Odirile
SPORTS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Naledi Marape, Ouname Mhotsha and Keamogetse Kenosi
WOMAN FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Montle Rantatana, Lesedi Matlapeng and Trudy Bakwena
BEST WOMAN IN AGRICULTURE
Nomathemba Masuku, Basadi Molelekeng and Keolebogile Keabetswe
BEST WOMAN IN CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Marang Mbaakanyi, Didintle Moreki and Thandeka Palai
BEST WOMAN IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Masego Keleadile, Wapula Matshambane and Tshepo Phokoje
YOUNG WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Bridget Gothaang, Waone Makobo and Kimberly Matheakgomo
WOMAN OWNED SME BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Suits Africa, Nomlu Nail Bar and Sunflower Desserts
BEST WOMAN OWNED BUSINESS
Prezlin Clothing and Dawn Bell Academy
FEMALE MUSIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Mpho Sebina, Dato Seiko and Priscilla K
BEST ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING WOMEN
Sekao Foundation, The Fighters Support Group and Single Mothers Living with HIV
BEST WOMAN WITH COMMUNITY IMPACT
Lebopo Bulayani, Nanzelela Chaitezvi and Kebadile Wasenda
MEDIA WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Poppy Sello, Keikantse Shumba and Kedi Lezozo
FAVOURITE PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Marang Selolwane, Palesa Molefe and Masi Sithole
BEST WOMAN IN LEADERSHIP
Naseem Lahri, Neo Bogatsu and Lily Rakorong
AMANDA BLACK RETURNS TO SELF WITH NEW SINGLE “NGUWE”
“NGUWE” SETS THE TONE TO HER FORTH STUDIO ALBUM
Johannesburg, Friday, 17th March 2022- ” Amanda Black returns with her signature mix of Afro Pop, hip hop, R&B, and deeply-rooted Xhosa influences to deliver an inspirational message of returning to self and self-love with her new single “Nguwe” .
Available all digital platforms.
The single comes as Amanda Black gears up to release her forth studio album, featuring new songs with her signature sound infusing R&B Soul and tribal African melodies. As she grows and discovers herself as an individual, a spiritual being and a musician, Amanda is on a journey of self-discovery. The music reflects on the better and more hopeful space she has come to in this journey, the single “Nguwe” sets the tone and follows the theme of the upcoming album. The music is about falling in love with self , honoring yourself by self-acceptance. The overall theme and message is spiritual reconnection and trusting herself with her music.
Surfacing in 2016, that album was certified platinum a scant three weeks after its release and went on to earn Black numerous nominations and awards – including three South Africa Music Awards, two Metro Awards and a BET International Artist Of The Year nomination.
Most importantly, Amazulu’s mix of Afro Pop, hip hop, R&B, and deeply-rooted Xhosa influences secured Black a devoted fanbase that stretched right across the country. These music lovers quickly embraced her gift for telling authentic coming-of-age African stories through songs that touched on the universal experiences of love and heartbreak, of finding and losing yourself, of having hopes and dealing with fears.
But, in the background, Black was discovering that the road to becoming a fulltime artist wasn’t easy – even one marked by commercial and critical success straight out of the gate.
Of course, when she began singing in church as a child growing up in the Eastern Cape, and even when she studied Music Education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Black never imagined it would all be plain sailing. She knew there was no guarantee that, when she boarded a Greyhound bus headed for Johannesburg, she would return home with a story of success to tell. Too many talented musicians from her home town had made that same journey but had never returned – an experience captured with poignant insight on “Bayile”, one of Power’s standout tracks.
Still, Black never expected she’d have to expend so much energy standing up for her artistic rights after she’d become one of South Africa’s most popular and awarded artists. There was even a moment when she thought, “what am I doing this for?”. “The music industry is not what it looks like from the outside,” the 25-year-old says, with just a flash of emotion. “Becoming a singer is not what you imagine. It’s a lot harder and a lot deeper. At that time, I asked myself, ‘do you even still love music’. I truly didn’t know if I could continue to keep fighting to be treated with respect and fairness. There was a part of me that thought maybe music should just be a hobby – that I should just return to that happy place where I play my music and sing, for myself, my family and my community and it feels good.”
But, in spite of feeling helpless and hopeless at times, deep down Black knew that she still adored this thing called music; that the dream she’s always had, of doing something that can change the world and heal people, remained intact. And so she went to the one place where she knew she could move through the dark and into the light and start writing music again: home.
“My family is like my compass,” Black says, her words laced with gratitude and love. “They are always there to support me, especially my mom. Whenever I go home, it’s to recharge. I can honestly say that being there is like getting my superpower back.”
Alongside allowing her to feel the energetic power of her roots and the love of her family, being home enabled Black to make sense of the journey she’d travelled so far. She’d learnt to play and write on the guitar at 16 and, as part of reclaiming the purity of her love for making music, she returned to the instrument within the safety of home. “The sound of the guitar soothes me, and it reminds of when I would write and play music with no conditions, with no expectations,” she says. Black also began working with the beats and melodies that she has on her phone, freestyling lyrics with no judgement or editing, letting her spirit feel its way forward through singing and playing and imagining.
With a renewed sense of her creative being propelling her, Black returned to Johannesburg. There she embarked on process of making Power and establishing her new label Afro Rockstar, in partnership with Sony Music. Power is a mix of autobiographical songs – a highlight is the light-hearted “Egoli” – and others, like first single “Thandwa Ndim”, that see Black giving impactful voice to the experiences of women in the current socio-political moment. The album features several love songs including “Lemme Go” and “Love Again”, and includes the stunning “Hamba”, a song about being thirsty for life, love, hope and happiness that features a chorus sampled from Margaret Singana’s “Hamba Bhekile” off “Shaka Zulu”.
Power sees Black once more working with producer Christer Kobedi and the album also has a special collaboration with keyboardist and producer, Kenneth Crouch. In the end, it’s an album of inspiration, of motivation and of integrity. As the next musical calling card of a South African global artist in-the-making, it’s breath-taking and is poised to bring Black back to where she belongs: performing beautiful music for music lovers everywhere