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Art on denim!

Denim art collection has gained huge popularity as an idea of wearing one-of-a-kind piece of art appealed to many customers.

A splash of colour can inject new life into anything. So are artists, if you fancy, creative designers. We are captivated by the meticulous paintings they create on vintage denim, demonstrating their ability to fuse art and fashion.The lines that define what art is these days are so blurred. Some artists are popular because someone sees potential in them, and it is all very subjective. The same goes to fashion. Some people dress practically, and that is not art. But other people dress for fashion and to express their personalities, and that is art!

These artists do custom, hand painted denim jackets bringing art to the world of fashion hence creating the ultimate unique and expressive look. Some jackets are painted or painted and hand stitched embroidered. We are now far from the times when a piece of denim was just some durable jeans that the last centuries workers used to wear. Now denim, like most of the fabrics in the industry, it used to make a statement, and goes far beyond that concept: so far that we can talk about artistic denim.
When we look at the origin and history of denim, we realise that it was indeed designed to be a durable piece of clothing. Made for the working class, it had forcibly to be that way. What no one probably expected, at that time, was that the piece of clothing that Levi Strauss made popular, would be such a fashionable fabric.

In the last century, from being used in cowboy movies, to its importance as military clothing in the Second World War, or its association to the hippie movement, jeans popularity has always risen. It was a people’s fabric that was later reutilized by designers all over the world. More and more people started to use denim due to its durability, but also due to the cool effects they could do in denim. After world war two, the use in Europe increased dramatically. This fabric was so great that, even when it ripped due to the hard conditions that it was used for, the effect that those ripped jeans produced, was just cool. 
When fashion designers started to look at denim as a great fabric that they could use, all the game changed.

They started to see which things look good, such as the ageing processes, how to replicate it. They found out how denim could be used, not only with a great sense of durability, but also with a great sense of fashion: and that’s how artistic denim started to get shape. Artistic denim refers to the art of using denim and appeared several decades after the first denim examples were made. The constant learning about how a piece of denim could be worked, coloured and shaped into different forms by denim innovation specialists that made denim artistry possible. That can make jeans amazing pieces of art.

That and the creator’s innovative ideas using denim. And the result couldn’t be better: something with fashion sense, that shows your personality, durable and that you will love. I came across one designer who I feel is dynamic, spontaneous, feisty, fearless, extrovert and a trendsetter. This young man has all it takes to be called ‘’an innovative individual of the now century’’ because, he is just incredible! He does remarkable art works on denim, on walls and even on your body. He is a jack of all trades; he is a body-art artist, motivational speaker and a photographer. Let’s just declare him ‘’hustler of the year’’ once and for all.

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, an artistic, versatile 22-year-old Price Tom is a Limkokwing 4th year student pursing his degree on Industrial Design, who does art part time. ‘’I would choose art over industrial design any day because art was my calling. It had always shown since my tender age and I started painting on clothes back in 2017. I basically started off with painting shows in 2015 then over the years I started painting on denim jackets. The idea came about when I realised that I live in a country where my beloved people do not really appreciate art much especially canvas art and pencil drawings and as an artists, I bestowed it upon me to find solutions to embed art into Batswana’s brain and hearts.

I did my research and figured out that people are trapped in the fashion era hence why I decided to put art and fashion together. It worked wonders. People loved my denim paintings and that made them to see that I do canvas paintings and pencil drawings too. My idea worked pretty well an di started painting blazers, dresses and caps’’ he told Weekend Life reporter in Gaborone this week. Tom underlined that he loves painting on canvas more than on clothes. ‘’This is because painting on canvas allows me to share my melancholic stories through my use of color and my subjects whereas painting on jackets I only do to gain recognition from the masses and I am  happy that it works. It only limits me because most of the times I have to do what satisfies the client, I enjoy panting better when the client allows me to fly on the wings of my creativity.

For me art is more spiritual. We artists have visions of how we want our paintings to look like and we share the unseen, unknown with the world by bringing them to life’’
He further indicated that painting on denim allows color fanatics to play around with different colors and also helps one to understand colors better and how they best work with each other. ‘’I have always been fascinated and intrigued by color because it is the best way of communicating with people how I see the world and my mood’’ he whispered. ‘’When I paint on canvas I usually use color to so express my emotions. Most of my paintings have a lot of color blue because most of my life I known and encountered was sadness and you know how blue is referred to as a sad color. My inspiration is my late mother. I paint as a way of mourning her, as a way of showing her that I’m still listening and it’s a way of paying tribute to her. 

She was the one who introduced me to painting and drawing when I was young, she assisted me in drawing and at one point she helped me with my first art accolades, it’s a pity she never lived long enough to witness me become the champion that I’m turning out to be but I’m certain that she’s watching me’’ Painting on denim doesn’t wash off, so I learnt! The paint Tom uses is suitable for most fabrics. The longevity of the work depends on how well the client takes care of it just like any other clothing from the shop. ‘’I have people who still rock my paintings that I did as back then in 2017 and they still look brand new. Art is invertible. It is mortal. When I paint on denim jackets or blazers, I usually do what the client wants or sometimes I ask them to me surprise them. Sometimes I buy jackets, paint and sell them ready made’’ Tom noted that social media is a platform he uses to attract customers.

He is not wrong! Most businesses, hustlers and artists have turned to social media to market, promote and sell their products and services. If you an entrepreneur and on this era you don’t have either a page or a personal account on social where you sell your stuff, you might as well quit. This is the 21st century and you ought to move with the times. ‘’Social media has been doing a good job for a lot of creative out there and sometimes I go out there and show people my work even though most of the time school limits me. Soon it won’t be something to worry about as I am on my final lap. I’ll have enough time to focus on my art and meet my customers, and even pitch proposals to government as I have been doing lately’’

‘’I recently did four canvas paintings for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and I’ve worked with a lot of people and different companies over 3 years period that I’ve painting and that has boosted my portfolio and connections with important people. Just like any other creative, Tom has a plan to diverse as much as possible because the whole idea is to make art that’s timeless.

Recently, he directed and wrote scripts for 2 music videos which are doing well so far. During his spare time, he enjoys reading as it helps him to remain relevant throughout the years. ‘’What I figured most people lack is consistency and research. I don’t want those two to ever die out in me.’’

 

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WeekendLife

BOMU spruce up dirty laundry

30th March 2021
BOMU awards

Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is known for its bad reputation that has been getting worse over the years. There has been a lot of chinwag, squabbles and the organization literally lost touch. It has gotten so bad that stakeholders pulled out, and members were left with no choice but to face the music alone.

Just when you’d think the waters are calm, the new Executive Committee awarded a fledgling company, Total Music Group, to handle the 2021 music awards. This move was seen as a biased decision that got BOMU members bent out of shape.

However, BOMU Secretary General, Rasina Rasina told Weekendlife that the Executive Committee that it has many irons in the fire. He indeed admitted without reluctance that, BOMU has been clouded by hubbub.

“We pledged when the new administration took over that it would begin with cleaning our own house. We have built structures as we had promised and we are glad that they are fully functional. One of those is the disciplinary committee.”

“BOMU has for a long time appeared to be lacking discipline and proper laid down procedures. This has led to the organization losing out big in its endeavour to serve its members and the entire music fraternity. The National Executive Committee, chapter committees and sub-committees have committed to ensuring that non proper governance and accountability shall take centre stage and this is all that is happening,” Rasina told Weekendlife on Tuesday.

Rebuilding and rebranding a disintegrated intuition such as BOMU is not just a walk in the park, it needs concerted efforts and team work to actually reach that goal. A stitch in time saves nine, but as for BOMU, the entire union failed to address its dares a long time ago, but the union says everything is on track in recuperating public trust and fixing the mess created then.

BOMU Research and Policy Committee is hard finalizing a new code of conduct which will contribute significantly to how members and leadership conduct themselves and relate with each other for the furtherance of BOMU’s mandate, Weekendlife has been reliably informed.

“We are doing everything according to our constitution, logic and reason. We advise our members that they should point out where the constitution has been breached and that they are at liberty to follow due process and report any misconduct to the disciplinary committee,” said Rasina.

This is following the suspension of some executive committee members and BOMU subscribed members for questioning the integrity in awarding the music awards tender. Some members, told Weekendlife that they will seek legal advice on the matter.

“We do have members who have already appeared before the disciplinary committee on various charges and decisions are yet to be taken. We also have members who are yet to appear before the committee for various complaints levelled against them. Current suspensions are related to various complaints and offences.”

With regard to appointing Total Music Group, BOMU National Executive Committee says it used Article 9.3.19 of its constitution. The article says; “The National Executive Committee of BOMU shall have the authority to enter into legally binding contracts on behalf of the Union.’’

Rasina says the leadership needed a company to manage, host and sell the BOMU awards for five years consecutively so as to attain stability and refurbish the brand image of both the music awards and the organization. “Without any money at our disposal, we debated on the best model and agreed that we should engage a company that also has the capacity to mobilize resources. We used our discretion and decided on a direct appointment model which is perfectly legal and constitutional.”

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WeekendLife

SENEO PERRY: Beauty with a purpose

24th March 2021
Seneo Perry

To a stranger, Seneo Perry would describe herself as a young darling zealous about wildlife conservation, international travel and tourism enthusiast.

She is also a staunch believer in empowering young children through educational programs that could expose them to live improved livelihoods.

Perry is a former beauty queen (Miss Earth Botswana 2020). For her, a beauty queen should get down and put in some work, get dirt and make an impact. Of course a picture paints a thousand words, and judging from her successful projects, she lives the talk.

During her reign, Perry adopted the SOS Children’s Village. This is a home for 92 orphaned and less privileged children. She introduced few projects to aid the running of the children village, at the same time sourcing sponsors. She named one of her projects ‘Restoring the Prime Colors of the Earth.’

Restoring The Prime Colors of the Earth was founded on the basis of teaching children about the importance of conservation and environmental protection through tree planting and vegetable gardens.

The project, she told Weekendlife this week, gained local and international recognition, particularly from tourism magazines.

COVID-19 came over and messed up her strategies for the year. Perry however did not cry over spilt milk instead she was smart enough to divert into other streams of raising funds to execute her obligations.

Perry did not put all of her eggs in one basket by doing something that could make her get infected, but rather sold t-shirts that would double as a promotion strategy dubbed #PeopleWildlifeEnvironment. To this date, she raised over P7000.

“I love being out in the wild and promoting sustainable tourism. I would then pick the best 10 children that worked very hard at the project I have with them and introduce them to the wild with the money I raised,” she said in an exclusive interview.

“The idea is to stick to making the trip for the children educational especially on the aspect of conservation because realistically speaking tourism is the backbone of conservation.

I want them to have first-hand experience with the African elephant and visit the Elephant Havens Wildlife Foundation in Maun. Unfortunately due to floods in Moremi Game Reserve, the plan of a game drive has been aborted.”

Initially, Perry says she wanted the children to have been those from the SOS Children’s Village. She had to put them on ice due to insufficient funds to transport them to Maun. This however did not dishearten Perry, instead she located Bana Ba Letsatsi (in Maun) to embark on this journey.

She told Weekendlife that the trip will be undertaken today (Saturday 20th March 2021).“Tourism has always been the backbone of conservation and it needs to be protected. Therefore, it is imperative to introduce children to wild spaces so they get to appreciate the ecosystem in the wild.

These young children will be leaders and decision makers in the near future. Decisions made will either cause a catastrophe to the wild or help it recover to a point wherein both humans and animals co-exist.

Seneo Perry is an environmentalist equipped with a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University and Miss Earth Botswana 2019 finalist. She was crowned Queen in 2020.

She is also a member of Kalahari Conservation Society, a conservation society which is instrumental in environmental initiatives and activities that concern the environment.

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WeekendLife

Sasa Klaas: A life fiercely lived

15th March 2021
Sasa Klaas

Beyoncé once said in one of her famous songs; ‘I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want’ and Sasa Klaas took those lyrics to heart, living her life according to what pleased her, not caring how people perceived her. Klaas was unapologetic about how she lived her life.

Sasa was born Sarona Motlhagodi on the 17th May 1993, daughter to Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Annah Motlhagodi. Sasa’s music career took off when she collaborated with Scar in ‘A ke mo khande’, soon after that she became a presenter on etv’s The Foundation: The Next Level from 2011-2012, following which she released her first solo hit Hadsan.

Klaas was mostly known for her hit single MmaMongwato, released in 2015 and in between she featured on many songs with the likes of songstress Samantha Mogwe, BanT, William Last KRM, to mention but a few. Her last song was with her on and off boyfriend Baxon, releasing ‘The best things’.

Sasa was an embodiment of a 21st century phenomenal woman. She challenged stereotypes associated with women in the male-dominated music industry, breaking glass ceilings to become the country’s most recognised female rapper.

A thick skin she had, she would take criticism as sarcasm and laugh off all trolls made about her. Obviously criticism hurts, but for her, it was more of a learning curve to be sturdier rather than a stumbling block.

Her controversial nude posts didn’t sit well with a number of people but that did not stop the artist from living her life as she pleased. Skin, especially on social media, has been regarded as distasteful but for Klaas it was another form of art, it was her idea of feminism. She was a nudist and unapologetic about it.

For so many young women in this generation, showing your skin is being content with yourself, at least, some learnt this from Klaas.

Living life like there is no tomorrow doesn’t necessarily mean going way too fast with the trends. It actually denotes to being able to delight yourself with the premium things you like. This means going out on vacations, checking in at the best hotels in town and catching up with friends.

She was a fun enthusiast (unapologetically so), and a bubbly figure who would pose for pictures at any given time. Klaas lived her life fiercely and fearlessly. Her passion and pursuit for the things she loved was unmatched.

SASA KLAAS’ DEATH
Saturday 6th March 2021 was never the same again. Self-proclaimed queen of hip-hop, singer, songwriter, influencer, socialite, feminist, activist and go-getter Sarona Motlhagodi was shockingly announced dead on this day.

It has been reported numerous times that Sasa Klaas died of a helicopter crash at Xumabee Game Ranch, in the West Sandveld near Sojwe. According to an official communication from government, the pilot was unable to execute a safe landing.

An official statement from the family spokesperson and uncle to Sasa, Frans Van Der Westhuizen said that at the time of her death, Sasa was in a helicopter with one Leonard Matenge. Matenge survived the crash having sustained minor injuries. The preliminary findings from the helicopter are yet to be concluded by the aviation authority.

BECOMING MMAMONGWATO
Sasa Klaas climbed the industry ladder steadily over the years since her debut, cementing herself as a household power brand. “Over the years, I have grown from that young woman, I have found a new sound and direction that I am now following.”

Her hot single release ‘MmaMongwato’ sent all her young and old aficionados to cloud 9. They obsessed over the hit and it is without doubt Sasa Klaas did justice to the song, so much so it had social media and radio stations in a frenzy.

The queen herself, said the inspiration behind the song stems from the norm where slim women have been projected as the ideal model of beauty. Technically, she represented women with her full figure-ness, a description so familiar with Bangwato women, hence the title of the song ‘MmaMongwato’.

Since then, Sasa Klaas challenged women to be themselves. She was a feminist and would use her social media to effect change as best as she could. She had over 140 000 followers on her Facebook page before her untimely demise.

When addressing the media at the time (June 2015), Sasa Klaas said, “We have learnt that the feminine side has not been given a chance for expression. Women are always seen as a sex symbol.MmaMongwato is a song I dedicated to women and it will help remove that mentality.”

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY LEFT REELING
The sudden passing on of Sasa Klaas has left the music industry shattered and in despair. The queen of rap was indeed the people’s bae, even artists in neighbouring countries have sent their messages of condolence, South African rapper Tuks Senganga being one of them.

In Botswana many fellow artists have taken to social media to show their shock and send messages of condolence to the family.

“You represented women in the male dominated industry. I appreciate you for representing women, teaching them to love and appreciate themselves,” wrote Amantle Brown. “Your absence will be evident and it will be felt in every single way,” says Samantha Mogwe.

Vee Mampeezy has urged Batswana to continue celebrating Sasa’s life and changing their Facebook profile pictures to any picture of Sasa, most followers have done so in respect of the life lived by Klaas.

May your soul rest in peace Sarona ‘Sasa Klaas’ Motlhagodi.

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