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Kago Ngwato: Quintessence Lifestyle Blogger to follow in 2020!

Lifestyle bloggers are known by lot of people across the country for their impeccable taste and their eye for all that is beautiful in the world. The most renowned lifestyle bloggers share and inspire audiences on a wide range of topics, including home, travel, family, food, fashion and beauty.

By sharing blog posts inspired by their everyday lives and interests, they are able to appeal to diverse audiences, and come across as relatable and genuine. For these reasons, top lifestyle bloggers have become central components of many brands’ influencer marketing companies. First things first, what is a lifestyle blog? It’s no secret that the blogging world is full of a ton of different niches. Blogs can be made up of financial information, family adventure, lifestyle tips and hacks, and really anything and everything that the blogger wants to write about.

Lifestyle blogs are different than any other type of blog out there. They tend to focus on being a bit more visual and make certain that they are using high-quality images to showcase their activities and interests. If you actually look up the word ‘’lifestyle’’ in the dictionary, it literally means that it’s the way a person or a group lives. Will there be stories told? Yes. Will there be emotions and stories that may get sprinkled in here and there? Maybe…But what differentiates a lifestyle blog from any other type of blogs is that it focuses on interests and activities, and less, on ‘’storytelling’’ or trying to make a personal connection with words and emotions on the reader.

While there can be similarities between a lifestyle blog vs a personal blog, the two are actually quite different. First and foremost, understand 100% and hear me loud and clear- a lifestyle blog is not a personal blog or a place to showcase a diary of your life. When a blog crosses over into personal stories and emotions, it’s now entered into the realm of a personal blog. While there are plenty of popular personal blogs, it’s imperative to understand that they are completely different form a lifestyle blog.

Now, that we’ve got that understood… Don’t get me wrong here. These two blogs are both super successful in the blogging industry. However, if you look at the followers and the engagement from the audience, it’s plain and simple to see that they attract totally different audience and set of followers for each one. Many bloggers use little bits of personal life throughout their blog to incorporate storytelling into any type of blog. Storytelling is a powerful tool to help build a connection with your audience, but only in a personal blog is it the main focus.

Having a lifestyle blog means that your pictures need to ‘’pop’’ and catch the eye, and one way to have that happen is to have them light and bright located randomly all over the blog. If you ready to start your own lifestyle blog, figure out your niche. If you can zone in on what you really want to focus and blog about before you get started, you’re way ahead of the game and you’ll end up saving yourself a ton of time down the road.

Create a killer blog name, I mean there are lots of blogs out there that you’re competing with once you decide to start a blog. Your blog name needs to stand out and make people want to hang out with you and your ideas. Embrace your unique qualities and be different. If you’re too cookie-cutter, you won’t stand out. Enough with tutorials and I know no questions are too big or small, I am here to lend a helping hand but I would love to stop there and dwell on what I initially wanted to write about.

Kago Ngwato is a young man with an unapologetic passion for exploring life. He wears many hats, an enthusiastic multimedia content creator and an entrepreneur. Kago is a social media community manager of various brands he manages on social media by the day and a blogger by the night. In between all of that, he is also completing his Bachelor Degree studies in Economics and Statistics at the University of Botswana. Some kids are amazing!

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, Ngwato in his own words said ‘’Blogging is an art of sharing your valuable opinion and findings out there with the world to create and engage in meaningful conversations that are hardly had. It is also about sharing your own experiences on a matter at hand. A voice for the voiceless’’

He started his lifestyle blog dubbed ONE-7-ONE that is an inclusive creative’ platform for everyone. This is where creative’s stories of strength, resilience and passion get to be shared and celebrated with Botswana and beyond. This digital platform covers travel, food, fashion, wellness, décor, finances, events and exclusive interviews.

‘’This platform strives to inspire people to live life to the fullest. To showcase the best of the good life and to show people that there is life out there beyond their horizon. Most blogs are personal meaning that they are about a particular person’s life but with ONE-7-ONE it is open for guest writers and contributors. At times people have the knowledge and stories they’d like to share with other people but failing to because of the admin of building up a platform. So ONE-7-ONE is that platform created to showcase creative’ talents from photography to writing. It is inclusive in that people from different walks of live whom are mostly experts, if not, fairly learned in a particular niche, get to share their stories and opinions on a matter at hand. I’d like to believe that, that reduces the bias from depending on one particular person’s opinion and findings all the time’’

When you browse through this revamped platform, you will get to find articles on travel, food, fashion and wellness amongst others. The idea is for ONE-7-ONE to be a portal where one get to learn about life holistically in one place hence there are various niches within the platform, Weekend Life learnt.

Quizzed on what makes a great lifestyle blogger, Ngwato said ‘’It is the one who gives people the content; I mean that’s what they want. It is one whom never leaves people guessing or wondering what else went on. If it’s about your recent adventure, let people know what you were up to, where, why, how and when. If you’re a lifestyle blogger and you recently attended an event, people have to feel like they were there when they read your article or see pictures’’

Well, one may be there wondering how bloggers make some coin. ‘’Money is mostly indirectly made in blogging. One thing for sure is that along the way, as a blogger, you acquire skills like social media management, photography, networking, brand management, writing, risk-taking, being observant, balancing, strategy, time management, planning and analysis. A lot goes into creating content so bloggers get exposed to opportunities surrounding that as they would have already acquired the skill.

Opportunities that in most cases are paying once you’re fully fleshed with regards to acquisition of a particular skill. If you’re entrepreneurial, like I am, you could find yourself handling social media accounts of companies because of the experience, knowledge and skill. That of course is applicable with other skills. You monetize them. Directly, although not fully tapped in Botswana, it could be by collaborating with brands. Uploading sponsored posts that are relatable and relevant to your audience’’ he said

Ngwato had the privilege to attend various top class events in and outside the country. He attended these events through invites, media accreditations and collaborations. ‘’I just returned back home form the South African Fashion Week that was hosted in Johannesburg. Other international events include Mercedes Benz Fashion week, AFI Joburg Fashion Week, DSTV Delicious International Food and Music Festival. Locally, I have attended Collections by BK Proctor launch, Haig Club Whisky launch, Johnnie Walker launch, FNB First Wine Shows, Wesbank Botswana International Air Show, Yarona FM Music Awards as well as The Empire Fashion Shows’’

He however implored Batswana to support the creative industry, saying that there is lot that this industry has to offer. ‘’It is the present and the future that we need to embrace as soon as possible. Some people are sleeping on talents because of the professional landscape we have created as a social norm. So I urge all of us in Botswana to tap into this industry and fully support it. Besides that I am a statistician, it is without doubt that numbers don’t lie. The more we support local talent the more we widen up career and job market ultimately contributing towards economic growth’’

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WeekendLife

Han C wins big at the YAMAs

5th October 2021
Han-C

Once again, Hanceford Magapatona emerged the biggest winner with ease at the 7th Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs) this past weekend. Famously known as Han C in the music industry, the 27-year old self-taught singer and songwriter snatched the titles of YAMAs People’s Choice Artist of the Year and Best Male single for his all-time hit ‘Padi padi’. 

Han C did not go home empty-handed as there were good monies for each category, courtesy of First National Bank Botswana, Mascom and Now TV. The two prestigious awards earned him P60 000 and P25 000 each, making him the biggest winner of the night.  After being announced as the winner under the Best Male Single, Han C took to social media to express his serenity about the achievements. He said, “words cannot explain how I feel right now, but all I can say is thank you much to the people who have been showing us love and support.

Special shout out to Yarona FM for giving us this platform to showcase our talents and creativity. I also would love to give a special shout out to all the sponsors for making this happen. We appreciate all of you.” When getting his People’s Choice Artist of the Year award, Han C showed deference to artists nominated with him under this category. Even though they could not go home with the prize, Mahalapye-born acknowledged that they are equally artistic. “Getting a nomination for this award is quite an achievement on its own, mainly because you are nominated alongside brilliant, amazing good artists—a special shout out to my team. We put in the work; I think we should continue doing so.

PREVIOUS AWARDS NOMINATIONS 

Han C’s hard work and dedication have garnered him recognition in the local scenes. And it would look suspicious if he didn’t get an accolade or two. In 2018, he was nominated YAMAs Artist of the Year, Best Male Artist, and Song of the Year (Mafurafura), Best Collabo (Mafurafura) and Best Dance Single (Mafurafura). In 2016, he was nominated for Song of the Year (SediLaaka) and Best Collaboration (SediLaaka). He won Best New Artist in 2016, Artist of the Year (2018) and Best Dance Single 2018.

MOTSETSEREPA LOSES ALL NOMINATIONS

Local comedian-turned musician Bofelo William Molebatsi, known as William KRM Last saw dust at the recently held 7th YAMAs. After being the most nominated artist, William Last did not go home with any of his nominated awards.  He was nominated under: People’s Choice Award of the Year category, won by Han C, Song of the Year taken home by La Tonde and Names, Best Male Single (Han C), Best Hip-hop (snatched by Ozi F Teddy) as well as Best Social Media (Mjamaica).

He, however, took to social media to share the devastating news, which came as a slapping blow right on his face. “Wow! Whenever I think of the huge success of my Amara Willian album, I always cry happy tears. I celebrate and thank God for where he has brought me to with all this big brand success. This is especially through the greatest love from my supporters/fans all over. They are a million followers of my brand and the views that I always get on my daily posts all over my social media platforms. These big numbers scream love and appreciation to me so loud. I appreciate the love and support; God bless.”

OTHER YAMAS 2021 WINNERS

Peoples’ Choice Song of the year was awarded La Tonde and Names for their song ‘Dibulele’. YAMAs 2021 Inductee to the Yarona FM Hall Of Fame was the late Sasa Klaas. Sasa Klaas died in a helicopter crash on March 5th 2021, near Sojwe. She was an all-around musician mostly known for her hip-hop culture.

Producer of the year was snatched by MB on the Beat, while Boipelo Seleke scooped the YAMAs 2021 Icon award. Seleke went home with P25 000 while MB on the Beat only earned himself P10 000. The new Mokaragana hostess Girly left the YAMAs as the new awardee of Best Female Single for her song ‘BMW’. Best Amapiano went to Deejay Bino’s ‘Touch’ featuring the late Sasa Klaas, Rasun and Da QuTness.

Further, Lloyd BW and Priscilla K’s ‘Have You Ever’ won Best Dance Single, while Best Collaboration was won by FlyBoi Que featuring Jordan MoOzy and FME Luther October on their hit ‘Ndeya’. Ozi F Teddy also made a debut appearance of the YAMAs nominations and snatched Best Hip Hop for his song ‘Negotiate’, where he features Murda.

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WeekendLife

BOMU clears trending misconceptions

21st September 2021
BOMU President Phemelo Lesokwane

Almost every year, Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) attracts hullabaloo over its annual music awards. This time around, it was not only that. There has been much noise around compliance, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development involvement in the affairs of this organisation, as well as the contentious sponsorship from the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS).

Following a four-year hiatus, BOMU awards found themselves being the talk of the town due to unfair practices some artists claim clouded the non-complying organisation. These are serious accusations that BOMU has since rubbished as deliberate actions intended to tarnish its reputation.

Some disgruntled artists recently took to the streets to protest against these practices. However, these are not subscribing members of BOMU. Before being cut short by the Police, these artists demanded that the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Tumiso Rakgare step down immediately. They claim that Rakgare has failed his mandate.

On the other hand, they demanded that the Youth Ministry reverse the P500 000 it has splashed on the BOMU awards, and the money be split among artists. A lead protester in these activities, Rhumba artist General Tuco, told Weekendlife that BOMU management should halt the awards and instead clean the organisation’s dirty laundry.

He further indicated that they would be dropping a petition at the DBS offices, urging the group to revoke the P1.5 million sponsorship it has awarded BOMU. Because these discontented artists claim that BOMU is non-compliant, they will also be marching to the Registrar of Societies to express their grievances.

In an interview this week, General Tuco said they are still engaging their attorney to formalise their protest and give them a way forward. The Police deny them a permit to hold their rally. According to information gathered last week, the artists were arrested and released the same day and asked to apply for a protest permit.

BOMU PRESIDENT SPEAKS

BOMU President Phemelo Lesokwane told a media member on Wednesday that “We have seen people on social media dragging our name on the mud as BOMU. They say we are non-compliant, corrupt and unfair. When we get to see who these people are, they are not our members. They call themselves artists, but as legalised agents of artists in Botswana, we do not know them, neither do we know what they are talking about. We condemn these acts.”

Lesokwane rubbished allegations that BOMU is not compliant. “We see journalists giving these guys who masquerade as artists more prime time for them to tarnish our name. But they do not have the evidence. BOMU is compliant, and we have all the documents. We also have verified documents from the Registrar of Societies, who are our key stakeholders.”

Talking about being backbitten, Lesokwane claims that government officials from the Registrar of Societies are promoting what unregistered artists are making noise about in the corridors. Some of these officers fed the Youth Minister Rakgare wrong information about BOMU. BOMU has much work to do in-house.

Further, Lesokwane revealed that when they took over the office, BOMU was mugged some of its finances. Investigations are ongoing to retrieve such monies, he said. As if that is not enough cleaning, Lesokwane has a headache dealing with another faction dubbed BW Artists, which represents artists in the Northside of the country.

“If you could look into the management of this organisation, you would question their interests. Two of them are politicians. Once they fail primary elections, they come back into the music industry and cause chaos. I always say I am going to fight with everything I have together with my team to make sure that we protect artists in Botswana.”

JOURNALISTS FINGERED IN THE BOMU MESS

BOMU President Lesokwane has accused journalists of being biased and unfair to his organisation. He stressed that BOMU depends on members of the press to help rebuild the dying Botswana music industry. “Most articles about our artists speak negatively about them. Foreign artists are always given priority instead of our local artists, but we value journalists as our equally significant stakeholders. We can grow this industry together.”

These media reports, Lesokwane said, have forced stakeholders to withdraw their sponsorships towards the BOMU awards, slated for October 2021. At times they are required to answer for hearsays that are not accurate. He reiterated that BOMU has nothing to hide as it is compliant.

BOMU MUSIC AWARDS CONSULTANT SPEAKS

BOMU Music Awards Consultant Seabelo Modibe has been topping the charts for a long good time. His appointment as a consultant was notorious as critics felt his company was relatively premature at the time of appointment.

He joined the BOMU get-together at the time the awards were still distressed by the hubbub. Many asked if he would manage the heat, but clearly, Modibe is having a hard time. He, however, stressed that BOMU is open to criticism.

“Lot of people say BOMU has been given money to waste. That is not precise. It has sold its product, its broadcasting rights. They were sold for P1.5 million to the DBS. Our contract is for a year, and we will be going back to them in December. MYSC has acquired what we call commercial rights. These are rights that someone buys to promote their mandate. MYSC seeks to promote local music using BOMU awards.”

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WeekendLife

Bold and Golden

15th September 2021

Mpho Donald was undoubtedly the IT girl of the then tedious beauty industry. She loved looking pretty and smelling good. Of course, this is every girl’s dream, but making a living out of it doesn’t flash into many of these girls’ dreams.

Besides, it used to be a lot more common for the majority of entrepreneurs to be male in the past. However, in recent years the number of female entrepreneurs in the world has been on the rise. She is from a family of business-minded people. Both parents were entrepreneurs, but that is not why Donald is a powerful woman in this entrepreneurial space. At one point, life threw lemons at her, and she made lemonade.

At the age of 38, Donald has been to South Africa more than once. These frequent hazardous trips at the time were to acquire secret elements into being a real hustler. She would get robbed, risk being raped or hijacked, but she survived.

“At one point, life got too difficult to an extent where I found myself doing piece jobs for other people just so I earn something to buy toiletry, food and clothes even. I did laundry, and in the entire process, I got tired. I had to think about business, and it was easy because I come from a line of people who believe in trading. Somehow I got motivated, but I never wanted to work for anyone in life.”

Before embarking on shadowing missions in South Africa, Donald would go around the capital city, hunting for customers. Kgale Mews, Commerce Park are urban offices for various companies, but this did not restrict her from knocking, selling makeup, jewellery and accessories.

She was known for this particular hustle in all the offices. Some people will get exhausted because of her irritating products, but that did not stop her from acquiring a tiny spot in Main Mall. She pitched her gazibo, and her next items on display were plus size women’s outfits. These women are often overlooked, especially on beauty pageantry. The controversial Miss Plus Size Botswana pageant never saw the light of the day ever again.

“I guess that was after I saw the pains of plus-sized women when it came to shopping for something to wear. Being a plus-size woman made it easy for me to penetrate this space. I modelled all my clothes and advertised them on social media.”

Social media opened many doors for so many entrepreneurs. Donald can attest to that. She told Weekendlife that “People started coming in to buy both makeup and the clothes. Then, later on, I started selling second-hand clothes and while at it, I moved to my first shop. I think for me taking risks has never really been any scary because I convinced myself that in any case, I fall, I will rise again.”

“So I went boldly into everything that I could do at the time. I would travel to South Africa to places I never knew. I got my stock there, and even when I got robbed, I knew I would eventually reach my destination. It surely wasn’t an easy walk in a park, but I persevered,” she said.

From her mini boutique, Donald went full force into buying and supplying second-hand clothes. “As the COVID-19 lockdowns hit us, I was busy at work pushing the idea on mini bails and second-hand clothes. So it came down to my mind that I have to know what to sell in which season. It was a trial and error kind of hustle, but once you get a grip of it, you begin to sail smoothly.”

Donald currently supplies small businesses across the country. She gets to enjoy a good relationship with her customers, who are in other countries even. “It took me much effort, commitment and loyalty to be where I am today. I guess I could now boldly say that hard work is beginning to pay off. I have started knocking on bigger doors for partnerships, and I believe that if I can get them, beauty plus size clothing will be elevated to the next level.”

Mpho Donald is originally from Serowe. She studied her O and A-levels in Zimbabwe at the Specis College. Still, in Zimbabwe, she enrolled and qualified as a Travel and Tourism expert. She said in an interview that she will be venturing into other hustles too but couldn’t reveal which ones now. Donald is optimistic that everything will be ready and served in 2022.

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