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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

5 consideration for your Marketing strategy in 2022

12th January 2022

‘The world of marketing is getting confusing,’ this is the sentiment from many marketers who find themselves in the middle of rising digitization and online migration driven by increased connectivity and a pandemic that dictated reduced physical interactions.

According to the Harvard Business Review, customers’ increased discernment, demand for great service experience and the ability to raise ‘a storm’ of complaints online about brands, is reshaping the role of marketing.

In today’s world of brand management, the constant consideration should be agility. This means actually listening to customer sentiment, being flexible with your creative design, messaging, placements and budgets.

Here are a few more pointers to discuss in your 2022 marketing strategy sessions.

  1. Budgeting needs to change: Event based budgeting, allocations based on calendar activities rather strategic impact initiatives, is a thing of the past. If the pandemic taught us anything is that uncertainty for people gatherings is something we need to live with. Furthermore, a lot of this type of marketing is barely linked to specific value beyond brand awareness. It’s time to disrupt yourselves by really evaluating value. In a digitizing world, a marketing budget should be reflective of the overall business direction.
  2. Outdoor is not dead, it just needs creativity: As the world was locked downed due to covid-19, one key consequence was that we were forced to spend more time in doors. As such, many of the billboards had no eyes on them. However, as things

open up, it’s time for brands to challenge billboard companies to create experiential advertising. Like ‘the floating cat’ in Tokyo, a 3-D anamorphic outdoor ad, billboards can be engaging and exciting for those who cross paths with them. Outdoor advertising needs to be reimagined to drive brand ‘stickiness’ in a bold manner.

  1. Thought leadership needs to be genuine: The pressure for relevancy has driven many executives into taking up video and word based content to be seen as authorities and subject matter experts. Begs the question, is it genuine? Does the person you are putting in front of the camera genuinely care to be a source of knowledge and consistently share insights. Thought leaders have an intrinsic drive to share information. It is not just based on one’s position in an organisation. So for 2022, look deeply within for talent that have authentic perspectives they can contribute to public discourse for the benefit of your brand.
  2. Influencers, do you really need them?: This is a question many brand managers have to scratch their heads over every time they go-to-market. In an effort to be seen as a cool and relevant, many brands, large and small have jumped on the influencer bandwagon to drive awareness. The world over influencers have presented brands with a new platform for awareness by using their personalities to market to their followers. Think Kim Kardashian, Mihlali Ndamase, Mjamica, they all have legion of followers who engage with their content on their social media pages. As a brand manager, your job is to be discerning and ensure brand fit. In doing research, look beyond the numbers: audit their historic content type, look into the engagements, do their followers actually engage based on the content subject? Is their tone of engagement relevant to your brand? That is what will answer the question… does your brand need them.
  3. It’s time to take the ROI conversation seriously: This is more of a self-preservation tip. Measuring marketing activity and impact has for many brands been a half-baked approach. For greater impact in 2022, marketing teams need to introspect and fully embrace the technologies. Digital and social media platforms have presented us an opportunity to actually measure our efforts. So insights, listening and automation tools need to be added to your technology stack for you to better reports on your impact.  Get closer to sales and service teams, as your efforts often have a direct bearing on their output.

Lastly, remember that visibility needs to lead to action for your marketing to become a value centre.

 

Modiri Mogende is a Managing Director at Launch Comms, with over 10 years’ experience in media, PR and marketing, he holds a BA and a PgD in Digital Marketing.   

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WeekendLife

Coal still King

15th December 2021
Coal still King

More than 40 countries have committed to shift away from coal in pledges made at the COP26 climate summit. Botswana on the other hand has different plans.

Some 850 Kilometres South West of the capital city Gaborone, lies a winding sandy landscape with wind worn- formations on the horizon accompanied by the harsh sun. The Kalahari Desert is conspicuous in the area.  Here one finds BORAVAST a cluster of villages; Bokspits, Rappelspan, Vaalhoek and Struizendum.

Although the desert is expected to be barren and brown, green blobs occupy the landscape. These are Mesquite a Prosopis species locally referred to as Sexanana. An invasive tree species that has successfully colonised the area all thanks to its properties that enable it to release a toxin to suppress growth of nearby competing plants.

This has resulted in the replacement of most of the indigenous vegetation in the area, forming dense thorn bushes. Circumstantial evidence suggests that it may also be lowering important fresh-water aquifers and clogging boreholes with its extensive root system. This has seriously led to degraded rangelands and reduced biodiversity.

BORAVAST has found a loophole by clearing the species. The clearance is to generate income for the community whilst also ensuring rehabilitation of the landscape to increase continued flow of ecosystem goods and services, simultaneously promoting of livelihoods.

The BORAVAST community is on a mission to create a backbone for the national economy through the community project as they believe that they have the potential to scale up and produce opportunities for local businesses to participate in the value chain of the national economy.

According to BORAVAST Trust Vice Chairman Gideon Martin: “The project has been dormant since 2015, however during the 2019/20 financial year, the Trust resuscitated the projects operations under the sponsorship of the UNDP (Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Drylands Ecosystem Project).

Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has also jumped into the band wagon by presenting machinery, office equipment and branding assets worth more than 1 million pula to the BORAVAST Trust. The Department of Forestry has also chipped in with P464 000.To date there are only two operational value chain business being charcoal and fodder production in BORAVAST. Our charcoal product has been tested and competes with coal from Morupule, our fodder is also of high nutritional quality.”

A member of the trust describes the charcoal making process: “Charcoal is made by heating wood from Sexanana to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. This is done with ancient technology of building a fire in a pit, then bury it in the ground. The result is that the wood partially combusts, removing water and impurities and leaving behind mostly pure carbon.

The tricky part is to maintain the heat at a temperature that is appropriate to avoid the wood turning into ash. It is a tedious and risky process as we also have to be on the look out to contain the fire to avoid wild fires. We sit by the pots hours on end to ensure all goes well on the other hand, Charcoal burning produces large amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is harmful to us when exposed to very high levels.”

In his blog Kobus Venter an activist states that, “these are signs that governments are trying to regulate the industry by introducing more efficient charcoal-making kilns and establishing plantations to ensure sustainability of the timber source. In Namibia, millions of hectares of encroachment bush is being converted to charcoal and sold to neighbouring South Africa as barbecue charcoal.

South Africa itself (according to the most recent South Africa Yearbook) is plagued with alien plant infestations, totalling more than 10 million hectares, about eight percent (8%) of the country’s land surface area. The rate of spread is alarming and their numbers are projected to double over the next 15 years.  More recently Vuthisa Technologies started to convert slashed invasives into charcoal and biochar using Emission Reducing Biochar kilns in a project known as the Vuthisa Biochar Initiative.”

However, charcoal is the primary energy source for urban Africa, but its production is widely informal and unregulated. Consequently, charcoal is entwined with violence against nature through rampant deforestation and violence against vulnerable rural communities, fuelling violent political economies of conflict and extraction.

As they are violently dispossessed of forests and land, communities living in production areas face destruction of their cultural heritage, embodied in nature, and the conditions for economic and political dignity. This undermines possibilities for sustainable peace.

Natural Resource Management in the Kgalagadi landscape is characterized by competition and conflict between conservation goals, economic development and the preservation of livelihoods.

Economic development inevitably leads to trade-offs between land uses, and requires choices to be made between the conversion of forests into anthropogenic land uses such as agriculture, on the one hand, and maintaining natural forests with their inherent ecosystem services.

Botswana to realize its national priorities in environmental management focusing on managing the trade-off between income generation and environmental sustainability. The trade-offs between development and environmental sustainability are becoming more evident in the form of threats to fauna and flora, air pollution and water pollution. Ensuring that sustainable resource extraction levels are within the capacity of the environment to assimilate and regenerate is a key concern.

Global Energy Monitor (GEM) that develops and shares information on energy projects in support of the worldwide movement for clean energy. Has revealed in their 2021 report titled “Deep Trouble; Tracking Global Coal Mine Proposals” that Botswana has 6 Coal Mine Development Projects.

It continues; “The Special Report on 1.5°C by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that CO2 emissions from coal use needs to fall 50 to 80% by 2030 to keep warming well below 2°C. If proposed new mines open as intended, the CO2 emissions from combustion will be equivalent to 4,639 Mt a year, a 14% increase over global CO2 emissions in 2020 (34,100 Mt), barring declines elsewhere.

In addition, the mines will leak an estimated 13.5 Mt of methane each year from broken coal seams and surrounding rock strata, based on coal mine depth and the gas content of the coal seam. Combined, the annual greenhouse gas emissions from proposed coal mines will be between 5,000 and 5,800 Mt of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) each year (for CO2e100 and CO2e20, respectively), comparable to the annual CO2 emissions of the United States (5,100 Mt). The build out of new mines, therefore, raises serious concerns about meeting the Paris climate agreement.”

Science continues to confirm the urgency of climate crisis. The main issue now is that the  ‘super powers’ are now realising their contribution to climate change and are devising means to halt the repercussions. Now enters the matter of climate justice; those who are least responsible for climate change suffer the ,most, Botswana has not fully utilised her coal reserves and coal production from wood yet the world is about to phase them out. What about the BORAVAST Trust trying to make a living?  The question of the day would be whether an energy transition will be possible in the near future considering that Botswana uses her physical wealth ( coal ) to grow her economy?

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WeekendLife

The King’s journal 

23rd November 2021
Kgafela Kgafela II

This book is a true-life story of an African King based in South Africa. The Last Frontier is a resistance stand by Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe and its line of Kings from 1885 against a dark force called ‘western democracy’ that is insidiously destroying lives, peoples, nations and threatens to wipe away whole civilizations in Africa.

The story flows through four important episodes of history, beginning in about 1885 when Bechuanaland Protectorate was formed. This section briefly reveals interactions between Kgosi Linchwe 1 and the British Colonial Government, leading to the establishment of Bakgatla Reserve by Proclamations of 1899 – 1904.

The second episode deals with Kgosi Molefi’s interaction with the British Colonial Government in the period of 1929-36. The third episode records Kgosi Linchwe II’s interactions with the British Colonial Government and black elites of Bechuanaland. It covers the period of 1964-66, leading to Botswana’s independence. Kgosi Linchwe ii resisted the unlawful expropriation of his country (Bakgatla Reserve) by Sir Seretse Kgama’s government of 1966 to no avail. He wrote letters of objection (December 1965) to Her Majesty the Queen of England, which are reproduced in this book.

The fourth episode covers the period between Kgafela Kgafela II’s crowning as King of Bakgatla in 2008 to 2021. It is a drama of the author’s resistance to the present-day Botswana Government, a continuation of Bakgatla Kings’ objection against losing Bakgatla country to the Kgama dynasty assisted by the British Government since 1885. The story is told with reference to authentic letters, documents, and Court records generated during the period of 1885-2019. There is plenty of education in history, law, and politics contained in The Last Frontier for everyone to learn something and enjoy.   

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