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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

The art of mastering instrumentals

12th April 2021
Kagiso "Fella" Kenosi

You will know a tree by its fruits, the same way you will know a music producer by their works.

Top music producers in the country have set themselves apart through the quality music they produce and reap the results of international recognition from as far as the United States of America.

These producers are behind every star performer, listening and analyzing each and every note. When artists perform a vocal swell, rising to an octave that sounds like it’s going to shatter voice box, it’s easy to forget that someone was on the other side of the glass asking questions like, “Can you hit that note every night, or will it hurt too badly? Maybe we should lower the octave to save your voice?”

Producers make hundreds of decisions in each song, not to mention the push and pull relationships they have with talented performers.These relationships can make or break careers. Some of your favorite bands and artists wouldn’t be so memorable without a great producer helping to guide their distinct voices.

Kagiso Kenosi, or better known as Fella in the entertainment industry, is only 31-years old but he has already left his imprint in the music industry. The young chap, originally from Palapye, is not in the industry to add numbers, but to do his magic working behind the scenes producing hit song after hit song.

When most producers went to school to produce the hits that we hear today, Fella’s foundation and passion for producing came from being active in church.

“I grew up in a catholic orientated family where music is the essence of our religion. The love for music in its entirety emerged from enjoying singing at church and blossomed over the years as I grew up, being exposed to the internet and software’s such as fruity loops.”

Fella says he then learnt how to make beats and proceeded with vocal processing so besides the love for music, he had an amazing group of people who helped him reach his life dream; being the best in music production. The sky was the limit for Fella.

Unfortunately for so many music producers locally, this kind of hustle is basically about being famous. Some of them bite off more than they can chew just for a quick buck that doesn’t even go a long away for them. At the end of it all, these fly by night prima-donnas end up cutting corners and producing subpar records which eventually leads to a premature death for their careers.

Fella’s advice is that fellow colleagues should be patient and continue learning the craft, even if it means taking online tutorials. “Even though I’m still learning too, for I believe music is a fast infinite universe where no one can never say they know it all, I think believing in what one does, the level of creativity and being able to stand alone can do magic.

We living in an era where people go through a lot, so it is imperative for a music producer to be able to relate to those kind of situations. This takes only the right instrumentals, which will compliment emotions of an artist.”

The most asked question outside the music industry is; who chooses the instruments for a song, is it the artist or the producer? Fella gave his take;

“I make instrumentals and keep them until an artist comes to work on a song. That’s when I advise on whether I think the concept they chose goes hand in hand with the instrumentals. We will then look for a more appropriate song.

In some cases, artists can come and we record vocals without an instrumental and then get to make a beat on top of the recorded vocal which in that case guides me to make a relevant instrumental,” he said in an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday.

Digging more into finding the difference between a producer and an engineer, Fella clarified that there is not much difference. There is actually a thin line between the two even though an engineer does more than a producer when dishing out a song.

“We use the word production to credit people who only make beats. Engineers are people who record vocals, clean them, do the mixing and master the song preparing the record for radio. I must say an engineer, does the critical components of a song.”

As young as he is, Fella has been through thick and thin with young artists. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, because, frankly some of these fledging artists are way too complicated to work with. Fella admits that he too has flaws but c’est la vie, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

“It’s always a blessing and quite exciting because these different people of different energies and mind-sets and creativity will humble you. It’s a chastening experience and also accords me with experience to manoeuvre and adjust to people with different characters.

So truly, it has helped me grow as a person, and a producer.”

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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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