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Dazzling Queen Oweditse answers the Miss World call…

Miss World made their call, and our Queen, our hot number, answered. The Queen will be jetting off to London tomorrow! But before that, Miss World is the oldest running international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951.

Since his death in 2000, Morley’s widow, Julia Morley, has co-chaired the pageant. Along with Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the Big Four International beauty pageants- the most coveted beauty titles when it comes to international pageant competitions.

Every year, Miss World makes calls to over a hundred of participants from across the entire globe, some receive the call very well, and some miss it, while some reject the call. This year alone, 125 beauty queens from all continents received and acknowledged this call, and our very own Miss Botswana is one of them. Miss World 2019 will be on its 69th edition and it will be held on December 14th at the ExCel London in London, United Kingdom. Vanessa Ponce of Mexico will crown her successor at the end of the event, and who knows; maybe that crown belongs to our very own diamond.

Oweditse Phirinyane’s profile has been officially added to the Miss World website, and she will jet off to London tomorrow in hopes of bringing the crown home in December. The Miss World 2019 contestants who will be competing for the title this year have been put up on the website, together with their images. Judging by how extraordinary and influential their profiles are, I cuss, it’s going to be a threatening race.

The girls are equally gorgeous, canny, and bright and they all strive for one common goal…to wear the Miss World crown for the very first time in their lives. Now, the question is who will? Well, I will be following the Miss World journey, and shall our Queen win, I will definitely let you guys know! Even if she doesn’t bring the crown home, I will have chat with her over a cup of coffee, to get to know where we went wrong, and how the experience was like!

Contestants will arrive two weeks prior to pageant night where they will compete in a number of tasks leading up to the final show where a winner will be chosen. So, this week, because it’s the last week before jetting off to London, an idea got tossed out of nowhere to actually have a chat with one of Miss Botswana organisers to see what it really takes to get to compete for the crown, what our Diamond has been up to and how prepared is she to bring that crown home, I mean, we want it here! And we can have it here anyway…

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, Public Relations Officer Pauline Dikuelo said the Queen has been working on her health, body and mind. ‘’We have been undergoing various exercises and diets to have her in good shape. Miss World is about health, fitness, toned muscles, symmetry and proportion. She had to avoid eating too much food, but it’s critical she eats different kind of nutritious food. Protein three to five times a day, tons and tons of veggies and creative cheat days, like having chocolate cake just to have a different twist once. We added the crazy workout schedule to her time, I mean women competing in a beauty pageant start their fitness and diet plans six months to a year in advance.

At the Miss World pageant, a contestant should know how to apply herself makeup. Dikuelo noted that the Queen has been having tutorials on foundation application, contouring, contouring and more contouring. ‘’She drew her eye brows, extended them out, her lip liner brought far below her natural lip line to make her lips appear larger and fuller. She was even taught how to apply her make-up within 30 Minutes as contestants at the Miss World will be given 30 minutes backstage to do their own.’’ She said

The Queen has also learnt how to perfect her walk. Walking is about more than just being able to handle yourself in a pair of stilettos. Walking and posing are about projecting confidence- standing with shoulders back, speaking confidently and showing your personality. Miss Botswana also had dance trainings, public speaking coaching by Toast Masters, her beauty with a purpose project documentation that is based on the basket weaving ladies from SPEDU region, where the Miss Botswana 2019 finale was held, for the very first time outside Gaborone.


Dikuelo also indicated that the Queen is taking many dresses from many local designers, and her finale dress is designed by Thabiso Dibeela of ‘ThabieD’ and her Top Model dress by House of Kay. For sportswear, she will be in Olep Clothing and Options Botswana came on board to assist with shoes. However, all of her dresses were to be collected yesterday, and she will be leaving tomorrow.

Before giving you a list of former beautiful queens who represented us at the Miss World pageant before, let’s look at how to become Miss World. From elegant makeup to glimmering dresses, competing in beauty pageants is the closest a girl can come to feeling like royalty. Not only does Miss World focus on the staples of beauty and talent, it encourages girls to become well-rounded by encouraging world involvement and global activism.

Ensure you meet gender requirements. While men have the option to compete in the Mister World pageant, you must be legally identified as a woman in order to compete in Miss World. Up until recently, transgender women were allowed to represent their country for Miss World, but could not actually win the competition. These rules have since changed. While it is not necessary to have been born in the country you are representing, you must possess legal documentation of citizenship. Citizenship can be obtained through permanent residency or via naturalization.

Ensure you title as a ‘’Miss’’ being unmarried and childless. Most countries define being single as unmarried in any capacity, including religious, tribal or civil. Miss World requires its applicants to have had no legal troubles or criminal record in the past. Countries are also strict on reputation and general presence, requiring that individuals not bring shame upon themselves, their country, or the competition at large.

Miss World wants a participant to prepare to define just what they bring to the competition. During your qualifying interview, you will be establishing what you can bring to the table as both a national and international representative of Miss World. While some interviews may come as part of the pageant itself, other countries like the United States skip the pageantry itself. Countries like these will use applicant photos and their video interviews to select Miss World candidates.

Botswana made its debut at Miss World in 1972. Traditionally, the winner of Miss Botswana represents the country at Miss World. Now let’s take a look at former Queens who had amazing placements at the international beauty pageants. In 1997, Mpule Kwelagobe made history by becoming Miss Universe in 1999, a very first prodigious achievement for the country, and not only that, for the whole continent. We still remember that day even today, even though some of us were still toddlers.

Thanks to technology and media, we still can check out the video. In 2003, Boingotlo Motlalakgosi made Top 21 of the Miss World Talent; in 2004 Judy Peacock made Miss World Talent Top 20 and Miss World Top Model Top 20 respectively. Further, in 2005, Miss Botswana Lorato Tebogo made Miss World Sports Top 24, while in 2010, Emma Wareus was Miss World 1st Runner-up, subsequently became Miss World Africa. In 2017, Nicole Gaelebale made it to Top 40 and with our reigning diamond, it remains unknown. Good luck to her…

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WeekendLife

Vee, Charma Gal battle it out for fellow artistes

4th May 2021
Vee, Charma Gal

Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.

In these unprecedented times of the overwhelming and the deadly COVID-19, it is only critical that people stand together and remain committed to helping each other, being kind enough to lend a helping hand in any way possible.

The contagious virus left people confounded, deprived and depressed. The pandemic shuttered many economies, industries and the entertainment sector was no exemption. If anything, the entertainment industry took the biggest hit of all the sectors but this was a hit felt in every country in the world not just a local tragedy.

There were tear-jerking testimonies of creatives, in particular artists, suffering from extreme hunger as events were given a rain check. Technically, social events have been shut for sixteen months now.

There were series of protests calling for the immediate opening of the creative sector, in a phased manner. Some brave yet unfortunate artists were arrested for taking up arms and protesting the strict COVID-19 regulations placed on the entertainment sector.

When protests failed and their laments falling on government’s usual deaf ears, prominent artists Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.

COVID-19 has created untold challenges for musicians in Botswana, but there are possibilities- challenges have a way of breeding solutions nonetheless.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday, Vee said the Battle to Develop Artists Welfare is aimed at inspiring artists to learn diversification, which has been lacking for quite a stretch amongst fellow artists. A lot of local artists depend solely on music, which on its own has been performing below par, and COVID-19 has brought that into clear view, showing how most artists in Botswana live off scraps, barely making money off their beloved passion- music.

“This project was born out of compassion. The world as it is now is experiencing a rough patch, and you can imagine how other artists are coping. It is really a struggle, and we saw it critical to jump on-board and help our fellow colleagues. It will help artists start small businesses, some will start short courses which will enable them to find employment in the long run.

For it to have weight, we incorporated it into a challenge on stage, performing our songs. We hope this will inspire business moguls to sponsor and pledge some monies towards this initiative,” said Vee.

Charma gal indicated that the live battle on stage has been supported with musical instruments, further indicating that this is a volunteerism project with no proceeds to gain from.

“We will divide and disburse proceeds to our fellow artists, I mean these are people we have been working alongside for so many years. There is no how we can be reckless towards them when we see how hard the situation is.

We are in this together, and we are going to stick together like that. Some have started already doing something, and meeting them half way is only fundamental,” Charma Gal told WeekendLife.

The duo stressed that Gaborone North Member of Parliament, Mpho Balopi, has pledged P50 000 towards this battle, further calling on other businessmen to come to the party. Vee says Balopi supported the initiative from the get-go, brushing aside allegations that the project is politically influenced.

Initiatives brought forward to aid the entertainment sector have caused controversy, with Vee emphasizing that not all artists will benefit from this particular charity cause. “We have artists who are struggling, and sadly so. Some of them were bread winners and there is no income coming in, making it hard for them to cope with the economic challenges.

There has been an increase in VAT recently, and such developments make the situation worse. Rigorous assessments will be done to identify our desired beneficiaries.”

Vee and Charma Gal will be battling it out on stage with the battle scheduled to take place on the 28th May 2021. Because events are still striped, the show will be online with COVID-19 protocols to be adhered to.

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WeekendLife

BOMU, MYSC kiss and make up

27th April 2021
BOMU-VEE

Early December last year, scores of disgruntled artists congregated at GSS grounds seeking government to address their plight in the face of the COVID-19 restrictions.

2020 was a depraved year for the local entertainment industry. Music festivals, large gatherings and concerts were given a rain check as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the deadly Corona-virus. As for an industry that depends solely on events for survival, the move to shelf gigs was literally kicking a dog when it’s down.

There was no revenue coming in, and depression found its way into the already devastated industry. Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, was fingered in this muddle. He was censured for being hushed. The relief fund also sparked controversy, with many creatives of the belief that it’s prejudiced and impractical.

Early December last year, scores of disgruntled artists congregated at GSS grounds seeking government to address their plight in the face of the COVID-19 restrictions. The situation became chaotic as police officers told the artists that the gathering is illegal and that they should get a permit first. Artists decided to go the right way, applying for a permit to hold their meeting, and this time around in Old Naledi.

Creatives (most of which are BOMU members) came out swinging as they packed Old Naledi grounds in a show of strength against the COVID-19 Task team and politicians. But gathering a large crowd at the Old Naledi grounds was like playing a game of Russian roulette, as most of the attendees were potentially exposed to the Corona virus because there was no social distancing, wearing of masks, nor sanitization.

Artists however were clearly making their voices heard – they wanted their industry opened, but by the look of things the Task Force team will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat for this to be given the greenlight before another year comes to pass. Till date, the creative industry is still abandoned.

Following a series of protests, the custodian Ministry (MYSC) came up with virtual gigs and engaged artists for performances. However, this fuelled tension between upcoming artists and those who are already household names. In late December 2020, a group of young artists demanded answers from the Youth Ministry on how the so called ‘Big Artists’ secured virtual gigs from the Ministry.

A new BOMU Executive Committee was ushered in August last year which saw the Union and the custodian Ministry smoke a peace pipe. Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is an organization that works as an intermediary between registered artists and the Youth Ministry.

On Friday (16th April 2021) at a press conference to launch the 10th BOMU music awards, BOMU President Phemelo ‘Fresh’ Lesokwane said the Union has effectively managed to rebuild and earn back trust with its stakeholders, including MYSC and De Beers.

“These two entities have been BOMU music awards’ top sponsors for the past 10 years. We have managed to revive the awards and appoint a person who I will refer to as a brand marketing specialist. There has been a lot of miscommunication peddled around and as a leader of BOMU, I will be irresponsible to ignore all of it,” Fresh said.

Fresh is definitely not MYSC nor Minister of Rakgare’s spokesperson, but he had this to say: “It is very important I clear up the distortion of facts out there. MYSC and BOMU leadership have been hard at work, and in the previous year, we managed to push 90% of our members to register with COSBOTS so as to benefit from the subsidy. For the matter of fact, this did happen.

BOMU says it managed to convince MYSC to fund their 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM). “The Ministry accommodated, paid all costs of accommodation and food for all the delegates who attended the AGM. This was a first for BOMU for as long as anyone can remember. I was so happy to see Minister Rakgare attending our AGM, which was for the first time also.”

Rakgare and his associates have been given a pat on the back for the national consultative meetings they took last year. They met with industry representatives and discussed calendar of events and how they should be rolled out. BOMU also pleaded with the Youth Ministry not to cancel events this year, and according to Fresh, the Ministry agreed.

“This is why they are helping with BOMU music awards and in due course, we will be calling the media to reveal the sponsorship. And on top of that, BOMU has access to the Minister and his circle of associates. They have their doors open for us, and we can’t be fighting with the Ministry while we see how welcoming it is to us. Lot of noise is made by non-BOMU members, which should be condemned in any way possible.

The Youth Ministry however, says it will engage on consultations with organizations, not individuals. This is why it is very important for artists to join BOMU now.”

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WeekendLife

Feminism and Nudity still at odds

19th April 2021
Feminism and Nudity

This past week seemed like a time travel back to the early 1970’s where women were judged and stoned for what they wear, what they should wear, and whose attention their dress code will grab.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry gave their two cents on the matter, unnecessarily so. Its disheartening that in 2021 a woman is dictated to about what she should wear.

The genesis of the whole saga was because of a certified life coach and personal trainer, Agang Atlholang, derided as an example of an anti-feminist.

Atlholang updated a controversial post on her Facebook page where she seemingly attacked and dragged some women for wearing appealing clothes that leave little to the imagination.

The personal coach further went on to highlight that she could be fully clothed and be able to attract and steal some of these women’s lovers. Audacious of her to assume but more disheartening that her wardrobe is subliminally dictated by men.

It should be noted that this wasn’t her first controversial post where she has threatened or promised to take other women’s men, it may not be her last either but this post however did get on a lot of women’s last nerve.

“A woman’s sexuality is so much more than her thighs, (beep) and breasts. It’s your aura, confidence, seduction and the way you carry yourself, watching everything rock and roll in silence. I know who I am, I am a boss lady. I can still get your man without showing skin,” said Atlholang.

It is hard to place the fitness coach, is she pro-feminism or anti-feminism? Because one minute she would say something that makes sense and that almost everyone can relate to and other times she barks threats like a toothless bulldog.

She was not wrong to publicly and indirectly affirm that she doesn’t wear revealing outfits, but for her to be coming at those who do so was entirely out of line. How a woman presents herself to the world has a very little to do with a man’s preference.

Any personal liberation of what one chooses to clothe their own body is clouded by the misogynistic backdrop of the world we live in. In all cases, a woman’s body is assumed to be someone else’s before is it her own.

If she takes off her clothes, it is seen to be a sign of her insecurity and need for validation, rather than feeling comfortable with herself. Once she’s stripped, that’s all she is. This is the insidious pressures of misogyny that we all have a duty to attack and put in the past where it belongs.

WeekendLife reached out to Atlholang but her phone went unanswered. She did not respond to a questionnaire sent to her on Wednesday.
Celebrated feminist Resego Kgosidintsi says there should be no expectations on what a woman does with her body. Some women are thick and curvy, while some are slim and petite, all body types are beautiful.

Kgosidintsi uploaded two pictures on her Facebook page in which she compared herself. In one picture she was only in a bikini on the beach whereas in the other picture she was wearing formal attire. She went on to say;

“I am the woman in both pictures, my worth did not decrease on picture 2 because I revealed almost all of my skin and neither is my worth on a 100 on picture 1 because my skirt is below the knee.

I have about 7 tattoos on my entire body and that still does not make me less of a woman. I drink and smoke cigarettes too and that doesn’t mean the woman in church who doesn’t smoke or drink more woman than me. Can we respect people’s choices, can we respect women.”
Feminist, media personality and socialite, Oratile Kefitlhile shares the same sentiments as Kgosidintsi.

‘‘Feminism is subject, if I feel as a woman that when I’m fully dressed I’m celebrating my femininity, so be it. If another woman feels they are embracing their femininity more with their thighs out, that’s perfectly fine still. Let them be.

We have been preaching this revolution for a very long time of women being allowed to wear what they want, and being allowed to embrace their womanhood in the way that speaks to them, so I feel at this point we should not be having these debates,” Kefitlhile told WeekendLife on Tuesday.

Controversial poet, artist and businesswoman, Berry Heart is of the belief that women are envious towards each other. She argues that celebrating femininity has no boundaries subsequently making no one woman superior.

Quizzed on what makes women fight over small issues such as what they wear, she says “Batswana women are broken so much that we don’t want to see another woman succeeding on anything. We desire to make them dejected.”

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