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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

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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