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Caring for natural hair with Tapiwa Gachala

Are you a natural hair fanatic? Do you like your hair sparkling, black, spick-and-span at all times? Then I guess you should up your game if you did not attend the Annual NH Bots Hair Meet this past weekend at Doreen’s garden, I mean, this occasion was specifically premeditated for you.

You surely need tutorials on how best to keep your natural hair look decent, not just to elevate your confidence, but to attract devotion too. People like eyeing lovely things; they get regaled keen-sighting something with fascination. Natural hair movement continues to grow as many women transition from straight hair to afro and naturalista and beauty content creator, Tapiwa Gachala is hair goals. The natural hair influencer sure knows how to wear her natural crown with pride. Like any other natural hair lover, she does wear protective hairstyles but mostly prefers to stay with her healthy, intact afro.

She is actually one of the trusted brands. Her opinion on products is valued and to help you with a better natural hair journey, and just this past Saturday, she hosted hair enthusiasts for knowledge sharing on how to nurture, uphold and take care of natural hair. Her event, NH Bots Hair Meet was totally diverse from some of the events in Gaborone, and please ask me how! It’s very rare to have event organisers organise a shuttle to convey attendees to the venue, I was so thrilled to realise that we had shuttle service to transport us to the hair meet. That was actually my first experience, and I commend her for such a decent gesture. All you had to do was submit your ticket then you inside…

Anyway, back to business now! Upon arrival at Doreen’s Garden, we were treated to light snacks before we can actually dwell much on how we can have thick, beautiful and healthy hair. Increasing the growth rate of your hair and improving the health of your afro does not have to be a struggle, so I learnt. One lady with a nice afro could see that I am starring, and she quickly rushed to my corner and whispered ‘’you can boost your hair growth and health by eating a balanced diet. Eat right’’. I simply laughed it out. Not that the information was not significant, but because I felt she was just being superfluous.

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, Gachala said ‘’this is basically an event that we organize annually whereby we gather members of NH Bots group and members of the public to come share knowledge on natural hair care. We have speakers addressing different topics as well as tutorials to help simply natural hair care, and we make this affair interesting with loads of giveaways as one way of maintaining concentration as speaking for a long time can somehow be tedious’’

This time around, Gachala stressed that they contained within stalls by local hair food manufacturers, who I learnt make these products from natural ingredients. Some of these products are invisible in the market probably because of intensive competition from well-known hair products, but I must say this platform played a major role in showcasing what our young entrepreneurs have to offer. Everything starts from humble beginnings, and I have an assurance that in no time these products will be making developments in the beauty industry in Botswana.

Still at the hair meet, I comprehended that there were tutorials on hair styling. You know styling your hair says a lot about you, and in urban areas such as Gaborone, it is now a plus one on your fashion logic. You cannot be looking extravagant and gorgeous and your hair flair goes the opposite direction. Fashion police will literally be on your neck, these people never want to miss a thing. ‘’these styling tutorials are meant to show our attendees how to achieve simple but stylish hairstyles on natural hair. Some of this styles will require hair pins to tighten them up, wools, hair band and some would want you to be able to play perfectly well with hair, so you won’t necessarily need such objects’’ she said

Gachala indicated that it is very vital to take care of your hair, as it is one feature that people notice more than others, even if you are a stranger. ‘’our hair is an extension of our bodies and for a lot of us that is what you notice first in a person. For a lot of us just like fashion when your hair is healthy and looks good, it is a definite confidence booster and contributes a lot to your overall appearance and so it is important to take care of it. Also hair care helps prevent health complications, as if not taken care of, can be a germ accumulation area which is likely to transit diseases’’

How do people take care of their natural hair? Gachala emphasized that to promote hair growth and care, one needs to feed the hair from the inside, adding that it is vital to increase protein intake with foods such as fish, beans, nuts and whole grains. She noted that one should trim their hair frequently. How do you trim your hair when you want it to grow? ‘’this might seem counterproductive since you are trying to grow your hair but trust me when I see this is the way to go. By getting regular trims, you prevent split ends which cause your hair to break. Eliminating the breakage gives the appearance that your hair is growing faster’’ she said

It is important to wash your hair often, she said. Just make sure you are shampooing less and conditioning more. According to Gachala, you should not wash your hair every day. She recommends reserving if for when your hair is greasy and dirty. This is because shampoo can dry out and strip the hair of its healthy natural oils. She further recommended the use of relaxers sparingly. She underlined ‘’relaxers do wonders for the African hair but they also have devastating effects since they are made of chemicals.

Some of them, especially the cheap ones, also contain a hazardous ingredient called sodium hydroxide or Iye. Substances with large amounts of Iye can cause chemical burns, permanent injury or scarring, and blindness. This substance may be harmful or fatal if swallowed’’
Gachala advised that blow drying should be curtailed, as it subsidizes hair breakage. Ladies, afro fundamentalists, I guess was free lessons for all of you who did not attend the hair meet. Next time make sure you get your ticket on time and get this information directly from the speakers. And who knows, maybe this time around the shuttle will be a fine, luxurious and modern car from classy car dealers…I’m just saying!

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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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WeekendLife

Gospel concerts make a comeback

16th November 2021
Bishop Benjamin Dube

Hailed for being the prime gospel concert after the Covid-19 pandemic had put events to a halt, Golden Relic, in conjunction with Sweet Brands, recently unveiled the Arise and Worship Concert, Botswana. The show marks the return of worshippers and fans to enjoy music and worship together after what seemed like “cooler box” events were taking over the entertainment scene. 

The concert to be held on December 11th 2021, at the Molapo Showcase, has a packed lineup with the Headlining acts being Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela from South Africa and Botswana’s very own Obakeng Sengwaketse. More international acts from Nigeria and Ghana are also expected to grace the event. The show organizers have invested an effort in diversifying the lineup with live performances. 

The promoter of the Arise and Worship Concert, David “DVD” Abram revealed in an overview of the event that; “We have lost a lot of loved ones this year, and when that happens, one’s spirit goes down, and we need a light to ground us once more, to heal our souls. Therefore, the two main purposes of this event are to do the work of God and, secondly, to make sure that we nurture and develop talent in Botswana. With challenges that come up with events of such magnitude, the team and I have been committed to seeking guidance from God through having night prayers.” 

Abram added that as promoters, they usually have a bias towards already established artists, thus neglecting the upcoming ones and wanting to change that. “We approached the Melody Gospel TV Show since we aim at nurturing new talent and agreed on having one of the winners as a headliner for the event to allow them to share the stage with gospel giants so that they are exposed to the industry. This resulted in securing the Second Winner of the Melody Gospel TV show; Thabiso Mafoko as a local headlining act.”

The concert also aims at celebrating a Motswana. Multi-Award Winner; with the most recent title; BOMU Best Traditional Gospel under his belt, also best known for his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, Obakeng Sengwaketse enthusiastically said, “I want to thank the organizers of the Arise and Worship concert, it means a lot to me after recently winning two awards that are currently the highlight of my career.

I regard this as a great revival because the Covid-19 pandemic has muffled events such as this. I am looking forward to sharing the stage with the great Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela and more artists from Nigeria and Ghana. Sengwaketsi urged Batswana to come and witness the greatness of the Lord as their lives will never be the same.”

Tickets are selling like fat cakes with VVIP tickets having only five tickets remaining; the VVIP tickets include rounder access backstage to all the performing artists. The event will also comprise a seated Gold Circle Ticket, which accounts for 50% of revellers to allow for easier enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and avoid a potential stampede.

In a bid to entice merrymakers to buy tickets, the promoters have come up with a layby strategy and buying tickets on an instalment basis for the attendees to be able to buy their tickets since the COVID-19 Pandemic has left many Batswana in financial ruin but having the interest to attend the event.

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WeekendLife

Fame vs Mental health

9th November 2021
Lizibo

One can only imagine what is like being in the public eye. It is not a walk in the park; and not as easy as people might think it is because of the pressure from the public. Celebrities or influencers are perceived to be perfect, perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect parents, financially stable, healthy, and always smiling and patient with everyone – Is this for real?

However, when people’s expectations of celebrities are not met, the same celebrities are often victimized, body shamed, or blamed, fairly or unfairly. As a result of them not having a personal life, they are often scrutinized in all aspects of their lives; their lives are aired for the public to see and judge. Celebrities are often extra careful about everything that they do, they have to go an extra mile as compared to how ordinary people live their lives.

To understanding this experiences by public figures, this reporter made a case study of Mr Lizibo Gran Mabutho, the firstborn in his family with only one sibling, his younger brother. Lizibo describes himself as a simple Kalanga guy who was chosen by music and did not choose music.

He said being raised by his mother and grandmother, he grew up surrounded by music from birth. Lizibo said his grandmother was a religious person who held church services at their house in Zwenshambe, “for me singing was from Monday to Sunday. I was not like any ordinary child who only sang at church on Sundays or sometimes in school assembly, for me it was a daily thing. My mother was also a talented dancer in our village that is what I mean when I say I did not choose music, but music chose me.”

Lizibo said though he grew up surrounded by music, it was hard for his parents to accept the path he has chosen to be a musician. Lizibo said he had to prove to his parents that music was his passion and that it could pay the bills like any other profession. He said eventually they saw his passion for music and supported him.

Lizibo said being exposed to music from a tender age made him venture into the music career from a tender age. He said he was part of the Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete (KTM) choir, Lizibo said being in the public eye for the longest time has taught him that he is living for the people and that he does not have a life. He said the very society that is watching him has so much expectation for him and that means he has to conduct himself in a good manner because people are looking up to him.

Lizibo said he understands the saying that great power comes with great responsibility, “when people see me, they see a role model. I realize and understand that people are and have been modelling me even when I was not aware of it, I know of six mothers who have named their sons after me because they felt that I inspire them somehow.”

He said he has accepted his fate that he will never have a normal life because people are looking unto him. He said he is grateful to be in the public on a positive note by bringing hope to the people because he has always wanted to be part of people’s solutions and not their problems.

He said, “people should understand that our careers are our calling. One needs to be spiritually connected to their calling as an artist. The most rewarding part about being in the public for me is not about payment but about being the solution to someone’s problem.”

Lizibo said the greatest challenge that he has ever faced about being in the public eye has been the issue of trust, not able to know which friends are genuine and which ones are not. He said as a way of avoiding fake friends he has always kept his four close friends who have been there for him through thick and thin. Lizibo said being close to his family has also helped him as they have been his strength when things were not going well for him, “most of the time people say we change when we taste fame. That is not necessarily true because people are the ones who changed when we became famous. People always want something from us, nothing is ever genuine with people and that is why I chose to keep my circle very small.”

Lizibo said as much as he travels a lot because of the nature of his work because it is naturally demanding, he said he always ensures that he creates time for his family. He said that at home he is Lizibo who is sent to do errands, he is Lizibo the son, not a celebrity.

He said there is a lot of pressure that comes with being in the spotlight, “the public puts so much pressure on us mostly about the material lifestyle they portray us to have. We are often compared with South African celebrities, but people fail to understand that we are two different countries. Most people fell into the trap and are living above their means resulting in them living in debt. I often tell youngsters not to fall into that trap of being tempted to live life above their means.”

The advice Lizibo gave to upcoming celebrities was that they should know that being in the public is not about them, but it is about the people. He said, “one of my mentors once asked me if I make music about myself or the people. He said I need to make music for the people because it is my responsibility to feed them with what they need, he said they might not even be able to know that they have a need but that I need to identify that need and meet it. Our responsibility is to serve people what they need, our music is to feed people’s hunger. My music is about love, I feed people love.”

Lizibo said it is important for celebrities to seek counselling and take care of their mental health, he said he has been investing in his mental health for years because he understands the importance of mental health especially when one is in the public.

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