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Shattering stereotypes

Inspiring, confident and not just a pretty face- Miss Botswana 2019 2nd Princess Winfred Motcher has shattered stereotypes and made a mark for herself. She was the shortest of them all, and most probably the youngest, but rose to the top nonetheless.

Over the past years a stereotype has been established around the term beauty queen or fashion model. And so the word beauty pageant brings a definite image in our head- tall and thin women posing designer clothes and high heels and layers of makeup on their skin. But there is definitely much more to the life of some beauty pageant winners. Motcher is a model and Miss Botswana 2019 second runner up. This lady has several feathers in her cap.

Motcher is a young entrepreneurial digital marketer and a model that is passionate about the beauty and creative industry, and she is Miss Universe 2013 Top 5 Finalist, Miss Tertiary Schools 2015, Miss Chobe Tourism 2015 as well as Miss Petite 2016. In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life this week in Gaborone, she said ‘’I started modelling, in particular pageantry as a hobby in high school. The first big pageant I entered was Miss Universe 2013 where I was the youngest contestant and made it to Top 5. It was a very controversial pageant and it one way or the other inspired me to enter other pageants that would be fair and recognize my capabilities, talents and confidence on stage’’

‘’I joined Miss Botswana 2019 as a way of breaking the stereotype that you have to be tall to be a great model, I wanted to inspire other petite girls to ignore height limitations because what matters most is the skill and confidence one portrays on stage. I can confidently say most incredible young women out there are driven into dark spaces and their dreams are shattered because of delusions they get to catch on corridors about pageants such as the Miss Botswana, and inevitably that slays their poise to ask more even. It is blue but true, these stereotypes should be dealt with and this is what I will be in favour of during my reign’’

She told Weekend Life that Miss Botswana was not an easy task, as it incorporated all elements of hard-work, endurance, disenchantments as well as diligence. ‘’frankly speaking, I wasn’t laid-back as I presumed. This is a whole project that would obligate one to be prepared mentally, physically and if you were never ready, you would never reach the semi-finals. Achieving the 2nd Princess title was purely based on determination, and I entered the pageant knowing that the end goal was to get a spot in Top 3 and that pushed me to always do my best in everything leading up to the finale’’

Beauty pageants are not all about parading on the runway. The biggest gains from pageant participation were a greater awareness of self in social situations, how to stand, sit, and speak, speech patterns, mannerisms as well as excellent interview skills in corporate career. As a contestant has faced a panel of judges, a job interview is a piece of cake!

Still, it has its own disadvantages. These pageants are not for those who want to use them to burnish their self-esteem. If you need to win a pageant in order to feel good about yourself, do not enter! Your chances of doing well are greatly diminished if you are not confident in your true self and attempting to show the judges what you think they want to see instead of the real you.

For Motcher, entering Miss Botswana was a blessing in disguise. She has learned many things about herself and her confidence has increased over the course of her journey in becoming the second runner up. ‘’I now have confidence to me more outgoing, to speak up about a certain issue or situation, and just talk among a crowd of people. I was nervous, I had mixed emotions but that comes with it; it’s a learning experience and an adjustment. I also enjoyed getting to meet and bond with the variety of girls some of which I’m still close to.

I learned how to take advantage of being different from others, being short meant I got to be centred in almost all photos thus I was visible and memorable. I didn’t let any height remarks get to me because at the end of the day I earned my position amongst other finalists’’
She however implored the private sector, corporate world to join hands in executing Miss Botswana, saying collaboration and concerted efforts can help revamp the pageant.

‘’what needs to improve is the sponsors involvement; Miss Botswana needs more sponsors to reach its full potential. Corporate and government entities should benchmark on how other countries invest in pageants because at the end of it all, a country ambassador is chosen to represent the nation in various platform across the globe’’

‘’there is always room for improvement, yes the pageant is trying to empower young girls but what tends to happen is that most of the benefits goes to the winner, who is the Queen in this regard. As seen this year they did try to get separate deals for other contestants which is a great start to empowering them. For that, I commend them and hope they continue doing so’’ she said

As the second runner up, Motcher will be collaborating with the queen in her projects by volunteering with her at a children’s shelter, as she believes it is better to join forces and do great than try to start her own project with the same mandate. ‘’I also hope to maximize my reign by using my influence to work with and model for local brands as a means of building my portfolio’’ she stressed

Miss Botswana second runner up has a hair business, and I must say she is an angel. Instead of charging Miss Botswana for her hair needs, she offered to sponsor some hair extensions for whenever the Queen Oweditse Phirinyane wants to change her look. This is incredible! This is literally my first time to come across such as amazing gesture, I mean, wow! Anyway, Motcher had this to say ‘’to any girls who wish to enter Miss Botswana competition, do it. Do not let any doubts or negativity hold you back from achieving greatness, believe in yourself’’ You heard it girl, go for it. One last question I had for her, would you come back for Miss Botswana 2020? ‘’I am not 100% sure I’ll be back next year, I might surprise you all’’

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WeekendLife

Of Musicians and No Shows

10th May 2022
Musicians and No Shows

There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.

Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.

The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.

Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.

In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…

Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation

“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.

He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event.
The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.

This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events.  Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.

The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized

Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.

He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.

In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud.
When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.

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WeekendLife

COSBOTS mulls funding for struggling members

10th May 2022
COSBOTS

As the creative industry is trying to resurface from the COVID-19 dust, the board chairperson of Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), Bakalanga Mahoko, says the society is considering giving out relief funds to their members who have been hit hard by the COVID -19 induced restrictions. She noted that this will however depend on government’s response to their request for funds.

She told WeekendLife that the society has already written to government requesting funds. Once the request is approved, she says some of the funds will enable the society to embark on road shows across the country to sensitise the general public about COSBOTS. The road shows are designed to run for several weeks before the annual general meeting which is scheduled for May, 28th this year. Among other things, she says part of the money will be used as a relief fund for their members.

“As we are all aware, the industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions and some of our members were unable to raise money for their survival and that alone affected the industry. We anticipate that government will consider and approve our request and once it’s approved our members will smile all the way to the bank as their bank accounts will be credited by the COSBOTS,” she says.

She added that if things go according to plan, this will be the second time that their members would have been assisted through such an initiative. She said at the moment they have registered about 2800 members across the country and the board anticipates that the membership number will increase sharply.

“I am not yet in a better position to divulge the amount which each artist will be given because government has not yet responded to our request, but once that has been approved the society will announce,“ she says.

Mahoko was elected as the board chairperson sometime last year and has also been the first woman to lead such society which she described as “privileged”. “As many will recall, the society was in a mess and there were squabbles among members. There was also mismanagement of funds that resulted in the members, government as well as the public losing trust on the society and that dented badly the image of the society,” she says.

Mahoko further stated since she has been in office for more than a year, things now look much better and promising. The government gave the society a grant and that alone was a sign of trust from government. Recently COSBOTS distributed over P7 million as royalties.

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WeekendLife

Collegium launches E-books

10th May 2022

With over 20 years in the business of publishing school books for both primary and high school schools as well as fuelling the imagination and guiding the soul of the youth. Collegium Education Publishers are continuing with their trailblazing mission by launching EBooks.

During the launch of the Ebooks platform recently, Naledi Ratsoma, Author and Founding Director of Collegium Botswana took the audience on a trip down memory lane. She disclosed that after falling out with a local publishing company, she established new ties with a publishing company in South Africa. “The adage don’t get mad, get even worked for us.

We decided we are going to get them, we are curriculum specialists we know what the curriculum is all about and what books should be to support the type of curriculum.” She said deep in thought. “The start-up was not easy, I was the general, manager, tea lady working from 6 am to 10pm. It was sheer determination and hard work that got the company going.

Today I feel honoured and excited, Collegium grew by leaps and bounds. Here we are today. Dare I call Collegium a success story? Yes I do, it is a resounding success story.” She uttered excitedly
Looking into the future, Terrence Showa, Collegium CEO was tasked with only one job to do.

That job? Moving Collegium to digitization and joining the rest of the publishing world in transition towards the Fourth industrial revolution and a knowledge based economy. “Today I stay to you quite proud to be the first publisher in the country to launch the prescribed eBooks.” He said.

Showa mentioned; “I was told to come with a cheaper solution for government, after three years with meeting several Information Technology think tanks we came to the conclusion that Snapplify, gurus in providing eBooks and eLearning were in alignment with what we are looking for. Ebooks provide a simple solution for teachers, parents, students to use at their homes.

It will also be 30% cheaper for government to procure the books. An added benefit was the ability to give free content by Snapplify on the side of library service. ” He says the Ebook Platform has been fast tacked by the rural electrification program by government prioritizing the need to digitise books.

When speaking to the WeekendPost on the side after the event, Showa when questioned on matters of piracy which comes with the digital age, he enunciated that “as Collegium the failure of us to regulate the printing and photocopying of our books frustrates us daily. There are institutions who have committed to procuring photocopying machines to make copies of our books.

We are excited about eBooks because the licence procured when buying the book will run for only a year and will limit users to being able to photocopy and take screenshots of the books. One of the reasons Snapplify made sense to us is they know exactly what the challenges that come with digital platforms are. The content will only be downloadable into devices through a profile set up and limit the number of users on the site.”

For their presentation, Stephen Bestbier and Mark Seabrook from the Snapplify Team; the application is accessible everywhere with an offline feature to encourage data saving and reading offline, it is compatible with existing devices be it mobile, tablet and desktop. The simple library management functionality makes it easy to check out books and return them automatically to curb the ancient penalty of paying late return fees as well as avoiding d issues of lost book since it will be on an online platform.

The academic features include; a designated dyslexic friendly font, text to speech functionality, journal, bookmarks. The Elibrary provides for convenience as 24/7 access to learning, materials since the online library does not close like the traditional library. The support platform ‘teacha!’ also reliefs’ teachers in their work by building skills with accredited professional development courses and platform training.

Snapplify are leaders in Pan African educational technology with thousands of institutions across Africa with students and academic staff within the Snapplify ecosystem from primary schools to tertiary institutions.

Snapplify is the best eLearning solution with a comprehensive content catalogue with constant delivery and a proven track record of rolling out large government eLearning projects.  Collegium’s vision has indeed come to pass to become market leaders in the provision of high quality teaching and learning materials for institutions in Botswana.

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