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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

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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