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The return of the hilarious ‘Makau’

In the recent years, right into early 2016, Makau is one of those Afro-pop groups that took the music industry by storm. They rose to fame following their hilarious yet elegant apparel that is more like vintage, with a touch of elegance and stylishness in it. You could tell from a distance that; indeed, this trio mean business.

Not only that, Makau, translated classic men, have this component of silliness adjudicating from their hysterical music videos, in particular, their all-time hit Sebintjolo, that took their fans for a ride. However, the group has been on a breakdown for quite a long stretch, leaving its admirers speculating if they will ever make a great turn back into the ever problematical and contentious music industry, that is clouded by mediocre, pigeonholes and manipulation. Indeed, Makau is back, this time around by popular demand. Many wished for Makau to return, set aside their differences and produce good music like they used to, and indeed their wishes have been heard. The group is back with a bang! WeekendLife reporter TLHABO KGOSIEMANG caught up with one of the group’s members Bakang Mphele in an exclusive interview this week in Gaborone, to get to appreciate the group, where they have been and their way forward, what they essentially have to bid their supporters after vanishing for a while.

Makau comprises of three young lads, namely Bakang Mphele, Tiro Thebe and Resego Magetse, who played the character of Sebintjolo. Bakang revealed that he and Tiro were colleagues, and upon realizing that they share to some degree a certain thing in common, which in this case is having a funny character, they had to start something to complement their creepy charm. ‘’We used to dance a lot at school during talent shows, lunch breaks and even after school. We would share yarns, tease each other and giggle about it. It was such a great thing to do as it brought contentment and helped advance that connection amongst us. We became the best friends ever, and I then familiarized him to my favorite cousin, Resego who is affectionately known as Sebintjolo. That is when we gave birth to Makau, we nurtured it up to today.’’

As passionate as they were with music, the trio started off as Kwaito artists, but were not fortunate enough as the genre did not bear any fruits. Subsequently, the group decided on changing their type of music, they thought of something exclusive, or probably something that never existed in the country, and they thrived in that regard. Makau as a group was born from how they chose to dress. Throughout the years, the music industry has been an eye opener. Bakang said as an individual, and together as a group they learnt few things he feels applies to any other artist. ‘’Fame is something we leant can happen to you even if you were not hoping for it, and if you not prepared for it, it will somehow affect how you do things. Fame can make or break you. I would say we were still young the time we blew; we did not know what was up-to-the-minute. Taking one step at go reliefs a lot, because if you don’t, you won’t last for a long time in the industry. We lived to witness that. Lot of great artist failed at the first try, not that they were not good at it, but because they lost focus, and lacked guidance.’’

Their first album that featured the hit song Sebintjolo took the country by storm, topping radio charts and getting all the credits across all radio stations, from one show to another. The young and the old were equally impressed with the masterpiece, and the funny video added cherry on top. In that regard, the group rose to fame, benefitting from bookings, week in week out. ‘’I remember we would be booked every time, we were super excited for that an opportunity, compliments kept coming in and great artists recognizing us, corporates had us under their belts, showering us with bookings and it was amazing. I must say life was good, because we didn’t expect to blow the way we did’’ Bakang said. One may wonder how Makau managed to remain relevant as many groups do not last for a long time, not only in Botswana, but the entire universe. Bakang noted that being disciplined has always been their strength. ‘’For us to be in the game for the longest time, we realized that we needed to be disciplined. Respecting one another had to be a priority and we capitalized on that. Working as a group is not easy but it is when there is respect. We have different opinions and the way we see things, but at the end of the day we have to settle for one thing, one goal’’
He indicated that they had to stay loyal to their style of dress as it was their identity. ‘’It’s actually what makes people love us.

We have that unique dress sense that kept people glued to us and for us to earn and retain their trust, we have to keep it flowing like that. If you not consistent, your followers would not take you serious, and they will definitely find someone to follow. The way we dress had more people following us, and we ought to keep that, he added. However, Makau has been trying to get back on track, hoping to see where they lost the map. They were not fornuate enough, as songs they composed did not do well in the market. They did not give up nonetheless. The trio made a great come back with their new hit ‘’Boferefere’’ where they featured the biggest and most paid artist in the country Vee. It is produced by Dr Tawanda, and basically spreads a message about child abuse. Not only that Makau’s songs are about stupidity and funny characters, they convey important messages to the public.

‘’This song was inspired by First Lady’s commitment to the girl child. She is keen in spreading a word about the protection of a girl child from any form of abuse. We jumped in to say let’s stop sexual abuse, emotional abuse of children and together we should join forces in supporting them. We must commit to every individual realizing and enjoying their rights and choices’’ Currently, Makau is working on an album dubbed ‘’Classic Jive’’ anticipated to be launched very soon, sometime this month. They are currently shooting a video and will soon be gracing our screens. We hope this a killer one, and will definitely have the group top charts again. Bakang stressed that they also have festivals lined up prior to Independence holidays. It is what it is, we wish them well. This game is a dirty one, we need to see them drastically increasing in the demand for their live performances and gracing some of the high profile events.
 

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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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