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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

Why men don’t pardon cheating partners

18th January 2021
Cheating-marriage

It goes without saying that men and women handle pain differently. Especially emotional pain. Men tend to be more emotionally immature compared to women when it comes to matters of the heart.

It is for this reason that men do not handle break ups or cheating as well as their counterparts. Where women have been groomed from a young age to express their emotions men have been told to “suck it up and be a man”. This may be one of the reasons why men are unable to express their emotions. It’s therefore that it can be a tad bit surprising that men cheat the most but are the weakest to deal when cheated on.

Research has proven that men find it difficult to digest being cheated on. British Psychotherapist, Philip Hodson opines that men find it hard to forgive cheating because it affects their masculinity, and to them, it might signal the end of the relationship.

“Men can forgive themselves for their indiscretions, but they find it much harder to forgive their partners for the same. For a betrayed woman, an affair by a man is an offence against her dignity, but for a betrayed man, a woman’s infidelity is an offence against his manhood. It goes right to the core of his identity,” said Hodson.

WeekendLife also interviewed a few gentlemen on their honest feeling about being cheated and if they find it hard to forgive their partners after cheating.  Tinashe Mangiroza said, “From the beginning, men are designed with the potential to have and to reproduce with many spouses. Women on the other hand are more or less designed to focus on one man. Along with this natural design, women have stronger pain tolerance. Yes women feel pain when cheated on, but their tolerance is much higher than that of a man (in view of what I said above).”

“And men on the other hand have a low emotional pain tolerance, hence the higher suicide and murder rates among men. Then remember there’s also the ego element which men have. So when you combine a big ego, low pain tolerance and other things such as selfishness and competing with other men, it almost ends a man’s self-worth when a woman he loves decides to sleep with another man.”

He admits to have been cheated on before which he said it took away his self-esteem and he had to sleep around as a way of easing the pain whilst waiting to heal. Another gentleman who was also cheated at some point, Monwabisi Ndumiso Mgenge, highlighted that when a woman cheated on him it becomes very difficult for him to take her back because loyalty is everything to him.

“This is because most of the times relationship involves sex. You see the person naked you enjoy that, you don’t want anybody having what you have. You are emotionally invested and have imagined the future many times and this is why some get violent cause its trauma really.”

Psychologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Toba Elegbeleye said, “when it comes to marriage, men and women see things differently. He pointed out that a man tends to see the woman as possession, and so, the moment somebody else tries to cross the boundary and interferes with his property, there is bound to be serious problem.”

“So, it is not because women don’t care or they forgive so easily, but the circumstances don’t favour them as they favour men. If women were in a dominant position, they easily would have driven the man away. So, the moment a female has committed herself to marriage, for her to voluntarily and openly get out of it becomes a kind of stigma, and women cannot handle stigma, particularly where children are involved. Mothers would not want to walk away, unless it’s beyond their powers, thus they would rather endure.”

Thabiso Cavin Bogopa, an Empowerment Expert also shared with WeekendLife that men are wired different from women hence their response to cheating won’t be the same. “What may prove to be a difficulty in men forgiving cheating is that, generally speaking men sleep with who they can, women sleep with who they want, so the overarching thing becomes she cheated with her desire, the person she is actually attracted to and the cheated man struggles with that truth, as he realizes that sex for him is opportunity based, while for his counterpart is a deliberate and conscious choice.

This to a certain extent is what forms the challenge for men,” he explained. “Cheating devalues an individual both the cheater and cheated on, but more profoundly manifest in the cheated as they start to decrease in their self-esteem, losing their regard for themselves as they are undermined they may begin to try to address this trauma in multiple ways but more commonly through being exactly what they detest because they are stuck in the experience, they therefore cheat and become messed up.”

“No one gets away with cheating even if you never get caught, you become depleted as a person by the lies, trickery and illicit emotional trade. But if we may, the choice to forgive a cheating partner is a personal choice that goes both ways.”

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WeekendLife

Modelling| Fashion| Etiquette

18th January 2021
Emmanuel Kayenda

It takes more than just having the body for the ramp to be an “it girl/boy” in the industry. A lot hows into being the cream de la cream. This includes intense coaching and being fortified to thrive in Botswana’s modelling industry as well as making a name for yourself beyond boarders.

No doubt that the likes of Kaone Kario, Mmina Gaebonwe and Emmanuel Kayenda are household names today because of their well-crafted talent. Which needs to be passed on even to aspiring models. Raymond Geofrey an Editor and Content Creator at Vogue magazine who is also known for his Pan African story telling through photography, shared with WeekendLife about what it means and what it takes to be an all-round model, who is capacitated to make a living from their craft.

“Models need good etiquette and good communication especially when dealing with clients reaching to them. They should be able to professionally communicate with them. They need to be efficient in their communication. Professionalism also entails time management during bookings, shootings and auditions. Models should always be early by 1 hour 30 minutes. Enquire about contracts and make contact with consultants. This also include seeking legal advice,” he said.

“Models should have business cards and business WhatsApp numbers. They should possess a good social media account such as Facebook pages with clear biographies. Posts should be sponsored.” Knowing how to transcend the ramp as a model is one of the things that is always a big deal to models and agencies. Geofrey highlighted that models ultimately must know how to walk spectacularly on the runway. When it comes to posing, models are often expected to kill it and bring their A game which in turn will help shine their personality.

Geofrey said models do not take time to read and study as well as research about posing. The more models are confident the more they are able to bring out their personalities on the shoot. He said self-awareness is also imperative, as models are required to be aware of themselves. When wearing heels and walking down the ramp, they should catwalk to the beat.

When it comes to the modelling industry in Botswana, they normally complain about numerous things which are pushing the industry backward. One of these he said is industrialization and policy making, the most lacking and key factors in need in the sector. “The modelling industry in Botswana is still not industrialized that is there are no laws or policies currently in Botswana to govern the trade of modelling in Botswana. Modelling is still not a legal registered profession in Botswana,” he said.

“Affiliation of local agencies to global/international modelling agencies; we have seen a rise in business revenue with regards to fashion modelling in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya etc, due to the fact that they are exporting a larger number of models overseas to walk at fashion shows like Paris Fashion Week. This is simply because they have affiliations, partnerships with agents/bookers/agencies based in fashion capitals of the world (Paris, London, Milan & New York).”

Lack of etiquette which he said is rather unprofessional, is one of the things that hold back local models. “A lot of models in the country still walk unranked at shows (New faces, freelance, full time, professional, international model etc). Also models lack training in the art of modelling (posing, runway, social media training, and business acumen.”

In the age of brand ambassadors, models have been key in this aspect in making brands known and marketable. Even so, they are many slots that define and categorize modelling work. “Fashion models are usually booked for shows or by designers. Editorial are more for official print/brand work such as for magazines (print/online), websites, blogs etc. Commercial are more on promoting business services of institutions, government or the private sector (including banking institutions, insurance, services providers etc). Fitness models are for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, we see them booked by professionals sports/athletes/gym brands or the food & health industry (what is popular now is supplements such as herbal life),” he explained.

Like other countries, where models are paid a leg and an arm, the same should be incorporated in Botswana instead of exploiting them. “By respecting what models do and bring to the table; and you do that by paying them what they deserve on time,” Geofrey said. Geofrey is currently running classes for models called ‘Etiquette Class Models’ which offers runway coaching. It equips models with different types of walks. They also offer social media training and mentoring on running as a model entrepreneur.

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WeekendLife

LERAPO: Becoming a radio host and property analyst

12th January 2021
Thabiso Tshwenyana

Thabiso Tshwenyana is certainly a bright spark. He has been hitting the books, at the same time pushing hustle on radio! Well, you may not know who I’m talking about right now unless I refer to him as ‘Lerapo’, or ‘Bundle of Joy ya Radio’, as he is commonly called by his aficionados on radio.

Lerapo is resolute on taking over the entertainment and broadcasting space, of course wearing many hats as a radio host, content producer and a socialite. Not only that, he is a fresh Real Estate graduate currently functioning as a property analyst.

One may wonder how this young lad (currently 23-years-old) managed to be on radio, at the same time pursuing his Degree in Real Estate. Well, he says it took grit, time management and really doing what one likes. And he is right, because in today’s world anyone can call themselves a presenter. But it takes unparalleled skill, unbreakable determination, and heaps of talent to captivate an audience of millions.

Whether or not you think he’s the best, there’s no arguing that Lerapo is possibly the most prominent young radio presenter to hail from the Botswana. Initially starting his career in 2017, Lerapo earned himself a reputation as ‘Bundle of Joy ya Radio’ by consistently pushing the boundaries of what could be said and done.

His shows consists of outrageous humor and youthful content that’s shocking the radio establishment, and taking young people to cloud 9. The show is called The Youth Café on Duma FM, and airs every Saturday between 2PM and 2PM, broadcasting in vernacular.

When sharing with Weekendlife his startling life on radio and how he will be turning it down this year, he says the journey started back in 2017 at RB2 where he hosted a 30-minute feature. “I am definitely a go-getter. I love radio and this has been my childhood dream! I held onto this dream and survived against all odds. I am happy to be on radio because after all the knockings, snubs and distressing coercions, I persisted nonetheless. Sometimes it was just a matter of being at the right place at the right time.”

Before joining Duma FM in 2019, he was a content producer at yet another youthful urban radio station Yarona FM. At the age of 23-years old, Lerapo has worked at three radio stations, both government and private urban stations. Remarkable! For someone aspiring to be on radio, I can confidently say he is the pluq for inspiration and familiarity.

He continued to dish more on what radio really needs, saying “Taking time to perfect the craft, being open to learn from others and just digging down on books and the internet on how radio works did magic to me. It became easier to comprehend fully what I needed and how to go about getting it.”

Being a radio presenter means having a whole team prior to going on air. This means having a show prep, and reflecting on how the show went down with your producers or programs manager. Programs manager handles the business of the radio station and leave the voice and personality to the presenter.

Presenters have to follow rules of the programs manager even if they may not see eye-to-eye. They may prefer to play safe and repeat music even though sometimes a presenter prefers to take a risk and make changes to the music. Nevertheless, the success of the radio station lies in programs manager’s hands.

“After a show I usually have a reflection on how it went then I plan for the next show. On Tuesdays I have what we call an ‘air check’ with either the programs manager or his assistant to identify hiccups on the previous show and see how best to work on them to have a great delivery on the next show. Since I produce my own show, I give them a preliminary show prep. Once approved, I start contacting guests to be featured on the show and later share the final show prep a day before the show airs with the bosses.”

Still on his show, he does live reads. These are paid adverts that he discusses with the marketing department prior to his show going live. Well, as for a sizzling playlist, the music compiler knows how to serve him right.

He says a great radio hosts listens, reads and makes a show about the listener. ‘A common mistake we make as radio hosts is that we make the show about us and tend to feel that we know more than the listener. We also ought to respect the listener, these are our clients after all. Radio hosts should also refrain from relying on social media for content, most of it is fake and unverified by relevant authorities.”

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