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All Kasi turns 19!

Native clothing label All Kasi has established itself as a reputable brand, started from humble origins and quickly breaking outside the confines from which they were founded.

This brand has grown in leaps and strides and its name is a signifier for authenticity and originality in the industry. After starting with a low-key line of T-shirts and caps, subsequently the brand’s house line became so popular that it decided to work on incorporating a foundation.  This past weekend, All Kasi celebrated 19 years of existence. It was hip and happening at Lobatse Old Stadium…revelers dressed on All Kasi merchandise, I swear I am the only one who missed the memo.
Fun lovers got to enjoy variety of activities that were lined for the day. Football fanatics were treated to a five-aside football tournament that took entirely the whole day.

Over 8 Lobatse football teams took part in this exciting tournament. The children were not left out; they were actually given priority as they had to pave way for elders to enjoy themselves after hours. Face painting, jumping castle as well as TV games were availed for kids to enjoy the historical event. It was all exciting and hilarity as clowns kept the progenies amused all day with their trivial puns! During the course of the diurnal, partygoers were enthralled by sounds of local dancehall artistes. It was more of an astonishment to actually comprehend that there are home-grown creatives who are so good at dancehall, the genre is not so prevalent in the country, but they conveyed perfectly well nonetheless.

Upon arrival at the gate, and once done with identifiers and paraphernalia, I was treated to a VVIP marquee. Not that it was my first time, but it was incredible. The ambience, the nutriment, the people and the entire atmosphere was on point. The VVIP had the chance to mingle with artistes, share some laughter’s and exchange numbers. You know some of these folks need artistes for business networks, some help with marketing as they score tenders to work as influencers. The MC’s of the day, Scar and T.H.A.B.O were not as monotonous as they are on radio. At least, they managed to persuade the crowd to come a little closer, and get to dance to the beats. Some of the invited artistes who I believe were striking and gratified party animals prospects, are MMP Family, Eskimos as well Mosako.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on the sidelines of the celebrations, Founder and Managing Director of Tsa Gae Limited, the company that makes All Kasi Lorato Kemoeng said the clothing was inspired by young urban Batswana at the turn of the millennium, when globalization was a buzz word, and there was a lot anxiety over the beckoning globalization. ‘’We wanted to make a brand that could celebrate Botswana, who were are and where were are from amidst the global crowd. Young urban Batswana were silently begging for such a brand, and that yearning caught our attention and inspired our imagination. It was easy for us to realize the need for such a brand because it was our need too. We all wanted this thing that was not readily available, and also we had to create it ourselves. So All Kasi started out as a solution to a perceived identity crisis among the urban youth, for whom I was way easier to find and buy a New York shirt or Los Angeles cap than a Gaborone hat or shirt’’ he said.

He however noted that it was not an easy task getting the brand off the ground. ‘’It was rough, not an easy thing to get it down and going. We stayed committed to it and I was a young man fresh out of Varsity and great ideas came easily, so I did not give the brand the seriousness it deserved at the beginning, even though it had made an instant impression with the market. At that time, it was more about doing what made me happy and what I found exciting, than it was about building a long-term business. I overcame that when a friend met at Varsity, who was starting a football publication with some of his friends, and wanted me to design it, pointed out to me that the All Kasi project had great potential and was something worth exploring further’’

For a brand to penetrate the industry, Kemoeng noted that a brand should invest in the community and in patience. He stressed that all businesses exist to meet a need within a community or a particular market, saying that it is from the sustained meeting of these market needs that the brand gains relevance and significance to the market. Further, he underlined that patience plays a critical role in the development of the brand, saying often people start something good because it made sense to tem after thinking about it for some time. ‘’People start it, and when it does not go as they had thought it would go, they abandon it to start something else that makes newer sense, something that excites them more. Then it becomes a circle of laying a foundation here, and then abandoning it, to lay a foundation elsewhere. Building a brand requires a great deal of consistency because a brand is like an unspoken promise to the marker. Any new brand is nothing more than just potential, a promise of greatness, greatness which can only be realized through consistent branding, and branding is nothing more than consistently living up to the brand promise, consistently delivering whatever solutions the brand promises, thereby corroborating the brand’s character, identity and reputation in the market community’’

He highlighted that football in particular, and sports in general, have been the biggest marketing platforms for All Kasi, allowing the brand to engage with the market and serve it at a more intimate level. Kemoeng said before jumping into sportswear in 2008, All Kasi had already made a great impression in the casual wear space, but was struggling to find a distribution or retail arrangement that could move the numbers that the company was trying to move. ‘’When we started making sportswear for the general public in 2012, the direct demand for our products increased immediately. The fact that most sports are team activities helped with the numbers. Sports also has passionate supporters who would support any brand that is fervent about their sport code, team or club. It is this shared passion that we always strive to nurture with our partners in the sporting world and beyond’’

He indicated that they have started a foundation, All Kasi Foundation in which they intend to do more for the community and charity work throughout Botswana. ‘’AS you may be aware, community upliftments and social partnerships have always been a bigger part of our youthful company’s business, and throughout our history, we have partnered with many organizations and lent a hand tom various causes throughout the country. A few of our interventions were large and public, but the majority of them were direct and private. Meanwhile, All Kasi has been identified as one of the top most-admired brand sin the country alongside international brand, Nike. According to the recent research, All Kasi clinched the title of the nation’s favorite brand, as sportswear both locally and internationally dominates.

GeoPoll, which recently launched its services in the country, is a mobile engagement platform that works with global brands, media houses and NGOs to facilitate data collection around the world.
 

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WeekendLife

Feminism and Nudity still at odds

19th April 2021
Feminism and Nudity

This past week seemed like a time travel back to the early 1970’s where women were judged and stoned for what they wear, what they should wear, and whose attention their dress code will grab.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry gave their two cents on the matter, unnecessarily so. Its disheartening that in 2021 a woman is dictated to about what she should wear.

The genesis of the whole saga was because of a certified life coach and personal trainer, Agang Atlholang, derided as an example of an anti-feminist.

Atlholang updated a controversial post on her Facebook page where she seemingly attacked and dragged some women for wearing appealing clothes that leave little to the imagination.

The personal coach further went on to highlight that she could be fully clothed and be able to attract and steal some of these women’s lovers. Audacious of her to assume but more disheartening that her wardrobe is subliminally dictated by men.

It should be noted that this wasn’t her first controversial post where she has threatened or promised to take other women’s men, it may not be her last either but this post however did get on a lot of women’s last nerve.

“A woman’s sexuality is so much more than her thighs, (beep) and breasts. It’s your aura, confidence, seduction and the way you carry yourself, watching everything rock and roll in silence. I know who I am, I am a boss lady. I can still get your man without showing skin,” said Atlholang.

It is hard to place the fitness coach, is she pro-feminism or anti-feminism? Because one minute she would say something that makes sense and that almost everyone can relate to and other times she barks threats like a toothless bulldog.

She was not wrong to publicly and indirectly affirm that she doesn’t wear revealing outfits, but for her to be coming at those who do so was entirely out of line. How a woman presents herself to the world has a very little to do with a man’s preference.

Any personal liberation of what one chooses to clothe their own body is clouded by the misogynistic backdrop of the world we live in. In all cases, a woman’s body is assumed to be someone else’s before is it her own.

If she takes off her clothes, it is seen to be a sign of her insecurity and need for validation, rather than feeling comfortable with herself. Once she’s stripped, that’s all she is. This is the insidious pressures of misogyny that we all have a duty to attack and put in the past where it belongs.

WeekendLife reached out to Atlholang but her phone went unanswered. She did not respond to a questionnaire sent to her on Wednesday.
Celebrated feminist Resego Kgosidintsi says there should be no expectations on what a woman does with her body. Some women are thick and curvy, while some are slim and petite, all body types are beautiful.

Kgosidintsi uploaded two pictures on her Facebook page in which she compared herself. In one picture she was only in a bikini on the beach whereas in the other picture she was wearing formal attire. She went on to say;

“I am the woman in both pictures, my worth did not decrease on picture 2 because I revealed almost all of my skin and neither is my worth on a 100 on picture 1 because my skirt is below the knee.

I have about 7 tattoos on my entire body and that still does not make me less of a woman. I drink and smoke cigarettes too and that doesn’t mean the woman in church who doesn’t smoke or drink more woman than me. Can we respect people’s choices, can we respect women.”
Feminist, media personality and socialite, Oratile Kefitlhile shares the same sentiments as Kgosidintsi.

‘‘Feminism is subject, if I feel as a woman that when I’m fully dressed I’m celebrating my femininity, so be it. If another woman feels they are embracing their femininity more with their thighs out, that’s perfectly fine still. Let them be.

We have been preaching this revolution for a very long time of women being allowed to wear what they want, and being allowed to embrace their womanhood in the way that speaks to them, so I feel at this point we should not be having these debates,” Kefitlhile told WeekendLife on Tuesday.

Controversial poet, artist and businesswoman, Berry Heart is of the belief that women are envious towards each other. She argues that celebrating femininity has no boundaries subsequently making no one woman superior.

Quizzed on what makes women fight over small issues such as what they wear, she says “Batswana women are broken so much that we don’t want to see another woman succeeding on anything. We desire to make them dejected.”

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WeekendLife

The art of mastering instrumentals

12th April 2021
Kagiso "Fella" Kenosi

You will know a tree by its fruits, the same way you will know a music producer by their works.

Top music producers in the country have set themselves apart through the quality music they produce and reap the results of international recognition from as far as the United States of America.

These producers are behind every star performer, listening and analyzing each and every note. When artists perform a vocal swell, rising to an octave that sounds like it’s going to shatter voice box, it’s easy to forget that someone was on the other side of the glass asking questions like, “Can you hit that note every night, or will it hurt too badly? Maybe we should lower the octave to save your voice?”

Producers make hundreds of decisions in each song, not to mention the push and pull relationships they have with talented performers.These relationships can make or break careers. Some of your favorite bands and artists wouldn’t be so memorable without a great producer helping to guide their distinct voices.

Kagiso Kenosi, or better known as Fella in the entertainment industry, is only 31-years old but he has already left his imprint in the music industry. The young chap, originally from Palapye, is not in the industry to add numbers, but to do his magic working behind the scenes producing hit song after hit song.

When most producers went to school to produce the hits that we hear today, Fella’s foundation and passion for producing came from being active in church.

“I grew up in a catholic orientated family where music is the essence of our religion. The love for music in its entirety emerged from enjoying singing at church and blossomed over the years as I grew up, being exposed to the internet and software’s such as fruity loops.”

Fella says he then learnt how to make beats and proceeded with vocal processing so besides the love for music, he had an amazing group of people who helped him reach his life dream; being the best in music production. The sky was the limit for Fella.

Unfortunately for so many music producers locally, this kind of hustle is basically about being famous. Some of them bite off more than they can chew just for a quick buck that doesn’t even go a long away for them. At the end of it all, these fly by night prima-donnas end up cutting corners and producing subpar records which eventually leads to a premature death for their careers.

Fella’s advice is that fellow colleagues should be patient and continue learning the craft, even if it means taking online tutorials. “Even though I’m still learning too, for I believe music is a fast infinite universe where no one can never say they know it all, I think believing in what one does, the level of creativity and being able to stand alone can do magic.

We living in an era where people go through a lot, so it is imperative for a music producer to be able to relate to those kind of situations. This takes only the right instrumentals, which will compliment emotions of an artist.”

The most asked question outside the music industry is; who chooses the instruments for a song, is it the artist or the producer? Fella gave his take;

“I make instrumentals and keep them until an artist comes to work on a song. That’s when I advise on whether I think the concept they chose goes hand in hand with the instrumentals. We will then look for a more appropriate song.

In some cases, artists can come and we record vocals without an instrumental and then get to make a beat on top of the recorded vocal which in that case guides me to make a relevant instrumental,” he said in an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday.

Digging more into finding the difference between a producer and an engineer, Fella clarified that there is not much difference. There is actually a thin line between the two even though an engineer does more than a producer when dishing out a song.

“We use the word production to credit people who only make beats. Engineers are people who record vocals, clean them, do the mixing and master the song preparing the record for radio. I must say an engineer, does the critical components of a song.”

As young as he is, Fella has been through thick and thin with young artists. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, because, frankly some of these fledging artists are way too complicated to work with. Fella admits that he too has flaws but c’est la vie, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

“It’s always a blessing and quite exciting because these different people of different energies and mind-sets and creativity will humble you. It’s a chastening experience and also accords me with experience to manoeuvre and adjust to people with different characters.

So truly, it has helped me grow as a person, and a producer.”

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WeekendLife

BOMU spruce up dirty laundry

30th March 2021
BOMU awards

Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is known for its bad reputation that has been getting worse over the years. There has been a lot of chinwag, squabbles and the organization literally lost touch. It has gotten so bad that stakeholders pulled out, and members were left with no choice but to face the music alone.

Just when you’d think the waters are calm, the new Executive Committee awarded a fledgling company, Total Music Group, to handle the 2021 music awards. This move was seen as a biased decision that got BOMU members bent out of shape.

However, BOMU Secretary General, Rasina Rasina told Weekendlife that the Executive Committee that it has many irons in the fire. He indeed admitted without reluctance that, BOMU has been clouded by hubbub.

“We pledged when the new administration took over that it would begin with cleaning our own house. We have built structures as we had promised and we are glad that they are fully functional. One of those is the disciplinary committee.”

“BOMU has for a long time appeared to be lacking discipline and proper laid down procedures. This has led to the organization losing out big in its endeavour to serve its members and the entire music fraternity. The National Executive Committee, chapter committees and sub-committees have committed to ensuring that non proper governance and accountability shall take centre stage and this is all that is happening,” Rasina told Weekendlife on Tuesday.

Rebuilding and rebranding a disintegrated intuition such as BOMU is not just a walk in the park, it needs concerted efforts and team work to actually reach that goal. A stitch in time saves nine, but as for BOMU, the entire union failed to address its dares a long time ago, but the union says everything is on track in recuperating public trust and fixing the mess created then.

BOMU Research and Policy Committee is hard finalizing a new code of conduct which will contribute significantly to how members and leadership conduct themselves and relate with each other for the furtherance of BOMU’s mandate, Weekendlife has been reliably informed.

“We are doing everything according to our constitution, logic and reason. We advise our members that they should point out where the constitution has been breached and that they are at liberty to follow due process and report any misconduct to the disciplinary committee,” said Rasina.

This is following the suspension of some executive committee members and BOMU subscribed members for questioning the integrity in awarding the music awards tender. Some members, told Weekendlife that they will seek legal advice on the matter.

“We do have members who have already appeared before the disciplinary committee on various charges and decisions are yet to be taken. We also have members who are yet to appear before the committee for various complaints levelled against them. Current suspensions are related to various complaints and offences.”

With regard to appointing Total Music Group, BOMU National Executive Committee says it used Article 9.3.19 of its constitution. The article says; “The National Executive Committee of BOMU shall have the authority to enter into legally binding contracts on behalf of the Union.’’

Rasina says the leadership needed a company to manage, host and sell the BOMU awards for five years consecutively so as to attain stability and refurbish the brand image of both the music awards and the organization. “Without any money at our disposal, we debated on the best model and agreed that we should engage a company that also has the capacity to mobilize resources. We used our discretion and decided on a direct appointment model which is perfectly legal and constitutional.”

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