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Latty: A fashion influencer speaks

X-models Agency Founder, Latty Motlholamme can be considered a real fashion influencer. He started the model management company in 2012 and has been part of the fashion world ever since. Latty has built up a substantial social media following, including over a thousand Instagram followers.

Latty recognized how street style was shaping fashion and created X-models to develop the conversation. Since then, he has noticed the industry reshape from the inside out. In an interview with WeekendLife, Latty indicated that he has worked as an influencer with many brands, including TV commercials he has featured in.

‘’I was born a creative, I always knew it as used to buy fashion magazines and being intrigued by TV commercials. While still at school, I would always be the best dressed on ‘’Dress as you wish’’ day at school. I would style myself and watching Project Runaway on tv made me wonder where I could find the opportunity, so it has been always my dream to be a fashion blogger and an influencer,’’ he said.

Further, Latty noted that his agency has since rapidly expanded into a casting and promotion agency. He pointed out that it is the first agency in Botswana to sign models with albinism. ‘’X-models agency is completely different from others. We work with people with albinism because we believe they have talent regardless of their skin condition. We do not isolate anyone and we are about empowering all citizens, we appreciate these people We do activations, brand promotions, create and execute marketing strategies, event management as well as corporate photography and videography.’’

X-models Agency also provides models as event hosts and hostess, ushers, promo models for indoor and outdoor activations and brand ambassadors. Latty added that models do photo shoots for advertorials such as billboards and pamphlets, television commercials and fashion magazine features.

Latty emphasized that the modeling industry in Botswana is still growing, adding that it is at an infant stage. ‘’We need to work extra harder for us to develop this industry. I believe collaboration can help us in that regard and networking with people locally and internationally. This collaboration will help us acquire new skills and how best to penetrate and compete in the global scale.’’ He further stressed that models are to take their work seriously as it is key to their development.

‘’Some of these models would want everything done for them, and they do not understand that this is a multi-million making industry. Some people in other countries are making a living out of modeling, and locally we have Kaone Kario who is a brand ambassador to lot of companies in the entire world. They should change mindset they have towards modeling, and it’s high time they consider this a business. Because it is actually a business that can sustain them,’’ he shared.

However, he alleged that government should ensure that there is a regulation of how much models are compensated as he believe some are exploited. ‘’Some local companies use models that are well established from other countries to do adverts here, that is totally wrong as local models are not empowered anyhow. If they will be left to hustle their way up, the industry would not grow. Government should also ensure payment of royalties by organizations that hire models on any TV commercial or billboards. Sponsoring more creative companies will also work magic and coming up with seminars or short courses will also be an advantage,’’ Latty said.

He also implored the private sector to play a role in supporting the modeling industry. He believes sponsoring fashion shows, using local models and fairly paying models for advertorials is key in developing the sector.  As a model agent, Latty indicated that his role is to make sure they sign models, profile them, build their brands and portfolios as well as sell them. ‘’I have learnt that there is no limit to creativity. I own a modeling school called X-models Academy where I equip young people on how to be a winning model. I teach them discipline, how to walk the ramp as well as how to build their personal brand. We also own a multimedia company X-studios that has paved way to many modeling agencies, models and modeling schools.”

Latty also has a reality TV series dubbed ‘’Chasing the Dream with Latty’’ which tells his story as an orphan who went through struggles in life to get where he is, and to actually live his dream. ‘’I know that everyone has a dream, but i think some people have it easier than others. I dropped out of school, I had no support from my family and I realized that I am all that I have. It is up to me to and now I have my heart set on being an internationally renowned business mogul.

Besides modeling, Latty noted that he is also an event MC. He uses his confidence, charisma, originality and funny character to make money on the sides as an MC. ‘’this is a funny way of making money, you get to meet lot of people from different backgrounds, and when you on stage you inspire them, and they get to inspire you too. Seeing people happy is the most beautiful thing ever.

Latty said that young aspiring fashion entrepreneurs should research more on what they want to do, and should not be afraid to be hands on. ‘’You need to get dirty to get gold. Gold is not found on the surface. If you are not ready to dig and scratch and find, you are not ready to do big.

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WeekendLife

‘Mindset’ unlocks positive mindset

2nd February 2023
At the age of 17, Boniface Lewanika is ready to take over the world. He has shown commitment to being the next big thing to ever emerge from Botswana. Mindset MusiQ, as he is affectionately known, is a self-taught music producer. The story of how Mindset started music production can be traced back to end-to-end lockdowns, which jaded him to the core.

At least, for Mindset MusiQ, these lockdowns were a blessing in disguise. He got to unlock the hidden potential in him, or maybe, the creativity that he never knew about. Being locked down meant that Mindset MusiQ has plenty of time to waste, but he was quick to switch his mindset to coming up with something positive.

He saw it much better to waste time on the internet. Well, for lot of people, the internet was the only saving grace then. But for Mindset MusiQ, it was the beginning of a journey that he intends to walk for the rest of his life.

“I became a music producer because I love music. I then asked myself why I should not make music, that’s when in 2020 during lockdowns I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to make music. I didn’t have any knowledge on how to produce a song. YouTube introduced me to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which is a software used for music production.”

The Letlhakane born then downloaded his first software which was Ableton Live, which was way too complex and distorted. “I felt it was too hard to learn and I switched to FI studio which was also complicated but fortunately, easy to use. Because I don’t have a good voice to sing, music production became too good to me and very flexible to embark on.”

Mindset MusiQ became part of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) national roadshow, after being picked from the capacity building workshop. He was challenged to speak to the audience, fellow creatives (artists and music producers) and his presentation caught the eye of the adjudicator, DJ Fresh.

“I heard about the artist’s capacity building workshop from my mother, who saw it on Facebook. My father immediately reacted and dropped me off and even though I was late, the host then introduced me and the rest became history. As we speak, I am part of the Top 30, and we will be having the finale on the 11th of February in Gaborone.”

Being on the Top 30 for Mindset MusiQ is a dream come true. This is because he wasn’t even told that there will be a boot camp and grand prizes, and he has always wanted to advance his premature music career. He said this has shown that he is on the right track.

“Working with DJ Fresh is really cool. It’s not everyone who can be afforded that opportunity and the experience humbles me all the time. Already, I have rocked the Thando remix and I can’t wait to do more with his mentorship.”

Mindset MusiQ is currently in South Africa working on cooking more music with industry moguls. He was invited by producer Trey Bankz and some colleagues from Imperial City Music, a new record label in Johannesburg

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WeekendLife

All The Star She Is lands on BTV

2nd February 2023
With zero existence of TV programs empowering women in Botswana, a new show that strives to make that news of the past has just started airing on the tedious BTV. At least, after so many years, All The Star She Is will inspire viewers to see a new change in terms of supporting women in Botswana.

Each incredible series celebrates women but not from all walks of life, but those who are turning heads in the entertainment industry. The show will cast a bright light on women who have conquered tremendous obstacles and weathered the storms.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Monday, Director of Cosign267 Koone Boikaego said the show reveals the paths that these phenomenal women took to be where they are in the entertainment and media industry.

Cosign267 is a 100% youth owned film and TV Production Company led by Boikaego. It has worked with a number of organization, executing various projects such as filming, shooting, editing and one-on-one couch interviews.

The youthful company recently wrapped up the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) three months’ national roadshow and boot camp. It was assigned with capturing all moments of the roadshow, alongside Thato DJ Fresh Sikwane.

“Celebrating women is one thing that is often overlooked. We put together this project to take followers into the lives of creative and incredible women. They are determined to break walls and pave way for the next generation of women. In this show, these women serve viewers with factual stories of how they started and what it takes to be at the forefront, the bittersweet experiences that took them that far. It’s really a show that many young girls can draw inspiration from.”

Breaking down the show plan, Boikaego said airs every Saturday on BTV at 6PM, hosted by One Rabantheng. Rabantheng, famously known as Divine Diva is a media and marketing consultant, legendary radio personality who worked for Duma FM, e-TV and RB2, where she was shown the door for speaking foul of the then President without being aware that the microphone is on.

There are thirteen stars to be featured on the new show, therefore, this means that there will be thirteen episodes. Some of the familiar faces featured on the TV show are: Mpho Sebina, Olorato Ledique, Oratile Kebakile, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Tumi Ramsden, Kelly Ramputswa, Tshepie Olds, Winx Motcher, Mmaphala, Loretta and Nicole Martinez among others.

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WeekendLife

Lifestyle enthusiasts feel Big Brother vibes

27th January 2023

This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.

Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.

These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.

DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.

“For the very first time in history of Big Brother, we’ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.”

THE LOVE

Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.

Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2’s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.

Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign.  #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.

We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.

WINNING STRATEGY

Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.

DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.

THE WINNING CHALLENGE

Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).

These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.

The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencer’s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.

Legwaila said “We wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.”

DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING

When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said “MultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks from our country.”

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