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Sunday, 03 December 2023

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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DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.


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Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.


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Women in Science: Breaking Glass Ceilings

16th November 2023

Women scientists have made significant contributions to the field of science, yet they continue to face numerous challenges and barriers. Despite their remarkable achievements, women represent only a fraction of researchers globally, and their work often goes unrecognized. The need for scientific role models to inspire the younger generation is urgent. However, organizations like the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are working tirelessly to empower women scientists and promote gender equality in the scientific community.

The Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO have collaborated for over two years to support and recognize women scientists who have achieved scientific excellence. These organizations have awarded more than 100 laureates, with five of them going on to win Nobel Prizes. These women researchers, who have worked in various scientific fields across different continents, are not only changing the world through their discoveries but also serving as role models for aspiring women scientists.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programs annually support over 250 talented young women researchers. Through regional and national programs, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO provide crucial support to these researchers during their thesis or post-doctoral studies. While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to achieve true gender equality in science. However, both organizations remain determined to make this vision a reality.

Recently, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO hosted thirty winners of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 14th Rising Talents Sub-Saharan Africa awards in Kasane. These awards recognize African women scientists for their outstanding research. During a press conference, Fondation L’Oréal CEO Alexandra Palt emphasized the importance of empowering women scientists in Sub-Saharan Africa, a continent that suffers greatly from climate disruption. Palt highlighted the challenges these women face, including overcoming prejudice, sexism, and harassment, to become accomplished scientists.

The finalists of the awards are scientists, PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers who are advancing various disciplines such as biology, agronomy, physics, mathematics, genetics, and engineering. Their goal is to improve the daily lives of Africa’s people, whether through advancements in health or the environment. These women, such as Dairou Hadidjatou, a pioneer in cardiovascular disease treatment in Cameroon, Esther Uwimaana, conducting research on potential tuberculosis vaccines, and Mwende Mbilo, innovating clean energy solutions in Kenya, are driven by their desire to advance science and society.

The need for scientific role models to inspire the younger generation is crucial. Palt emphasized that Africa currently represents only 2.5% of scientists globally, making it challenging for young girls in Africa to pursue scientific careers when women researchers in their countries are often invisible in the media, scientific publications, and international forums. To address this, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO have increased the number of young talents awarded from 20 to 30. These researchers also receive leadership training to enhance their communication and negotiation skills, as well as their ability to address harassment and speak publicly or with the media.

By highlighting the achievements of these women scientists, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO aim to break the glass ceiling and provide them with the recognition they deserve. It is essential to take urgent action on multiple levels to enable these talented women to emerge onto the public stage and be acknowledged for their excellent work. Only then can we truly achieve gender equality in the scientific community.

In conclusion, women scientists have made significant contributions to science, yet they continue to face numerous challenges and barriers. Organizations like the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are working tirelessly to empower women scientists and promote gender equality in the scientific community. By recognizing and supporting these women, we can inspire the younger generation and create a world where women in science are celebrated and their work is valued.


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