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Old jeans Transformed

Fashion design is the applied art dedicated to the design of clothing and lifestyle accessories, which generally mirror cultural and social influence of that time.

Some fashion designers incorporate production activities such as manipulation and experimentation of textiles and trims to generate ideas that will then be translated into stylish designs, integrating modern culture and trends. They draw on personality traits, habits and mind-sets to come up with ideas that straddle the line between insanity and genius.

Founder of ‘’Evol Wears’’, Evol David Mokotedi says he started his company in 2016 with the aim of recycling old jeans into fashionable wears. Born in Mochudi 23 years ago, Mokotedi is a Limkokwing University of Creative Technology student pursuing Sound and Technology.
‘’This concept which is motivated by an aspiration to be creative was established to create employment for young people and persuade them to be self-reliant. I was inspired by my mother who is a fashion designer, so it’s actually something that I grew up admiring,’’ he said in an interview in Gaborone this week.

‘’I was raised into believing that I can be anything I want to be in life. So I can capitalize in everything and it depends on what you want me to do at the time. I am a musician, designer, poet and my passion is to leave a trademark.’’ He indicated that his mother who is very supportive taught him through her tutorials how to design, adding that she understood the vision hence making his craft effortless and interesting.

Moreover, he noted that this stimulation taught him to express himself through the clothes he designs. ‘’I like fashion because it has no rules, so I am able to articulate myself consistently without any restrictions. I ventured into recycling because of the affection I have for denim as a fabric, hence why I saw the need to reprocess old jeans into clothing merchandise.’’

He was advised by a friend to incorporate other things such as bags as he saw his determination on this project. Mokotedi said he used his savings to establish this company and purchased machinery he uses today for cutting and amalgamating pieces of jeans.
‘’I have a group of ten young creatives that comprises of models, fashion designers and photographers that I work with in building my brand. Some members of the public give out their old jeans at no cost, and for that I am grateful. Well, sometimes we are forced to buy them as people do not want to give them for free, but I’m not complaining, they bought them either way,’’ he said.

The business is budding and promising. His merchandise is being sold in large quantities and the feedback he gets from his customers is positive in all ways. ‘’Personally I am impressed with how my small business is growing. I am able to sell in large amounts, and returns are amazing. I believe with time we shall be where I want us to be. ’’

Further, Mokotedi said that he is targeting young people mostly as they understand fashion culture much better, adding that creativity and being true to himself make his designs to stand out. When giving out amplification on some of the barriers he is being faced with, he said that people duplicate his designs, resulting in failure and distortion of true meaning of hic concept.

‘’Some customers purchase our merchandise and never settle their bills, this is discouraging and impacts negatively on our business. We are not able to produce more because of impairments being experienced and our balance sheet doesn’t look good in the long run,’’ said Mokotedi. Like any other young entrepreneur, Mokotedi desires to be the most influential clothing company in the country, and aspires to showcase their pieces at international fashion platforms such as Paris Fashion Week.

He appealed to government and the private sector to provide empowerment platforms for creative industry to grow as it can be a source of employment and self-development, especially amongst youth who are being hit by unemployment. ‘’Government should be at the forefront in developing the creative industry in Botswana. It should assist in tackling all challenges creatives are being faced with. But it cannot achieve this alone, collaboration with the private sector is very imperative and I believe we can penetrate even the international markets.’’

Mokotedi urged young aspiring entrepreneurs to be committed and enthusiastic in order to achieve their long and short term goals. ‘’Be creative in your own way, identify what you are artistic on, work on what you fervent about and pursue it. Consistency is key, and your product will remain relevant,’’ he said.

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200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020

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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AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020

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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Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020

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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