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Turning Photography into Hustle

For so many years, photography has been seen as a form of an art meant to create memories. It was regarded as an art form that takes skills, artistic ability and an understanding of technology.

Well, unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does. Tables have now turned, meaningfully. Photography is seen as a skill, a source of hustle and an opportunity that can help advance oneself.

With unemployment intensifying at an alarming rate in Botswana especially amongst youth, some of them found niche in photography. They capture pictures, but at a fee. Surely, there are so many ways of killing a cat. In an interview with Weekend Post News writer Tlhabo Kgosiemang in Gaborone on Wednesday, some youthful photographers indicated that they make ends meet through photography. Some indicated that they are self-taught, while others did it for fun, and it happened that they get paid for it.

‘’Photography is an art where an artist lays out his mindset in the form on still pictures, just as great artist that painted such as Leonardo Da’Vinci, I use my camera as my paint brush. A great photograph has emotion. I have always been advised by well-established photographers to change my style and follow some typical ‘’photography rules’’. But for me, photography is an art and the only thing that can distinguish a great picture from the rest is the ability of giving out emotion in your photographs’’ says Kevin Kalabante, a 21-year-old Mahalapye born and Founder of Kissed by The Gods photography.

He said he started photography after he discovered that he actually can be a great photographer, liking the kind of work he does and eventually doing what he wants to do. He discovered a few great local photographers, but for him, it was distinct and astonishing on how the puzzle pieces fitted together and how fast his development was.

A Botswana International University of Science and Technology BIUST Geological Engineering students noted that everything and everyone is an inspiration for his creative energy. He can draw some inspiration from the simplest aspect of something, visualize it and create something unique and new.

Kalabante indicated that photography is the simplest but yet stressful kind of hustle, especially for the 21 century generation. ‘’It is definitely the best kind of making money. I enjoy taking pictures, and being able to eat from what you love is an exceptional feeling. It is the best gift you could give to yourself’’

However, there has always been ups and downs. As photographers, the biggest challenge is the pricing of their services. ‘’Me being unfairly expensive is quite an everyday conversation for me but I try by all means to show the clients how much time, effort and skill I put into my work’’. Further, he underscored that although clients are mostly the hardest people to deal with, he always finds a way to work out stuff and that makes his job likeable at most times’’ Kalabante believes that 2018 was a great year for his brand, but as 2019 started, new skills, targets and important people came up into the equation.

‘’I still have a long way for the vision in mind but eventually it will be reached’’ he said. He has started receiving international recognition this year, including the international Nikon photo contest held by Nikon annually. Other than that, it has always been about countless shoots and collaborative projects. ‘’I really do not want to divulge some other stuff I am working on, but they will be published with time’’

He advised aspiring photographers to follow what their hearts lead them to, saying that they should not chase it for the money, but for the dream. Kalabante highlighted that passion keeps him relevant. ‘’Long as you have the drive in your heart and mindset, you can never go wrong. Stay humble and put the work’’.

For his part, Gonna Monngakgotla, a 23-year-old Kanye born oddly creative said photography is literally just the art he sees. ‘’It is basically the art of capturing what’s around you. I like breaking down this to people that I capture anything that you would look at and make you think outside the box. But obviously photography is diverse and has different fields to it, I am more leaning onto fashion, creative photography and soon to do landscape photography’’

Monngakgotla describes a photograph as a freezing time, a captured and frozen moment. ‘’A photographer has to be the artist with an eye for such interesting moments. It’s all in the eye and knowledge basically, which is why we getting paid for it. It is not just about clicking the camera as people may presume. There is a lot of thought process that occurs in the midst of a picture being shot and not to forget the work that goes into editing and bringing the picture to life’’ he highlighted

Just like any other photographer, he draws an inspiration from something. Monngakgotla stressed that Botswana as a whole inspires him. ‘’My country has beautiful people and places which I feel the obligation to showcase to the world and get people to appreciate the beauty that we pride ourselves in. I also get inspired by anything that looks abnormal, oddly creative as I would call it. Some of the inspiration I draw from the internet, I love taking pictures that will get people talking, if it is controversial to them I will be the guy behind the lenses’’ he said the 2016 album he titled Basadi got recognized internationally on Afropunk, an American magazine. Some of his pictures captured in Parliament during the unemployment protest nearly broke the internet.

‘’Photography is part of who I am, I love it and I am passionate about it. I just happen to get paid for it’’. He noted that he has achieved a lot ever since venturing into photography, saying that it is his main source of income. Monngakgotla has managed to branch out the profits into coming up with a clothing brand. He indicated that due to a good business structure, he has managed to stay relevant in the game.

‘’As much as photography is a hobby, hustle or a job to most of us, it has to be managed with profession. It has to have a well laid out business plan, that indicates cash flows, and a photographer should be able to read risks and opportunities available’’. He added that research, learning something new and keeping in touch with customers makes a winning business.

However, unlike Kalabante, partnering up with other photographers has been the worst mistake Monngakgotla ever took. ‘’The biggest challenge I came across was trying to work with other photographers. Collaborative works does magic for creatives but is usually the most complicated effort to take, working with people’s tight schedules is quite exhausting’’ he concluded

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WeekendLife

Fastjet Zimbabwe launches Vic Falls – Maun route

28th June 2022
fastjet

Fastjet Zimbabwe, the award-winning value-based airline, this week announced that effective Thursday, 30 June 2022, the airline will introduce a new service between Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Maun in Botswana.



The new route is scheduled to operate four (4) times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fastjet will operate the route using a 50-seater Embraer ERJ145 aircraft. This aircraft choice is known to provide the versatility to build a sustainable regional network with the right-size capacity while offering customers comfortable seating with generous legroom.

Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana, said, “The airline is thrilled to introduce direct flights from Victoria Falls to Maun. Using our Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, we believe this route will facilitate more travel between these two tourism capitals of Zimbabwe and Botswana. This route has for many years been only available by private charter.

So, with the introduction of this direct connection, we believe it will be able to spur tourism development and growth in the region”.

Fastjet Group Chief Operating Officer, Donahue Cortes commented, “The Victoria Falls – Maun flight is the second new route being added onto the fastjet regional network, with flights between Victoria Falls and Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga planned to launch ahead of the Easter travel period.

Despite the hard-wearing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group remains dedicated to the recovery and growth of tourism in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, and to bringing further connectivity to the region”. The new route will operate 4 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday connecting two of Southern Africa’s most iconic tourist destinations.

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News

Botswana may host Miss World 2024

28th June 2022
Miss world 2024

Botswana has been approached to host the 73rd Miss World, expected in 2024.  During the appreciation event for Miss Botswana, Palesa Molefe, by Southern Epic Cycling Challenge in collaboration with The High Commission of India, Miss Botswana Management Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Benjamin Raletsatsi, confirmed that they have been approached by Miss World to host 73rd Miss World.

Speaking at the same arena, Raletsatsi highlighted that it has been his dream to host Miss World in Botswana.  “Miss Botswana is one of the difficult projects to run. There are days I just wake up and ask myself why I am doing what I am doing because everything about me from integrity is often times torn apart.

Then Palesa came along and validated and confirmed that what I am doing is right because it is setting an opportunity for young girls in this country to have an opportunity to express themselves. Four years ago, when I took over Miss Botswana I had a vision, in my vision I wanted the first year to just be us participating in Miss World, second year was for us to participate and ask Miss World to allow us to host Miss World in Botswana, and the third year was for us to elevate ourselves as a country; whilst in year four we wanted to win Miss World.

We could have won Miss World in our third year of office with Palesa, but unfortunately COVID-19 happened. The idea is that this coming year as Palesa will be handing over her Miss Botswana tittle, she will be there to guide the next Miss Botswana on how to prepare for Miss World.”

Raletsatsi pointed out that the reality that Palesa did not win Miss World does not mean she did not do well. “She did exceptionally well”. He said at the end of Miss World there were ten pictures of Miss World participants who had a huge impact auctioned, and out of ten pictures two of those pictures were of Palesa.

The Miss Botswana management CEO highlighted that after the Miss World competition, Miss World responded to their request to host the 73rd Miss World. “They responded and said we can host 73rd Miss World if we are still interested in hosting it.

The current Miss World will be the 71st this year and then followed by the 72nd which is next year and the 73rd which will be in 2024 which has been offered to Botswana. The bigger challenge for me now is how I will be able to convince Batswana to bring Miss World to Botswana.

The honest truth is that Palesa has done her part as a change agent, it is up to us to do our part as Batswana to ensure that Miss World comes to Botswana and is a success. I was joking with one of my friends the other day to say, what Palesa has achieved in one year can take some companies, three to four years to achieve.”

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WeekendLife

Fathers’ Day explodes!

28th June 2022

You choose a path to be better or bitter, why do you have to expose a person, what do you gain from that? We react rather than become proactive. Mothers need help! Some said as social media turned into a battlefield this past Father’s Day.

Baby mamas came all guns blazing, ventilating their frustrations against absent baby daddies through social media posts. “As for me I feel women will be applying a hurting heart or she is bitter to expose baby daddy.

There are channels one can follow to solve this issues rather than rushing to Facebook and exposing them, it’s reacting rather than solving the reality of the problem, it won’t help you, after all what will Facebook do to you? Would it give you the food, would it make the father to support the child, but there are channels one can follow like one can consult with the laws then this man will know the right thing to do”, said Obonye Obza Thapelo who is baby daddy of two daughters.

Thapelo further argued that if you seek for definition you will lose a father, “we have our fathers, it’s not about the responsibility, if we are talking about a father on happy father’s day don’t talk about the definition, talk about father’s day, it never say define or describe whose a father.

When you come back to family, we have family dynamics, family faults and family failures, so if you have family failures, for example, if I have been taking care of the child while we were together and it happens we break up and I stop taking care of the child, are you not going to call me a father just because of my failures?”

“If we are going to look for the faults we won’t be building fathers that we want. “It says happy father’s day, it ends there, and it’s not about the responsibilities. A responsible father depends on one, I can be a fathers because I am your mentor, I can be a father that am not supporting financially but I can just call and check on my child, I can be father that have money but still fails to support but am there physically but not economically, am there emotionally but still am a father.”

“Speaking from experience, my baby daddy have never been there in my kids life so in my own opinion I think happy father’s day means to acknowledge fathers who are present in their children lives, man who are there for their children, I don’t mean for the mothers, am saying their children.”, Norah Moloi mother of three cried.

“Women are reactive to this issues because it hurts to be left alone with children. Seeing other women praising their baby daddies and as for us not even knowing what to say to our children, they don’t even know if this day do exist hurts. I grew up without a father too, I didn’t even had a privilege to wish him that, even happy birthday to him too. I think this now seem like a trend, it’s like a culture now because it’s like everyone is abandoning their children,” Moloi explained.

“There is co-parenting, I mean if you have problem with me exclude the child from our problems. For us to have a healthy children who are mentally fit we ought to be in the same page. Let us hide our problems from our children. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers, that is why you saw on social media even kids venting out about their absent fathers.

“As for fathers who are not in their children’s life why should we wish them father’s day? It is like throwing a seed on rocks and expect it to germinate without proper soil, proper sunlight or even without water and expect to reap at the end of the day.

Do you expect such a planter to be praised that they have sowed anything? You are a planter yes but where is your seedlings, you just threw a seed and abandon it, as for me is a big NO! There is a mistake that men turn to make, they think children cannot see all the struggles mother goes through trying to made ends meets for them and later blame it on baby mamas for using children when tables turns.

“Ask yourself, are we to wish man who denied pregnancy father’s day? What of those who long abandoned their children? What is there to be wished? What is supposed to be happy about the day? We are not bitter, we are asking them to put themselves in our shoes,” Moloi expressed herself.

Adding on Calvin G Zacharia father of one daughter says that was a cry for help to single mothers, he said men who are not there for their children don’t deserve to be wished father’s day since they are not playing their role.

Zacharia urged mothers to involve the authority, “there is no use to pass remarks on social media without taking action. If the parents had messy break up they should find a common ground for the sake of their child/children”. It depresses the kids not having another party not playing the role on their lives.

“I think ladies are bitter, just because some man don’t give us money we start labelling them as deadbeat”, Boitshepho Gasefiwe mother of one. Men have their reasons for not being there for their children. There is always two sides of stories. Some kids I saw on Facebook I feel meddle in elder people’s issues without knowing the facts.

When giving his views, Thando Morgan, father of one daughter highlighted that he feels it depends on someone’s emotional intelligence, some act according to how their baby daddy treated them. “Baby mamas know their baby daddies better to find fit worthy a father title, some are venting out because they suffer alone in raising the kids alone.

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