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YAMAs Are Here. Is your Wardrobe Ready?

Away from the stage performances of popular hits of the year by our local artists and other regional players, the dancing, and the electric atmosphere – is the fashion. Red carpet. Lights. Camera. Action!

Botswana’s greatest music showcase is also a big fashion statement. After all, the gods did favour Batswana with divine looks. How could one forget our gentlemen in black tie theme, fine tuxedos 007 style and ladies with well defining evening gowns in the past YAMAs? Add fashion to such lively performances by the industry’s best and visiting celebrities you have a night to remember.

It is believed fashion has historically been created to be practical. However a major change happened in the past 100 years or so. Rather than worrying about one's fashion being deemed “useful”, people began to see fashion as linked with the current musical trends. This is not a random occurrence either, the reason being that fashion and music became so inextricably linked as music became a method of showing individuality, political beliefs, and ideas rather than just normalised entertainment.

This year’s theme for the YAMAs is RETRO 5 promises to be the most exciting yet. We asked our local designers, fashion experts, radio and TV personalities, artists and social influencers what their take on the theme RETRO 5 is. Mothusi and Tumi Nthutang went to the extent of sending their own images in the theme to explain the beauty and creative flair.

Mothusi and Tumi

“Its up to you…. Someone born in a particular year’s Retro may be different from the next. What’s Retro for you may not be for someone else, for instance some may rock the 90s, 50s and so forth. Give us an old school feel and remain within the glitz and glamour paradigm. It could be Diana Ross. Bright colours, the metalics define the Retro theme.”

Han- C’s Manager Boogie Sid

“Retro 5 in fashion means going back to the late 70s, 80s and 90s type of fashion, something funky and edgy with a little Bobby Brown touch to it if you know what I mean. As for music, it means going back to when it all started, that funk music we grew up dancing to. For Yarona FM it might mean going back 5 years to when they first started with the YAMAs. Han C will definitely be on theme. We are looking for a long-term designer for him. But as for me I will definatly be wearing something with a spark of Bobby Brown to it”.

Fifi Mathambo – Social Media Officer and influencer

“At first the Retro 5 theme sort of threw me off to be honest. It’s such a time and style specific period in fashion and not everyone is in tune or fully understands what was happening back in the 1940 – 1950s-time period. As for what I’ll be wearing, I think after spending a lot of last year wearing Jubilee XXV, from fashion shows, to Global Citizen and most recently Afro Punk, we’ve had seamless collaborations that made features international publications and so I’m excited to see what the brand will come up with this time around for the YAMAs”.

Gabz Diva – Radio Presenter and Hostess at Cigar Lounge   

“Retro 5 I think for me it means the 90s era when Yarona FM started operating as a radio station. Am not a fashion fanatic so I will leave this to the fashion experts. I will definatly be at the YAMAs and will be wearing my own design. The jewelry I will be putting on will be by Fashion Hoop-up, make up Nomlu Beau, accessories by Single Fab Spaz while my stylist for the night will be SimplySoulfulB”.

Bouncy – YAMAs nominee

“Retro 5 to me it feels bigger, better, colorful and a platform to allow greatness (which is ME ofcource) to unfold. Its amplified and I love it. Tsholo Dikobe of Khoi Exclusive will be my stylist for the night. As for a designer, I haven’t found one yet but am looking for the most talented designer to dress me for the YAMAs”.

Katlego Moatshe – Jubilee XXV Designer  

“The theme Retro 5, my interpretation of it is varied but I’m more inclined to old school glamour. Glitzy and fun… Yes Jubilee XXV is designing outfits for some of our influencers and we will know by end of this week if we will be gracing the event”.

Candy Tselayakgosi- Just Candi Owner and Image Consultant

“What are the odds that Just Candi Boutique’s clothing line for this season is spot on with the Retro theme? Huh! I mean the late 80s and 90s fashion is coming back with a bang and as a boutique owner it’s my responsibility to dress my customers with the latest trends. Am not dressing anyone to be precise but everyone is welcome to come to the store to be dressed for the night. We have a lot of retro fashionable outfits in stock. With Just Candi Boutique you don’t have to worry about dressing like the next person. I assure you, you will uniquely shine and sparkle the night away”.

Gabby Mochudi – Style Architect and Influencer  

“Retro 5 to me means the different millennials of retro like the 90s, 80s and 70s. I believe that the word retro really means vintage, like the fashionable vintage. I will be gracing the event. Since am a style architect I will be doing my clients hair, make-up and style their outfits. My designer is Nabi of Hibah Tikvah Design. She understands that I like to be different and definatly stand out ha ha.

Last year I was at the YAMAs and I was spot on when it came to the theme as both my hair and outfit were spicy red. I believe since Bonang Matheba will be the hosting the YAMAs that alone raises the bar fashion wise as she is a fashionista. Am excited really about this year’s YAMAs”. There seems to be different interpretations at the time. The one denominator is the touch of glamour and class, apply that to the retrospect of the past. Let the red-carpet kings and queens shine!

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WeekendLife

The King’s journal 

23rd November 2021
Kgafela Kgafela II

This book is a true-life story of an African King based in South Africa. The Last Frontier is a resistance stand by Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe and its line of Kings from 1885 against a dark force called ‘western democracy’ that is insidiously destroying lives, peoples, nations and threatens to wipe away whole civilizations in Africa.

The story flows through four important episodes of history, beginning in about 1885 when Bechuanaland Protectorate was formed. This section briefly reveals interactions between Kgosi Linchwe 1 and the British Colonial Government, leading to the establishment of Bakgatla Reserve by Proclamations of 1899 – 1904.

The second episode deals with Kgosi Molefi’s interaction with the British Colonial Government in the period of 1929-36. The third episode records Kgosi Linchwe II’s interactions with the British Colonial Government and black elites of Bechuanaland. It covers the period of 1964-66, leading to Botswana’s independence. Kgosi Linchwe ii resisted the unlawful expropriation of his country (Bakgatla Reserve) by Sir Seretse Kgama’s government of 1966 to no avail. He wrote letters of objection (December 1965) to Her Majesty the Queen of England, which are reproduced in this book.

The fourth episode covers the period between Kgafela Kgafela II’s crowning as King of Bakgatla in 2008 to 2021. It is a drama of the author’s resistance to the present-day Botswana Government, a continuation of Bakgatla Kings’ objection against losing Bakgatla country to the Kgama dynasty assisted by the British Government since 1885. The story is told with reference to authentic letters, documents, and Court records generated during the period of 1885-2019. There is plenty of education in history, law, and politics contained in The Last Frontier for everyone to learn something and enjoy.   

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WeekendLife

Gospel concerts make a comeback

16th November 2021
Bishop Benjamin Dube

Hailed for being the prime gospel concert after the Covid-19 pandemic had put events to a halt, Golden Relic, in conjunction with Sweet Brands, recently unveiled the Arise and Worship Concert, Botswana. The show marks the return of worshippers and fans to enjoy music and worship together after what seemed like “cooler box” events were taking over the entertainment scene. 

The concert to be held on December 11th 2021, at the Molapo Showcase, has a packed lineup with the Headlining acts being Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela from South Africa and Botswana’s very own Obakeng Sengwaketse. More international acts from Nigeria and Ghana are also expected to grace the event. The show organizers have invested an effort in diversifying the lineup with live performances. 

The promoter of the Arise and Worship Concert, David “DVD” Abram revealed in an overview of the event that; “We have lost a lot of loved ones this year, and when that happens, one’s spirit goes down, and we need a light to ground us once more, to heal our souls. Therefore, the two main purposes of this event are to do the work of God and, secondly, to make sure that we nurture and develop talent in Botswana. With challenges that come up with events of such magnitude, the team and I have been committed to seeking guidance from God through having night prayers.” 

Abram added that as promoters, they usually have a bias towards already established artists, thus neglecting the upcoming ones and wanting to change that. “We approached the Melody Gospel TV Show since we aim at nurturing new talent and agreed on having one of the winners as a headliner for the event to allow them to share the stage with gospel giants so that they are exposed to the industry. This resulted in securing the Second Winner of the Melody Gospel TV show; Thabiso Mafoko as a local headlining act.”

The concert also aims at celebrating a Motswana. Multi-Award Winner; with the most recent title; BOMU Best Traditional Gospel under his belt, also best known for his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, Obakeng Sengwaketse enthusiastically said, “I want to thank the organizers of the Arise and Worship concert, it means a lot to me after recently winning two awards that are currently the highlight of my career.

I regard this as a great revival because the Covid-19 pandemic has muffled events such as this. I am looking forward to sharing the stage with the great Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela and more artists from Nigeria and Ghana. Sengwaketsi urged Batswana to come and witness the greatness of the Lord as their lives will never be the same.”

Tickets are selling like fat cakes with VVIP tickets having only five tickets remaining; the VVIP tickets include rounder access backstage to all the performing artists. The event will also comprise a seated Gold Circle Ticket, which accounts for 50% of revellers to allow for easier enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and avoid a potential stampede.

In a bid to entice merrymakers to buy tickets, the promoters have come up with a layby strategy and buying tickets on an instalment basis for the attendees to be able to buy their tickets since the COVID-19 Pandemic has left many Batswana in financial ruin but having the interest to attend the event.

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WeekendLife

Fame vs Mental health

9th November 2021
Lizibo

One can only imagine what is like being in the public eye. It is not a walk in the park; and not as easy as people might think it is because of the pressure from the public. Celebrities or influencers are perceived to be perfect, perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect parents, financially stable, healthy, and always smiling and patient with everyone – Is this for real?

However, when people’s expectations of celebrities are not met, the same celebrities are often victimized, body shamed, or blamed, fairly or unfairly. As a result of them not having a personal life, they are often scrutinized in all aspects of their lives; their lives are aired for the public to see and judge. Celebrities are often extra careful about everything that they do, they have to go an extra mile as compared to how ordinary people live their lives.

To understanding this experiences by public figures, this reporter made a case study of Mr Lizibo Gran Mabutho, the firstborn in his family with only one sibling, his younger brother. Lizibo describes himself as a simple Kalanga guy who was chosen by music and did not choose music.

He said being raised by his mother and grandmother, he grew up surrounded by music from birth. Lizibo said his grandmother was a religious person who held church services at their house in Zwenshambe, “for me singing was from Monday to Sunday. I was not like any ordinary child who only sang at church on Sundays or sometimes in school assembly, for me it was a daily thing. My mother was also a talented dancer in our village that is what I mean when I say I did not choose music, but music chose me.”

Lizibo said though he grew up surrounded by music, it was hard for his parents to accept the path he has chosen to be a musician. Lizibo said he had to prove to his parents that music was his passion and that it could pay the bills like any other profession. He said eventually they saw his passion for music and supported him.

Lizibo said being exposed to music from a tender age made him venture into the music career from a tender age. He said he was part of the Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete (KTM) choir, Lizibo said being in the public eye for the longest time has taught him that he is living for the people and that he does not have a life. He said the very society that is watching him has so much expectation for him and that means he has to conduct himself in a good manner because people are looking up to him.

Lizibo said he understands the saying that great power comes with great responsibility, “when people see me, they see a role model. I realize and understand that people are and have been modelling me even when I was not aware of it, I know of six mothers who have named their sons after me because they felt that I inspire them somehow.”

He said he has accepted his fate that he will never have a normal life because people are looking unto him. He said he is grateful to be in the public on a positive note by bringing hope to the people because he has always wanted to be part of people’s solutions and not their problems.

He said, “people should understand that our careers are our calling. One needs to be spiritually connected to their calling as an artist. The most rewarding part about being in the public for me is not about payment but about being the solution to someone’s problem.”

Lizibo said the greatest challenge that he has ever faced about being in the public eye has been the issue of trust, not able to know which friends are genuine and which ones are not. He said as a way of avoiding fake friends he has always kept his four close friends who have been there for him through thick and thin. Lizibo said being close to his family has also helped him as they have been his strength when things were not going well for him, “most of the time people say we change when we taste fame. That is not necessarily true because people are the ones who changed when we became famous. People always want something from us, nothing is ever genuine with people and that is why I chose to keep my circle very small.”

Lizibo said as much as he travels a lot because of the nature of his work because it is naturally demanding, he said he always ensures that he creates time for his family. He said that at home he is Lizibo who is sent to do errands, he is Lizibo the son, not a celebrity.

He said there is a lot of pressure that comes with being in the spotlight, “the public puts so much pressure on us mostly about the material lifestyle they portray us to have. We are often compared with South African celebrities, but people fail to understand that we are two different countries. Most people fell into the trap and are living above their means resulting in them living in debt. I often tell youngsters not to fall into that trap of being tempted to live life above their means.”

The advice Lizibo gave to upcoming celebrities was that they should know that being in the public is not about them, but it is about the people. He said, “one of my mentors once asked me if I make music about myself or the people. He said I need to make music for the people because it is my responsibility to feed them with what they need, he said they might not even be able to know that they have a need but that I need to identify that need and meet it. Our responsibility is to serve people what they need, our music is to feed people’s hunger. My music is about love, I feed people love.”

Lizibo said it is important for celebrities to seek counselling and take care of their mental health, he said he has been investing in his mental health for years because he understands the importance of mental health especially when one is in the public.

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