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!
A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.
The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.
“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.
The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.
She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.
“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”
They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.
July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.
“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.
The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.
The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.
He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.
The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.
The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.
The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.
The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.
Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others. “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.
“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.
“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.
“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.
“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.
The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.
”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.