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Zero-to-Zero

After so much endeavour trying to persuade the entire country that ‘’this time’’ it will be different, it looks like the last-minute Miss Botswana organisers failed to live up to expectations after Moitshepi Elias’ participation at Miss World was as lull as a radio on pause.

A controversial short-circuited Miss Botswana pageant was held in September 2018 at Masa Hotel. Miss Botswana 2018/2019 spokesperson, Basadi Molelekeng had explained that “the main focus of the Pageant was to re-brand Miss Botswana.” “We will not have the Miss Botswana run as it has been. What is going to happen is that this year we will just have a mini pageant with last year’s top 12 and crown the winner from there,” she said.

But ultimately the grand finale only attracted three eligible contestants from last year’s pageant. The pageant organizers, the Botswana Council of Women (BCW) in partnership with Development Advance Institute, had promised to rebrand Miss Botswana and take it to greater heights to change the way the pageant is viewed as it had lost its spark.

Previous Miss Botswana winners had not been remunerated. Miss Botswana 2018/2019 spokesperson, Molelekeng in so many of her interviews with press, said they were to train, glam up the queen, promote and market her as much as possible to build her brand, to build Botswana Entrepreneurs brands who were part of the rebrand and sponsoring the queen with makeup, clothes, hair and mentoring.

Despite all the rushed efforts to come up with this year’s Botswana representative for the Miss World, the Queen, Moitshepi Elias who started the pageantry in 2013 with Miss Teen Universe Botswana indicated before the event that it was her last year doing pageantry as a contestant as she has lost hope in the pageant.

But after hearing the promises and seeing the new management and organisers’ confidence, she decided to try her luck one more time. Elias was confident that with the support from the country, her fans and the organisation, there is no doubt she will do well at Miss World.
The public was not aware of Miss Botswana’s departure for China, her arrival or Miss World Pageant itself. The grand Finale was on the 8th Of December and most people did know about it. South Africa’s SABC 3 aired the pageant. There was a voting process and on social media, Elias constantly pleaded the public to vote for her to make it to the next round. By the 6th December Elias got only 0.02% of the votes.

People on social media are very disappointed in the organisers. They feel like the organisers neglected Elias and let her promote herself instead of letting her focus on the pageant and preparing herself. WeekendLife had reached out to Mr Benjamin Raletsatsi on the 29th November and asked him if he has any idea that Batswana don’t know that Elias needs votes and support from the country. He confirmed that he is aware but has no idea how to fix this and asked us to assist him with any help we might have.

“Please offer some assistance, we voted on another platform,’’ he said. “There were a lot of challenges and we incurred costs we didn’t budget for but like we said in our five-year plan, the first year we are going to observe, and she is going to be our ambassador.’’ Moitshepi arrived Thursday afternoon from China. Her family was there to welcome her home.

Her parents were rather emotional and angry.  “We were told we were going to be taken to China to go support her, it didn’t happen. She went to represent Botswana, but I don’t know which Botswana she represented because Botswana o bihitse ngwaneke [Botswana snubbed my child]. There was a lot of turning down. She asked for assistance from Office of the President and Ministry of Youth and the Permanent Secretary asked Moitshepi to turn down the opportunity [to go to China]. She had no support at all!’’ Moitshepi’s father said.

‘’She did not have wardrobe, she did not have make-up, she had to share make-up with other contestants. Why would things change when it comes to my daughter as if she is not a citizen? Ngwanake o sotlegile, o diragaletswe ke dilo tsedi botlhoko tota [my child suffered, she experienced painful things] I am afraid she won’t even get what she was promised. It’s the first time seeing or talking to Mr Raletsatsi ever since Moitshepi went to China. We are not happy.’’

WeekendLife asked Raletsatsi why the public was not informed that Moitshepi is coming back just in case her fans and friends wanted to come welcome her home. He said: “We decided to keep this as low as possible. We will post pictures on Facebook.’’ Despite what she went through, Moitshepi said she is very happy to be home and is looking forward to focusing on her project that she will soon disclose. She said she has learnt a lot from China and Miss World and cannot wait to use what she learnt to change the perspective about pageantry in the country.

“I was surprised to be making headlines in China when I know that I was not talking to any newspaper in China. Batswana don’t understand that every negative comment they post on my post on my posts are seen all over the world and it affects my marks during the pageant,’’ said Moitshepi.

Vanessa Ponce de Leon made history to become the first Miss Mexico to be crowned Miss World 2018. The 2018 pageant took place in the Sanya City Arena in Sanya, China. The 26-year-old winner beat 117 other contestants, including runner up, Miss Thailand Nicolene Limsnukan, Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo, who came third, and other finalists from Belarus, France, Scotland, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Mauritius, Nepal, and New Zealand. Botswana failed to make it to top 30 while South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria are the only African countries that made it to top 30.

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WeekendLife

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

22nd September 2020
200,000

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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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

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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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

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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