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Zen diverts energy to women empowerment issues

Zenzele Hirschfield is unapologetic about quitting the music industry after close to two decades, in fact she believes it is time she channels her energy and skill to women empowerment issues.

Hirschfield is celebrated for her contribution to music promotion, artist management and the music industry in general. Currently, she is the president of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA) and has been in the creative arts industry for close to 18 years now. She is the first female Motswana full time Music Promoter and first woman to head a music association as President. Under her first year of leadership, she spearheaded and advocated for President Ian Khama’s AFRIMMA Award.

Zen, as she is affectionately known shocked many last week when she announced her decision to quit as a promoter, on April 1. “Today I choose to celebrate my incredible journey as an Artist Manager. A journey I’m sadly saying goodbye to beginning of April 2018. I have managed and worked with incredible talent for more than 17 years since 2000 both locally and internationally,” she wrote to her region of fans.

In an interview with WeekendLife this week, she said that she started managing artists from a young age, immediately after she had finished school, at only 20 years and she believed it was time she chased other dreams. “So when you are growing you tend to venture into other different avenues. I can’t manage artists forever, at some point it just had to happen,” she said. But she leaves behind a great legacy, and her greatest consolation is that everything she touched through her company Zen Promotions turned to gold.

Hirschfield says she now has ties with various organisations whose focus is to empower women. “I now sit in different local organizing committees of things done at national level. Those which require responsibility. I am currently involved in so many women empowering events with currently doing event management for WIBA. So those require attention and they need 100% delivery,” she said.

Closing her chapter as an artist manager, she believes she has run her race very well and she has managed to produce the best. “My specialty was in believing in new talent and turning it into a brand. I believe I have done that very well. I believe it is now time to pass the baton to another generation of younger people,” she cited. She however explained that brands such as Vee Mampeezy and BanT are brands that she is proud to be associated with.

“When I look back and see their growth and their contribution, I actually see a part of myself,” she said. She however said that she was not entirely quitting the creative industry. “I am not abandoning it, I am leaving an industry that I have hope that it will grow. I am not entirely leaving the music industry,” she said.

The multitalented personality has also hinted the release of a documentary celebrating her journey thus far. Details about the documentary are yet to be shared with the media and general public but it is titled, ‘The lady, Her Hirschfield has managed many successful artist including Vee Mampeezy, Eskimos, MMP Family, BanT and Veezo and many more. She has hosted some big events like the University of Botswana Freshers’ Ball, Orapa and Jwaneng Round Table Beer festivals, Mafikizolo Fantook Afa Launch, Fanta Music Mega Party as well as the Miss Millenium brand since it started to date.

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6th December 2023

Even though Botswana has over the years been performing extremely poorly at the Miss World competition, the country has confirmed that it will be hosting the beauty festival in 2026. Initially, the country was to host Miss World next year, something it failed to confirm before deadline. Director at Miss Botswana, Benjamin Raletsatsi, says Botswana will be ready then to host all participants. Miss Botswana Top 25 finalists left the boot camp yesterday. Quite shocking though, Miss Botswana team is still failing basics as responding to media inquiries on time yet it is dangerously hoping to host an event of high status

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DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.


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Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.


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