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Mmaoratwa: The Story of Mariette Bosch

Written and Directed by Rasina Winfred Rasina and Ngemi Moemedi Makhurutha, Mmaoratwa is a controversial local production inspired by the events that took place during and after the Botswana Love Triangle murder and what transpired during the night of June 26th 1996.

That fateful night, a jealous and impatient lover, Marriette Bosch climbed the wall and crept into her love rival, Maria Wolmarans’ home, gun at hand, effectively shooting her twice, and killing her on the spot. That crime would set her a date with the hangman. But before she went to the gallows, there was international uproar that put Botswana on the spotlight. Countries in Africa and beyond, human rights activists were all up in arms and were against the execution of the woman, who had killed a long time family friend to get him out of the way to get her man.  

A white woman of South African origin, Bosch was the first white woman to be hanged in Botswana and the only white woman to be hanged in Africa for many years. She was the fourth woman to be executed in Botswana since independence went to the gallows on the 31st of March 2001.

International commentators observed that the execution, only two months after Bosch's appeal, was an all- time record for Botswana where the time between sentence and execution is normally from nine months to several years. It is generally thought to have been carried out so quickly because of the growing international controversy over the case and increasing pressure from various human rights groups.

The stage theatre play is set in three countries; Botswana, South Africa and the United Kingdom. It will focus on the conflicting views of Botswana, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom views are those primarily representing the views of the world. The South African reactions are those that represent the reactions of the region and Africa as a whole. The story deliberately also points out to the fact that the Court of Appeal had been by then formulated to comprise judges from; England, Scotland, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. This alone says a lot about the emotions and feel of a white woman, first white woman being on death row.  

Bosch was 50 years at the time of her sentencing by the Court of Appeal at the end of January 2001. In an interview with WeekendLife Rasina Rasina said the Story of Mariette Bosch is a story about justice, fairness and legality. It borders its origins on the notion of social justice and how the global society perceives the whole notion of social justice. It goes on to depict the notion of being blinded by love for love. It also borders on the ideas and realities that the societies do not want to openly discuss; the role of money in the making and breaking of love relationships. “It is an interesting story where Tienie Wolmarans proposed and married Mariette Bosch, even though she was just arrested and charged with killing his wife.”

The production will further explore the controversial aspects of race relations and expectations on race relations and the views of the legal system when it comes to race relations. The story moves on to encompass in other formats the views of the ordinary man of how apartheid remains a huge part of our society yet so the society, especially our neighbouring South Africans remains in denial. The Story also touches on the realities of how the apartheid system has corroded the minds and souls of ordinary people. The opening scene is set in South Africa’s Park Station and this is where it all begins.

The Story of Mariette Bosch brings to light both the battles that were fought privately and in public by all involved, mainly civil society organisations such as Ditshwanelo Centre for Human Rights, the legal systems including the Courts, the police and the global view including foreign Governments.

It is a story that to some degree did test the independent mind of the then President of the Republic of Botswana Mr Festus Gontebanye Mogae, a self-confessed retributionist. He was being petitioned by institutions locally, by Mariette Bosch Lawyers, by Mariette Bosch herself, by foreign governments condemning the death sentence and individuals airing their personal views. The petitions were both for and against the death penalty and centred primarily on this case. The story brings to light all these, or rather, many of this actors out in the open.

The story on its provocative approach tries to deal with socio- developmental issues that persist in our society. It deals with social issues and justice. Why did our Court of Appeal consist of all foreign judges, are we afraid to kill a white person, are we prepared enough to deal with social justice and the reaction of the society.

What happened after the death of Marietta Bosch?

The story tries to bring in the aspect of certainty. After the controversial killing many countries in the region and outside started to have fear in Botswana. “We never realised that we are dealing with a white person until foreign media and human rights groups started talking. For Botswana it was a murder case involving a woman who murdered another one out of jealousy and justice took its course,” said Rasina. Did we move forward as a country? It is perceived that the same trend is still continuing- passion killings are on the rise over jealousy and monitory benefits. Rasina observes that our society reactions to these issues are passive.

Lastly the duo wants to deal with the issue of Mr Tienie Wolmarans, the man who was at the centre of attraction during the Mariette Bosch story. “At the moment we really don’t know what really transpired, we can only tell the story as we were told but we do not know the truth, what really happened that night,” he said.

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Self-taught fashion designer speaks

26th July 2022

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.

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Gospel awards re-organised

26th July 2022

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.

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Makhadzi, Master KG invade Thamaga

18th July 2022

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.

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