Modeling was never top of her plans, let alone winning Model of the year in a foreign country for that matter. Alice Madziba is fairing really well for someone who went into modelling by chance, STAFF WRITER DAVE BAAITSE observes.
What started off as a journey across the world for a young Motswana woman to pursue further studies in Business Management has culminated in her walking the ramps and rubbing shoulders with top designers and the who’s who of the modelling world! Alice Madziba is currently making strides and raising the Botswana flag high in Dublin, Ireland. It has been seven years since she left Botswana, and she has achieved more than just an academic qualification.
Madziba first started her modelling career with IT Modelling; an agency based in Sandton, South Africa. In 2013, she left for Ireland for studies, that same year; she won Miss African/Ireland Model of the Year. That was the unfolding of the African gem’s story-conquering a tough market as a black African woman. In an interview, Madziba revealed that since then, a lot of doors have been opened for her to pursue modelling and other gigs in showbiz.
The Ireland based model said that she has since worked with some of Ireland’s top designers and big brands in Dublin. Her confidence, she said, has since been boosted by the relationships she has since established with big names like Claire Garvey-a star designer who dresses stars, top musicians, television presenters as well as ‘Dancing with the Stars’ judges among others. “I wear her designs many times in shows in Dublin,” she said. Madziba is also ambassador of the Emerly Nayhree arts.
Over the years, Madziba has come to appreciate both the African/ Botswana and Europe/ Ireland industries. Being in Ireland, she says affords her many opportunities she could not get back in Botswana. One such opportunity is to enter the London and New York Fashion Week, which she said she is looking forward to. She however commented that she is proud to be representing Botswana well in such high platforms.
Her hope is to achieve even more and continue representing the country in other platforms, further from where she currently is. She attributes her slim model figure to her being a fitness fanatic- the jolly lad expresses that she is glad that her love for fitness paid off for her in other ways.
Apart from modelling, Madziba has also landed roles in TV and Film, particularly on the film Vikings. Vikings is a historical drama television series written and created by Michael Hirst that was aired in 2013 in Canada. The film was shot in Ireland. It was inspired by the sagas of Danish Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norsemen heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France.
While she admits that she has experienced the cruelty and harshness of social media commentary, she says she has used it to build and brand herself. She encourages people to always focus on their virtues and to be proud of who they are and where they come from to help them grow. “In life there comes a moment that everyone has to achieve something, be it career-wise, exams or buying a house, it can feel overwhelming and you need to dig deep within you and say you know what, I can do this,” she said.
“The support I have been getting from women is so incredible; I wear my heart on my sleeve. What you see is what you get, I don’t try and change myself even though I do worry about what people think of me and of course everybody does. I am very critical of how I look, how I talk, always pinpoint the things I am not happy about. Modelling has helped me to get on with it. I am proud of whom I am, where I come from, and I am never going to change for anyone, I've come too far to change and I will carry on with my God given talent,” she asserted.
While she adds that she misses home, particularly the delicacy- serobe she is enjoying her time in Dublin. “These people are lovely and kind; I work with them every day and have mastered most of their culture and customs. There are exceptions that are naughty yes but it is not always the case.”
“My words as a model to all Batswana out there is be kind, do good it cost you nothing but it brings you good everywhere you go and good will follow you… it is called planting…and always be kind for you do not know what battle other people their fighting in life instead be kind to everyone, and help others.
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.