Despite it affecting millions of people the world over, Batswana still have a hard time understanding depression and appreciating its seriousness as an illness.
Also known as major depressive disorder, depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel; the way you think and how you act. It is however treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, feeling sad or having a depressed mood.
According to a World Health Organization’s prediction, by the year 2020 depression will become the second leading cause of disease worldwide. That is, if the issue is not dealt with now, and if people do not come to terms with the fact that depression is real, then depression might be a leading cause of death in the near future.
In an interview with WeekendLife, Chairperson of Embracing Emotions Support Network, Dikatso Selemogwe, explained that depression is a mental illness that any person can be diagnosed with and that they can receive medication for. Despite the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness, Selemogwe is not shy to share that she has depression and is on medication for it. “Depression is a disease and I am taking medication for it. You get diagnosed for it.
If you have symptoms, people can go see the doctor so as they can be diagnosed,” she said She highlights that in Botswana people have not come to terms with the fact that depression exists. “In Botswana, people have not come to appreciate the reality of depression, and only come to notice when reality hits hard. Generally depression is there but we have chosen to ignore it. We live with people yet we cannot see that they are not happy, “she said.
She highlighted that often times, people with depression are confused with being ungrateful. Of which that is not the case. Moreover Selemogwe explained that insomnia, night mares for three weeks consecutively, genetics, being emotional, moody, stress and generally being suppressed by issues that life throws at people can be a major cause of depression. “In other incidents some could be depressed by loss of loved ones and for some it could be pressures of life. It all depends on what is happening on their life at the time,” she asserted.
According to Selemogwe, some people believe that when they are depressed they should take alcohol. “Alcohol is a depressant, it is something that you take and it depresses you and there are some people that become emotional when they are drunk and they start airing out all their problems,” she said.
A lot of people resort to suicide, and this, she explained happens when they have reached a point in their life where they feel they have reached the end of their rope. “People who come to decide to commit suicide mostly feel like being boxed and choking in there. People who commit suicide do so as a way of seeking help and they feel suicide is the quickest way of relieving pain. If people who committed suicide can be brought back to life again and they are given an alternative on how to deal with the issue, they would choose the latter,” she said.
She added: “It is common amongst the youth because when you are a kid you do not think the same way as an adult. Elder people can be struggling at an older age and they will leave fine by it. Young people seem to be fragile and what the community dictates to them gets to them. Issues of sexuality especially those that fall outside heterosexuality usually cause youth to be rejected, beaten and judged by the society,” she said.
Selemogwe advised that people should refrain from individualism and interact with friends and family. “We have adapted the worst idea of individualism. We are detaching ourselves from our own people. People are social beings and being around people is a therapy on its own. We are also pressured by wrong things, keeping up with appearances. People have to thrive for their happiness. Discover what they like, such as travelling, volunteering and music,” she said.
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.