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Mahika Mahikeng, GIMC same WhatsApp group!


A lot of Batswana thronged the Mahika Mahikeng festival last weeked and it was home away from home. Botswana’s biggest festival, the Gaborone International Festival seems to have established a relationship with the Mahika organisers, but what were the take homes for us as a country? WEEKENDLIFE EDITOR, DAVE BAAITSE ponders.

 WeekendLife Editor DAVE BAAITSE was among the multitudes of Batswana who thronged Mafikeng over the weekend to witness the third edition of the annual Mahika Mahikeng at Mmabatho Stadium. Mmabatho stadium was nothing short of crazy last weekend – for me particularly, watching crowds in South Africa going crazy over our talent was a special moment!

All three who represented us at the festival, Amantle Brown, ATI and Leungo Pitse were outstanding by all accounts. Leungo, possibly outshined Somizi Mhlongo and has likely tapped into many hearts – in my view, I repeat he definitely outshone the diva in Somizi that night. Being among that crowd had me for a few minutes forgetting I was not home – particularly since that crowd sang along to every of our guys’ songs!

Seeing that things were going smoothly throughout the event-I could not help but compare our own GIMC to Mahika Mahikeng, seeing as both were crowd pullers, offered great entertainment and were trying to achieve the same thing- to promote cultural and heritage tourism.
Unlike GIMC the Mahika Mahikeng festival has been incorporated to the province’s objectives of rebranding of the province and is aligned to the rebranding, reposition and Renewal of Mahikeng to effectively will boost the economy growth within the province for those in the music and arts industry.

Having replaced the Maftown 60s which usually attracted multitudes of people from across South Africa and Botswana, Mahika Mahikeng has proven to be Bokone Bophirima’s game changer on its third year running. The four day festivities were all sold. The highlight of the show, the Jazz Festival left revelers with a lot to write home about. The likes of songstress Zahara with her new offering, Zonke and Mafikizolo did not disappoint. The show that started as early as ten in the morning finished in the wee hours of Monday but the crowd still stood through to the last performer.

Bokone Bophirima provincial government in collaboration with the arts department should be applauded for the good initiative and taking the entertainment industry seriously. This is something that lacks in Botswana; an initiative such as GIMC lacks government involvement and support. There were many lessons to take home after the event, from the organisation of the event to even the security detail. It would help our arts and entertainment industry if our government was to become an active participant – all for the good of promoting the country or city’s cultural heritage tourism. A lot of economies such as those of Lesotho and Swaziland have made strides and are thriving through this type of tourism.

After the experiences of Mahika Mahikeng – Here is to hoping for an even better GIMC in 2018, Fish Pabalinga was there, I know he got an idea or two. GIMC has been rated among the Top 10 events to attend in Africa. A lot of South African artists across all music genres and ages have performed at the festival’s various shows since its inception and have contributed to making in the success it is. It was great seeing our own lighting up a South African stage and owning it the way ATI and Amantle Brown did. Definitely the stuff dreams are made of!

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Thabiso Maretlwaneng certified Master in filmmaking

27th March 2023

“IT’S TIME FOR US TO ARCHIVE BOTSWANA HISTORY INTO BIOPICS FILMS”

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Dr Lame Pusetso comes to writer’s rescue

20th March 2023

Multi award winning author of fifteen (15) books, Dr Lame Pusetso has put together a platform to empower local writers. Dr Pusetso is a President and Chairperson of the Executive Board of Kasapa Society.

She is also the Managing Director of Poeticblood Publishers and an owner of an online bookstore dubbed Mind and Soul Bookstores. Dr Pusetso has reiterated her commitment to helping upcoming authors, writers and poets in establishing their crafts and capitalizing on them.

In an exclusive interview this week, she said that she has put together a platform dubbed Botswana Literature Awards, which have fourteen categories.

When quizzed on what the awards stand for, Dr Pusetso said “writing as a form of art in Botswana is a skill that many have and have always been exploring. As a publisher, I have met different writers from all walks of life and some indicating that there isn’t enough motivation to keep going.”

In Botswana and according to the writer, there has been a limited representation of appreciation of authors. This is despite their efforts year in year out.

The whole intention of these awards really is to honor and recognize the hard work that local authors put in, when doing what they know best (writing).

“This is a way of appreciating their creativity and we will be doing this across all genres. The awards also act as a motivational tool to young writers who still have dreams of becoming best selling authors. Quite frankly, their works are of great importance and we cannot afford to let that slide like that.”

Dr Pusetso emphasized that all the winners will walk away with an award, a certificate and complimentary gifts to take home. “The two winners of Best Overall Author and Best Young Author will in addition receive book publication deals which includes book distribution and marketing for a year.

She gave a clearer picture of how authors can be a part of the literature awards.

“The awards are open to every author from the age of 7, must be a Motswana, and their book should have been published before or by 2022. For authors with more than one book, they are allowed to compete with only one book for one category, and different books for different categories.”

The young writer pinned hope on institutional collaborations, in order to stage the second edition of the awards next year, saying “We believe with these awards, the different institutions and stakeholders will show interest in helping nurture the literature scenario in Botswana.”

“It will also give authors hope and light to keep writing and penning down their stories for the benefit of all. We anticipate to host the next edition in 2024 with assistance from all interested parties.”

THE LITERATURE AWARDS CATEGORIES

Dr Pusetso stressed that there are fourteen (14) categories, and they are: Religious or Faith Based Book, Poetry Book, Children’s Book, Multi-lingual Writer, Best Collaboration, Setswana Novel, English Novel, Motivational Book, Best Young Author (7-13), Overall Best Author, Best Theory, Best Online Writer, Best Media Writer (Honor Award) and Honor Award (Long Serving Best Author).

EXPLAINING SPECIAL AWARDS

Best Media and Honor Award, Dr Pusetso said are not based on submissions but nomination by the committee. “For Honor Award, we want to appreciate the individual who has inspired the Botswana writing scenario over the years and even assisted numerous authors as both a writer and a community leader.”

The Best Media Writer award is meant to appreciate a journalist who is actively taking part in appreciating and helping authors in marketing, advertising and affording them a platform to showcase their works through their writing skills.

Meanwhile, the Botswana Literature Awards will be held on the 29th April and they are partially sponsored through the literacy grant. This is a grant under the Botswana National Library Services which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture.

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Women’s Awards hit the ground running

20th March 2023

The second edition of the much-anticipated Women’s Awards Botswana will be going down on the 27th May 2023 in Gaborone at Travel Lodge. The organizers of the prestigious awards have announced finalists, with three nominees per category.

Women’s Awards Botswana is established to empower women and celebrate them from all walks of life and across sectors. The awards raise awareness for women to be granted equal participation, particularly in decision-making positions, as one way of breaking the gender bias.

They also seek to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women from diverse industries in Botswana. Taking a closer look at the categories, He for She award celebrates and shines a light on men who stand and support women.

These are men who advocate for inclusion of women, men who stand against GBV and men who promote any service that can better women life. Her Abilities award looks into women who have shown determination to keep moving and achieve any goal they have set for themselves, regardless of their disability.

Other awards are self-explanatory. They celebrate women in arts, culture and entertainment, agriculture, creativity, innovation and technology, tourism and hospitality, community impact as well as organization supporting women.

ORGANIZER SPEAKS ON CRITERIA USED

When speaking in an interview, Founder and Director of Women’s Awards Botswana, Bofelo Zebe, said in their first edition, they had fifteen categories, which was enough for a piloting project.

“But we left out many industries or lines of work. After the event, we received reviews and suggestions, and there was an intensive evaluation that led to us increasing the categories to eighteen for this second edition.”

He said the nominees were voted in by the public, adding that the finalists were judged by a panel with the support of votes from their supporters.

When shedding light on what winners take home, Zebe indicated that there is an award trophy, certificate and goodie bags for all categories but “we are working to have financial sponsors jump on board so that winners and nominees can receive monetary incentives. We are also busy at work trying to retain our previous sponsors.”

THE 2023 WOMEN’S AWARDS BOTSWANA NOMINEES

HE FOR SHE AWARD

Desmond Lunga, Tlhabo Kgosiemang and Christopher Seagateng

BEST WOMAN IN ARTS, CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

Ditshupo Mosoboloko, Thanolo Keutlwile and Seneo Mabengano

HER ABILITIES AWARD

Koketso Seleke, Goabo Kgasa and Mumsie Odirile

SPORTS WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Naledi Marape, Ouname Mhotsha and Keamogetse Kenosi

WOMAN FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

Montle Rantatana, Lesedi Matlapeng and Trudy Bakwena

BEST WOMAN IN AGRICULTURE

Nomathemba Masuku, Basadi Molelekeng and Keolebogile Keabetswe

BEST WOMAN IN CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Marang Mbaakanyi, Didintle Moreki and Thandeka Palai

BEST WOMAN IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY

Masego Keleadile, Wapula Matshambane and Tshepo Phokoje

YOUNG WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Bridget Gothaang, Waone Makobo and Kimberly Matheakgomo

WOMAN OWNED SME BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Suits Africa, Nomlu Nail Bar and Sunflower Desserts

BEST WOMAN OWNED BUSINESS

Prezlin Clothing and Dawn Bell Academy

FEMALE MUSIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Mpho Sebina, Dato Seiko and Priscilla K

BEST ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING WOMEN

Sekao Foundation, The Fighters Support Group and Single Mothers Living with HIV

BEST WOMAN WITH COMMUNITY IMPACT

Lebopo Bulayani, Nanzelela Chaitezvi and Kebadile Wasenda

MEDIA WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Poppy Sello, Keikantse Shumba and Kedi Lezozo

FAVOURITE PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

Marang Selolwane, Palesa Molefe and Masi Sithole

BEST WOMAN IN LEADERSHIP

Naseem Lahri, Neo Bogatsu and Lily Rakorong

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