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The Nkadzi provoke

Three of Botswana’s most revered thespians and playwrights Lebogang Disele; Tumisang Baatshwana and Moduduetso Lecoge are hard at work, and will stage Nkadzi, a production that seeks to address mental health and gender issues in Botswana on July 21 at the University of Botswana.

Lecoge got her big break through her solo, ‘A woman of Many Firsts’ last year. The play was the story of Dr. Gaositwe Chiepe, who happens to be Lecoge’s grandmother. Nkadzi is an all-female production produced by all-round theatre maker, Disele. Her hope is that through the play, women can get their voices heard, and that in future more women can tell their stories the way they want to be heard.

Though an all-round theatre maker, Disele’s main areas of focus are acting and directing. Before leaving to pursue her PhD in Edmonton, Canada, she was actively involved in helping develop the performing arts industry in Botswana.
This includes her being a dancer with Sky Blue Dance Hub from its inception until April 2015, performing in the company’s first production, Keneilwe – A Dance for the Given in December 2013 and at the 2014 Maitisong Festival, as well as the 2015 Maitisong Festival production, X. Other of her performance credits include the 2013 Maitisong headlining show, Pula! Money Matters, playing several characters and Madi Majwana: Stories from your Pocket radio drama in 2014 and 2015.

In Nkadzi, she is co-producing with theatre greats alike. Baatshwana is an award-winning writer, director, dancer, choreographer, performer, and is also the Founder of Sky Blue Dance Hub, Dance Consultant for The Company@Maitisong and a provisionally accredited Trainer with the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA). She is a well-rounded artist who has choreographed dance works such as Keneilwe: A Dance for the Given, X and ONE. She is a radio drama script writer who has worked on the Barclays Bank sponsored Madi Majwana: Stories from Your Pocket Seasons 1 – 3 and Season 1 of the Sky Girls Radio Drama, Matswaka Bae: Staying True In The Mix. 

Baatshwana holds the 2013 Bessie Head Literature Award for second runner up in the Short Story Category. Further, she has performed on local and international stages in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In 2014, she was a co-presenter at Performing the World conference in New York, USA where she presented about the role of performing arts in social development.

“I have always been interested in using theatre and performance to address issues of gender in Botswana. Going into my PhD I was really curious about what happens to young women after graduation because it seemed like we have so many educated and hardworking women and yet that was not translating into more women in leadership positions. So I became interested in exploring the internal barriers women are facing that stop them from reaching for the opportunities that are there,” Disele told WeekendLife.

Nkadzi will take head on the prevalent issue of women abuse and sexual assault and mental issues. “We were looking at how patriarchal culture becomes internalized and how that affects one's mental health and how that in turn affects their ability and/or willingness to lead,” she revealed further.  

Nkadzi is iKalanga for woman.

The trio hopes that women who will come see the play will also use the opportunity to network.

“The reason I want to use theatre is to get women talking to each other and introspecting,” opines Disele. “I feel like if we can pool our resources we can extend our spheres of influence to bring about real change, self awareness and strength from hearing their stories told,” she added.

The play will start at 7pm at UB’s Block 253 room 1(old student centre).

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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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