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Selonyana rejoins Culture Spears

One of the founding members of the once mighty Culture Spears Jelinah Mokgwatlheng aka Selonyana has this week confirmed to WeekendLife  that she is back with the group after completing her solo project. This is after speculations became rife that she has returned to the group following their performance in Sowa town over the weekend. Mokgwatlheng pulled a surprise stunt on show attendees who were evidently over the moon as they could not stop chanting her name.

The group which was started more than a decade ago in Kasane was started by four founding members being Kabelo Mogwe, Magdeline ‘Charma Gal’ Lesolebe, Thembeni ‘Ramozara’ Ramosetheng, and Mokgwatlheng. The group soon shot to stardom and became a favourite, not only locally but in the region and abroad. The group would soon break up, with the founding members going their separate ways, save for Mogwe, who recently divorced the face of the group, Charma Gal who has since pursued a solo career.

While speaking to this publication Mogwe expressed delight at the eminent reunion of the group they founded in their youth. He said he is very optimistic the group is on the verge of reunion even though it might take a while. He believes that the founding members have only gone away to record their solo projects but will ultimately return to the group. He confirmed that according to their documents, all the members are still part of the group. “People have been accusing me, saying that I expelled them but I’m happy she came back on her own,” he said.

Further, he said that Selonyana’s return will strengthen the group, as witnessed over the past weekend. Mogwe has never hidden his wishes of the group reunion- he believes that despite everything that has transpired over the years, there is still a possibility of them working together as a group again.

As for Selonyana, who recorded her solo project in 2015 in Gantsi where she is currently based, she felt that the time to return to the group is now. She reiterated that she was never called back to rejoin the group but decided on her own that she shoul come back to the group that gave her exposure to the world of music. She said her departure from the group back then was compelled by among other things the burning desire to record her own solo project and misunderstandings arising from distribution of funds among group members. She however verified that she has a sensitive headache condition that also led to her break from music for a while.

“I wish we could all come back together as the team that started Culture Spears and just pick where we left off,” said Selonyana. Since their fallout that left only Mogwe struggling with the group, their fans across the sphere have been calling for their re- union. They took to social media and created pages that called on all members who have left the group to return home. A few months ago a throwback picture of Kabelo Mogwe and Thembeni Ramosetlheng was shared on the group facebook page, something that uncovered the healing wounds on the hearts of the fans who still want to see them work together. Fans reacted to the picture with mixed feelings that showed a lot of desperation to finally see them together in song and dance.

Since their break-up the group only managed to release only one album which did not do quite good. On the other hand Charma Gal who decided to go solo became a huge success in a totally different genre, a fusion of Kwaito and Kwasa- Kwasa. She continued to fly her own kite taking home award after award and she became a brand name that is associated with everyone from the streets to the corporate world. Meanwhile Ramozara was struggling to make end meets with his own solo project which didn’t do well due to lack of marketing and amid lack of financial resources.

At the time of their demise in 2014 Culture Spears were darlings of the nation and were at the top of their game. A small group that appeared from nowhere in 2004 went on to bag many awards and won many hearts; they were a perfect match and complemented each other in many ways. Their music had the power to evoke deep primal feelings at the core of the shared human experience, it did not only cross cultures, it also reaches deep into evolutionary past. Incorporated in the modern day tempo, Culture Spears’ music looked even brighter than any other traditional group of their time.

Their reunion will signal nothing but the resurrection of local traditional music genre and crème de la crème of the traditional song and dance. Theirs is more likely to take off as compared to other groups who have lost all hope of reuniting. Their detractors point out that their return to working together as a stable could yield and rebrand them as the continent’s favourite at this critical time when the genre is facing a decline.

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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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