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Selfies, the gym and social media

Joining the gym in this era has more to do with gloating online than it has to do with health and lifestyle. Posting gym selfies is no longer a preserve for the spornosexual, and has little to do with whether you are a millennial, ANGELA MDLALANI writes.

Although having grown popular recently, embarking on a healthy lifestyle appears to be more about rubbing it in others’ faces on social media. A growing number of people who are adapting a healthier lifestyle are making sure that everybody hears everything of it-from what they eat, which Nike they are wearing, and just how flexed their muscles are.

It sounds all too familiar; the small portion vegetarian meal with an avocado overload, the ‘health shake’, the exposed abs selfie in front of the gym bathroom mirror, a screenshot of the running app, the post workout sweaty picture- we all have a few on our Facebook timeline, Twitter or Instagram pages.

Perhaps social media was created to show it all off anyways, right? Except a group of researchers in London last year concluded that people who post their gym activity online have psychological problems- narcissism in particular! But that was subject then…
The term spornosexual surfaced back in 2008, coined by cultural commentator and journalist Mark Simpson, describing men who go to the gym in order to post selfies of their beefy bodies on social media.

These men, it was said, use their bodies as the ultimate accessory and also enjoy tattoos and having waxed, tanned skin. They can often be seen wearing skinny, tight-fitting shirts with plunging necklines in order to show off their inkings and bulging muscles. The term is a combination of the words sport, porn and metrosexual. Simpson also coined the term metrosexual. The rise of the metrosexual was charted in the late 90s. They were described as men who were image-conscious and weren’t afraid to spend time on their looks or buy beauty products.

In 2008, Simpson said he believed that the behaviour was a response to austerity facing the lives of young men when the recession started. According to him, many young lads turned to transforming their bodies as a way of feeling valuable to society. In 2014, the rise of the spornosexual was noted, and the media reported then that the metrosexual man was dying out and giving rise to the former.

Fast forward to 2017; social media is awash with images of both men and women who document their gym lifestyles online. It is no longer about just showing off the buff body by particularly spornos, but a desperate need by a whole new crop of individuals taking heed of the healthy lifestyle call to show off gym activity as well as a new adapted ‘meal plan.’ For many, the fitness journey is more than just a hobby but a lifestyle-and it seems with it comes the need to keep up with the social media fitness police on guard.

Validation or motivation

The gym selfie war has been ongoing for a while now; with the other side arguing that taking a selfie in the gym turns the point of being there into a façade; as it means one is only there to validate themselves to the social media world, while some are saying that taking the selfie does not in any way devalue the workout itself, or its results. For some, gym selfies serve as a motivation tool. Posting online gives posters the urge to push for results given their followers’ cheering as well as the amount of likes and reactions they get.

According to a local media personality who frequents the gym, people who go to the gym should focus on their fitness and get their feel-good rush the old fashioned way (endorphins) and not through digitalised pats on the back. The young lad, who preferred anonymity, said that people should understand that going to the gym, or leading a healthy lifestyle is already a pleasing thing in itself and people should not seek out social media to praise that decision.

Further, he reckons that people should be sensitive to others’ right privacy. “Some people use the gym as a getaway from the busy ‘outside world’but they don’t get to enjoy their privacy because they get to work out with selfie obsessed individual who just snaps away without even considering the next person.”

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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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