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Setswana Poetry CD to be launched

Setswana Poetry custodian, Moroka Moreri will be a busy man as from 1st July 2017. The Lesutlha composer is preparing for the pre-launch of his Setswana poetry debut album, Nkokowe which will ultimately see him tour the country; and perform in Namibia, Sweden and the USA.

On July 1 at Mantlwaneng Hall, Westwood International School, where the first pre launch event will be held, except nothing less than sheer entertainment as not only will you be treated to poetry – there will be a live band on stage, led by the legendary Lister Boleseng. Mmereki Marakakgoro, who the poet has worked with before on the hit, ‘Mary’ will also perform on the night as well as Phempheretlhe Pheto, Nchunga Nchuga and Motlhaolosa Poetry Ensemble.

According to Moreri, Lister Boleseng, who he described as a selfless man, has during the preparation time for the pre launch dedicated his time to being Band Master for his live band. However he said that the public should also expect some form of edutainment at the event. “Thapelo Otlogetswe will present a very strong critique of the whole album, while Prof Matjila will speak on the importance of Setswana as a commodity as well as my CD. A group of youth, Share Me Studio will also present an animated poem. This can be a gateway to growing animation locally,” said Moreri.

Charles Matlou will be MC for the night. He said this will serve as a way of strengthening relations between Botswana and South Africa. “People will also get a chance to see some of the students I have taught poetry in South Africa perform their pieces,” he added.
 “After the Gaborone pre launch, we will head to Phikwe the following day on July 2 at the Letlhafula festival. We will also perform at the Francistown Jazz Festival later this year, and we are also in touch with a team in Orapa who have yet to give us finalised dates for our performance there,” Moreri said.

The poet, who last year organised the first ever Setswana poetry awards in Botswana, further told WeekendLife that the CD, was meant to help him achieve his vision of honouring Setswana poets who have since passed on by getting them tombstones. He said that he intends to start with the legendary Ratlou Sebetlela of Molepolole and proceed with others who have also passed on.

The ultimate launch of the album is scheduled for April next year in Gaborone, he said, and preparations are ongoing where Awilo Longomba is expected to be present.  Longomba is a Congolese artist and son of the legendary Victor Longomba, founding member of T.P OK Jazz. The internationally renowned artist who started off as a drummer has toured, through his music, Europe, Canada and the US amongst others. Proceeds from the launch, Moreri said would go towards a Lesotla Trust Fund for the Bakwena chief, Kgosi Kgari Sechele.

“Back in the day, the morafe would plough for the chief in a public field, but that is not happening any longer. This fund will be a way of me giving back to my community,” he said. He is also hopeful that he will be able to raise funds to convert some of his poetry to Braille, as he has always wanted to do. So far, he has already received a proposed invitation from Ohio State University to teach in September and is awaiting funds availability. Another invitation for 30 September also arrived from Washington CD.

Still this year in October, a poetry workshop will be held with the folk from Karavella in Sweden, from there, a poetry festival will ensue and poets from both Botswana and Sweden will perform. The O a ntena hit maker however highlighted that sponsorship and funding remain a problem where poetry is concerned. “It is high time the private sector invest in poetry for diversification purposes.

All of these events that take place because of poetry lead to cultural exchanges and can sell our country to all these other countries. The government should also step up and support poetry the same way it is supporting other forms of art like traditional dance and music. Grants and some funds should be solely availed solely for poetry,” he asserted.

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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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