We Must Praise, a now popular gospel group in Gaborone will on June 24 launch their first album ‘Give Thanks’ at Boipuso Hall.
We Must Praise is a gospel choir founded in 2015 by Vusumuzi Oteng Botshelo mostly known as Vusi. The choir was launched and its first show that was held at the Limkokwing hall recorded an attendance of 2 300 people. Last year the choir did their first ever DVD live recording at Molapo Stanbic Bank piazza, leaving Batswana.
The impressive show had a lot of tongues wagging and many admiring the talent showcased at the show, which was not a popular feat in the local entertainment scene. Just recently, at the inaugural Botswana Youth Awards, the group walked away with Best Youth in Performing Arts and Entertainment award.
The choir has a mandate to change the lives of people through worship, and also change its members by giving them training, apprenticeship, mentorship and financial boost. The founder of the group, Botshelo told WeekendLife that most of the songs in the album were written by the members. The album has 34 tracks in 2 discs. “We wrote most of the songs as the music department team, arranged and approved by myself as the Executive Director and the music director Jonathan Mokotedi. We also have traditional hymns with exclusive approach and creativity,” he said.
Botshelo said the recording was We Must Praise taking a step of faith and that is what has made it possible for them to record. He further said that they never had any finances to host the album launch but through hard work, support from Batswana buying their tickets and pledges helped them get this far. Moreover he said, they have worked with companies like Cresta President Hotel, Soul Design, Letshego, MG properties who have so far made it possible for them.
“We were inexperienced but we had to learn to work with other artists from South Africa that gave us guidance. The production was covered by a South African company that did a marvellous job. We also had local artist that we featured like Lyon Nkokonyane, Tshegofatso Kwadiba and Ricardo Baori. These are upcoming local artists who are hot and who Botswana was never ready for,” Botshelo said.
In his words, he elucidated that the album launch will be “grand”. “The launch shall be epic, we shall be taking the nation through some energetic mood, as we will be singing the songs that are in the album, more of dances and also the album will be available immediately after the show at Boipuso hall,” Botshelo lamented.
Even though there are other vocal groups such as Voice of Change, that are offering the same music genre, he said that they are determined to create music that is innovative, skilful, creative and they are looking forward to creating a sound that is only found in them. He further said they are aiming at achieving this by incorporating “our native language and different cultures” in their songs and making Botswana known in other countries.
According to him, he has assembled a great team of performers in terms of vocal ability and being very organised individuals. “It was through wisdom from God that I was able to put together this group and organise things thus far. I believe in excellence and from my educational background I have learnt management, which is how we are able to pull of so many things well. Lastly, with the support and hard work of my team, our fans and family, we were able to achieve success,” Botshelo explained.
From a very tender age, Botshelo was able to pursue his dreams and never gave up on them, regardless of financial constraints. When receiving an award recently at the youth awards he encouraged fellow youth to never give up on their dreams, no matter the circumstances. “Don’t be a witness to your own vision dying, even if you don’t have enough capital, START and push to your level capacity, sponsors or endorsements will find you working,” he had said. According to him, winning that award was the beginning of great things for the choir.
“For once we felt recognized, this will definitely open more doors for us as we continue to work hard and explore the nation at large and also in raising other young stars to become great one day with their gifts,” Botshelo explained. Tickets for the album launch are available at Shoprite station, checkers Airport Junction, OK Furniture Main Mall at P250.00 each. Tickets may be booked at +267 74 687 871 and 74 058 588.
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.
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.
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.