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Smiling Sell Out Mayor wins

Kagiso Thutlwe this week whitewashed Rhoda Sekgororoane to retain his mayoral position – a move that surprised many; particularly due to his alleged sell out tendencies and the infamous sell out smile. His rendezvous in President Ian Khama’s OK1 jet; dining and wining the city’s elite, the close relations to the ruling party, the condemnation and all – the Gaborone City Mayor will not let go of his signature smile to please anyone, writes DAVE BAAITSE. 


Perhaps everyone believed that he had reached the end of the road and would not see the light of day come election this past week. More often than not, Thutlwe has found himself in hot soup as his comrades accused him of living a life that did not reflect the struggle. 
While he said being elected for yet another term as the city’s Mayor will afford him the opportunity to continue his efforts of transforming Gaborone into a Diamond City, Thutlwe is adamant he will not change his character.

 

He is of the view that his critics do not understand leadership. The young mayor describes himself as a happy man living a free life.  “People always accuse me of my signature smile, I was born like that and I cannot pretend, that is me,” he said. He challenged WeekendLife to his Facebook timeline to see all pictures of him where he wore the same signature smile in many of his timeline photos. He further stressed that he sees no problem with partying the nights away, as a young man enjoying his bachelorhood.


According to him, he has employed a rather poles apart strategy to engage with the Government of the day to get the job done. “If you differ with people, it does not mean you have to fight them. I am a diehard member of the Botswana National Front (BNF) but I will engage with everyone starting with the President to Cabinet Ministers and everyone else,” he said. He does not shy away from commenting on his partying ways and his love for the devil’s waters. Those are some of the perks that come with being the city’s head boy, he insists.


Recently, a picture of him with former US president George Bush broke the internet-but for all the wrong reasons; it was a meme! His smile had brought him more condemnation, with the picture being captioned ‘The smile of blacks around whites that saw Africans being colonised’. In the photograph, Thutlwe was laughing his lungs out, with his mouth stretched to maximum elasticity.  Commenting on the moment that made him victim to the viral meme world, Thutlwe said that he and former president Bush were only sharing a light moment and Bush had commented that at his age (Thutlwe) he would have not made Mayor in the US.  


Who is Kagiso Thutlwe?


His Worship Kagiso Calvin Thutlwe, 33 is the current Mayor of Gaborone City serving his second term. Born in Mochudi he started his primary school in Shoshong where he met Nehemiah Modubule and was recruited into the United Socialist Party at a tender age. At the time, he said, they were fascinated by singing struggle songs and recruiting more members into the movement and were being led by a veteran politician, an ally of Modubule, George Alfred.


His rise in student politics started as early as his days at Naledi Senior in Gaborone where he made his way into the Council of Students. The journey continued at the University of Botswana (UB) where he was introduced to the political ground and was mentored by some BNF stalwarts of the University at the time, amongst others Nelson Ramaotwana. He said lecturers such as Elmon Tafa and Dr Sebina also helped mentor and refine his ideology as a communist. He also learnt a lot from Bushi Manamola, a former South African Communist who was also a very close ally of the movement. 


Upon his graduation, the former UB Student Representative Council (SRC) President became a BNF activist and won the 2014 General Elections as the Village Ward Councillor in Gaborone and was also elected City Mayor unopposed. He made history becoming one of the youngest Mayors in Africa.   


His role as a Mayor


His biggest role as a Mayor is to supervise the council and to make sure they take services to the people. He said he is mandated to make sure that there are no potholes in the city, roads are well maintained and lights are working perfectly. He pointed that currently one of their challenges is that of lack of offices. He said they have been fighting the issue for a very long time now and during his second term in office he wishes to see that come to pass.


Thutlwe said at the top of his wish list, is seeing their plot at the Central Business District (CBD) being developed. He is also working on the long proposed motion by his predecessor Haskins Nkaigwa to develop the Bus Rank Terminal. He said the terminal can be privatised and benefit a lot of young entrepreneurs.


He said they have also been funded to develop the Bonnington Farm. In Mogoditshane, immediately opposite Grand Palm hotel entrance and the Bonnington shopping mall stands two sets of silo quadrants and a ruined farm house. According to research these were built by Dan Le Cordeur Sr. and his wife Rene a few years after purchasing the farm in 1944. Dan Le Cordeur Sr. was formerly from Capetown but his father was of French Huguenot descent.

 

Le Cordeur Sr. was a farmer, cattle baron and businessman who at one time owned the entire land from Broadhurst to the foot of Kgale Hill, at least 3 shops in Kgale, Gabane and what is now the Bonnington shopping mall. The site was listed as a National Monument in 2006 and the silos recently restored through the Adopt a Monument Strategy of the National Museum in a collaboration started with Plascon Freeworld, PG Timbers and BMB. The Mayor says he also has plans to create a foundation that will assist struggling students in continuing their education, as well as continue with motivational speaking in schools.

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WeekendLife

‘Mindset’ unlocks positive mindset

2nd February 2023
At the age of 17, Boniface Lewanika is ready to take over the world. He has shown commitment to being the next big thing to ever emerge from Botswana. Mindset MusiQ, as he is affectionately known, is a self-taught music producer. The story of how Mindset started music production can be traced back to end-to-end lockdowns, which jaded him to the core.

At least, for Mindset MusiQ, these lockdowns were a blessing in disguise. He got to unlock the hidden potential in him, or maybe, the creativity that he never knew about. Being locked down meant that Mindset MusiQ has plenty of time to waste, but he was quick to switch his mindset to coming up with something positive.

He saw it much better to waste time on the internet. Well, for lot of people, the internet was the only saving grace then. But for Mindset MusiQ, it was the beginning of a journey that he intends to walk for the rest of his life.

“I became a music producer because I love music. I then asked myself why I should not make music, that’s when in 2020 during lockdowns I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to make music. I didn’t have any knowledge on how to produce a song. YouTube introduced me to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which is a software used for music production.”

The Letlhakane born then downloaded his first software which was Ableton Live, which was way too complex and distorted. “I felt it was too hard to learn and I switched to FI studio which was also complicated but fortunately, easy to use. Because I don’t have a good voice to sing, music production became too good to me and very flexible to embark on.”

Mindset MusiQ became part of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) national roadshow, after being picked from the capacity building workshop. He was challenged to speak to the audience, fellow creatives (artists and music producers) and his presentation caught the eye of the adjudicator, DJ Fresh.

“I heard about the artist’s capacity building workshop from my mother, who saw it on Facebook. My father immediately reacted and dropped me off and even though I was late, the host then introduced me and the rest became history. As we speak, I am part of the Top 30, and we will be having the finale on the 11th of February in Gaborone.”

Being on the Top 30 for Mindset MusiQ is a dream come true. This is because he wasn’t even told that there will be a boot camp and grand prizes, and he has always wanted to advance his premature music career. He said this has shown that he is on the right track.

“Working with DJ Fresh is really cool. It’s not everyone who can be afforded that opportunity and the experience humbles me all the time. Already, I have rocked the Thando remix and I can’t wait to do more with his mentorship.”

Mindset MusiQ is currently in South Africa working on cooking more music with industry moguls. He was invited by producer Trey Bankz and some colleagues from Imperial City Music, a new record label in Johannesburg

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WeekendLife

All The Star She Is lands on BTV

2nd February 2023
With zero existence of TV programs empowering women in Botswana, a new show that strives to make that news of the past has just started airing on the tedious BTV. At least, after so many years, All The Star She Is will inspire viewers to see a new change in terms of supporting women in Botswana.

Each incredible series celebrates women but not from all walks of life, but those who are turning heads in the entertainment industry. The show will cast a bright light on women who have conquered tremendous obstacles and weathered the storms.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Monday, Director of Cosign267 Koone Boikaego said the show reveals the paths that these phenomenal women took to be where they are in the entertainment and media industry.

Cosign267 is a 100% youth owned film and TV Production Company led by Boikaego. It has worked with a number of organization, executing various projects such as filming, shooting, editing and one-on-one couch interviews.

The youthful company recently wrapped up the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) three months’ national roadshow and boot camp. It was assigned with capturing all moments of the roadshow, alongside Thato DJ Fresh Sikwane.

“Celebrating women is one thing that is often overlooked. We put together this project to take followers into the lives of creative and incredible women. They are determined to break walls and pave way for the next generation of women. In this show, these women serve viewers with factual stories of how they started and what it takes to be at the forefront, the bittersweet experiences that took them that far. It’s really a show that many young girls can draw inspiration from.”

Breaking down the show plan, Boikaego said airs every Saturday on BTV at 6PM, hosted by One Rabantheng. Rabantheng, famously known as Divine Diva is a media and marketing consultant, legendary radio personality who worked for Duma FM, e-TV and RB2, where she was shown the door for speaking foul of the then President without being aware that the microphone is on.

There are thirteen stars to be featured on the new show, therefore, this means that there will be thirteen episodes. Some of the familiar faces featured on the TV show are: Mpho Sebina, Olorato Ledique, Oratile Kebakile, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Tumi Ramsden, Kelly Ramputswa, Tshepie Olds, Winx Motcher, Mmaphala, Loretta and Nicole Martinez among others.

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WeekendLife

Lifestyle enthusiasts feel Big Brother vibes

27th January 2023

This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.

Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.

These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.

DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.

“For the very first time in history of Big Brother, we’ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.”

THE LOVE

Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.

Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2’s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.

Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign.  #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.

We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.

WINNING STRATEGY

Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.

DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.

THE WINNING CHALLENGE

Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).

These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.

The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencer’s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.

Legwaila said “We wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.”

DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING

When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said “MultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks from our country.”

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