â€¨â€¨Behind the #TLATSALEBALA organizing is a brutal war of egos between promoter’s artist’s managers and creative industry entrepreneurs. Whilst the public has given all the goodwill to the #TLATSALEBALA concept and the public has not withheld any grain of good will, behind the scenes its an ugly scenario.
The #TLATSALEBALA management has a choice of explaining themselves to artist who are expected to be a part and bold font of the concept. It is not raining but pouring as the question of whether this is a charity or business event refuses to depart from the lips of musicians, their managers and promoters alike. Behind the scenes, it is ugly from toe to hair.
#TLATSALEBALA management says the line up of 06th May 2017 at the National stadium now stands at 62 artists. This is on the backdrop of some artists demanding commercial contracts. #TLATSALEBALA management team is unable to furnish those required to perform at the vent with contract because they have ruled out the idea of paying artists.
Before Kast went out for a 1000km walk in raising awareness for the event, almost all the artists were prepared to do it for free. What made matters worse is that the understanding was that he is walking to raise the BWP 200, 000.00 needed for the venue and appropriate logistics.
This scenario literally turned upside down when the chairman of Botswana National Sports Council, Solly Reikeletseng, announced on his Facebook page that the BNSC has resolved to sponsor #TLATSALEBALA to a tune of BWP 200,000.00 to cover he venue and associated venue logistics. Though this was meant to show the commitment of the Honourable Thapelo Olopeng’s ministry in supporting and growing local arts, it has come back to be a painful offer already accepted.
Some artists are now questioning why they should perform for free. Artists are positing that Kast wants to pursue slavery in making them work hard for free. It appears, somehow along the line, the #TLATSALEBALA management team, in accepting the many gifts, money and offers in support of the event during the 1000km walk, they then began to pursue the event as a charity exercise. This is the confusion that that the sponsors, well wishers, donors and ticket buyers do not know about.
It has come out blazingly clear that when Batswana reacted to Casper Nyovest’ connotation that he does not know Kast and asking who Kast was, Batswana went in to defend and uphold the status of national patriotism. The artists also wanted and possibly, still want to prove themselves that they can fill the stadium. But with an environment of creative arts that is naturally so, by form and format filled with competition of who is best on stage, in good will and in making money, the #TLATSALEBALA concept has become a monopoly of bruising egos.
#TLATSALEBALA management team is behind all the fracas. From the conversations, it appears Kast is not even aware why there is animosity by artists towards his initiative. The artists expected to take part are asking why they should perform for free, pledge their support, their names, and their backing crews for a show that will only benefit the #TLATSALEBALA management team. It is being argued behind the scenes that Kast will not necessarily make money out this initiative.
The only trophy that he will be taking home is that of being bold, courageous, walked 1000km and filled up the stadium and the cash will remain with those behind the scenes, the #TLATSALEBALA management team. Names of those cashing on the initiatives have been passed to this publication and Kast’s name does not appear on the list.
Reached for comment on this matter, Resego Matenge, well known as Leshman who is also the owner and Manger of Leshman Holdings and a manager and partner to Charma Gal, he rubbished the #TLATSALEBALA concept as having lost meaning. He insists that” the whole thing has become opportunistic”. Matenge, is of a strong view that they are not taking part on the #TLATSALEBALA as they haven’t received an invite “from the initial failed event where we were not on the line up and the current one which is presented as a charity event though grossly commercial”.
Matenge lamented that when the whole concept began, Charma Gal was on hype through the ‘sekuta’ album yet was never approached to fill the stadium. That Charma Gal is currently dominating the airwaves and public spaces through ‘mmokolodi’ and is still not invited goes on to show that, only artists who are willing to perform for free due to their hunger of stage presence are targeted. Matenge persist that “the issue of performing for free is not ours, we have a business to take care of and we are fully booked on top of having our own schedule and if they want us for our show they must in monetary terms give us a reason for abandoning our plans”.
When quizzed by this publication as to why they can’t just do it for free if approached to be a part of the line, Charma Gal’s manager and live in boyfriend fired that, “we have 12 employees doing backing vocals and backline, they don’t know if they can perform for free, we have transport that has to be monetarily catered for and our rehearsal venues that are not charitable especially for a profitable event”.
What is taking centre stage is the backstage fracas is that the original concept from Casper Nyovest to fill up the ‘dome’ was not charitable. It was of a reputable and crowd pulling line up. The assertion at backstage is that the #TLATSALEBALA concept of Botswana is rather about only benefiting a few individuals and hence different from Casper Nyovest who never asked for free shows.
What is coming across is that the artists are willing to support each other without cost only if it is an album launch and nothing more. It is also becoming increasingly clear that a lot of artists feel that they are being asked to be a part of an event they don’t understand as questions they ask range from not knowing why Kast walked 100km and they posit that to this day he never explained to them why they or he should walk 1000km to fill up the stadium.
MASSIE HULE COMMENTS ON #TLATSA LEBALA
“I am part of the crew that deals with artists and as far as I know there is no artist who has refused to perform at #Tlatsa Lebala. Everyone here was pledging, no one is paid a penny. We implored a first come first serve strategy and we gave prominence to the first line- up before the event was postponed,” said Hule.
While commenting on Charma Gal and Drama Boi not being part of the line- up, Hule said they had communicated their engagements with the organising team. However he revealed that Charma Gal had earlier served them a quotation, something that showed that she wanted to be paid for her services. “She should understand that this is not about individuality, this is a national project,” he said.
Currently they have a line- up of about 62 artists and more are calling to render their services but according to Hule, considering the 16 hours time frame they have, they can’t include everyone. He said that the last time he checked into tickets sales was two weeks back and they stood at eight thousand, he however added that they are optimistic that they will fill up the stadium.
It goes without saying that men and women handle pain differently. Especially emotional pain. Men tend to be more emotionally immature compared to women when it comes to matters of the heart.
It is for this reason that men do not handle break ups or cheating as well as their counterparts. Where women have been groomed from a young age to express their emotions men have been told to “suck it up and be a man”. This may be one of the reasons why men are unable to express their emotions. It’s therefore that it can be a tad bit surprising that men cheat the most but are the weakest to deal when cheated on.
Research has proven that men find it difficult to digest being cheated on. British Psychotherapist, Philip Hodson opines that men find it hard to forgive cheating because it affects their masculinity, and to them, it might signal the end of the relationship.
“Men can forgive themselves for their indiscretions, but they find it much harder to forgive their partners for the same. For a betrayed woman, an affair by a man is an offence against her dignity, but for a betrayed man, a woman’s infidelity is an offence against his manhood. It goes right to the core of his identity,” said Hodson.
WeekendLife also interviewed a few gentlemen on their honest feeling about being cheated and if they find it hard to forgive their partners after cheating. Tinashe Mangiroza said, “From the beginning, men are designed with the potential to have and to reproduce with many spouses. Women on the other hand are more or less designed to focus on one man. Along with this natural design, women have stronger pain tolerance. Yes women feel pain when cheated on, but their tolerance is much higher than that of a man (in view of what I said above).”
“And men on the other hand have a low emotional pain tolerance, hence the higher suicide and murder rates among men. Then remember there’s also the ego element which men have. So when you combine a big ego, low pain tolerance and other things such as selfishness and competing with other men, it almost ends a man’s self-worth when a woman he loves decides to sleep with another man.”
He admits to have been cheated on before which he said it took away his self-esteem and he had to sleep around as a way of easing the pain whilst waiting to heal. Another gentleman who was also cheated at some point, Monwabisi Ndumiso Mgenge, highlighted that when a woman cheated on him it becomes very difficult for him to take her back because loyalty is everything to him.
“This is because most of the times relationship involves sex. You see the person naked you enjoy that, you don’t want anybody having what you have. You are emotionally invested and have imagined the future many times and this is why some get violent cause its trauma really.”
Psychologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Toba Elegbeleye said, “when it comes to marriage, men and women see things differently. He pointed out that a man tends to see the woman as possession, and so, the moment somebody else tries to cross the boundary and interferes with his property, there is bound to be serious problem.”
“So, it is not because women don’t care or they forgive so easily, but the circumstances don’t favour them as they favour men. If women were in a dominant position, they easily would have driven the man away. So, the moment a female has committed herself to marriage, for her to voluntarily and openly get out of it becomes a kind of stigma, and women cannot handle stigma, particularly where children are involved. Mothers would not want to walk away, unless it’s beyond their powers, thus they would rather endure.”
Thabiso Cavin Bogopa, an Empowerment Expert also shared with WeekendLife that men are wired different from women hence their response to cheating won’t be the same. “What may prove to be a difficulty in men forgiving cheating is that, generally speaking men sleep with who they can, women sleep with who they want, so the overarching thing becomes she cheated with her desire, the person she is actually attracted to and the cheated man struggles with that truth, as he realizes that sex for him is opportunity based, while for his counterpart is a deliberate and conscious choice.
This to a certain extent is what forms the challenge for men,” he explained. “Cheating devalues an individual both the cheater and cheated on, but more profoundly manifest in the cheated as they start to decrease in their self-esteem, losing their regard for themselves as they are undermined they may begin to try to address this trauma in multiple ways but more commonly through being exactly what they detest because they are stuck in the experience, they therefore cheat and become messed up.”
“No one gets away with cheating even if you never get caught, you become depleted as a person by the lies, trickery and illicit emotional trade. But if we may, the choice to forgive a cheating partner is a personal choice that goes both ways.”
It takes more than just having the body for the ramp to be an “it girl/boy” in the industry. A lot hows into being the cream de la cream. This includes intense coaching and being fortified to thrive in Botswana’s modelling industry as well as making a name for yourself beyond boarders.
No doubt that the likes of Kaone Kario, Mmina Gaebonwe and Emmanuel Kayenda are household names today because of their well-crafted talent. Which needs to be passed on even to aspiring models. Raymond Geofrey an Editor and Content Creator at Vogue magazine who is also known for his Pan African story telling through photography, shared with WeekendLife about what it means and what it takes to be an all-round model, who is capacitated to make a living from their craft.
“Models need good etiquette and good communication especially when dealing with clients reaching to them. They should be able to professionally communicate with them. They need to be efficient in their communication. Professionalism also entails time management during bookings, shootings and auditions. Models should always be early by 1 hour 30 minutes. Enquire about contracts and make contact with consultants. This also include seeking legal advice,” he said.
“Models should have business cards and business WhatsApp numbers. They should possess a good social media account such as Facebook pages with clear biographies. Posts should be sponsored.” Knowing how to transcend the ramp as a model is one of the things that is always a big deal to models and agencies. Geofrey highlighted that models ultimately must know how to walk spectacularly on the runway. When it comes to posing, models are often expected to kill it and bring their A game which in turn will help shine their personality.
Geofrey said models do not take time to read and study as well as research about posing. The more models are confident the more they are able to bring out their personalities on the shoot. He said self-awareness is also imperative, as models are required to be aware of themselves. When wearing heels and walking down the ramp, they should catwalk to the beat.
When it comes to the modelling industry in Botswana, they normally complain about numerous things which are pushing the industry backward. One of these he said is industrialization and policy making, the most lacking and key factors in need in the sector. “The modelling industry in Botswana is still not industrialized that is there are no laws or policies currently in Botswana to govern the trade of modelling in Botswana. Modelling is still not a legal registered profession in Botswana,” he said.
“Affiliation of local agencies to global/international modelling agencies; we have seen a rise in business revenue with regards to fashion modelling in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya etc, due to the fact that they are exporting a larger number of models overseas to walk at fashion shows like Paris Fashion Week. This is simply because they have affiliations, partnerships with agents/bookers/agencies based in fashion capitals of the world (Paris, London, Milan & New York).”
Lack of etiquette which he said is rather unprofessional, is one of the things that hold back local models. “A lot of models in the country still walk unranked at shows (New faces, freelance, full time, professional, international model etc). Also models lack training in the art of modelling (posing, runway, social media training, and business acumen.”
In the age of brand ambassadors, models have been key in this aspect in making brands known and marketable. Even so, they are many slots that define and categorize modelling work. “Fashion models are usually booked for shows or by designers. Editorial are more for official print/brand work such as for magazines (print/online), websites, blogs etc. Commercial are more on promoting business services of institutions, government or the private sector (including banking institutions, insurance, services providers etc). Fitness models are for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, we see them booked by professionals sports/athletes/gym brands or the food & health industry (what is popular now is supplements such as herbal life),” he explained.
Like other countries, where models are paid a leg and an arm, the same should be incorporated in Botswana instead of exploiting them. “By respecting what models do and bring to the table; and you do that by paying them what they deserve on time,” Geofrey said. Geofrey is currently running classes for models called ‘Etiquette Class Models’ which offers runway coaching. It equips models with different types of walks. They also offer social media training and mentoring on running as a model entrepreneur.
Thabiso Tshwenyana is certainly a bright spark. He has been hitting the books, at the same time pushing hustle on radio! Well, you may not know who I’m talking about right now unless I refer to him as ‘Lerapo’, or ‘Bundle of Joy ya Radio’, as he is commonly called by his aficionados on radio.
Lerapo is resolute on taking over the entertainment and broadcasting space, of course wearing many hats as a radio host, content producer and a socialite. Not only that, he is a fresh Real Estate graduate currently functioning as a property analyst.
One may wonder how this young lad (currently 23-years-old) managed to be on radio, at the same time pursuing his Degree in Real Estate. Well, he says it took grit, time management and really doing what one likes. And he is right, because in today’s world anyone can call themselves a presenter. But it takes unparalleled skill, unbreakable determination, and heaps of talent to captivate an audience of millions.
Whether or not you think he’s the best, there’s no arguing that Lerapo is possibly the most prominent young radio presenter to hail from the Botswana. Initially starting his career in 2017, Lerapo earned himself a reputation as ‘Bundle of Joy ya Radio’ by consistently pushing the boundaries of what could be said and done.
His shows consists of outrageous humor and youthful content that’s shocking the radio establishment, and taking young people to cloud 9. The show is called The Youth Café on Duma FM, and airs every Saturday between 2PM and 2PM, broadcasting in vernacular.
When sharing with Weekendlife his startling life on radio and how he will be turning it down this year, he says the journey started back in 2017 at RB2 where he hosted a 30-minute feature. “I am definitely a go-getter. I love radio and this has been my childhood dream! I held onto this dream and survived against all odds. I am happy to be on radio because after all the knockings, snubs and distressing coercions, I persisted nonetheless. Sometimes it was just a matter of being at the right place at the right time.”
Before joining Duma FM in 2019, he was a content producer at yet another youthful urban radio station Yarona FM. At the age of 23-years old, Lerapo has worked at three radio stations, both government and private urban stations. Remarkable! For someone aspiring to be on radio, I can confidently say he is the pluq for inspiration and familiarity.
He continued to dish more on what radio really needs, saying “Taking time to perfect the craft, being open to learn from others and just digging down on books and the internet on how radio works did magic to me. It became easier to comprehend fully what I needed and how to go about getting it.”
Being a radio presenter means having a whole team prior to going on air. This means having a show prep, and reflecting on how the show went down with your producers or programs manager. Programs manager handles the business of the radio station and leave the voice and personality to the presenter.
Presenters have to follow rules of the programs manager even if they may not see eye-to-eye. They may prefer to play safe and repeat music even though sometimes a presenter prefers to take a risk and make changes to the music. Nevertheless, the success of the radio station lies in programs manager’s hands.
“After a show I usually have a reflection on how it went then I plan for the next show. On Tuesdays I have what we call an ‘air check’ with either the programs manager or his assistant to identify hiccups on the previous show and see how best to work on them to have a great delivery on the next show. Since I produce my own show, I give them a preliminary show prep. Once approved, I start contacting guests to be featured on the show and later share the final show prep a day before the show airs with the bosses.”
Still on his show, he does live reads. These are paid adverts that he discusses with the marketing department prior to his show going live. Well, as for a sizzling playlist, the music compiler knows how to serve him right.
He says a great radio hosts listens, reads and makes a show about the listener. ‘A common mistake we make as radio hosts is that we make the show about us and tend to feel that we know more than the listener. We also ought to respect the listener, these are our clients after all. Radio hosts should also refrain from relying on social media for content, most of it is fake and unverified by relevant authorities.”