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Airport Junction Mall celebrates five years of shopping bliss

Airport Junction Mall will be celebrating its fifth birthday on April 29.

Festivities to mark the jovial occasion have already kicked off with shoppers standing to benefit more from a wide array of promotions and discounts from participating outlets and tenants.

The celebrations to mark the auspicious 5th year anniversary also include an exciting fun-filled month of celebration culminating in a fun-day for tenants and customers at the end of this month (April 29th) where Metro FM Breakfast show host, Thato Sikwane popularly known as DJ Fresh is expected to serenade customers with his pristine deejaying skills. Other performers on the day include Botswana’s au fait and talented duo of DJ Jam-N-I and German Dollar. 

Owned by Feune (Pty) Ltd, an entity that is in turn owned by Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM), Eris Properties Botswana and Blackshield, Airport Junction Mall was conceptualized a few years prior to construction in 2010. The high-end shopping mall is managed by Khumo Property Asset Management (Pty) Ltd.

“Airport Junction Mall first opened its doors for trade on 26th of April 2012, signifying the coming together of the owners’ vision, the belief by the tenants in the potential that the mall carried and a bold expression of commitment by the owners to the development of Botswana,” said Khumo Property Asset Management Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Outule Bale.

Bale noted that the positioning of the site close to the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport inspired the architect to design the mall similar to the wings of an airplane. “This can be clearly seen on the roof design which aides channeling wind within the walkways. Airport Junction Mall has been a huge success since inception, and has grown to become the dominant shopping centre in Botswana,” said Bale adding that the tenant mix has been its major strength with unique restaurants, Builders Warehouse, Tiger Wheel & Tyre, Town Lodge, Sparkling Auto and many more which makes it a high-end mall as it attracts Botswana’s LSM 7-10 consumers; who relatively enjoy the best standards of living and consume the most media.

Furthermore, the jubilant CEO added that the positioning of the mall is what makes it so successful. Positioned at the intersection of the A1 highway and the Airport Road, Bale said all these attributes make Airport Junction Mall easily accessible for travelers, residents and commuters in the area. “Parking has been oversupplied around the mall so the shopper spends less time searching for a parking bay. Airport Junction is the final meeting point of retailers and consumers,” he added.

Currently, the mall boasts a total of 77 tenants including the likes of Stuttafords, Spar, Virgin Active, Checkers, KFC and many more. Indicative of the mall’s impact is the positive reviews Airport Junction continues to receive from the public since officially opening for business in 2012, which include scooping the coveted PMR Africa Excellence Award for being the most outstanding mall in Botswana in 2013. 

“Trading by tenants has generally been on a steady growth.  This is attributable to a number of factors including the quality of the overall tenant mix, the standards achieved at the mall and the continuous marketing campaigns by management.” Asked about the mall’s expansion plans, the CEO said, “Malls generally go through cyclical periods of either revamp or expansion. We will all have to wait to see what happens next at Airport Junction, with the culmination of its first five years of existence.”

For her part, Khumo Property Asset Management Retail Property Manager, Nazly Dawood, said plans for the next five years include a vision to maintain the growth and the mall’s status as the dominant shopping centre in the area, as well as to maintain community involvement, and to continuously improve customers’ overall shopping experience.

“We would also like to use this opportunity to sincerely thank the community of Gaborone and surrounding areas; citizens of Botswana in general for their continued support and contribution, without which our impressive growth would not have been possible,” Dawood concluded. Planned activities for the mall’s 5th anniversary celebrations include an exciting fun-filled month of celebration culminating in a family fun-day for tenants and customers at the end of the month (April 29th).

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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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