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Enter Tswana dolls…

In their own perfect little world, every girl child has a best friend in a doll. Even though most people tend to take playing with dolls lightly because it is simply toys, many children tend to form a bond with these toys. Even if we ignore it, the toys do play a significant role in the growth of the children and how they view life.


Young former Motswana clinical psychologist, Bakani Johnson has tapped in the market and in her quest to promote and restore Tswana history, culture and fashion she has introduced Tswana dolls that do not only celebrate Tswana cultural activities but also educate young girls about their different cultures and identity.


“My idea to create Tswana dolls dates back to when I  used to find it hard to educate young ones about the importance of loving and appreciating themselves the way they are, because in most cases she used to use western dolls in her sessions,” she said. This felt awkward for the young mother at the time as she felt the little girls could not relate with what she was saying. “I will be in session with the little ones and I will be using western dolls demonstrating to them how they should take care of their bodies and they used to look confused,” she said.


She explained that western dolls are different from African children as they have straight hair which many African girls do not have and their skin colour is totally different. In 2010 after doing intensive research, Johnson created her own doll line that is now proving to be a hit among young Tswana girls today. The dolls are called A Girls and they are 8 inches tall with interchangeable hair, costumes and accessories.


The A Girls collection fuses modern and traditional clothing and gives the versatility of the African girls of today.  Johnson added that the dolls symbolise hope, trust, and confidence by promoting African history, culture, and fashion. “I wanted to make dolls that Tswana girls could identify with by recreating their skin colour and style because dolls are their best friends that they spend more time with so this was a brilliant way to make them appreciate their own skin colour,” she said.


There are three types of the A Girls collection and they all carry a significant story with them that each child learns from.  Although all the dolls symbolise love and acceptance, they are strictly made to accommodate girls from all different kinds of shade. “The A Girls are exceptional vinyl dolls that appreciates the diversity of our African girls, as parents we now that the dolls we buy often become our child’s introduction to beauty and self-identity so these dolls does a great job in making young ones to appreciate their beauty,” she said.


She further explained that the A Girls collection depicts African girls with different skin tones, each one beautiful and vibrant like the African child. “We believe that the most important thing to a small child is that her dolly is beautiful just like her,” she said. Although the main aim of the dolls was to promote strong feminine ideals, like love, peace and endurance, the dolls have done much more than that. The reception that the dolls have been receiving has been successful as Johnson said every little girl she comes across to wants to own one. “It is not only kids who love the doll, but adults too as some love the idea behind the dolls and the doll’s sense of style,” she said.


Johnson continued that the dolls help in a great deal on educating young African children about their culture but of course in a fun way.  “The dolls wear different attires that different cultures in Botswana wear and by doing, the parent can share a brief history about the culture with the child demonstrating with the doll, history made easy,” she said.

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WeekendLife

All roads lead to Francistown for ATI’s concert

18th May 2022
ATI

Organisers of the much anticipated As One Music Concert say preparation for the much awaited as one of the music concert are at the peak, with ticket and merchandise sales at a high just 13 days before the event.

In a statement Kesego Okie, Managing Director of Blue Skies PR Agency and event coordinator “The Concert is a celebration of ATI’s journey in music. It is also an incredible platform for all stakeholders, particularly businesses that operate in Francistown, to show their commitment to the resuscitation of the City’s economy following the impact of Covid.

We are grateful for the reception by the city leadership and look forward to cooperate Francistown heeding our call to support the arts, which would in turn, be supporting many livelihoods and small business in the area”.

She expressed gratitude to the public for their immense support evidenced by ticket sales and talk ability, saying this is testimony that indeed As One the nation can go fa in the true spirit of boipelego (self-reliance).

The concert is partnership between Batho Bame Investment and Blue Skies PR Agency. “A lot of work has gone in to prepare for the highlight, and I am thankful to everyone who believes in the dream and supports us. I promise nothing but the very best of me and would love to express my utmost gratitude to all creatives and businesses that are a part of this Journey” Atasaone ATI Molemogi.

The concert will be the first music show taking place within the main pitch of the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium, which was chosen to host because of its distinct state of art ambiance, coupling Francistown’s position as a gate way to many strategic places in Botswana.

Francistown is not only rich in history, but also an enabler for economic activity for unearthed tourist destination surrounding it. It is an honour to have been given the approval by the city leadership and the people of Francistown to host this Concert in their backyard’ ATI.

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WeekendLife

AMVCAs To Host Hollywood Stars At 8th Edition

18th May 2022

As part of activities for the 8th edition of Africa’s most prestigious award ceremony, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs), Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice Nigeria will host celebrity movie stars and film directors from Hollywood ahead of the awards ceremony taking place on Saturday, 14 May in Lagos.

The visiting Hollywood stars will be led by Tasha Smith, actress, director and producer, known for her role in the acclaimed films, ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ and its sequel, ‘Why Did I Get Married, Too?’. She will be joined by Bayo Akinfemi, a cast member of the popular television series, ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ as well as Brandon Micheal Hall of the ‘God Friended Me’ series fame

Also expected are Sidra Smith, award-winning Producer and Head of Essence’s Film and TV Studio and Grant Housley, Hollywood Producer, Writer and Director currently at Paramount Pictures, where he has worked on some of the biggest films and most critically acclaimed television series in the world.

While in Nigeria, the stars will meet with the #AMVCA8 nominees and other industry stakeholders. This historic visit is in line with MultiChoice and Africa Magic’s efforts in sustaining the Africa film making and storytelling momentum, through deliberate global collaboration.

The eighth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards is brought to viewers by Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice and is proudly sponsored by Amstel Malta.
For more information, visit www.africamagic.tv/AMVCA and follow all official handles of Africa Magic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #AMVCA8

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WeekendLife

Of Musicians and No Shows

10th May 2022
Musicians and No Shows

There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.

Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.

The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.

Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.

In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…

Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation

“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.

He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event.
The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.

This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events.  Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.

The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized

Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.

He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.

In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud.
When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.

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