In their continued effort to see the Botswana fashion industry take a twist to match the international standards, Masa Square continues to set the record. In anticipation of the annual Masa Fashion Show, which will be held on 21st October 2017, Masa Square Hotel launched a game-changing initiative; the MSH Fashion Mentorship Program.
The program, launched on Thursday 23 February, 2017, at Masa Square Hotel, is the first of its kind in Botswana and certainly the first to be hosted by a hotel. It will see twelve budding fashion designers mentored by twelve seasoned designers from the local industry. This follows four consecutive years of the Masa Fashion Show held to great acclaim and with an increasingly strong attendance and revere from Batswana. It was revealed that the program will run from 1st March under the theme ‘Working Together to Build Botswana’s Creative Industry.’
Twelve seasoned fashion designers from the Botswana industry will mentor the program’s budding designers. The MSH Fashion Mentorship Program mentors includes: Lame Chilume of Switch Couture BW, Mothusi Lesolle of iZAURA, Tlamo Mosinyi of Bondphill, Kaone Moremong of House of Kay, Lesedi Matlapeng of Kefseddy Designs, Natasha Selelo of Tasha Creationz, Dikatso Motlapele & Anita Molosiwa of Eccentric Style Loft, Candida Tsheko of DihDah, Thabiso Dibeela of Thabie D Originals, Tankiso Mathware of Priestly, Aobakwe Molosiwa of Gilded Sands and Delayna Scott of Delayna Scott designs.
According to the statement from the Hotel, applications for the mentorship program were open to the public, and ran from February 1st. Submission of applications closed on 14th February 2017. Mentees were chosen through a public application process through Masa Square Hotel’s social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We are looking to support already practicing enthusiasts. Through this initiative, we are looking to support those who either want to go professional or are designers looking to expand their businesses. Our aim is to contribute towards building platforms for conversation around the development of the local fashion industry and the promotion of local entrepreneurship. We look forward to seeing the show grow as our participation in bringing people together aligns with our mission to redefine the hospitality business and its contribution to the growth of Botswana businesses,” said Masa Square Hotel General Manager, Greg Soutter.
The lucky twelve mentees chosen to participate in the inaugural MSH Fashion Mentorship Program are as follows: Boikanyo Molale, Thabiso Makwate, Katlego Moatshe, Pamela Ntshwarang, Lerang Keabile, Gomotsegang Dipuo, Tshepiso Abdulla, Ratanang Morontshe, Seatla Khutlo, Katlego Sengate, Temo Mpudia and Mpho Chepete.
For the next 7 months leading up to the final show in October, the mentees will be tasked with designing an exclusive collection for the Masa Fashion Show. As part of the Show, the hotel will also host a series of MSH Fashion Talk Shops over the course of the year to share valuable business insights from renowned local and international names.
The speakers will discuss their success stories, especially as African entrepreneurs and professionals. The purpose is to provide inspiration and key business tips from a variety of speakers who are directly and indirectly stakeholders of the creative industry. These talk shops will commence towards the end of March 2017.
“We are committed to working with our stakeholders from a variety of local industries to see these mentees expose their crafts and individualities for Botswana, and hopefully, even the world to see and celebrate. We cannot wait to see what designs come out of this experience, and even more exciting, how it will positively affect the lives of the mentees”, concluded Soutter.
Masa Square Hotel is a business-first luxury hotel that strives to redefine the hospitality experience of business and leisure travellers in Botswana, located in the heart of Gaborone’s New CBD. The Hotel is designed to ensure guests become fully connected in Gaborone, whilst being able to enjoy a little indulgence during their stay. The Hotel has established itself as the preferred choice for business and leisure tourists, and also appeals to local clientele looking for anything from a quick bite to a gourmet meal.
It is located in one of the two iconic Masa Square towers, cascading into the piazza of Masa Centre. The hotel is uniquely positioned, both literally and figuratively, to raise the bar of the service, cuisine and sense of luxury and convenience that Batswana experience, a mandate it has lived up to since opening its doors to customers in June 2012.
Masa Square Hotel is dedicated to uplifting the community in which it resides, investing in the growth and development of Botswana and in the future of the nation as a whole. The Hotel is managed by AHA Hotels and Lodges. AHA also manages Chobe Marina Lodge, a leading hospitality establishment located in the heart of the Chobe area.
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.