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AFDA film festival breaks boundaries

AFDA Botswana premiered four of its best student short films on Monday, at a Graduation Film Festival at River walk’s New Capitol Cinemas with the controversial film, The story of Sebonta, a LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) inspired film tugging at the heartstrings of many.

Produced by Difemelo Monkutlwatsi, Kabelo Marumo and Cathrine Gabu, The story of Sebonta (played by Tebo Daniel Mogopane) is about a young teenage boy who transforms from a homophobic bully into openly exploring homosexual attraction when he unexpectedly falls in love with Karabo (played by Thabiso Segokgo), who is expressive and openly gay. Tragically as a result of the repressive forces in a conservative community, Sebonta believes the only way out is suicide.

“The story of Sebonta was a very impressive and it really did hit home for some of us,” said Caine Youngman, the advocacy coordinator of LEGABIBO in an interview with the Weekend Post. He explained how the film portrayed real issues of bullying at schools due to homosexuals’ assumed gender identity and the lack of self acceptance some homosexuals experience due to rejection from their communities.

Botswana is one of the many countries in Africa where homosexuality is still illegal and deemed a controversial topic to be discussed. Youngman however applauded the talent Botswana has, “AFDA is not a well known school in Botswana but the talent it showed was remarkable,” he concluded.

The Graduation Film Festival which was a final exam for the students of AFDA displayed growth within the stagnantly growing film industry in Botswana, screening four films each 24-25 minutes long, featuring Zola My Beginnings, a romantic gangster film about the gamble of love and a life of crime, Gatwe E Rile, a Setswana folktale with a modern twist, Raskanta, an afro-futuristic sci-fi film on music and freedom of expression with an African essence and The Story of Sebonta.

The Story of Sebonta did remarkably well in its story telling and screenplay giving the viewers food for thought on one of the most controversial topics in Botswana.

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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WeekendLife

Scott brands daring spring summer fashion

22nd September 2020
Fashion-collection

Known for her stellar designs, and showing her sartorial prowess on renowned stages internationally, Delayna Scott has introduced an astonishing summer and spring wear together with an exquisite swim wear line for women.

Her sizzling collection comes at a time when people are embracing spring, as well as welcoming summer in style especially after coming out of back to back lockdowns.

After putting together a range of collections for both swim wear and spring wear, Scott employed former beauty queens to showcase her work on her social media pages.

“I had my selection process for the models for the swimsuit shoot collection. I wanted to engage beauty queens only so I used Judith Kgwadi -Miss Teen Universe Botswana 2013 and 2nd Princess Miss Teen Universe, held in Nicaragua South America. I also engaged Peelo Mookodi, Miss Africa Botswana 2015 and Michelle Gaokgethelwe, Miss FNB 2016/2017 and Miss Consumer Fair 2017/2018,” said Scott.

When quizzed about the size range, she highlighted that she caters for just about any size. Scott always wanted to leave an in print of a swimsuit collection which she finally put together and impressed by it. The collections will all be pre ordered only

“Well summer is upon us. So I figured why not cater for the heat that’s to come but besides that I’ve always wanted to do a swimsuit collection with my brand on the fabric. When I create collections for shows I always design one or two swimsuits to open the show but this time I figured I should just create a collection of swimsuits with bucket hats and head scarfs to match,” she said.

Adding to her swim suit collection is a dose of spring summer collections for a switch of seasons to add to your wardrobe collection.

“My spring summer collection is very special to me. It’s very Caribbean particularly the colour selection. It’s more of an easy, comfort collection all of the pieces can be worn day and night. For this collection I engaged two stylist Loago Bogopa and Tshire Bagwasi and we sourced accessories from Kefilwe Sianga of the fashion hook up and also Topznthangz,” she said.

“I was going for editorial looks so I did makeup by Chedza. She did the minimal makeup with a pop of colour on the eyes and Art by Shalom did the magic on photography with the stunning ladies super model Thanolo Keutlwile and Digital Content Creator Fifi Mathambo. Amazingly the feedback so far is great and quite overwhelming I must say.”

Trending this season

“Slip dresses, maxi dresses, prints and definitely bright colours basically everything in my collection is currently trending. A slip dress, accessorized well can definitely make a statement,” said Scott.

About Delayna Scott

Delayna Scott over the years has participated in several shows including, the inaugural Botswana fashion week 2011 (overall winner), Colour in the desert 2012, Masa fashion show 2017/2018 /2019. International shows she showcased at Malawi fashion week 2017, New York fashion week 2018 and Cannes film festival in France 2019.

Delayna Scott gowns have been showcased on world stage at Fiji, Russia, Indonesia, Nicaragua) by Botswana contestants at Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Teen Universe and Miss World supermodel some contestants holding titles of winners , runners up and best evening gowns .

Scott was the designer of choice to dress lead actress Sylvia Pouget, of the movie Noni Le Fruit at the 2019 Cannes film festival red carpet. The same year also saw her as a designer of choice for French actress Eloise Valli’s red carpet appearance at the Cannes film festival.

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