Juju Vine has in a very short span of time made his mark and earned his place in comedy circles through the funny video clips he posts online. The funny man will on April 23rd take it a step further when he tries his hand for the first time on stage as he will, alongside Phenyo “The Master” Phaladi, headline this year’s Major Moves Comedy and Cocktails.
While he concedes that he grew up a naughty kid, the news anchor, now based in Namibia never thought he would end up on stage performing comedy; neither did he start off with solid intent to be a comedian. His first video he posted online, he revealed to Weekend Life was just him being “naughty”.
“When I started sharing my funny videos on social media I was just playing around, but it turned out that people liked what I was doing,” Junior “Juju vine” Sekokolwane said.
Somehow, his videos caught the eye of many funny bones, before he knew it, they were trending on Facebook and last year December he got a call from Motsweding FM and the call was about his online videos, that call, he said opened a lot of doors, he started getting Mc-ing gigs, including at the Mahalapye Homecoming comedy.
But the biggest moment, one that would perhaps decide his fate in standup comedy will be at the Comedy and Cocktails event, especially that he will be performing alongside the country’s comedy greats in “The Master” and Mawee.
This notwithstanding, the versatile Juju takes everything in stride, while he is aware that he might have to do much more work to make the audience laugh, he is not nervous about this next step he is about to take. In fact, he is as confident as ever. “I am not new to the lime light scene I am a musician, I have been for some time taking part in the Toyota Desert Race, I am going to take this next project as I did all others and make the best of it,” Juju expressed.
Admittedly though, he says, Juju the comedian has much more following in South Africa than in Botswana. In Namibia, he is known more as the “news man” and also as a musician.
His comedy however didn’t just start with online videos, audio clips he made have circulated before, and some he said offended a few listeners though they were equally enjoyed by some.
When he goes on stage on April 23rd, Juju intends to use all his experiences and incorporate the videos material with the standup comedy.
Coordinator of Major Moves Comedy, Gaolathe Seelo revealed that watching Juju Vine’s videos, he saw potential, and since they already knew each other, having being in the entertainment industry for some time, he could not resist roping him in to his organisation’s next gig. “I called him and asked him if he knew that he could take it a step further and make money off his funny stunts,” Seelo told Weekend Life.
He said that the event to be held at the Rail Park Food Court later this month, dubbed Comedy and Cocktails will be the fourth show, since the rail Park mall sponsored the first 3 years ago. The event, he said was alternative entertainment where the audience will get to taste cocktails while they listen to the comedians doing their thing on stage. “The audience will get to sample cocktails, whether alcoholic or not and buy the one they like most while they enjoy the comedy,” he said.
For trouper, “The Master” it will be business as usual. The comedian has been in the scene since 2009 years now and he has since dominated the comedy scenes, impressing audiences as far as in Ga Rankuwa, South Africa, where he says he got a standing ovation after doing a show alongside some of South Africa’s comedy giants.
Just early this year, in January, he recorded his “One Man Show” DVD at the Pavillion. “It was my first DVD and fans will soon hear about its release. I have done shows in the country and as far as Lesotho and South Africa, and people were asking if I would do this kind of thing, it was timely and I am glad that more of my work will be shared with a wider audience through the DVD,” he revealed.
The comedian believes that comedy in Botswana is headed in the right direction, and he would know best, since it is his sole livelihood.
“When some of us started out close to a decade ago, we were referred to as clowns but it has since grown, Batswana have warmed up to it and more numbers are showing up at our shows,” The Master shared.
According to the actor, comedy takes a lot of work and needs a lot of passion as it is more than just making people laugh. “Being funny isn’t a joke, there is a difference between making people laugh; and having them laugh at you – you have to find out how to get it right.”
He believes that comedy in itself is therapy and those that do it should do it right. “We are a therapeutic church, in fact, we beat even the fire churches,” he chuffed.
At the show, the two will perform alongside Mawee, another of Botswana’s great acts and South African Sifiso Nene and an upcoming comedian, Zozo.
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.