Naked women are, it seems, everywhere one turns — so ubiquitous that the sight of them barely registers shock, (except for when you live in Botswana).
More and more women have over the years stripped for the masses, and have over time become renowned for their nudes breaking the internet. And all hide under one banner-feminism.
Feminists who have however done the hardest work are turning in their graves since their hard work is now being exploited by a generation of women who are feeding into the very sexist ideals they fought hard against, ANGELA MDLALANI writes.
A model last week circulated a picture of herself in a bath tub, baring her stretch marks for the world to see. Powerful? Maybe. The photo was shared countless times on Facebook and now some women have followed her to “show appreciation” of their bodies and the flaws, and they are posting on Pinterest. Before we knew it, a debate was on full force about whether she looked sexy. Perhaps that she got photographed naked in a bathtub, bubbles and all caused people to wonder about ‘sexy’.
Countless women have before her done the same, allowed their bodies to speak for them. There is nothing wrong with nudity. The naked body is a blank emotional canvas, able to convey both power and vulnerability in the same instance. Stripped bare, there’s a lot to learn about a person when there isn’t anything for them to hide behind.
Drawing attention to the way that they have been stripped of political power, many protestors have stripped themselves of clothing. In this context the naked body represents vulnerability and strength, being disarmed yet empowered.
Without doubt, women like Kim Kardashian have most of the world worshipping her and anxiously staring at the computer/smart phone screens awaiting her next ‘leaked’ nude.
While a lot of celebrities have had the whole exposing of the bodies work for them, in that like, Kim K, they have raked in money in the millions through their nudity, not all women should buy into this order as it only serves to perpetuate a sexist culture that has women objectified. For a very long time, including now, women’s bodies have been used to sell products through sex. Undeniably, female nudity is powerful, but sexualised nudity is just another way of handing that power back over to men.
A typical example of this is the infamous Berry Heart For Dinner cover. While she did come out to defend her image that looked much like something that crawled out of 50 Shades of Grey a point she painfully missed like many other times before and after that is that by objectifying herself the way she does, her “self expression” or her voice against oppression is only screaming the opposite of what she is trying to bring out.
Most of Berry Heart’s nudes have missed the whole mark, she makes the whole thing about sex, and in that way that power that should supposedly be hers is handed right back to the men and perhaps marketers who ride highly on female nudity, and so goes her campaign on “oppression” straight out the window. But when that nudity is about whole, flawed, human individuals stripping down for a purpose bigger than arousal and marketing, then I think we start to take that power back.
Something the Pirelli calendar of 2016 got right. The calendar according to online reports is a trade calendar which is received by some 20 000 VIP including politicians, celebrities and royalty. The calendar was hailed by an online site as a “feminist dream” and “a new dawn for feminists”.
Supposedly, the calendar features world female icons in their own right, but since 1964 to 2015 all the women appearing in the calendar had sexual poses, were in lingerie or their birthday suits and had their legs wide spread. The 2016 calendar is completely different in that it took a complete U-Turn in artistic direction and women featured. From Serena Williams posing topless but with her back to the camera, and Amy Schumer hiding all her assets but showing off her tummy rolls, and Patti Smith and Yoko Ono fully clothed.
Meanwhile in Botswana, in 2016, it’s another step back. Bouncy’s striping at a national show whose purpose is to celebrate the country’s 50 years of independence might as well be disregarded as she like the many outside the country and in it are still trying to figure out some of these things. The Sasa Klasses, Bouncys, Berrys and indeed Kardashians of this world need to stop helping the world exploit women. They need to put an end to the belief that women are sex objects who need only be celebrated for their bodies and seen as sex objects.
At the age of 17, Boniface Lewanika is ready to take over the world. He has shown commitment to being the next big thing to ever emerge from Botswana. Mindset MusiQ, as he is affectionately known, is a self-taught music producer. The story of how Mindset started music production can be traced back to end-to-end lockdowns, which jaded him to the core.
At least, for Mindset MusiQ, these lockdowns were a blessing in disguise. He got to unlock the hidden potential in him, or maybe, the creativity that he never knew about. Being locked down meant that Mindset MusiQ has plenty of time to waste, but he was quick to switch his mindset to coming up with something positive.
He saw it much better to waste time on the internet. Well, for lot of people, the internet was the only saving grace then. But for Mindset MusiQ, it was the beginning of a journey that he intends to walk for the rest of his life.
“I became a music producer because I love music. I then asked myself why I should not make music, that’s when in 2020 during lockdowns I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to make music. I didn’t have any knowledge on how to produce a song. YouTube introduced me to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which is a software used for music production.”
The Letlhakane born then downloaded his first software which was Ableton Live, which was way too complex and distorted. “I felt it was too hard to learn and I switched to FI studio which was also complicated but fortunately, easy to use. Because I don’t have a good voice to sing, music production became too good to me and very flexible to embark on.”
Mindset MusiQ became part of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) national roadshow, after being picked from the capacity building workshop. He was challenged to speak to the audience, fellow creatives (artists and music producers) and his presentation caught the eye of the adjudicator, DJ Fresh.
“I heard about the artist’s capacity building workshop from my mother, who saw it on Facebook. My father immediately reacted and dropped me off and even though I was late, the host then introduced me and the rest became history. As we speak, I am part of the Top 30, and we will be having the finale on the 11th of February in Gaborone.”
Being on the Top 30 for Mindset MusiQ is a dream come true. This is because he wasn’t even told that there will be a boot camp and grand prizes, and he has always wanted to advance his premature music career. He said this has shown that he is on the right track.
“Working with DJ Fresh is really cool. It’s not everyone who can be afforded that opportunity and the experience humbles me all the time. Already, I have rocked the Thando remix and I can’t wait to do more with his mentorship.”
Mindset MusiQ is currently in South Africa working on cooking more music with industry moguls. He was invited by producer Trey Bankz and some colleagues from Imperial City Music, a new record label in Johannesburg
With zero existence of TV programs empowering women in Botswana, a new show that strives to make that news of the past has just started airing on the tedious BTV. At least, after so many years, All The Star She Is will inspire viewers to see a new change in terms of supporting women in Botswana.
Each incredible series celebrates women but not from all walks of life, but those who are turning heads in the entertainment industry. The show will cast a bright light on women who have conquered tremendous obstacles and weathered the storms.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Monday, Director of Cosign267 Koone Boikaego said the show reveals the paths that these phenomenal women took to be where they are in the entertainment and media industry.
Cosign267 is a 100% youth owned film and TV Production Company led by Boikaego. It has worked with a number of organization, executing various projects such as filming, shooting, editing and one-on-one couch interviews.
The youthful company recently wrapped up the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) three months’ national roadshow and boot camp. It was assigned with capturing all moments of the roadshow, alongside Thato DJ Fresh Sikwane.
“Celebrating women is one thing that is often overlooked. We put together this project to take followers into the lives of creative and incredible women. They are determined to break walls and pave way for the next generation of women. In this show, these women serve viewers with factual stories of how they started and what it takes to be at the forefront, the bittersweet experiences that took them that far. It’s really a show that many young girls can draw inspiration from.”
Breaking down the show plan, Boikaego said airs every Saturday on BTV at 6PM, hosted by One Rabantheng. Rabantheng, famously known as Divine Diva is a media and marketing consultant, legendary radio personality who worked for Duma FM, e-TV and RB2, where she was shown the door for speaking foul of the then President without being aware that the microphone is on.
There are thirteen stars to be featured on the new show, therefore, this means that there will be thirteen episodes. Some of the familiar faces featured on the TV show are: Mpho Sebina, Olorato Ledique, Oratile Kebakile, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Tumi Ramsden, Kelly Ramputswa, Tshepie Olds, Winx Motcher, Mmaphala, Loretta and Nicole Martinez among others.
This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.
Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.
These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.
DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.
“For the very first time in history of Big Brother, we’ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.”
Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.
Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2’s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.
Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign. #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.
We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.
Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.
DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.
THE WINNING CHALLENGE
Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).
These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.
The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencer’s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.
Legwaila said “We wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.”
DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING
When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said “MultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks from our country.”