BEAUTY QUEENS: Raigning Queen Sandra Ramanteba with past winners and the event Coordinator Zenzele Hirschfield
The 9th edition of the astonishing Miss Millennium is currently underway and the search for the next queen is on. Miss Millennium is a pageant which brings together phenomenal women of ages from forty years and above together to participate in a beauty pageant whose proceeds are all channelled to charity projects whose objectives are to change people’s lives.
The pageant is not for ordinary women as entrants are women who have shown courage, using what they term “their fully figured bodies” to show compassion and give back to needy communities. All are women of substance who have professional careers ranging from finance, doctors and professional counsellors. According to them, life begins at 40 and the pageant compared to the normal ones does not discriminate on the basis of marital status, body size or height. Anyone qualifies to be a queen as long as they are 40 or above despite their circumstances. They believe they are old but not cold, the Setswana expression, “Mosadi ke thari ya Sechaba” distinctively describes this group of women.
Miss Millennium is a community building beauty pageant established in 2008 by Millennium Jazz patrons. Millennium Jazz Restaurant has been and still is home to this renowned social responsibility event. The previous and the current Miss Millennium beauty queens have made a difference around Mogoditshane and neighbouring residents’ lives.
Former beauty queens have successfully hosted underprivileged children and the elderly people of Mogoditshane and Moshaneng village (in Southern District). They also launched a charity football tournament that included wellness empowering and educative activities. As the pageant grows, they intend to make the charity initiatives national. Throughout its existence the theme for Miss Millennium has been “Real Beauty is from within”.
Zenzele Hirschfield who is the promoter and coordinator of the event since 2008 says this year they intend to have former beauty queens from Miss Botswana such as Juby Peacock work with the contestants prior to the show. She says next year after the tenth anniversary, they want to reflect and bring all the surviving past queens on one stage and introspect on their projects. Hirschfield however decried lack of sponsorship from the stakeholders saying they are failing to support the noble gesture.
She emphasised that this year, they will not have the cultural parade which was introduced three years ago and they have since replaced it with the blue, black and white dance after roping in the services of a professional choreographer. The 2016 Miss Millennium beauty pageant is scheduled for Saturday 13th February at Millennium Jazz Restaurant.
The event is billed to be the ‘Epic moment pageant’ as not only will the pageant celebrate nine years in existence but will also takes pride in celebrating the country’s 50th independence anniversary. The blue black and white dance will be tribute to the country’s flag colours.
The reigning queen Sandra Ramanteba expressed concern over the use of drugs such as Marijuana by the youth. She says she is engaged in projects that sensitise the community about the use of drugs, they get tip- offs and they work with both the ward councillor in block 5 to bring the culprits to task and help others go through the rehabilitation process. She said they have also made proposals to the Ministry of Health to also help establish a rehab centre since some of their victims refuse to go to Lobatse Sbrana Hospital because of the stigma associated with the hospital, being a mental asylum.
As a build up to the Miss Millennium 2016 beauty pageant exciting activities have been running scheduled from January to build the hype to the grand finale.
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.