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The Hamptons, the grand Jazz event…

HEADLINERS: Letta Mbuli and Caiphus Semenya

The 2016 Hamptons Festival which will be held in Gaborone from February until March, promises to deliver all the ingredients of entertainment. The event, expected to be headlined by Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya, supported by Oliver Mutukudzi, Vusi Mahlasela, and The Soil, will feature local acts such as Sereetsi and The Natives, The Women of Jazz, Nono Siile, Sharon Sibonge, DJ Laninah Benz, DJ Stomps with former Big Brother representative Goitse as the master of ceremonies.

The Hamptons Jazz Festival aims to be representative of a historic moment in which Botswana will be seen as the destination for Jazz intellectuals.

“We talk music Tourism being taken by the Hamptons to another level. You will be glad you came as we welcome you to Botswana”, said one of the Show’s organisers, Debbie Smith in an interview with WeekendlLife.

The annual Hamptons Live Jazz Festival, which takes place in the Capital City Gaborone, usually runs between February and March every year. This annual gathering has become more of a reunion – a celebration with friends, family, culture exchange, musical entertainment and a way of life. Each year sees a variety of Jazz musicians, well appreciated by the local and the travelling discerning Jazz patrons.

The event allows people to revel in cultural refinement, whilst relaxing with a glass of wine or cold beverage whilst they go about enjoying the music.

Punah Gabasiane Molale is one of the Women of Jazz Botswana sirens. Her performance is what is referred to as "the voice of Jazz". Her performance at the Hamptons event last year brought goose pimples the size of potholes to many. She is the voice of reason. The lady is well travelled and has performed in countries far flung and yonder.

Kearoma Rantao, The sexy siren from Botswana rocked The Hamptons Jazz in 2014. She brought class, elegance, taste and sophistication to the event frequented by Botswana's elite jazz lovers. She has collaborated with artists abroad and has international performance experience which puts her at a huge advantage when she goes on stage again with Nnunu Ramogotsi and Punah Gabasiane.

Another artist to look out for is Trinity Mpho, the World Music Artist of the Year 2015 award winner for the African Entertainment Awards in Canada. He is a talented songwriter, composer, recording artist, entertainer and a performer who has been in the industry for over a decade. He was born and brewed in Botswana and went to Canada in 2012 as a World/ Afrobeat musician.

However the highlight of the show is Nathi & Vusi Nova, coincidentally they will be dropping a new album on the 14th February 2016, a few days before the big event and those attending will have an opportunity to hear it right from the oven being performed live at the Hamptons Jazz Festival. Nathi is well known for his 2015 hit track Nomvula which became a household name.

Meanwhile the Hamptons Jazz Festival will promises a carnival of sensations. The festival focuses on music but spreads its wings far beyond the conventional definition of a festival, instead immersing its fans into euphoria of joy and happiness. Envisage exquisite green grassed grounds, with camp chairs all over, laid back atmosphere, happy smiling revellers are usually treated to the best of their expectations.   

The atmosphere in the sun is dismal for the multitudes that descend to witness this once in a year astounding festival. It brings multitudes of Jazz enthusiasts together to Kickstart their year in grand style. Born out of the great minds, the event is the brainchild of Debbie Makabe- Smith and Starr Ngwenya who remains the directors with David Letshwiti as the team manager.

It provides VIP tents with Champagne, wine and food initiatives. This year’s champagne of choice is The Moet Chandon Imperial Ice best enjoyed over ice on a very hot summer day.

Artists combine in an event which enjoys the company of music tourists travelling from the four corners of the world to be mesmerised by the likes of legends Hugh Masekela, Stimela, Mango grooves, Mahotella Queens, Tshepo Tshola, Freshly Ground, The Soil as well as local acts Nnunu Ramogotsi, Kearoma Rantao, Punah Gabasiane Molale, Shanti Lo and others every year.

Air Botswana has also come on board as a partner to all the international fans that will be flying in to attend the show. The airline will do transfers from Johannesburg, Harare, and Cape Town and will take revellers to Maun and Kasane so they can marvel and be mesmerised by the beauty of Botswana. Air Botswana is the best Airline with a trending new Airport.

In November last year it was reported that the second largest germ quality diamond 1,111-carat was ever found in more than a century was discovered in Botswana by a small Canadian firm Lucara at Karowe mine. Debbie is of the view that The Hamptons Live Jazz Festival has more or less similarities with this precious and amazing stone. At the moment all Early Bird tickets P280 are sold out leaving only couples tickets P 699, Regular Singles Tickets P 480 and VIP Tickets P 1500. The event will be held at Gaborone Club Grounds on the 27th February 2016.

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200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020

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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Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020

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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