Having previously had the pleasure of experiencing a spa day with girls a few years ago, the thought of being part of another such amazing experience brought with it very fond memories in white fluffy bath robes and slippers while sipping on champers throughout the day. Although my ‘first time’ was in a foreign country, I was excited to see what FNB Botswana (FNBB) and Camelot Spa had in store for the Bank’s Private Clients, and just for today, me.
The friendly and welcoming smiles from the staff at Camelot and of course that ever welcome ‘welcome drink’ will quickly have you realizing what a great decision you made in being there. You know how sometimes you can tell right off the bat how your experience is going to end, well let me say, I was never ready for the Relaxation Room.
With the reception area packed with journos equally eager to enjoy the Camelot Spa experience, a colleague and I wondered off to the Relaxation Room, all-the -while casually chatting as we took a seat.
Barely three minutes in, it hit us, I had without noticing, managed to find myself the most comfortable position on the couch, legs sprawled out and everything, while she just sat there silently inhaling and exhaling. This was indeed the Relaxation Room. Beautifully fragrant candles, just the right amount of light and the elegant creams and browns of the décor brought on instant peace of mind.
The Grand Palm Hotel resort & Casino, is home to Camelot Spa which has on offer, treatments which depending on your needs, can re-energise, de-stress and transform the body, mind and soul for when you most need to re-start the well oiled machine that is your body. Our tour of the facility kicked off with a very brief stop in the ladies bathroom.
Showers, changing cubicles and even lockers to securely store your personal belongings, all very hygienically kept. As we walked into the men’s bathroom, I could not help but notice a TV, which had me wondering if I had missed the one in the ladies, but no, it was just for the gents.
The realization was fast followed by thoughts of injustice on my fellow women as they too could do with a TV in there. But soon logic took over, making me see the room for what is was for the gents, a place to watch the game or catch up with the news while waiting on their spouses to be done with whatever treatment they had deemed a necessity for that day.
Whether you are looking to spend some alone time while getting a high performance skin exfoliator and chemical peel, or like me, prefer to have a girls day out, Camelot Spa has got you covered. Both single and couple rooms are available to suit your specific needs. The 15% discounted rate for FNBB Black card Holders had me wondering when I would reach Private Client status, seeing as I was already hooked, but hey, one day is one day right?
The Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage which takes anything between 30 and 60 minutes helps relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, upper and lower body.
This massage sounds perfect for those times we sometimes experience when after a long week or month of hard work at the office, your body screams for a break. You know those times when you stretch your arms, while moving your head in a circular motion hoping to relieve the tension while at the same time wishing someone could help you crack your back? This might be just the thing for you.
My favorite has to be the Bali Treatment. According to our guide, the treatment is derived from an age old Indian tradition which a bride-to-be received 40 days prior to her wedding day. From the sounds of it, each and every woman deserves the Bali treatment at least once in their lifetime, your skin will thank you.
The treatment is also available for gents, meaning this could be something different for couples to do together, not always necessarily with the promise of marriage. So gents, don’t let the history behind the tradition deter you from this luxurious occurrence.
Our guide went on to inform us of the many other offerings available within the Camelot Spa bouquet of offerings as we neared the end of our journey. And before I knew it, our tour was over. The time had come for us to enjoy breakfast downstairs with the FNBB team who shared some insight into the thinking behind the partnership with Camelot.
FNBB Director – Retail, Boitumelo Mogopa said, “At FNBB we pride ourselves in being a bank of firsts, and this innovative value add is a show of our appreciation to our clients who have remained with us throughout the years. It is important for our clients to recognize us as more than just their financial services provider, we are more than just a bank, we are our clients’ partners in life and we look forward to them enjoying getting pampered at Camelot, because they deserve it. Because for us, banking is a lifestyle, this is but one, of the numerous value adds we have for our clients, and we will continue to look out for, and provide our customers across the board with such benefits.”
With our tour of Camelot Spa completed, I stood there sipping on my Mimosa wondering when my first Camelot Spa experience would be. But alas, before I could figure out which of my very unnecessary habits to drop in order to spare some change for my visit, FNBB CEO, Stephen Bogatsu came to the rescue and with the assistance of the Spa’s ambassador Tshepo Ntshole, handed us all vouchers to return and redeem at our convenience.
I may not be a Private Client, yet, but for now, I will definitely be returning to enjoy my Medi Heel Pedicure.
Botswana once had a story love affair with the world’s biggest premium beauty pageant, Miss Universe. This was in 1999 when Botswana’s first representative at Miss Universe, Mpule Kwelagobe, effortlessly snatched the title.
It was every contestant’s beautiful dream to wear the crown, but winning at first entry was implausible if not magical. Kwelagobe made the country contented, and history was made. Taking a closure significant look at her performance at the Miss Universe held at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago, Kwelagobe battled it out on and off stage with 84 contestants and showed them dust. She was in the Top 5 spot with South Africa, Venezuela, Philippines and Spain. There are countries which snatch the Miss Universe title every year.
Miss Universe 2019 was a South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi. Mpule Kwelagobe scorecard looked pretty remarkable. She scored 9.05 out of 10 on her interviews, 9.18 swimsuit, 9.36 evening gown, semi-final average 9.19 and 9.48 on the Top 5 question. These results were good enough to earn her the crown.
However, over the years (since the crowning of Mpule Kwelagobe), Botswana has been fading away from participating at the Miss Universe. Between 2002 and 2003, the country did not participate in Miss Universe but in 2004, the country sent a winning title of Miss Universe Botswana to Ecuador, Miss Universe 2004.
In 2010, Mos Syde Worldwide Entertainment Group: an international entertainment and fashion company domiciled in Botswana took over the Miss Universe Botswana pageant after a six-year absence. Tirelo Ramasedi was crowned Miss Universe Botswana 2010, and represented the country in Las Vegas on August 23. As it is right now, Ramasedi is the only former Miss Universe queen still keen in having her name shine out there: she works closely on projects aimed at empowering women and young girls.
Sadly so, 2013 was the last time Botswana participated in Miss Universe. After five years of not participating at Miss Universe pageant, the first Miss Universe Botswana Mpule Kwelagobe took over the franchise. The winner selection of Miss Universe Botswana 2019 was to remark Botswana to Miss Universe 2019, however, was cancelled.
2019 marked another possible six years since Botswana lacked participation in Miss Universe. This drastic zero participation in this premium beauty competition paved way for our neighbours South Africa to sail smoothly at the competition. Zozibini Tunzi became an instant global queen and everyone’s favourite after displaying intelligence, poise and taking up space to be crowned Miss Universe 2019.
The pageant was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19. This will be the third time in the history of the competition in which the event will be held after the calendar year has ended: this previously occurred during Miss Universe 2014 and Miss Universe 2016 (in which Botswana was not participating).
Miss Universe Organization announced early this year that the competition would be held on May 16 2021, at Seminole Hard rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, United States. Zozibini Tunzi will crown her successor at this competition.
Botswana, will not be participating at the Miss Universe 2020, again. The weakening Miss Universe Botswana has been attributed to by internal fights within the organization. But why participate at Miss Universe?
The Miss Universe Organization is a global, inclusive organization that celebrates women of all cultures and backgrounds and empowers them to realize their goals through experiences that build self-confidence and create opportunities for success.
Women participate annually to affect positive change personally, professionally and philanthropically as inspirational leaders and role models. The delegates and titleholders that have participated in the MUO system are able to cultivate their personal, professional and philanthropic goals. These women are forward thinking and motivated not just talk about change, but to initiate it.
Prominent beauty pageants analyst in Botswana Morekolodi Smith took Weekendlife in an exclusive interview that it has been so many years of absence from participating at Miss Universe, and this shows that Botswana lacks consistency and commitment.
“The franchise holders fail to host a national pageant. I think they should hand over the license to Miss Botswana Organization because it hosts the pageant annually. Then the winner gets to participate in both Miss World and Miss Universe. They can maybe crown two representatives. Botswana has faded away from Miss Universe platform and fans have forgotten about it,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
Pranks, for a common man, is designated to the 1st of April- April fool’s day. Usually it’s the only day out of the entire 365 days one can make a fool of others and get away with practically anything, anything legal that is.
While there are fanatics who do it for amusement, there are some who do it to earn their daily bread and butter. Some obviously saw a niche to keep people fascinated especially in these emotionally straining times of COVID-19. For the record, they don’t play ordinary cards as you may think.
Their pranks are as big and as real as marriage wrecking and all the drama that comes along with it. Given Carter is not just your ordinary boy next door. The Tonota born prankster is currently taking the entire country on an emotional rollercoaster from the comfort of his home in Francistown.
At only 32-years, Carter BW’s skills of planning and executing a prank is what sets him apart from the rest. In fact one can go as far as to say that he’s the only prankster Batswana know.His ideas are unique and relevant, telling a tale that someone can sit and think about, perhaps learn from it because they are everyday life happenings that most people can relate to because they have a way of really hitting home.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, the versatile Given Carter (who is also a photographer) says the inspiration behind pranking was to introduce something not so common in Botswana, and challenge typecasts associated with art, especially modern art.
“Growing up, we only saw pranks on the television dominantly done by the whites. We never thought this is something we can do, or maybe we didn’t understand the logic behind it. But I guess, pranks are real life lessons we need, its only that they are shared in a more hilarious and sometimes obstinate way,” he said.
Given Carter told this publication that, he spends most of his time on the internet, learning more tricky skills. This is quite a remarkable observation because in this era of advanced technology, one doesn’t necessarily have to go to school to learn from the grassroot. The use of technology has made it easier for people to acquire skills and knowledge, and still do exceptionally well without being in class.
“Of course, a bit of it is common sense but I make use of the internet to learn more on how I can improve my craft. It is quite unpretentious to do a prank because they are real-life situations, so its not much of a big deal. I needed people to learn and I think I came at the right time because most people are online, and the reception is just incredible.”
He however shed light on his first video shot in Shakawe that went viral, subsequently leading to speculations of his crew’s arrest. Given Carter was however not arrested instead he was brought before the police for questioning.
“We were not arrested as people may think. We were called to write statements on what the prank was all about and we were released the same day. I believe maybe we went too far in what we depicted in the video because it’s something that the society is not yet ready to accept, but it has been happening for a long time,” he told WeekendLife.
In many Western countries, pranksters do this for a living through YouTube accounts and subscriptions. “As it is currently, I do not have a YouTube channel. I am still building a platform and I’m certain very soon it will be up and running. I am primarily focused on taking my craft to the people, and let people know more about what I do. So technically, it has been about familiarising people with the art.”
Even though that’s the case, Given Carter says there is room for paid partnerships and endorsements. After all, there is an entire crew which need money to pay the bills. He says with so much ideas spinning in his head, there is need for financial support to be able to dish out more seeing that people love his works and how realistic his pranks are.
Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.
In these unprecedented times of the overwhelming and the deadly COVID-19, it is only critical that people stand together and remain committed to helping each other, being kind enough to lend a helping hand in any way possible.
The contagious virus left people confounded, deprived and depressed. The pandemic shuttered many economies, industries and the entertainment sector was no exemption. If anything, the entertainment industry took the biggest hit of all the sectors but this was a hit felt in every country in the world not just a local tragedy.
There were tear-jerking testimonies of creatives, in particular artists, suffering from extreme hunger as events were given a rain check. Technically, social events have been shut for sixteen months now.
There were series of protests calling for the immediate opening of the creative sector, in a phased manner. Some brave yet unfortunate artists were arrested for taking up arms and protesting the strict COVID-19 regulations placed on the entertainment sector.
When protests failed and their laments falling on government’s usual deaf ears, prominent artists Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.
COVID-19 has created untold challenges for musicians in Botswana, but there are possibilities- challenges have a way of breeding solutions nonetheless.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday, Vee said the Battle to Develop Artists Welfare is aimed at inspiring artists to learn diversification, which has been lacking for quite a stretch amongst fellow artists. A lot of local artists depend solely on music, which on its own has been performing below par, and COVID-19 has brought that into clear view, showing how most artists in Botswana live off scraps, barely making money off their beloved passion- music.
“This project was born out of compassion. The world as it is now is experiencing a rough patch, and you can imagine how other artists are coping. It is really a struggle, and we saw it critical to jump on-board and help our fellow colleagues. It will help artists start small businesses, some will start short courses which will enable them to find employment in the long run.
For it to have weight, we incorporated it into a challenge on stage, performing our songs. We hope this will inspire business moguls to sponsor and pledge some monies towards this initiative,” said Vee.
Charma gal indicated that the live battle on stage has been supported with musical instruments, further indicating that this is a volunteerism project with no proceeds to gain from.
“We will divide and disburse proceeds to our fellow artists, I mean these are people we have been working alongside for so many years. There is no how we can be reckless towards them when we see how hard the situation is.
We are in this together, and we are going to stick together like that. Some have started already doing something, and meeting them half way is only fundamental,” Charma Gal told WeekendLife.
The duo stressed that Gaborone North Member of Parliament, Mpho Balopi, has pledged P50 000 towards this battle, further calling on other businessmen to come to the party. Vee says Balopi supported the initiative from the get-go, brushing aside allegations that the project is politically influenced.
Initiatives brought forward to aid the entertainment sector have caused controversy, with Vee emphasizing that not all artists will benefit from this particular charity cause. “We have artists who are struggling, and sadly so. Some of them were bread winners and there is no income coming in, making it hard for them to cope with the economic challenges.
There has been an increase in VAT recently, and such developments make the situation worse. Rigorous assessments will be done to identify our desired beneficiaries.”
Vee and Charma Gal will be battling it out on stage with the battle scheduled to take place on the 28th May 2021. Because events are still striped, the show will be online with COVID-19 protocols to be adhered to.