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The much anticipated GIMC 2015 is finally here

""The second edition of the annual Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC) 2015 is finally here, next week marks the commencement of the week long events. The much anticipated and most decorated week in the the country’s Arts calendar has been making headlines for quite some time now after its successful inauguration last year.

However, this year’s edition which is well hyped is promising to re- write history as fireworks are expected to detonate at the event. The event organisers went all to assemble Africa’s crème de la crème, pitted amongst our very best locals. It promises to be bigger and better.

The GIMC, is held to celebrate Gaborone and the culture of Batswana through music, festival, comedy, poetry, jazz, choral, cultural performances etc. It caters for everyone’s unique tastes so that no one is left out during the week’s events. Only the best international, regional & local artists are chosen to perform at GIMC in order to afford good quality performances for the attendees to get their money’s worth.

In line with international trends and standards Gaborone will this year once again be counted amongst the likes of Cape Town, Harare, Mbabane as it plays host to Botswana’s biggest music and culture event. Simply titled Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC), the weeklong event will run from 02- 06 September will showcase different forms of art.

On Wednesday 2nd September, BotswanaCraft will present the amazing poetry night featuring TJ Dema who did wonders and set the bar last year. TJ is a Motswana poet based overseas. She will perform alongside her counterpart who also performed during the inauguration week last year Mandisa Mabuthoe. The two are some of the country’s outstanding poets who are based in foreign land.

Thursday night, lovers of choral music will gather at Maitisong to enjoy the choral night which has brought yet again one of the most decorated and respect choirs in the country being KTM Choir alongside last year’s best archives’ of the 1st be Mobile National Choir Festival, Maikano Sereneders from Gaborone West.

They will share the stage with Trinity (UCCSA) as well as Mochudi Circuit Choir (DUTCH). Last year KTM proved to be master of the game after they were faced off with stiff competition from big horns such as Adante, Gaborone Youth Choir and Sedibeng choir. This was with no doubt one of best choral nights that brought together the battle of heavyweights.  

The talk of town is the much awaited Friday night at the newly built Molapo Piazza where laughter is going to be the ‘business’ of the day as renowned comedians crack not just jokes but hit below the belt. Renowned international Poet from Nigeria, Basketmouth will stand a mêlée on the stage with local colossal act in Dignash alongside Major Moves Comedy’s Mawee and Rekunde.

Music lovers will get value for their money on Saturday at the national stadium when the music festival brings together a southern Africa affair. One of the bets groups to have ever emerged from the African soil, Mafikizolo from South Africa will be back at the same sport where they entertained the crowd a few weeks ago during the Orange Kabelano Charity cup.

They are definitely one of South Africa's most favourite music groups and they have worked hard to take their loyal fans through the musical journey of their lives. The transport for the journey is Six Mabone – a classic car of the 60s-which is the title of their seventh album.

Six Mabone is an album that made many people realise how rich South Africans are, musically and that with the right production team like Dangerous Combination Crew [DCC], Oscar "Oskido" Mdlongwa, Mandla "Spikiri" Mofokeng, Bruce "Dope" Sebitlo, Zynne "Mahoota" Sibika plus jazz maestro, Don Laka, behind you – you can keep the world on its dancing feet and win as many music awards as possible.

Six Mabone definitely cemented Mafikizolo's status as one of the most sensational groups in South Africa and musical phenomena in Africa.

Mafikizolo will be performing alongside Khuli Chana (SA), Gareth Cliff (SA), Jah Prayzah (ZIM), and locals Zeus, DJ Oneal, Sasa Klass, Charma Gal, Chrispin the Drummer, Dollar Mac, T.H.A.B.O, MMP Family, Mapetla, ATI, Eskimos, Lecco, Lizibo, Scar, BK Proctor, Mafitlhakgosi, Tumza and Dj Amstel.

To wrap up the show on Sunday, BotswanaCraft will once again treat Jazz music lovers to the great sounds of legendary South African Ringo Madlingozi alongside fellow countryman Kyle Shepherd featuring locals Sethunya Maele, Mpho Sebina and Jazzman. Obviously this is a Sunday not to be missed, Ringo has a very large following in Botswana and every time he visits he kills the show. Once more the event organisers urge Batswana to come out to make this show the next biggest event of all times.

Stakeholders are also encouraged to give their support to take it to greater heights; in years to come its impact should resemble a true Africa success story, the future Africa’s grandest gathering.

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Self-taught fashion designer speaks

26th July 2022

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.

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Gospel awards re-organised

26th July 2022

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.

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Makhadzi, Master KG invade Thamaga

18th July 2022

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.

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