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.
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.”
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.
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.