Mmamongwato to headline GMIC music festival
By Dave Baaitse
Female MC Sasa Klaas promises a crazy night
As the time draws nigh towards one of the greatest events in the land, rapper Sasa Klaas promises nothing but the best performance ever with her hit single Mmamongwato expected to headline the show. She is one of the first female MC’s locally, after the era of Third Mind’s Ice Queen in a male dominated industry which is embodied with more often than not confrontations and battles.
Having been in the industry for quite some time now, Sasa does not have an album of her own but she has worked with almost all the big guns in the industry in the likes of Scar, Samantha Mogwe, Dramaboi as well as ATI.
Born Sarona Isabella Motlhagodi, she is a rare breed, her journey as a female MC has always been defined. She started writing poetry and spoken word at the age of 11. She would eventually begin performing in talent shows and various competitions at her school, to what she describes as “sharpening her craft’’.
It was her performance at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) when she opened for the visiting US artist Joe Thomas that got her recognition. Rapping is her game but eventually she introduced, locally the world appeal dance move, twerking, which she does with ease and passion. The dance was popularised by renowned RnB singer Miley Cyrus.
She recently released her single Mmamongwato; a song she said is a celebratory song that rejoices the image of Bangwato women. She said more often that not, tall and slender women who are mostly models are given all the attention outdoing their bodied counterparts.
This song embraces and celebrates these women and recognises their beauty which is often referred to as “African beauty”. Soon, she will be in South Africa where she is going to shoot the video of the song with better facilities and quality according to her.
Her first song to play on radio was Alternate Universe which was by a group Natural Klaas comprising of Sasa and her best friend, Nature. Not long after the duo parted ways she jumped and started her solo career as Sasa Klaas.
Hadsan was her first solo single inspired by the record label she had signed to by then, which had a thousand (1000) plus downloads on the first day and got massive air time on the local waves (Botswana). Sasa’s follow up single A ke mo khandeng?
Featuring Scar went on to make her the household name she is today. Her third single I did it featuring Nature topped charts on local radio stations and went on to make its international debut on BBC radio under the African chart with Dj Edu.
She has performed with the likes of HHP, Khuli Chana, AKA, K.O, Casper Nyovest and not so long ago, opened for RnB maestro Joe Thomas. November 2014 ViB Music, a recording/publishing label in Botswana signed a record deal with Klaas. ViB Music’s intention is to grow the Sasa Klaas brand to greater heights by making her the greatest female hip hop artist in Africa.
Her debut album is scheduled to drop at the end of 2015. She’s already in the studio working with reputable hip hop producers such as, Thabiso “Thasman” Tsotetsi who is known for production of hits for artists such as HHP, Morafe, Tuks, Molemi, Zola, Unathi, Proverb, etc. Steve “StickyFingers” who is behind the latest AKA hits “Run Jozi” and “All Eyes on Me” to mention but a few.
Sasa Klass is very happy to be part of the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC) and she is sees it as a very noble initiative. She said performing alongside renowned Afro pop most celebrated local star Lizibo does not worry her much. She said she will always “be me”, going on to say she might pull a surprise during the night. She left WeekendLife on suspense but promised a crazy night filled with entertainment.
This year’s Gaborone International Music & Culture Week (GIMC) promises to be bigger and better than the inaugural event held in 2014. GIMC is an annual 7-day event that is set to take place from 1- to 6 September 2015.
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Dr Lame Pusetso comes to writer’s rescue
Multi award winning author of fifteen (15) books, Dr Lame Pusetso has put together a platform to empower local writers. Dr Pusetso is a President and Chairperson of the Executive Board of Kasapa Society.
She is also the Managing Director of Poeticblood Publishers and an owner of an online bookstore dubbed Mind and Soul Bookstores. Dr Pusetso has reiterated her commitment to helping upcoming authors, writers and poets in establishing their crafts and capitalizing on them.
In an exclusive interview this week, she said that she has put together a platform dubbed Botswana Literature Awards, which have fourteen categories.
When quizzed on what the awards stand for, Dr Pusetso said “writing as a form of art in Botswana is a skill that many have and have always been exploring. As a publisher, I have met different writers from all walks of life and some indicating that there isn’t enough motivation to keep going.”
In Botswana and according to the writer, there has been a limited representation of appreciation of authors. This is despite their efforts year in year out.
The whole intention of these awards really is to honor and recognize the hard work that local authors put in, when doing what they know best (writing).
“This is a way of appreciating their creativity and we will be doing this across all genres. The awards also act as a motivational tool to young writers who still have dreams of becoming best selling authors. Quite frankly, their works are of great importance and we cannot afford to let that slide like that.”
Dr Pusetso emphasized that all the winners will walk away with an award, a certificate and complimentary gifts to take home. “The two winners of Best Overall Author and Best Young Author will in addition receive book publication deals which includes book distribution and marketing for a year.
She gave a clearer picture of how authors can be a part of the literature awards.
“The awards are open to every author from the age of 7, must be a Motswana, and their book should have been published before or by 2022. For authors with more than one book, they are allowed to compete with only one book for one category, and different books for different categories.”
The young writer pinned hope on institutional collaborations, in order to stage the second edition of the awards next year, saying “We believe with these awards, the different institutions and stakeholders will show interest in helping nurture the literature scenario in Botswana.”
“It will also give authors hope and light to keep writing and penning down their stories for the benefit of all. We anticipate to host the next edition in 2024 with assistance from all interested parties.”
THE LITERATURE AWARDS CATEGORIES
Dr Pusetso stressed that there are fourteen (14) categories, and they are: Religious or Faith Based Book, Poetry Book, Children’s Book, Multi-lingual Writer, Best Collaboration, Setswana Novel, English Novel, Motivational Book, Best Young Author (7-13), Overall Best Author, Best Theory, Best Online Writer, Best Media Writer (Honor Award) and Honor Award (Long Serving Best Author).
EXPLAINING SPECIAL AWARDS
Best Media and Honor Award, Dr Pusetso said are not based on submissions but nomination by the committee. “For Honor Award, we want to appreciate the individual who has inspired the Botswana writing scenario over the years and even assisted numerous authors as both a writer and a community leader.”
The Best Media Writer award is meant to appreciate a journalist who is actively taking part in appreciating and helping authors in marketing, advertising and affording them a platform to showcase their works through their writing skills.
Meanwhile, the Botswana Literature Awards will be held on the 29th April and they are partially sponsored through the literacy grant. This is a grant under the Botswana National Library Services which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture.
Women’s Awards hit the ground running
The second edition of the much-anticipated Women’s Awards Botswana will be going down on the 27th May 2023 in Gaborone at Travel Lodge. The organizers of the prestigious awards have announced finalists, with three nominees per category.
Women’s Awards Botswana is established to empower women and celebrate them from all walks of life and across sectors. The awards raise awareness for women to be granted equal participation, particularly in decision-making positions, as one way of breaking the gender bias.
They also seek to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women from diverse industries in Botswana. Taking a closer look at the categories, He for She award celebrates and shines a light on men who stand and support women.
These are men who advocate for inclusion of women, men who stand against GBV and men who promote any service that can better women life. Her Abilities award looks into women who have shown determination to keep moving and achieve any goal they have set for themselves, regardless of their disability.
Other awards are self-explanatory. They celebrate women in arts, culture and entertainment, agriculture, creativity, innovation and technology, tourism and hospitality, community impact as well as organization supporting women.
ORGANIZER SPEAKS ON CRITERIA USED
When speaking in an interview, Founder and Director of Women’s Awards Botswana, Bofelo Zebe, said in their first edition, they had fifteen categories, which was enough for a piloting project.
“But we left out many industries or lines of work. After the event, we received reviews and suggestions, and there was an intensive evaluation that led to us increasing the categories to eighteen for this second edition.”
He said the nominees were voted in by the public, adding that the finalists were judged by a panel with the support of votes from their supporters.
When shedding light on what winners take home, Zebe indicated that there is an award trophy, certificate and goodie bags for all categories but “we are working to have financial sponsors jump on board so that winners and nominees can receive monetary incentives. We are also busy at work trying to retain our previous sponsors.”
THE 2023 WOMEN’S AWARDS BOTSWANA NOMINEES
HE FOR SHE AWARD
Desmond Lunga, Tlhabo Kgosiemang and Christopher Seagateng
BEST WOMAN IN ARTS, CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Ditshupo Mosoboloko, Thanolo Keutlwile and Seneo Mabengano
HER ABILITIES AWARD
Koketso Seleke, Goabo Kgasa and Mumsie Odirile
SPORTS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Naledi Marape, Ouname Mhotsha and Keamogetse Kenosi
WOMAN FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Montle Rantatana, Lesedi Matlapeng and Trudy Bakwena
BEST WOMAN IN AGRICULTURE
Nomathemba Masuku, Basadi Molelekeng and Keolebogile Keabetswe
BEST WOMAN IN CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Marang Mbaakanyi, Didintle Moreki and Thandeka Palai
BEST WOMAN IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Masego Keleadile, Wapula Matshambane and Tshepo Phokoje
YOUNG WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Bridget Gothaang, Waone Makobo and Kimberly Matheakgomo
WOMAN OWNED SME BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Suits Africa, Nomlu Nail Bar and Sunflower Desserts
BEST WOMAN OWNED BUSINESS
Prezlin Clothing and Dawn Bell Academy
FEMALE MUSIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Mpho Sebina, Dato Seiko and Priscilla K
BEST ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING WOMEN
Sekao Foundation, The Fighters Support Group and Single Mothers Living with HIV
BEST WOMAN WITH COMMUNITY IMPACT
Lebopo Bulayani, Nanzelela Chaitezvi and Kebadile Wasenda
MEDIA WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Poppy Sello, Keikantse Shumba and Kedi Lezozo
FAVOURITE PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Marang Selolwane, Palesa Molefe and Masi Sithole
BEST WOMAN IN LEADERSHIP
Naseem Lahri, Neo Bogatsu and Lily Rakorong