Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dee-Zone Production PTY (LTD), Thabiso Maretlwaneng has been nominated for the 2015 African Achievers Award. Maretlwaneng was recognised for the work he has done and is doing to contribute to the development of Africa through television or film and advocacy.
The years’ event is scheduled on 25th July 2015, at Sandton Conventions Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa. The celebrated producer is expected to join other recognised young Africans as judges announce the ultimate winner.
Overview: African Achievers Awards
The African Achievers Awards is geared at recognising excellent individuals, organisations and governments that have distinguished themselves in their contributions to the growth and development of Africa. Our focus is to motivate all
Africans on the Continent and in Diaspora particularly current and prospective leaders through recognising outstanding persons and organisations across a broad range of categories that have contributed remarkably to the development of Africa in their own way.
The first two series of the Awards were successfully held at Kings College London where notable sons and daughters of Africa beginning exclusively with Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu in the first year then others like Her Excellency Joyce Banda were recipients of awards in different categories.
Many recipients including Her Excellency were present in person to receive their award for their great works and contribution to the progress of Africa. Following the establishment of the event aboard, it seemed proper to take the event to African.
Therefore, in February 2013 the Awards were held in Nairobi, Kenya at the Hilton Hotel, then in February 2014 in Accra, Ghana at the Presidential State. Outstanding individuals and organisations on the Continent and in Diaspora were nominated for the awards.
Worthy recipients included; Late Prof. Atta Mills, former President of Ghana who got a Posthumous Award for Excellence in Leadership, the Ghana High Commissioner to Kenya received it on his behalf; Late Dr. Rilwanu Lukeman, for the Life Time Achievement Award; Moggesukkel foundation, for Charity Organisation Making a Difference in Africa; and Charlotte Simon, a Londoner, for her non-profit organisation Mother of Congo for Recognition Award for Excellence in Diaspora.
Since Oct 2011 when the first African Achievers Award was given to Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu in recognition for his fight for Human Right, Justice and Peace during his 80th birthday celebration hosted by Kings College London, this event has enjoyed a global audience. Recognising notable sons and daughters of Africa from presidents to grassroots activists continues to make the awards appealing to all ages for aspirational and inspirational reasons.
Therefore, this international platform presents a unique opportunity for sponsors to market their brand on a global stage, at the same time as showcasing some of the most unsung aspects of Africa’s success and beauty. National and international media houses have increasingly recognised the potential of the African Achievers Awards.
Therefore, the awards have enjoyed the presence of CNBC Africa, CCTV News (African office in Kenya), EL TV, TVC, VOX Africa, E Africa, Ok Nigeria, BBC, CNN, Joy TV, Ebonyife TV as well as other local broadcasters.
For his part, Maretlwaneng said he is excited at just being nominated. “This means a lot to me as a young person from Botswana. I always think about my country first, this will first put Botswana on stage and then elevate the profile of Dee Zone Productions.
All we need as young people is support so that our efforts can benefit the next person. Africa is a big market; I hope sharing the stage with others will help me penetrate the African market. Mind you I have already started working with other Africans from countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and many others,” said Maretlwaneng.
Maretlwaneng is a beneficiary of the Youth Fund. He started his company with a mere P100 000 grant from government and he currently employs over 50 young people. He has gone through turbulent times; sometimes having to negotiate his way out of challenging cash flows while giving his clients time to pay for his services. He has a number of programs running on the Botswana Television channel such as Pula Power and Pelokgale. Dee Zone has become a household name in Botswana’s film industry.
They are involved in the Production of television adverts, films, animation, documentaries, music videos, radio jingles, graphic design, artist music recordings, infomercials, sound production, short and feature films, tv shows, script writing, company video profiling, and events coverage. To add to the company’s profile, this year, the company was involved in the production of the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) Awards.
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.
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.
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.