Young professionals from Maitengwe village have decided to help develop their village and helping those in need in the village.
Maitengwe native, Mmoloki “Ossie” Mmolotsi is one of those spearheading the agenda. He currently works as a Principal Human Resource and Administration Officer at Water Utilities Corporation based in Francistown.
In December 2014, Mmolotsi was honoured with the first award to exist in Maitengwe, titled Personality of the year; this came after the youth realised that amongst others, he was the most helpful in community participation.
“We realised that there is always lack of participation of youth therefore these initiatives are trying to bridge the gap,” explained community activist Mmolotsi.
He went on to indicate that as Maitengwe youth they decided to transform their village in all ways possible. Maitengwe has established an annual career guidance workshop where different professionals take a journey into educating others about careers they are in.
They share the knowledge and direction based on areas of study and careers in demand; business sector benchmarks and share experience with upcoming entrepreneurs.
Though he leads most projects, Mmolotsi is not doing this alone; he gets help from Maitengwe dwellers and those who hail from there but work at places.
Robert Bagali, a team member and teacher at Tashata Community Junior Secondary School, has indicated that they want Maitengwe to be a favourite destination to many. He gave the example that they want to help improve the school results in the village. “People have volunteered to sponsor at the prize giving thus pushing the kids into trying harder,” he said.
Maitengwe village has a junior secondary school and two primary schools.
Bagali said they intend to register a trust so that their activities become more transparent. He went on to say that people should stop viewing everything politically, “we are not playing politics, but rather we see this as part of village growth and keep in mind that it is done whole heartedly.”
He also made a plea to the media saying that they should try to cover Botswana as a whole and not only focus on developed areas like Gaborone.
Mmolotsi is of the view that the government cannot issue out money if not asked, therefore they have made it their mission to teach the youth about all the necessities of getting help through government policies.
He explained that most youth don’t get funds from LEA or CEDA because some cannot even come up with proper business plans.
Mmoloki and his colleagues last year managed to assist a community of Basarwa at a place called Sabasi in Maitengwe. They donated clothing and food.
Those hailing from the village but residing overseas have not turned their backs on their home; one of them is Mmolotsi’s sister who sent clothing from United Kingdom last year during the winter season; the elderly also got a share from the distribution.
The Sabasi community does not have proper infrastructure facility to access health care and other services. They are usually assisted under trees – ambulance visits occasionally to drop medication. Mmolotsi said that they are trying to develop the Sabasi area, and he appealed to the corporate sector to help the community.
Sabasi is not Mmolotsi’s only concern; the fact that Maitengwe’s home based care has a non functional vehicle makes him eager to do something. He says currently they are digging from their pockets to help the organisation while still coming up with more sustainable means of to fund raise; like the upcoming Maitengwe Day.
Money raised from a recently held marathon will be used to erect a billboard that welcomes people to Maitengwe.
“We get help from social workers, teachers, entrepreneurs and even lawyers like Mathews Diba, Moeti Joel, Oupa Sabata, Vusa Phena, depending on what’s related to their field of work,” added Mmolotsi.
34 year old Mmolotsi said that the group is yet to create a functional structure involving Village Development Committee, the council and all necessary departments therefore need inspiration and support.
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.