Introduces Molapo Piazza for night shoppers, fun lovers
Your all round entertainment centre is ready to host any event of repute. Be it your favourite international artists, or indoor sports and fun events, finally Molapo Piazza is ready to satisfy all checklists for best audio and visual quality, and capacity crowd controls.
The Piazza is the latest feature to complement Molapo Crossing, which has been in existence for 11 years as an expediency mall placed between the busiest intersections in Botswana.
“Molapo crossing is a mall that focuses on basically the small shops, it is unique from these other entire malls because most of the shops here are locally owned,” said Luc Vandecesteele, the owner of the Molapo Piazza.
“We have never wanted to compete with any other shopping centre, we are small and different.” Luc said they give preference to small shops because that is their uniqueness. “We are trying to support our fellow citizens.”
Molapo Piazza is the only venue in Botswana specifically designed as a multi-purpose entertainment center. It caters for a capacity crowd of over 4,000 standing or 1,400 seated fans. The Piazza is designed as a multi-functional auditorium allowing more flexibility and choice to the organizer of any quality concert or expo with ease. The Piazza is ideal for indoor sports, entertainment of all sorts, gatherings, conventions, expos, product launches and most of all performing arts. It has the only stage in Botswana that can cater for a full Philharmonic Orchestra.
This venue has been certified by different international organisations to be of international specifications. “We have been contacted by a company in South Africa, “BIG CONCERTS” to hold legendary John Legend but we had to refuse because we were not yet done with constructions, but in the near future we shall hold international acts,” said Luc. Molapo Piazza has been certified and visited by companies and government departments like Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, HRDC and COSBOTS. “Everybody has been here really,” said Luc.
Having started all the work in mid 2013, Molapo Piazza’s owner says that he always wanted to promote creativity in Botswana. “The government should start teaching and promoting creativity in schools because the future belongs to the creative minds,” he says.
According to Luc, the reason why they at Molapo Piazza promote creativity is because he encourages people to create their own shows.
“Molapo Piazza is just a package; all we want is promoters and artists to create their own shows. We have it all here and we are the new kings in town,” said Kgosi Goodwill, the events manager.
The project, which cost almost P55 million will support local artists. Molapo Piazza has joined hands with The Botswana Society for the Arts, Maitisong and Thapong to support local artists. “Thapong Visual Arts Centre is bringing some of their sculptures here for better viewership,” highlighted Luc. Luc says this is a better way of showing the talent that Batswana artists have, because their mall is interactive and people can actually see these works better than when they are at Village, where Thapong Visual Arts is located.
Security in shows in Botswana is always a challenge, and most people worry much about it before they go to these shows. To make things better for people Molapo Piazza has promised its people protection. “During the first hip-hop concert we had to hire a security company with around 50 bouncers to help us control the people,” said Kgosi.
“Security and other services are optional and available through our list of preferred external suppliers,” stated Luc. Adding onto what Luc said about the security they provide in their shows Kgosi said, “We would rather have quality than quantity, security rather than profit.” Luc explains that they have received advice from Botswana Police Service about security and they are still implementing it.
“We refused to hold another event last week because of its manner because we did not want to jeopardize the security of our customers,” said Luc. Adding on what his manager said, Kgosi said they are looking at hosting concerts that are easy to control.
Previously revelers had a mind-blowing experience of technology on offer complemented by LED displays and audio experience to put performances at par with the world’s finest stages.” Trevor Noah was recently hosted here and the event was so successful” said Luc. Besides Trevor Noah’s show, the piazza has held other 3 concerts and on the 14 February the venue will be packed again as we celebrate valentine.
The Molapo Piazza, is currently in its finishing stages of construction and expected to be completed in the middle of the year. The Piazza is ideal for indoor sports, entertainment of all sorts, gatherings, conventions, expos, product launches and most of all performing arts.
It is the venue to give any entertainer, promoter, facilitator, sponsor or producer their money’s worth. Beside the big venue, the piazza has 3 restaurants, yet to open, a gym with the only half olympic indoor pool in Botswana, a music school with three music studios, a VIP events hall, a small clinic and several new offices.
The Molapo Piazza was designed to provide a base for the arts in Gaborone. “When designing the venue we did keep all the arts in mind and wanted to achieve a centre that will be a window to the world for local arts.” He said. Molapo is positioned in the cetre of the capital and is very easely accessable by visitors form the surrounding hotels.
“The design philosophy was simple, we wanted to take advantage of its central location and design a venue that enabled the hosting of as wide a variety as possible of events.” Luc said.
In order to ensure that the arena attracts the creative people it so desires to attract, management decided to build an 8 meter high sculpture at the end of the arena. Steve Diseko, a local artist, under the guidance of management, was appointed to construct the bird. More sculptures are under review and will be added shortly. Some might be coming from the Thapong Centre, others will be new commissions.
The Botswana Society of Arts was donated a container by the Molapo management. It is positioned at the new entrance of the mall and will be used by the Society as a permanent exposition hall for visual arts. Management hopes that artist themselves will wantto work at the mall, and it is ready to search for a permanent studio for artists at the mall.
Beauty pageant queen Babedi Isaka will see her brain child, Mr & Miss Captivating finally come to life on August 22nd this year. Isaka enunciated that Mr & Miss Captivating is a home-grown pageant open for both international and local contestants between the ages of 16 and 26.
She went on that the pageant will open doors for contestants to get more out of life by teaching the contestants multiple life skills such as etiquette and boosting self-esteem. Isaka’s first stint was fashion modelling in 2016 and later on ventured into pageantry in 2018 to date.
She has several tittles under her belt. Among them being; a Miss Botswana 2021 top 16 Finalist and the most recent one being Miss Teen Africa 2nd Princess 2022. She believes her immense experience and the partnerships she has are a perfect fit to make the event a success.
On what inspired the pageant and the name, Isaka highlighted “A queen or king should influence and dominate by some special charm, art, or trait and having an irresistible appeal in society. Thus ‘captivating’ “
The pagent is expected to give back to the community by empowering the boy and girl child with life skills. Isaka noted that some of the ways women mark their place in the world is through beauty pageants as often times, tittle holders get involved in some form of social work.
“The majority of beauty queens use their offices to get involved with NGO’s or individual established projects during the cause of their reign. For some queens, these projects span the period of their reign and for others it becomes a life time thing.” She highlighted.
To Isaka an ideal Mr. & Miss Captivating is pictured as a leader and should have the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose that will serve communities for the greater good as well as being in possession of a character which inspires others.
The stereotype on the street is that pageants set unrealistic standards for women of all ages. Young girls and boys often try to live up to these standards and mature into adults complexing about their bodies and men who demand their wives or girl friend to look like beauty pageant participants.
Isaka however is a body image champion. She is of the belief that pageantry does not degrade women. In her own words “Pageants promote goal setting and truly inspire a contestant to search their soul, think about the future and plan on how to get there” adding that “There is nothing rarer, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself by being comfortable in her perfect imperfection. That is also why we have men as contestants, to clear the stereotype that pageantry objectifies women.”
Still on the matter of controversy and stereotype, when asked about the swim suit segment of pageants that always causes an uproar. Isaka confirmed Mr & Miss Captivating will have the swim suit segment emphasising “as an aspiring beauty queen, it is very important for women to be healthy and comfortable in their own skin.
The swimsuit round in pageants helps women love their unique build and instils discipline in working towards their fitness goals.” Mr & Miss Captivating has so far rallied 10 sponsors among them; beauty parlours, clothing lines and news media. The event will be hosted by local comedian and unisex model, Troy April. The standard ticket is selling for P300 while the VIP goes for P450.
Her mystery is not just the large bodies of water with isolated islands rich in the beauty of flora and fauna in this tourism gateway – this internationally renowned travel capital, has a strong sense of history, some sort of hidden purpose and legacy which plays with one’s senses as they explore the mighty Chobe River.
From Cresta Mowana, the Cresta Marakanelo flagship, the richness of Chobe has no better panoramic views. Tales and legends are shared about the islands in the area. Sedudu in particular once a subject of fierce dispute between Botswana and Namibia arouses interest from residents and visitors alike.
Some say the reasons for territorial dispute of the some 30 plus years ago was because of the unknown mysteries the island carries. As residents and visitors sit by the fire at the Boma the tales of the area can stretch until morning.
“Why fight for a piece of island no men can live in?” whispers one senior citizen who referred to himself as Rra Mabala as he rolled his traditional tobacco on a piece of old newspaper. “In the olden days we believed that the Chobe is home of spirituality. Those that were lost would find their way by simply appreciating her beauty. When you come here no matter your life’s troubles, when you leave you will find your way. The white man comes every year because he knows this,” he notes.
I set my sights to Cresta Mowana this past November. Its unique architecture which blends African tradition in wooden pillars, stone and thatch is a welcome contrast to the four-star amenities that make the likes of Prince Harry and many other international guests feel at home in the middle of the bush.
The balconies provide a sensational feel of Mother Nature at its best with the lush of green giving a carpet of green rare in our arid region nationwide. Chobe gives you an escape. The Serondela Restaurant is located adjacent to the river and makes meals much a delight and a platform of meeting new friends and mazing conversations.
For me the beauty was swimming in the wild. You guessed it wrong I do not mean swimming in the Chobe the Clarence Spa Infinity pool is about 30 meters away from the mighty river. As I swam overlooking this masterpiece of nature I remembered just why touring at home has so much meaning.
I looked for the fortune Rre Mabala spoke of in the hope that I find my path like so many who had come before come before my time. I realized that probably finding your way was not magic in the sense of Harry Porter novels but rather a renewed sense of self and relaxation which makes one put things into perspective.
The crisp air of being nestled and enveloped in nature with all things green made me realize just why the hotel group invested over BWP3 million in revamping the executive and presidential suites. The mighty Chobe River has an endless charm.
Visit Namibia from 500 meters away as you cruise the river on a boat. Make sure you choose a responsible company for this who have vetted captains. I enjoyed swimming in the wild. This Easter I may just do a revisit.
American travel online company TripAdvisor, Inc. has ranked 10 of Cresta Marakanelo Limited (CML) hotels amongst the top 10% of hotels in the world during the recently published Travellers’ Choice awards.
The properties awarded the TripAdvisor 2022 Travellers Choice Awards include Cresta Bosele, Cresta Botsalo, Cresta Marang Gardens, Cresta Mahalapye, Cresta Maun, Cresta President, Cresta Thapama, and from Zimbabwe, Cresta Churchill, Cresta Oasis and Cresta Sprayview.
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform*, helps hundreds of millions of people each month** become better travellers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. “You are in the top 10% of hotels worldwide, congratulations.
Every year trip advisor recognizes businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to hospitality excellence with a traveller’s choice award- and- this year you made the list. That means you’ve earned consistent great reviews, so keep it up. Good job, and congratulations on your well-received win, (sic)” stated a communication from the TripAdvisor, Inc. head offices.
The Travellers’ Choice awards honour travellers’ favourite destinations, hotels, restaurants, things to do, and beyond, based on the reviews and opinions collected from travellers and diners around the world on TripAdvisor over 12 months. Travellers’ Choice recognizes businesses that earn consistently great reviews.
The news brought excitement to the Cresta Marakanelo Limited (CML) camp which has since been motivated by the development, “This nomination is a step in the right direction, it reflects that our local and international clientele has trust in the CML brand, services, and products.
All the gratitude for this development goes to our clientele, CML has some of the busy properties in the country and region, our strategic plan has always been to provide quality products and services,” said CML Managing Director Mokwena Morulane.
Over the years CML has been a home to local and international visitors who have left impressive reviews after receiving world class hospitality. It has a long history of serving travellers who seek authentic African experiences as well as modern comforts.
“As one of the leading hotel and tourism players in the country, we always strive to provide the best in true African hospitality. This has motivated us to work hard and continuely innovate our services. hopefully, next time more of our properties will be ranked amongst some of the best hotels in the world,” concluded the CML Managing Director.