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.
At the age of 17, Boniface Lewanika is ready to take over the world. He has shown commitment to being the next big thing to ever emerge from Botswana. Mindset MusiQ, as he is affectionately known, is a self-taught music producer. The story of how Mindset started music production can be traced back to end-to-end lockdowns, which jaded him to the core.
At least, for Mindset MusiQ, these lockdowns were a blessing in disguise. He got to unlock the hidden potential in him, or maybe, the creativity that he never knew about. Being locked down meant that Mindset MusiQ has plenty of time to waste, but he was quick to switch his mindset to coming up with something positive.
He saw it much better to waste time on the internet. Well, for lot of people, the internet was the only saving grace then. But for Mindset MusiQ, it was the beginning of a journey that he intends to walk for the rest of his life.
“I became a music producer because I love music. I then asked myself why I should not make music, that’s when in 2020 during lockdowns I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to make music. I didn’t have any knowledge on how to produce a song. YouTube introduced me to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which is a software used for music production.”
The Letlhakane born then downloaded his first software which was Ableton Live, which was way too complex and distorted. “I felt it was too hard to learn and I switched to FI studio which was also complicated but fortunately, easy to use. Because I don’t have a good voice to sing, music production became too good to me and very flexible to embark on.”
Mindset MusiQ became part of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) national roadshow, after being picked from the capacity building workshop. He was challenged to speak to the audience, fellow creatives (artists and music producers) and his presentation caught the eye of the adjudicator, DJ Fresh.
“I heard about the artist’s capacity building workshop from my mother, who saw it on Facebook. My father immediately reacted and dropped me off and even though I was late, the host then introduced me and the rest became history. As we speak, I am part of the Top 30, and we will be having the finale on the 11th of February in Gaborone.”
Being on the Top 30 for Mindset MusiQ is a dream come true. This is because he wasn’t even told that there will be a boot camp and grand prizes, and he has always wanted to advance his premature music career. He said this has shown that he is on the right track.
“Working with DJ Fresh is really cool. It’s not everyone who can be afforded that opportunity and the experience humbles me all the time. Already, I have rocked the Thando remix and I can’t wait to do more with his mentorship.”
Mindset MusiQ is currently in South Africa working on cooking more music with industry moguls. He was invited by producer Trey Bankz and some colleagues from Imperial City Music, a new record label in Johannesburg
With zero existence of TV programs empowering women in Botswana, a new show that strives to make that news of the past has just started airing on the tedious BTV. At least, after so many years, All The Star She Is will inspire viewers to see a new change in terms of supporting women in Botswana.
Each incredible series celebrates women but not from all walks of life, but those who are turning heads in the entertainment industry. The show will cast a bright light on women who have conquered tremendous obstacles and weathered the storms.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Monday, Director of Cosign267 Koone Boikaego said the show reveals the paths that these phenomenal women took to be where they are in the entertainment and media industry.
Cosign267 is a 100% youth owned film and TV Production Company led by Boikaego. It has worked with a number of organization, executing various projects such as filming, shooting, editing and one-on-one couch interviews.
The youthful company recently wrapped up the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) three months’ national roadshow and boot camp. It was assigned with capturing all moments of the roadshow, alongside Thato DJ Fresh Sikwane.
“Celebrating women is one thing that is often overlooked. We put together this project to take followers into the lives of creative and incredible women. They are determined to break walls and pave way for the next generation of women. In this show, these women serve viewers with factual stories of how they started and what it takes to be at the forefront, the bittersweet experiences that took them that far. It’s really a show that many young girls can draw inspiration from.”
Breaking down the show plan, Boikaego said airs every Saturday on BTV at 6PM, hosted by One Rabantheng. Rabantheng, famously known as Divine Diva is a media and marketing consultant, legendary radio personality who worked for Duma FM, e-TV and RB2, where she was shown the door for speaking foul of the then President without being aware that the microphone is on.
There are thirteen stars to be featured on the new show, therefore, this means that there will be thirteen episodes. Some of the familiar faces featured on the TV show are: Mpho Sebina, Olorato Ledique, Oratile Kebakile, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Tumi Ramsden, Kelly Ramputswa, Tshepie Olds, Winx Motcher, Mmaphala, Loretta and Nicole Martinez among others.
This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.
Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.
These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.
DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.
“For the very first time in history of Big Brother, we’ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.”
Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.
Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2’s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.
Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign. #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.
We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.
Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.
DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.
THE WINNING CHALLENGE
Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).
These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.
The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencer’s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.
Legwaila said “We wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.”
DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING
When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said “MultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks from our country.”