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Saidi Mdala’s The Loser’s Seminar

Author: Saidi Mdala

Reviewed by DAVID BAAITSE  

The Loser’s Seminar is a unique book, the only one of its kind in the world. Written by a celebrated loser from the past, the book can help change the lives of many people. It warns against useless personalities that make it impossible for many to realise dreams and or achieve success in the pursuit of life.

Many books have been written by renowned best authors as well as most successful and prominent figures such as The Way To Success, Think Like A Champion and How to Get Rich by Donald Trump in a bid to push people to the corridors of success. Trump's insight and business principles offer valuable lessons and great motivation to his books.

These people try very hard to be personal mentors and coaches as they share tips, tactics, and strategies, all designed to help one make the most of themselves, their career, and their life. They cover basic rules or beliefs, and show how to make it work as well as learning the vital qualities and skills that every successful businessperson needs.

The Loser’s Seminar is one such book that resolved to address the most common traits of a loser – it is purely from the author’s personal perspective and experience. This book unlike other motivational books does not endeavour to take a comprehensive approach to money making, life and personal developments because one dimensional success is not really success after all.  This is one book that one will find interest in curving at least a few pages every day to push out of the losers’ streak to become achievers.

The author, Saidi Mdala said he wrote this book to highlight the stupid decisions he made and some idiotic habits he developed during the 40 years of his life. “If you can avoid half of these blunders you can be wildly successful,” he says. He narrates how he threw opportunities away and made bizarre decisions that cost him dearly and still did nothing about it until he woke up at the age of 40.

This What- Not- To- Do self help book is for a change and it emphasises what you should avoid as you navigate the ever tricky and often precarious terrain of life. If you relate to the author’s mistakes you can challenge the way you have done things up to now and change accordingly.

In the same book the author hints that being stupid can become a habit. He says back at college he was once offered a lucrative job opportunity at a reputable mine outside the country and turned it down preferring to finish the academic year instead.

From this decision alone, Mdala was on his way to becoming a serial loser. He later discovered that he could have transferred his credits to an institution in another country and finished his studies there. This was a lost opportunity. He gives examples of people who did the right thing when confronted with situations that demand making a choice between studies and a career.

Henry Ford had no formal education worth writing home about but he used his opportunity when it came to change the course of history by inventing the self propelled modern automobile, the Ford T- Model.

Abraham Lincoln, the man who became one of the most illustrious United States Presidents and abolished slavery, only attended formal school for 12 months. Still he became a lawyer at 32 because he knew exactly what he wanted to get out of life; with or without school.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its inability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. Saidi said losers are ill – disciplined. Indiscipline is an active form of laziness which generates action without results – in short, activity, while discipline creates action with results, i.e. productivity.

The reason why Mdala wrote a book on his personal experience is to ensure that this does not happen to others. He says many will however argue that they cannot learn from stories of failures but his argument to encounter that is; if you know what does not work you can always avoid it, or at least recognise it earlier enough to confront it with a far better chance of overcoming it.

“I have always wondered what it takes to earn the kind of money that Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Usain Bolt, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Jay Z rack in every year, and I discovered one common trait that gave life to all their successful pursuits. They work hard. All high net people work harder that you can imagine. Artists and sports people spend longer than 18 hours in the studio and and many hours in the gym pumping tones of weights and making hundreds of choreographed dance moves.”  

Do you struggle to finish anything you started? Do you take crap while sitting? Are you just plain lazy? Do you lack guts? Would you rather play it safe than take a risk? If you even remotely relate with any of these, this book was written for you.

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Self-taught fashion designer speaks

26th July 2022

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.

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Gospel awards re-organised

26th July 2022

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.

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Makhadzi, Master KG invade Thamaga

18th July 2022

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.

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