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DIRTY LAUNDRY: Fame. Fortune. Murder.

Growing up a spoilt brat, Nicole sees herself being haunted by her dirty deeds. She is a murderer but willing to discover herself. Would she be able to?

Firstly, she was involved in a horrific accident that she was blamed to have caused, and his rich father bailed her out and illegally paid the injured poor woman. Nicole walked free, with zero charges.

In a turn of events, she is sent to a boarding school in Maun, where hell broke loose. The devilish Nicole has no choice but to use a fake identity to fit in. In the past, Nicole was used by many people because of her rich background, and as she started discovering herself and making new real friends, her demons resurrected. She developed envy towards a girl who happens to like a guy she is in love with. Nicole loved English so much…but hated her English teacher so much it hurts, which was fine because she treated her like trash!

Her like takes a different toll when her English teacher is murdered and she becomes a number one suspect. The mystery lies in trying to figure out if indeed she really did it or someone else actually committed the murder.Based purely on imagination and having drawn an inspiration from the famous song ‘’Dirty Laundry’’, this novel is about self-discovery and self-growth. Nicole although using a fake name discovers how strong and great of a person she is.

She grows from being a spoilt brat to actually possessing emotions like sympathy towards her best friend she met in Maun Senior School, a place where immoral deeds take place almost every day.In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, author and composer of Dirty Laundry Cynthia Thanda, who is also a University of Botswana student said ‘’Maun Senior Secondary School is full of dirty secrets that the people in it are trying to hide so along the process of Nicole’s character development, we learn about the clean clothes people wear to hide their dirty bodies that is, Nicole is not the only person who has dirty secrets in the school’’

She said in Chapter one, Nicole arrives at Maun Senior School, where most of her self-discovery will take place, having been the most devilish girl before, killing people and surviving the law. Just when she thought she is seeing light of the day, she is the first suspect following the death of her teacher she hated so much. She is dropped off by her father’s bodyguard, and because she is daddy’s baby, he always was by her side, clearing all the mess she created.

In her own words, Nicole said ‘’I have always been daddy’s little hidden girl until I killed her…So when my father sent me to Maun Senior I felt like my world had been turned upside down, I didn’t want to leave Gaborone for an agro town. Little did I know I will find friendship, love and be involved in another murder case.’’ Blue Smith has always been a bad girl and Nicole was supposed to fix that, but they will always be the same girl…Thanda noted that growing up, she was a loner and the only time her voice screamed was with a pen, hence why she came up with this collection. I would spend time in my head so I used to just write on hardcovers and make my classmates read.

They always loved my scripts, and at times I was made to read English compositions before class and that gave me more confidence in writing. I only started writing a whole novel while still listening this song as the entire story flocked my mind. I didn’t have any laptop to compile my story, so I started off using a hardcover’’ she saidDirty laundry is actually her first book, but she is working towards her second collection dubbed ‘Smooth Criminal.’’ Quizzed on how people welcomed her book, she indicated that ‘’It is much loved. For me who am a beginner I didn’t expect that much appreciation and it’s the most beautiful thing ever.

At times I get emotional when reading the feedback I get from people, it’s really overwhelming.’’Being a writer, according to Thanda, is like a flesh to the skeleton. ‘’It is in the sense that writing gives us everything, the descriptions; emotions that characters have are much of everyday life. I personally feel writing made me understand other people much more. Being a writer is dominance to me because you control the lives of the characters and through writing you experience a lot of characters that are so unlike you in real life. It is beautiful to live another person’s life once in a while’’ she said.

She further told Weekend Life that she sells her copies from the comfort of her place, most particularly at school, UB. However, some copies are available at Botswana Bookstore and she uses social media to promote her book. Just like any other entrepreneur, Thanda had some across challenges that almost made her quit. She had to develop a thick skin, just so she puts bread on the table. ‘’At first it was lack of support from my parents. To them lacking better information, it was a waste of time.

They had a believe that writing was for someone who has now retired and has nothing to do. However, they did come around because they are now assisting me in selling this book, and for that, I must say I am impressed’’Financial constraints have always been an obstacle for many, but for this particular author, it wasn’t much of a challenge. ‘’My vision was to publish my book so I had started saving money from my student allowance way before I even completed it. Luckily, I had an aunt who helped get a publisher. My parents also topped with some coin and as for printing, I took my entire allowance to print all the copies I have. I went broke but didn’t give up nonetheless.’’

Dirty Laundry was introduced into the market last year in September, and it’s yet to be launched officially. Weekend Life is so much enthralled to see how young people are now able to pen something down and make readers glued to their chairs, eating from fictional content produced locally. I mean, we support and buy local, and let’s just hope this particular author continues producing more.

It’s well known that Weekend Life’s doors are always open for such brilliant minds like her, and some people don’t really see. Is it because Weekend Life washes away dirty laundry? I suppose so too…

 

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WeekendLife

Of Musicians and No Shows

10th May 2022
Musicians and No Shows

There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.

Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.

The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.

Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.

In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…

Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation

“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.

He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event.
The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.

This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events.  Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.

The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized

Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.

He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.

In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud.
When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.

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WeekendLife

COSBOTS mulls funding for struggling members

10th May 2022
COSBOTS

As the creative industry is trying to resurface from the COVID-19 dust, the board chairperson of Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), Bakalanga Mahoko, says the society is considering giving out relief funds to their members who have been hit hard by the COVID -19 induced restrictions. She noted that this will however depend on government’s response to their request for funds.

She told WeekendLife that the society has already written to government requesting funds. Once the request is approved, she says some of the funds will enable the society to embark on road shows across the country to sensitise the general public about COSBOTS. The road shows are designed to run for several weeks before the annual general meeting which is scheduled for May, 28th this year. Among other things, she says part of the money will be used as a relief fund for their members.

“As we are all aware, the industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions and some of our members were unable to raise money for their survival and that alone affected the industry. We anticipate that government will consider and approve our request and once it’s approved our members will smile all the way to the bank as their bank accounts will be credited by the COSBOTS,” she says.

She added that if things go according to plan, this will be the second time that their members would have been assisted through such an initiative. She said at the moment they have registered about 2800 members across the country and the board anticipates that the membership number will increase sharply.

“I am not yet in a better position to divulge the amount which each artist will be given because government has not yet responded to our request, but once that has been approved the society will announce,“ she says.

Mahoko was elected as the board chairperson sometime last year and has also been the first woman to lead such society which she described as “privileged”. “As many will recall, the society was in a mess and there were squabbles among members. There was also mismanagement of funds that resulted in the members, government as well as the public losing trust on the society and that dented badly the image of the society,” she says.

Mahoko further stated since she has been in office for more than a year, things now look much better and promising. The government gave the society a grant and that alone was a sign of trust from government. Recently COSBOTS distributed over P7 million as royalties.

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WeekendLife

Collegium launches E-books

10th May 2022

With over 20 years in the business of publishing school books for both primary and high school schools as well as fuelling the imagination and guiding the soul of the youth. Collegium Education Publishers are continuing with their trailblazing mission by launching EBooks.

During the launch of the Ebooks platform recently, Naledi Ratsoma, Author and Founding Director of Collegium Botswana took the audience on a trip down memory lane. She disclosed that after falling out with a local publishing company, she established new ties with a publishing company in South Africa. “The adage don’t get mad, get even worked for us.

We decided we are going to get them, we are curriculum specialists we know what the curriculum is all about and what books should be to support the type of curriculum.” She said deep in thought. “The start-up was not easy, I was the general, manager, tea lady working from 6 am to 10pm. It was sheer determination and hard work that got the company going.

Today I feel honoured and excited, Collegium grew by leaps and bounds. Here we are today. Dare I call Collegium a success story? Yes I do, it is a resounding success story.” She uttered excitedly
Looking into the future, Terrence Showa, Collegium CEO was tasked with only one job to do.

That job? Moving Collegium to digitization and joining the rest of the publishing world in transition towards the Fourth industrial revolution and a knowledge based economy. “Today I stay to you quite proud to be the first publisher in the country to launch the prescribed eBooks.” He said.

Showa mentioned; “I was told to come with a cheaper solution for government, after three years with meeting several Information Technology think tanks we came to the conclusion that Snapplify, gurus in providing eBooks and eLearning were in alignment with what we are looking for. Ebooks provide a simple solution for teachers, parents, students to use at their homes.

It will also be 30% cheaper for government to procure the books. An added benefit was the ability to give free content by Snapplify on the side of library service. ” He says the Ebook Platform has been fast tacked by the rural electrification program by government prioritizing the need to digitise books.

When speaking to the WeekendPost on the side after the event, Showa when questioned on matters of piracy which comes with the digital age, he enunciated that “as Collegium the failure of us to regulate the printing and photocopying of our books frustrates us daily. There are institutions who have committed to procuring photocopying machines to make copies of our books.

We are excited about eBooks because the licence procured when buying the book will run for only a year and will limit users to being able to photocopy and take screenshots of the books. One of the reasons Snapplify made sense to us is they know exactly what the challenges that come with digital platforms are. The content will only be downloadable into devices through a profile set up and limit the number of users on the site.”

For their presentation, Stephen Bestbier and Mark Seabrook from the Snapplify Team; the application is accessible everywhere with an offline feature to encourage data saving and reading offline, it is compatible with existing devices be it mobile, tablet and desktop. The simple library management functionality makes it easy to check out books and return them automatically to curb the ancient penalty of paying late return fees as well as avoiding d issues of lost book since it will be on an online platform.

The academic features include; a designated dyslexic friendly font, text to speech functionality, journal, bookmarks. The Elibrary provides for convenience as 24/7 access to learning, materials since the online library does not close like the traditional library. The support platform ‘teacha!’ also reliefs’ teachers in their work by building skills with accredited professional development courses and platform training.

Snapplify are leaders in Pan African educational technology with thousands of institutions across Africa with students and academic staff within the Snapplify ecosystem from primary schools to tertiary institutions.

Snapplify is the best eLearning solution with a comprehensive content catalogue with constant delivery and a proven track record of rolling out large government eLearning projects.  Collegium’s vision has indeed come to pass to become market leaders in the provision of high quality teaching and learning materials for institutions in Botswana.

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