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Male model transcends runways

Beauty has always been linked to modeling, be it physical appearance or being able to own the ramp. The female dominated industry is now being taken over by men with well-defined physiques, as they make their mark on big brands such as Nivea and Adidas.

Locally however, the industry has been somewhat slow or reluctant to be as accommodating to male models as compared to the international community. To every crop there is an exception and Emmanuel Kayenda is that exception. Kayenda has broken barriers and stereotypes to become one of the top male models to make a breakthrough in the predominantly female industry.

Kayenda, a Motswana leading model based in Cape Town, South Africa, made a household name for himself after he was scouted by an international modelling agency. He is one of the few models who have through grit and determination succeeded onto international runways.This is a clear indication that if one has an undying passion for modelling, and approaches it with bull-dog tenacity and resilience, jumping the hurdles and becoming a success is inevitable, whether you are an aspiring female or male model.

Kayenda’s success has inspired many male models to follow in his footsteps, one such model is Chabwe. Weekendlife engaged with the upcoming 24 year old on his journey.Francis Kasongo Chabwe started his modeling career back in 2015 after a friend convinced him to audition for Empire Agency.  At the time he did not know much about modelling and fashion, so he decided to stay with Empire Modelling Agency for two years until he decided he wanted to be a freelance model.

In 2017, he was introduced to the President’s Competitions which are the biggest modeling competitions in Botswana. It was there that he managed to secure himself a spot in the Top 3 in the male models category. It became one of his career highlights.Chabwe has a notable repertoire of work in the industry; 2017 and 2019, his smooth face, vertically gifted and unmarked body graced Masa Fashion show. 2019 also saw him strut it on his very first international run way show in Johannesburg for Fashion without Borders.

Chabwe has developed a passion that has allowed him to go on with his craft despite the many challenges he faced. “Well the major challenge faced in the modeling industry right now is organisers failing to pay us and meeting up agreements between them and the models. There are incidents were models have to wait for 9 months for them to get paid,” he said.

One of the reasons the 24 year old joined the industry was his love for fashion. “I’m a freak of fashion and style, especially designer made clothes and modeling is where you mostly meet fashion gurus, fashion designers and very unique clothing designs that's why I don't consider it only for women.“I want to see myself definitely walking down the ramp at the New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Tokyo Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, the list is endless. Most of all I would love to be signed to New York Agencies or Paris Agencies,” he said.

The seasoned runway and commercial model, who does designer garments to sell, looks up to Kayenda and Kaone Kario.“They took our modeling industry to higher standards, made their mark outside Africa and I'm inspired to do more than them, I'm inspired to go higher than they have,” he said.He wishes male models would be taken seriously and their craft respected and appreciated more. “We sell brands and we expect payments just like models in other countries,” he lamented.

In an interview with WeekendLife, founder of Top Model Botswana, Simon Pierre explained that many factors can make one a successful model.“I think it all comes down to hard work and keeping the hustle. It is not easy as a guy in the modeling industry but consistency and hard work always pays off. You need to be able to find your angle first, in terms of what makes it easier for you to be noticed in this industry as a guy, go to that one feature that makes you stand out from others. You should know your category and work hard under it,” he said.

He further highlighted that the industry is not respected at all and that there are many South African shops in Botswana, Batswana invest by buying from them.‘‘The funny thing is when it comes to advertising, those shop owners go back to South Africa to look for models to do their A4 shoot or any other means of advertising and they will fly the advert back to Botswana and try to attract us to buy,” he said.


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Lifestyle enthusiasts feel Big Brother vibes

27th January 2023

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.


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.”


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.”

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DENIM RICHARDS American actor takes local productions to the world

23rd January 2023

American renowned actor, Denim Richards has been in Botswana for quite a while now with one clear mission: the revamp the film and entertainment industry.

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Botswana misses out on Miss Universe again

9th January 2023

The 71st Miss Universe competition will be going down at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans next week in the United States. There are eighty four entrants at this year’s Miss Universe, and Botswana will once again not be a part of the pageant.

The Miss Universe will be hosted by Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, who last served as host during Miss Universe 2020, while Mai last served as backstage correspondent during Miss Universe 2014. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall will serve as backstage correspondents. This will mark the first time in a 70-year history to have an all-female presenting panel.

Botswana last participated at the Miss Universe in 2013, in which the Miss Universe Botswana pageant was won by Tsoane Macheng. Ever since then, Botswana never made its return to the biggest beauty pageant in the world, despite its consistent ability to send a representative to participate at the Miss World competition.

Miss Universe Botswana Director, Safie Sekgwa, allegedly holds the Miss Universe license. Efforts to reach him proved futile, as his mobile phone rung unanswered.

Despite Botswana showing zero efforts in participating at the Miss Universe, the beauty pageants 2019 crown was flanked by two smaller diamonds cut from the same stoned mined in Botswana.

Jewelry designer Mouawad created a new “Power of Unity” crown reportedly worth 5 Million US Dollars, and the title was won by South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi. She was the third South African to be crowned Miss Universe.


Botswana is said to be one African country with the most beautiful women, but, the poor performance at the Miss Universe, communicates otherwise. Perhaps, representatives at the pageant are not academically gifted, as the Miss Universe tests how keen they are also.

Mpule Kwelagobe made history when she was crowned Miss Universe 1999. That was few months after she was crowed the first ever Miss Universe Botswana. Kwelagobe became the third woman from Africa who was crowned Miss Universe.

In 2000, Miss Universe Botswana then, Joyce Molemoeng did not place at Miss Universe, and the same blue reality struck again in 2001, when Mataila Sikwane also failed drastically.

After a two year hiatus, Miss Universe 2004, Icho Keolotswe also failed to place at Miss Universe. That was the end of participation at Miss Universe, only to return in 2010. Tirelo Ramasedi, Miss Universe 2010 also did not win. The same losing trend followed from 2011 (Larona Kgabo), 2012 (Sheillah Molelekwa) and 2013 (Tsaone Macheng).


Preparations are ongoing to hold the 71st Miss Universe competition. Harnaaz Sandhu of India will crown her successor at the end of the event. There are nine countries which have withdrawn from participating: Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Romania and Sweden.

As for returns, Miss Universe 2022 will see Angola, Belize, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Uruguay.

Lebanon won Miss Universe in 1971, Angola in 2011, Trinidad and Tobago in 1977 and1998. Youngest Miss Universe 2022 participants are aged 18, and they are from British Virgin Islands, Iceland and Krgyzstan and Switzerland’s representative is nineteen.


Miss Universe has unveiled its new crown for the 71st competition. The new crown, “The Crown Number 12: Force for Good” was crafted by world renowned luxury jeweler Mouawad.

The new crown, with pear-shaped blue sapphires surrounded by diamonds and valued at approximately 5.58 Million US Dollars, will be the prestigious mark of honor for the winner this coming week.

According to the Miss Universe organization, the Force for Good crown emanates Mouawad’s passion for crafting the extraordinary, featuring the meticulous setting of sapphires and diamonds, whose design is replete with symbolism.

Reflecting the point that significant change does not happen in an instant, the base of the crown is set with diamonds symbolizing the status quo. From the base upwards, rippling wave motifs reflect the momentum of change, with their varying sizes portraying that this momentum gains ground gradually through advocacy at different moments and places, to audiences large and small, over time.

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