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WOMAN: 8th Wonder of the World

March 8 has been slated to remember, celebrate as well as honour women globally who have left a mark and have an extensive repertoire of work that cannot go unnoticed. Women have been the backbone, strength and pillar for many homes.

They have nurtured and kept watch of their households even in turbulent times when men absconded from their responsibilities, leaving the woman to fend for herself and her child. This day is for the woman who fought stigma of any kind pushed on her by society, to those who have shattered glass ceilings to become revolutionaries, to those who dare to dream in a world that say it’s a man’s world.

International Women’s Day was sanctioned a global holiday by United Nations. The day celebrates women’s excellence and their contribution to societal building as well as sensitizing about the fight for gender parity. Women’s day also give support to organizations that help women globally.African women have over the years risen to the occasion and have played a notable role in being independent and owning up to their game as well as gathering their confidence and chasing after their dreams. One of them being Zozibini Tunzi, who set tongues wagging after being crowned Miss Universe 2019.

The beauty Queen did not only change the narrative that women can take up space and cement themselves too, but she also made a stern remark that black is beautiful. She awed the entire universe when she said;“The most important thing we should teach young girls is leadership. It's something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a long time, not because we don't want to but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity. That is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space. Nothing is more important than taking up space in the society and cementing yourself.’’

“I grew up in a world where women who look like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair were never considered to be beautiful. And I think that it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine,” she added.
Tunzi is an epitome of black women excellence, she has shunned the stereotypes shaped against black women and has become a protagonist in redefining what beauty is.

President and founder of Pan African Game Changers (PAGC) who is also an Attorney and Founding Partner of Precious & Partners Legal Practise, Precious Gondwe, has set the globe ablaze with her initiative, which saw more than 70 women globally drawn to her and drinking from her cup.PAGC is a global platform for women interaction and haven for women who build one another. She seeks to end the ‘girl hate’ that exist within women. She has created a safe dock for healing, and strength. It is also a networking platform and a place of stimulation.

The organisation is currently planted in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, United Kingdom/Ireland, China, Morocco, and recently launched the Eswatini chapter which will soon be followed by Zambia and the United States of America.“It’s a unique, first of its kind movement for black, inspired women who want to make Africa a great place again! God said, grab the woman and the entire continent will heal again,” Gondwe said.PAGC remains a refined women hub that seeks to impart each other as well as share the spirit of excellence, defining dreams, knowing yourself, embracing challenges and growth.

They share diverse topics that help grow one another, from image branding, to financial literacy, spiritual growth and having a vision as women. PAGC believes women are leaders as well and cannot be limited to kitchen walls hence their radical approach in changing a woman’s mind-set globally.The current Miss Botswana First Princess Uua Murangi, is also a force to be reckoned with. She is one beau that takes pride in her ebony skin and her dark bushy natural African hair, which defines us as African women.

When she first joined Miss Botswana, people rallied behind her because she chose to be true to herself and her roots and they felt she represented every black woman.Today Murangi is a household name, and in as much she did not win the pageant, she remained the true queen and won a place in many people’s hearts. The University of Botswana Law graduate has since diverted her energy into grooming upcoming beauty queens through her program called Pageant Classes.

“It really is rewarding to watch someone transform into a whole other version of themselves, a version which is all rounded, confident and with a clear understanding of their true self.” she said.Another Motswana who is making strides is Gogontlejang Phaladi, who’s notable doings have been ongoing whilst she was just a kid, and her charitable organisation have been running for many years now and have assisted unprivileged individuals under the Gogontlejang Phaladi Pillar of Hope Project.

Through this organisation, she aims to be a world class charitable organisation of choice for the advocacy and activism of human rights and doing philanthropic activities towards nation building and development.International Women’s Day is to celebrate every woman and their achievements, whether they are small or big, whatever trauma they overcame to become the Queen they are now and to encourage them to further break stereotypes and walls and to defy society’s norms of what a woman is or should be.

Whether you’re making power moves in public or private, this is for you, the woman in you.

 

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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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