The entertainment industry is feeling the impact of the Corona virus outbreak, with a series of high-profile closures and postponements. The rapid spread of Corona virus disease that broke in 2019 is making headlines across the globe and leading to numerous and substandard deferments, cancellations and bans.
It’s all chaos and the entertainment industry is not loving it.The virus primarily spreads when one person breathes in droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In addition, any infected person, with or without symptoms, could spread the virus by touching a surface. It could remain on that surface and someone else could touch it and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes.
That's why it's so important to try to avoid touching public surfaces or at least try to wipe them with a disinfectant.Worldwide nearly 175,000 people have contracted the Corona virus with the World Health Organization reporting cases in at least 135 countries, territories or areas.Cases of this novel virus are being discovered in new countries almost daily.
On Wednesday March 11, the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic, with approximately 118,000 cases in 114 countries and near 4,300 deaths.The virus has found a foothold on almost every continent and Southern African region has not been spared. This week a number of cases were confirmed throughout the region in South Africa. With the travel industry being heavily affected by the spread of Corona virus, this has also had serious implications for the entertainment industry in Botswana.
Whilst we all agree that safety must come first, this will have a significant impact on the entertainment industry, and the earning potential of the artistes, as most don't have supplemental income. It can likely be a financial disaster for entertainers as work lessens. Promoters will not be spared either, as they will now find themselves ‘out of pocket’ in instances where infrastructure and obligations would have already been met and they have no alternative but to postpone their events.
Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association BEPA convened on Monday afternoon in an effort to map a way forward from this pandemic. The Association brought together its members, majority which are event promoters, organizers as well as venue owners. Together they decided on what to propose to the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Arts and Sport Development Tumiso Rakgare pertaining to all the cancellations and postponements caused by the Corona virus.
‘’We need answers, we are all equally worried about the Corona virus because it affects us one way or the other. I think it’s also appropriate to call the Minister to come and address us on how best we can go about this. In postponing these events, we lose lot of money we invested in these events and we don’t know what’s going to happen next. We proposing events go on because we have solutions, but still if government does not accept these suggestions, there is nothing we can do,’’ one promoter said in an interview with Weekend Life on condition of anonymity.
Exotic who is also a protuberant event promoter held that sometimes they ought to own up to their responsibility as citizens to curb the pandemic. ‘’Sometimes own up as a citizen, don’t wait to be told to own up because you will find that you are told very late. Act now, take full responsibility as a citizen to contribute to the prevention of Corona virus, let’s all postpone our festivals.’’However, the meeting was not inclusive to the media therefore, what was pondered is yet to be shared in due time.
The Ministry however dispatched on their social media that ‘’MYSC leadership met with Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association to discuss issues concerning the entertainment industry. The Honorable Minister emphasized the need to take extra precautions in the wake of the Corona virus, and implored promoters to consider government's decision to limit events especially those with more than 100 people.’’
Hamptons Jazz Festival which was initially scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, Debbie Smith took to social media to express her gloomy emotion about the postponement of her prominent jazz fest. ‘’Words fail me guys! My team & I put some hard work for nearly a year. Regardless, we could never day dream of putting the public at risk and I fell this is wrong timing. We will be strong again and I must say decision to postpone the event is slowly sinking in.’’
Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC) founder, Fish Pabalinga also pooled his blue opinions. ‘’This winter is going to be very cold for the creative industry.’’Pabalinga shared a statement on his official Facebook page that read ‘’The GIMC Family Fun Day that was scheduled for Saturday 4 April 2020 at Bojanala Water Front has been postponed to a later date to be communicated in due course. The Corona Virus, (Covid-19) is a serious health hazard that cannot be risked and certainly not with children around.
Those that purchased tickets, kindly keep them safe as they will be valid for when the event happens later in the year.’’Some of the other prominent events that felt the heat from Corona virus include Soul Fill Up with Franco. On Monday afternoon, the management of the much anticipated event called a press conference that updated the media about the festival going on amid Corona virus scares.Few minutes later, reporters acknowledged calls apprising them to make a reappearance to the venue where the presser was held, on dramatic turn of events. The event was postponed indefinitely. Toropo ya Muka could not be spared, as it writhed the same effects.
According to press statements shared, some events are confirmed to take place late this year while some stakeholders are yet to meet and reach an agreement on when to hold down the event.
Fashion makes a statement, which is why Fashion without Borders tries by all means to get all amazing young designers to create dresses to fit every personality- from princess to punk, and everything in between.
Pretty obvious though, the 2020 edition flopped. It didn’t come as a surprise because the taxing COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on almost everything in the world.
Just when we thought Fashion without Borders 2020 will come much better than the previous tedious one, we were floored to see that there was little to no difference. The show was held at the most famous Molapo Crossing Stanbic Piazza, which without doubt was a perfect outdoor venue to host a fashion show, it didn’t however look like it was a fashion show filled with glitz and glam, if anything the show looked more like a public meeting.
The venue lack creativity and unruffled ambience. There were few chairs lined perfectly with a distance of two meters in between as a way of observing COVID-19 health protocols, but it looked more of a wedding than a fashion show.
As if that wasn’t startling enough, some important guests were told that there are no chairs for them to occupy. They had no choice but to stand on their feet the entire two shows, unacceptable and unprofessional for an event of its magnitude.
The Piazza is paved with light brownish small bricks that nearly made half of the models tumble. They kept on trembling, quaking and walking like new born calves, it was painful to watch to say the least. A ramp would have solved this issue.
Fashion without Borders is such a prodigious and immense esteemed fashion event that shouldn’t be seen with lot of glitches, especially that it features international designers from as far as Nigeria. The show was divided into two phases.
Attendees had to purchase two tickets should they want to attend both shows. There wasn’t really much of a difference between the two shows though.Security guards were all over trying to make sure everyone has the right tag for the second show, and people felt hassled.
As always, there were goodie bags with some nice gifts in them to be given to attendees at the fashion show. Some folks got their hands on the gifts and while others left out probably because the providers felt whichever way about that particular person.
I was reliably informed that some of the ‘big’ organizers were on quarantine and only underlings had to dance to the music. Some of them, according to a key witness, irked some members of the media. The media came in great numbers to support the event, like always, only for them to be treated less than.
Some of them left their cameras on and the ‘big’ organizers were not so happy about this from their quarantine centres. We just hope they recovered from the trauma of the COVID-19 contact tracing, as well as the droning, muddled event they threw this year.
In the fashion sense, a lot of folks felt it lacked substance. From the theme itself “The Phygital Experience”, most attendees were already lost, having no clue what it meant or how to respond to it.
Some felt the designers brought collections with less creativity, which spoke with little to no volume, while others were not fascinated by what was physically and digitally presented by the designers and models.
Breast cancer has been a nightmare for most women globally, and according to World Health Organization (WHO), the condition will continue claiming lives of many for years to come.
For Otshepheng Mthimkhulu, a 36-year old police officer at Ramotswa, had her life turned upside down by the illness. It has been a miserable reality getting to know that she has breast cancer, and for the rest of her life, she will be surviving with a single breast.
The small blood stains on her right breast stirred her to go see the doctor, who then recommended pain killers to ease the agony. Not knowing what she is suffering from, Mthimkhulu was told to come for check-up the next month which ultimately failed to give her a diagnosis.
It was only when she was getting seriously concerned about this condition that she followed up on the check-ups for the next six months. After being sent from pillar to post pertaining to mammogram that she was supposed to undergo, she finally got tested at a private hospital where she tested and did a biopsy.
“Unfortunately the results came back and I was told I have a metaplastic carcinoma breast cancer on stage 3,” she said.With her worse fear a reality, Mthimkhulu started her chemotherapy which took eight circles. “After the last circle I decided that I was not going for surgery because at the time, I was on training at the police college.
Lot of questions flocked my mind, lost in thoughts how I am going to face the world with only a single breast. That was the saddest time of my life.”Mthimkhulu had to do mastectomy and start another chemotherapy Herceptin because her hormones tested positive. She did not know what was next, only to be told that the cancer is now in her lungs.
Questions came rising and falling, and no answers were close enough. She was devastated, her dreams were crumpled and her life carried up-side-down. Quizzed on how she survived all the way through, she told Weekendlife that she got a little of inspiration from a series she watched, saying that she learnt that actually, there are other complicated conditions people are suffering and dying from, and cancer can be much better.
“I then started opening up to people and telling them about breast cancer. I earned great support from my close associates, something that gave me hope. At one point I met a woman who introduced me to a fighter group that abetted us with everything we needed.
It was a consecration I must say, because most of us felt much better and alive. Learning that we have breast cancer was just a fairy-tale to us.”They say every woman needs a man. Mthimkhulu found her husband who has been supportive and courageous throughout this journey. She said there are other substantial women who offered artificial breast, wigs and counselling.
No one ever told Mthimkhulu that this will be smooth sailing nor did she expect it to be. She went through overwhelming experiences that made her hopeless at times. According to her, at times her doctor’s appointments would be cancelled last minute. As much as that can be discouraging, she held on nonetheless.
“I started experiencing the side effects of the chemotherapy when I lost my hair, nails and skin complexion. I was always fatigued and stressed most of the times and I was always on sick leave. This was fracturing because I never thought at one point I will be living with cancer,” she said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Award-Winning Youth Activist, Omphemetse Mmolai, through her organization Berekela Botswana Monana in collaboration with LEGABIBO will be hosting breast cancer survivors, well-wishers, and other relevant stakeholders for breast cancer awareness event in Lobatse this Saturday.
Mmolai told Weekendlife reporter Tlhabo Kgosiemang that there will be a hill climbing exercise meant to sensitize the public about the breast cancer condition, adding that the Lobatse DHMT and LEGABIBO organizations will be having pertinent presentations.
“I have been involved in different activities geared at addressing various issues that affect the youth, women and girls. It is significant to note that these activities were conducted in Lobatse, so this month as it is the time to raise awareness about breast cancer, that will be my main focus.”
Quizzed on why hill climbing, she said this is a way of showing hardships of what breast cancer survivors go through. This is to say they comprehend the circumstances they are being challenged with, and that they are not alone in this fight.
Atasaone Molemogi, who goes by the stage name of A.T.I, is yet again making headlines and trending on social media platforms.
The eccentric and somewhat lose cannon artist is under fire for the stunts he pulled early this year. A.T.I had gone over and above to enlighten and fight for Batswana’s rights against according to him, foreigners who have monopolised the country.
So much so Atasaone recorded a video ranting and hurling insults while in front of Satar Dada’s Motor Centre at Fairground Mall. That was one of his many episodes. However, the one that gave him the ‘struggle icon’ persona was when he was arrested for making a video in front of the State House, this landed the dear lad in the cells of Urban Police Station and later transferred to Central Police Station.
Batswana gathered at the Central Police to demonstrate and demand the maverick be released. A.T.I became the Mandela of Botswana, the voice of the voiceless, the Messiah Batswana needed. A.T.I could not become any bigger till another outspoken personality stepped on the stage, Duma Gideon Boko, lawyer and President of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
The aberrant lawyer did not disappoint, especially when he flamboyantly swung his gown on like Superman in front of the press. This was the moment, Botswana’s two outspoken and nonconformists were wearing their capes to save the ordinary citizen from years of being subjected to mediocracy.
Molemogi had Batswana believe that indeed they were being treated unfairly in their own country and incited many to take up arms and fight for a better Botswana for Batswana. The people stood rock solid behind the maverick artist.
That is until A.T.I pulled the rug under their feet and went ahead and met Tumiso Rakgare, Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture. The very same Minister he vehemently declined to meet, hell-bent on only having an audience with the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi.
What transpired between Rakgare and A.T.I is not known, but any Tom, Dick and Harry can guess that A.T.I, one way or another, was enticed by something said or done by the Minister because the recluse was as silent as a lamb after the meet.
Now, this publication by no means implies that Rakgare offered Atasaone anything valuable but observing the cries of the masses it may be deducted to something along those lines.All this however happened mid this year and anyone would think that it would be old news and a closed chapter, not to be.
The public cannot for the life of them get over how A.T.I used them to push his agenda and then leave them hanging. A sin unforgiveable in the eyes of Batswana. And so the masses have to have their displeasure made known.
A.T.I has been awarded a new name, Judas Iscariot. The infamous follower of Jesus Christ who sold the latter to the Jews for 30 pieces of silver. Batswana made the reference having deducted that they and their dreams have been sold in the same way Christ was sold off. A.T.I has sabotaged and sold the struggle, for what or how much is still not known.
While people find it hard to understand why ATI threw in the towel, the controversial singer seems unbothered and does not regret anything. He however cited that he is not fond of the name ‘Judas Iscariot’. He further stated that people should understand that it is easy for him to get lost in the midst of everything.
A.T.I shared with this publication that he needed to start somewhere in order to meet the President. He further mentioned to this publication that they discussed how best they can assist the youth and he was telling the Minister about his clothing line, and asking for support from the minister. None of the things mentioned have materialized however.
In his defence he said, “We need to be able to save ourselves before we can be able to save others. People should stop laughing at people who supported me and they should stop calling me Judas Iscariot. The reason why I was going to war when the year began, was because I needed security and I needed our leaders to give me answers.
I was scared I wanted more communication. With time I noticed that I am losing myself. No one told me what to do but I did what I did and I did exactly how l felt it was best,” he said.“A lot of people felt I am their answer, no! I am not anybody’s answer that is why when I was still at it I noticed the saviour mentality. I felt I was back at it again.
I cannot try to save the world all the time. You cannot change the world that don’t see the need to change their mental state.
At the same time the people I am trying to do it for, are still stuck in 89. I did it for the people I needed to do it for and for the truest results to be visible.”