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Reviving HIV talk amid COVID-19 menace

The infamous Coronavirus (COVID-19) currently has the world on its knees with everything coming to a complete and utter standstill. According to Worldometer, 22 025 people have died so far from the coronavirus outbreak as of March 26, 2020, and the number is expected to rise.

As a result of the number of deaths and the rapid spread of the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the virus a pandemicHaving crippled the world and its economies, COVID-19 is the only thing on everybody’s lips, however since Botswana has not as of yet recorded any cases of the deadly flu-like virus, we must not take for granted that there are still other deadly diseases.

Botswana was nearly wiped off the face of the earth when HIV/AIDS first broke out, with the country having the highest number of infections.It is socially acceptable to hide behind a phrase that allows your partner to continue cheating, this has subjected many to HIV infections. This is because infidelity issues are addressed under the notion that there is nothing like a perfect partner or a perfect human, which therefore excuses infidelity. Infidelity has a penchant of sitting stubbornly once let in, hence persisting rise of HIV cases.

An observation is that women are usually at the bitter receiving end of infidelity struggles because they believe that even if a man struggles to keep their pants zipped, eventually these men will come back to them because they are under the guise that their unfaithful partners know that they are their true love and no matter how far they dwell from them eventually they will return to them. This is a sad delusion of grandeur and a highly misplaced concept that puts their health at risk.HIV activist Rapelang Monametsi who lives positively with the virus has publicly disclosed her HIV status and has given WeekendLife a glimpse into her life.

Monametsi never for a second believed her partner could be in multiple concurrent sexual relationships and even when she learned the ugly truth she convinced herself to stay nonetheless, turning a blind eye to not only her partner’s infidelity but the abuse he exerted on her.“There was a lot of cheating in that relationship and I was also ignorant of his habits because even if he cheated I stayed. I felt that I loved him too much to let him go. Sometimes we say there is no relationship that is perfect, but people should really consider what really goes down behind those words. On my side I was very faithful and I have never cheated on my partner. Even though he cheated I always believed he would change,” she said.

She further stated that women cannot solely place blame on men for failure to use condoms as they also have a role to play in the safety of their health.“This is not about men who do not love the use of condoms, because even ladies have a role that we play in love making. It is a two way thing. People should stick to the motive and use condoms, whether married or not; long term relationship or not.
When someone is a long term relationship, there are many factors that can make your partner cheat and you will never know when they have, we all need to be safe rather than sorry.

Let us not get too comfortable in relationships, use of condoms and knowing each other’s statuses is very important,” the HIV activist said.In these days of socio-economic ills and afflictions, people have found comfort in sex, mostly unprotected sex, Monametsi said, and mostly engage in unsafe and casual coitus.Monametsi went public about her HIV status last year, on 31 December 2019. Although she was afraid she might end up being stigmatized, Monametsi said the support she received from the public has been amazing.

“After disclosing my HIV status, I felt relieved. This was not the first time I divulged, then it was to people close to me, but I was scared they will expose my status to the whole world,” said Monametsi. Monametsi is currently a single mother with a two year old baby girl who is HIV negative. Ever since she accepted her status, it has become that much easy for her to divert her energies to positive living and taking care of herself and her baby.

She is into HIV/AIDS activism and has been going around the country to teach people living with HIV on how to best take care of themselves and those around them.


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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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