As the world mourns over the gravity of thousands of lives lost due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the millions of lives around the globe it has affected, local fashion designers have not been spared.
WeekendLife caught up with a few fashion designers who said the novel coronavirus has severely disrupted their profit making season. There is no doubt that the fashion industry forms a huge part of the creative sector, which currently employed a lot of creatives. Today, the industry like many others is bleeding due to the pandemic, leaving many designers without income streams.
In an interview, Founder of Fierce Designs, Lucrecia Kgowane, who has showcased at Miss Botswana fashion show 2019 and FNB fashion show 2019, and also sponsor of ‘The annual Beauty with albinism Botswana’ explained that this has been the toughest season for fashion designers.
“As designers we were badly affected in the beginning because usually fashion designers in the country work looking at the calendar of events and weddings, mostly because our clientele do not buy clothes for casual wear but for events and weddings. More especially weddings because February, March, April, May is wedding season and it is also our peak season,” she said.
“So when the wedding season took over, weddings were cancelled. I had clients who cancelled their weddings, bridal showers and their dresses. National events were cancelled as well, events like Durban July, every event that people dress up to were cancelled. We ran out of business and closed our offices. Then from lockdown we were working from home.”
Amid all these, she explained that Debswana employed them to make masks for staff in bulk. “Before the masks, it was very bad because there was no income at all. Nobody was calling in for any dresses because they had nowhere to go. We were then contacted by Debswana to make face masks. So we are currently in contact with Debswana and making masks,” she said.
“Besides that we are making individual masks that are a bit outstanding and stylish compared to what we usually get from the shops. We tried doing designer masks for our clients to stand out. Right now every tailor designer is making face masks. We are trying as much as possible to do different types of masks to try and beat the market. This is how we recovered. It is not as good as it should be but it is not bad.”
She further explained that LEA in connection with Debswana helped with the contract for face masks, a project for LEA clients for Debswana. Currently, like many other fabric shops they are totally reliant on face masks for profit. She said they were bound to launch their new winter collection but until they can access fabric shops their hands are tied.
“Also, the masks that we make are unique and very stylish making wearing them fun and less stressful, we have turned them into accessories that one can match with any outfit and personally I see face masks existing even after coronavirus pandemic. They make a very strong fashion statement,” she concluded.
When it comes to love and friendship, it is often a girl code of sorts to know their limits especially when it comes to dating each other’s partners. In some instances though, some find themselves smitten over their friend’s love, to an extent that they walk down the aisle with their friend’s former lover. This then begs the question; is it okay for to find ‘true love’ in my friend’s man?
As immoral or shocking as it may be, the scenario is all but too common. A typical example of this can be found in the South African television and radio personality Bonang Matheba and renowned music personality Dj Zinhle. The two are said to have once been best friends before their feud. The two separated after rapper AKA who at the time was dating Dj Zinhle, went on to have a romantic relationship with Bonang Matheba, whilst Dj Zinhle was pregnant with baby Kairo. While some saw AKA and Bonang as a match made in heaven, bottom line was AKA was initially her best friend’s man.
There are so many reasons as to why someone, would secretly crush on their friend’s man, even after the said couple go their separate ways. Some guys however feel that, it is an issue of finding a partner that completes you rather than someone being your partner’s friend. Meaning, if their partner lacks a certain trait, and their friend has the exact trait which was sought after, then why not go for someone they feel they are more compatible with.
While women are more emotional about the issue, they believe a friend has no reason to date their man even if it is a former lover, unless of course they were never friends in the first place. Even so, loyalty can’t be overruled in friendships and it comes first.
Although hesitant to reveal more, Archibold Letsatle who found himself in a similar situation, said that this messes a person up, which is safe to say even men feel the hurt that comes with friends dating their lovers.
“Been there but on the receiving end, it destroys your partner more than you. You are not that evil. So either confess so that he leaves or you give them equal opportunity to fight for you. I can only say it cost me a lot. I couldn’t focus at school, dropped out of CIMA, went on a revenge spree and I got depressed. I just got back my life after 3years of depression. That whole thing messed me up my life,” he said.
In an interview with WeekendLife, Psychologist Tshepo Shoshong, highlighted that this is caused by a creation of whole lot things that can open a door for someone to fall in love with their friend’s lover.
“Sometimes we rush to tell our friends what is transpiring in our relationship, to an extent of citing that they are good in bed and all those things. Being an open book and your friend get to know what kind of person your partner is. The moment they meet your partner, they already feel they know them. We are too quick to introduce our partners even in the early months of the relationship. When we introduce them, a bond is being created. Then your partner and your friend can turn into more of a sexual understanding and undertone. Which can make your friend think they are more deserving of your partner, more especially when the friend is cheating and undecided about their partner,” he said.
While friendship means a lot to many, he said when it comes to understanding the kind of friendship you have with your friends, that means also understanding how the two of you define that friendship because most of the time people who we call friends do not consider us to be their friend, that is why they will go after your lover because sometimes they are doing it with a clear conscious that you are not friends.
“Some do so because of their malicious intentions, they are just being spiteful. You are happy in a relationship and they just want to destroy that. Sometimes they fall for each other because your friend has more things in common with your partner. They get to bond on small issues. They have most things in common that they spend most of their time discussing it and when they hold such conversations that is when it clicks that there is a lot going between them,” said Shoshong.
Most of the time we beat ourselves up for losing our loved ones to another person and we feel we were never good enough or we were lacking in some aspect, Shoshong however advised that when something like that happens to you, you should never think to beat yourself up about it.
“You come first, so if someone steals your partner, do not blame yourself for anything, even for bringing the two together. Do not take the blame by thinking you did not meet the expectation. We tend to be hard and harsh on ourselves for the decisions that others took. Then we feel it is not right for us. This means also that the friendship was never legit or worthwhile. Which is why you need to understand the purpose of your friendship and how you classify it,” he said.
In conclusion, Shoshong said people should not allow their friends to openly chat with their partners to an extent of even meeting up. “Do not be too relaxed without boundaries, so that they know when to draw the line.’’
As ways of preparing food evolves with time, there is no doubt that these days everyone is becoming a food fanatic. This was proven during the lockdown when social media was painted with diverse delicacies, Instagram playing host to amateur chefs showcasing their new found love for cooking.
Being the first of its kind in Botswana, a Culinary Arts student at Gaborone Technical College, Ompelege Moreosele scripted a recipe book titled ‘Life on a salad.’ The recipe book is a series of salads and salad dressing recipes that she collected over a span of four years during her culinary arts journey.
“All the recipes have been tried and tested before, some are the salads I have done during my exams at school while some I have done from my in-service training at Marang Cresta hotel since I was given the opportunity to explore and bring new things into the kitchen and also tested them during the functions and events that I catered for such as baby showers and birthday parties. I have many tasty recipes that are quick to prepare,” she explained to WeekendLife.
She said writing the book was motivated by the fact that salads are often viewed as that extra thoughtless combination of fruits or vegetables, an opinions which she begs to differ from. “Salads are healthy, convenient, cheaper, and cool, they are special in their own way because they are crunchy and fun to eat since there are lots of textures, colours and have flavours,’’ she said.
“After spending two years putting together these salads recipes, I believe that braai sessions, baby showers, weddings, picnics and every other event’s menu, will put together this recipe and it will never be the same. The salads and salads dressing recipes in my book are doable, packed with flavour and ingredients are accessible. Some salads can be served as a main dish, accompaniment or dessert or however according to persons’ preferences.”
Though she tried to move away from the modern way of making salad dishes, she has also incorporated traditional food to bring a twist to salads.
“Some of my recipes have African style touches like mosutlhane, letlhodi and samp salads that most people were amazed and surprised to see for the first time. I would always recommend my mosutlhane salads, letlhodi and samp salads because I am Motswana and an African woman with such a gorgeous culture. I love telling the story of where I come from through food because I am a village girl from humble beginnings and my grandmother taught me how to cook traditional foods so I always enjoy exploring and playing around with traditional foods by giving them a modern twist,” she said.
African dishes have always defined black people and their culture better and in compiling this book there was a lot of background work that had to take place to bring about an African feel to her salads as she said she wants to share great food stories with Batswana.
“It took me about two years to complete the book because every recipe I had to buy the ingredients. After getting the feedback from whoever I invited for tasting that’s when I can go get other ingredients for the final piece and invite the photographer to help me with taking pictures. One needs quality and fresh ingredients, time, kitchen, money, quality camera, from there you have to structure your book, select favourite pictures and design it by putting everything into order, then publish it where it will be proofread, and edited.’’
‘‘Like any other chef, she stated that having a cook book means a lot me, it’s a thing that I have done successfully with effort, skill and courage. It is an achievement,” she said.
“My favourite recipe is mosutlhane and butternut salad, it’s amazing, unique, most Batswana like it and everyone was surprised to see mosutlhane as a salad. I can make this salad over and over again, there’s something about it that excites me.”
She is currently working on a recipe book which features dishes she has learnt from school. ‘‘I wish to open a traditional food fine dining restaurant that offers tourists and Batswana at large traditional foods and African food with modern twist,” she said.
Marriage starts a giant chapter in any person’s life, it is for this reason that people are encouraged to not only take their time before getting married but are also urged to choose the right partner who could help them weather any storm. The beauty of marriage ultimately lies in understanding each other, and complementing each other.
While society may be sceptic about young couples who want to walk down the aisle, they surprisingly also understand what it means to have found an embodiment of true love in someone, and more often than not, they throw their full body weight behind the couple instead of their usual criticism. WeekendLife interviewed a young couple, Thato and Laone Mogotsi, who tied the knot at a relatively young age; Larona was 22 years whilst her husband was 24.
The couple’s story can be seen as the clichéd teenage love story we all see in rom-coms, where a 17 year old Thato fell head over heels in-love with a then 15 year old Laone – love at first sight.
Fast track to seven years down the road, the couple are the epitome of the coined phrase ‘I married my childhood sweetheart’. The Mogotsis have since grown in both maturity and in their marriage and are well on their way to making plans of growing their family.
For Larona, the proposal was not as romantic as she had hoped or expected. “It was just a basic proposal, he just threw it in, whilst we were having a conversation. This was in 2018. That was when things became quite serious. I was only 21 then. I did not really invest in the emotion that he really wanted to marry me. So he later approached my pastor, Boago Ramogapi and in February 2019 he told me he is for real and that I should go and inform my parents. There was no engagement ring and to be honest I wanted the ring” she said.
Both their families, when told about the engagement, were supportive of their children’s decision as they felt it was inevitable that the young couple would one day walk down the aisle. Traditional wedding processes went off without a hitch and the two were married.
To an outsider, their relationship may seem all rosy but the couple say they can attest to many struggles they had during their dating period. Not only that but Thato and Larona admit that people thought they were too young for any sort of commitment, let alone marriage, others were even of the opinion that they did not understand what they were doing. The nay-sayers did not keep Thato and Larona from hitching.
The bubbly and down to earth couple further highlighted that after high school, their relationship hit a breaking point which defined where they were headed.
“We had a crazy eight years of being together which marked a season of growth and much change in our lives as well as maturity. We found out that we were more mature than we ever thought we were. It was a period where we had a lot of fun. We got to understand that some things you cannot be engaging in them for too long.
So we decided to break away from the current norm of our age mates and we decided to do us. So there was a period of time when there was just the two of us, without any friends around. That was the time we got to know each other deeply,” said Thato.
“So we got together and got to understand each other because sometimes we are overshadowed by friendships, because a lot of times when he asked me to come and see him I would take a friend along. We were friends but I noticed a lot of things when friends were out of the picture.
When friends are around, there is so much influence. That was the breaking point of our relationship and since then it has been more than amazing,” said Laone.
The career driven couple, have published a book called ‘Married at 22’, in which they give a glimpse into their journey as a couple -from the time they met until the day they tied the knot. In the book, she explained that, when she left the alter she never left herself there, as she understand before she is a Mrs, she is herself hence she will never allow herself to be lost in marriage.
The couple also try to advise that there is no one formula to making relationships work. What would work for one couple may not work for any other couple and therefore it is important to first understand each other and find out what works in your relationship.
Their book is currently available for orders through their Facebook page and doorstep deliveries. The couple are in the process of having it on Amazon website by next month, July.