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Model catwalks through hell fires of the modelling industry

Models are the faces of the fashion industry. People might think their job is just sitting around looking pretty, but that is contrary to what modelling is. The worrying obsession with staying thin and fit is well-known, and in recent years horror stories about the sexual harassment and abuse models face in everyday work have come to the surface.

These folks would walk the runway, strike kosher poses in front of flashing camera lights but deep down, they go through all sorts of manipulation, just so they get some trifling monies to fix their makeup. It takes a strong person to take on the harsh world of fashion and still deliver a gorgeous photo at any given moment.

As much as education is essential for self-development and probably a way of getting a fine paying job, some of these models leave their education behind to pursue modelling. Not that they want to, possibly because they find modelling as passion that is likely to improve their living, not knowing what they are up against.

The countrys top model, Francis Chabwe, has become the face of the next generation of supermodels. Even though he had to quit his teaching course to chase modelling as a line of business, his career was swiftly aided by his social media skills.

He took crafting a brand to an art form and climbed the charts to become one of the most followed models in the country, and frankly, he is doing amazingly fine. In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife this week, he said following an encounter with her girlfriend, they gave birth to a child that came at the time he was grappling to make ends meet in the streets of the wearing capital city, Gaborone.

It was grim for me to an extent that I had to give priority to the streets. I found hustling in the streets more significant than being in class. I felt I lost much time on lectures because at the end of the day I would need money to sustain my life, and care for the young baby I have.

Chabwe says even though it wasnt the right decision to take, he had to do it anyway. The situations I was facing at the time didnt allow me to be at school. I wanted something to keep me busy, something that would give me what I wanted, which was dosh at the time. I found myself giving priority to modelling and hustling in the streets, he said.

The harsh situations haven’t stopped Chabwe from stomping runway after runway. His future appears to be nothing but bright. He first auditioned with Empire modelling agency, which was literally his step into the industry.

I have always been photogenic, people would appreciate that and suggest I venture into beauty pageantry. I did precisely that and they were right, I entered a beauty competition at school and secured a top position. I only realized at a later stage that I love being before a camera. A camera doesnt give me any nerve, thats when my friend recommended I enter the modelling industry.

Literally four years later, Chabwe found a spot in runway modelling. Certainly the most famous kind of modelling in Botswana and the second most popular type of modelling in the world, runway modelling is the art of strutting down a ramp.

The best runway models have an air of confidence and indifference that cannot be matched. These gorgeous men and women walk effortlessly, slowly and like they have no-where-to-go-that-should-be-of-any-interest-to-you-attitude and at the same time they can sell clothes.

I did runway fashion shows and commercial bill boards with various organizations through an agency called Empire. Miserably so, I never got to reap from what I sow. I was never told I will come across this kind of manipulation. At the time, you wouldnt question anything because you wanted this so much. At least, that was what we were told, that we are given exposure. One important element I failed was learning the environment before judging it. I was young, nave and didnt know much about the industry, he said.

According to Chabwe, agencies in Botswana do not sign models to pay them, they exploit them. I wanted to learn, not really to earn. So doing the bill boards came at the time I was not so familiar with how things are done, and I quit being under any agency. I thought if someone signs you under their agency, it means you are worth to be appreciated if not getting paid. I think it was a learning experience, I am now a proud freelance model, and its strange but worth it.

A registered model under the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development catalogue, Chabwe is given a priority when modelling gigs are availed. He participated in President Competitions and netted himself the third spot on his first attempt in 2017, Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show in 2017 and 2019, as well as JB and Choppies Winter Fashion show at Game City Rooftop.

I got a chance to partake in Johannesburg at the famous Fashion without Borders fashion show, which was my first international gig as well. The event was also held here and I also played a part in it, he said. Chabwe is currently the face of Tlatlana Clothing label, an indigenous clothing brand formed by three young Batswana with the inspiration and determination to promote and boost cultural heritage as Batswana.

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WeekendLife

BOTSWANA TO HOST MISS WORLD 2026

6th December 2023

Even though Botswana has over the years been performing extremely poorly at the Miss World competition, the country has confirmed that it will be hosting the beauty festival in 2026. Initially, the country was to host Miss World next year, something it failed to confirm before deadline. Director at Miss Botswana, Benjamin Raletsatsi, says Botswana will be ready then to host all participants. Miss Botswana Top 25 finalists left the boot camp yesterday. Quite shocking though, Miss Botswana team is still failing basics as responding to media inquiries on time yet it is dangerously hoping to host an event of high status

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WeekendLife

DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.

 

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WeekendLife

Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.

 

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