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Plus size model and overcoming body shaming

Plus size Model

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is to say that what one person finds to be beautiful may not necessarily be what another finds beauty in. The desire and almost borderline obsession of chasing the fountain of youth is ubiquitous. Beauty standards vary from continent to continent and from race to race but what has been most common in beauty standards world over is a petite or slim body.

Generation after generation beauty standards has become to say the least ridiculous! The expectations placed mostly on women to be a certain version that is approved by society has left many to not only alter their bodies but has also seen the untimely demise of some.

One need not look far for these ungodly standards; as soon as you turn on your television, when you scroll on your social media accounts or a random pop up notification from one or the other brands that promises to turn back time, all a set up for you to buy into an illusion that will never be satisfied.

From this it is clear that media plays a significant role on how we perceive ourselves and others, disregarding that the concept of beauty is but a contingent that depends on variables that really cannot be fully accepted world over. I believe it would therefore be safe to say that the media influences our outlook on beauty and what we believe to be grotesque as well as the schemas we form throughout our lives.

CELEBRITIES AND BEAUTY STANDARDS

English singer and song writer, Adele, broke into the music industry a chubby and full figured woman who seemed happy and content with her physique, only caring about her music. Some nay-sayers did try and persuade her to change her looks to match her music, going as far as wanting her to lose a few kilograms, her replies were always centred on her powerful vocal cords being the nucleus of attention and not her looks. Fast forward a couple of years later and Adele can be mistaken for a runway model that is how much weight the multi-award winning songbird lost.

Many other celebrities the likes of Kelly Osbourne, Busta Rhymes and even Mike Tyson. The contention is not weight loss but the idea that being slim or skinny is more attractive and seen as a beauty standard. Losing weight for health reasons is a must and maintaining that weight loss is necessary for medical reasons but altering your body to fit into standards is another thing altogether
This does have one cogitate; are beauty standards so engrained in society and does the media have such insurmountable power that no matter who you are, you will be trapped in the idea of attaining a delusional perfection.

BODY SHAMING

Granted the media has a significant role it plays in portraying its ideal version of forever young and beautiful but as individuals we play a bigger part in shutting down such outlets that give off unattainable standards that will only depress and make both men and women feel inadequate. One of the things that should be treated with uttermost sensitivity is choosing our words when it comes to talking about someone’s body.

In an ideal world no one should be told that they are physically unattractive or that they need a nip and tuck here and there to be beautiful. The notion that being physically attractive is an important asset a man or woman can have and to maintain is a must is absolute bogus! No one should be held to standards that are subjective.

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING

Kesego Samantha Moeng, a 20-something year old Mochudi native is collecting a number of accolades under her belt. Moeng is an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, she recently also debuted as an author in the middle of a pandemic and lastly she has embraced her full figure as she ventures into the world of modelling.

Moeng opened up to WeekendLife about her body and the turbulences that come with being a plus size model in an industry that idolises petite body structures. “Well to me being a plus size model means more than just embracing being big bodied or full figured. It is the flamboyant way in which a woman can embrace her beauty and her strengths confidently regardless of what society may classify as beauty or rather what it may not be,” she said.

Driven by the desire to show that beauty is just an idea, the ever bubbly personality shared with this publication that for her it took acceptance to do what she is doing. It also took self-love. Like many people who have struggled to accept themselves because of being at the receiving end of trolls about their body.

“It was a process of tears, reopened scars. Above all self-acceptance. I have quite a few experiences with body shaming but I always shrug it off and wear my smile and confidence,” said Moeng.
The robust personality that does swim wear model, cooperate wear modelling and other modelling for brands, is a self-starter and keeps going because her desire to make a name for herself outweighs the piercing voices of those who think she’s not built for the industry.

PLUS SIZE MODELLING IN BOTSWANA

Botswana trails behind in acknowledging plus size women and helping them embrace and love themselves as they are. There are little to no platforms for plus size models, even with the ones that are present very little attention is given to them. This makes it difficult to help grow and instil confidence in a girl or even a boy child for that matter, that the images they see advertised are not realistic nor are they typical. They have been altered.

It is important that the next generation understands that beauty cannot be standardised, it is a subjective attribute that has many variables and trying to attain to a certain standard of beauty can have deleterious effects on oneself.

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WeekendLife

The art of mastering instrumentals

12th April 2021
Kagiso "Fella" Kenosi

You will know a tree by its fruits, the same way you will know a music producer by their works.

Top music producers in the country have set themselves apart through the quality music they produce and reap the results of international recognition from as far as the United States of America.

These producers are behind every star performer, listening and analyzing each and every note. When artists perform a vocal swell, rising to an octave that sounds like it’s going to shatter voice box, it’s easy to forget that someone was on the other side of the glass asking questions like, “Can you hit that note every night, or will it hurt too badly? Maybe we should lower the octave to save your voice?”

Producers make hundreds of decisions in each song, not to mention the push and pull relationships they have with talented performers.These relationships can make or break careers. Some of your favorite bands and artists wouldn’t be so memorable without a great producer helping to guide their distinct voices.

Kagiso Kenosi, or better known as Fella in the entertainment industry, is only 31-years old but he has already left his imprint in the music industry. The young chap, originally from Palapye, is not in the industry to add numbers, but to do his magic working behind the scenes producing hit song after hit song.

When most producers went to school to produce the hits that we hear today, Fella’s foundation and passion for producing came from being active in church.

“I grew up in a catholic orientated family where music is the essence of our religion. The love for music in its entirety emerged from enjoying singing at church and blossomed over the years as I grew up, being exposed to the internet and software’s such as fruity loops.”

Fella says he then learnt how to make beats and proceeded with vocal processing so besides the love for music, he had an amazing group of people who helped him reach his life dream; being the best in music production. The sky was the limit for Fella.

Unfortunately for so many music producers locally, this kind of hustle is basically about being famous. Some of them bite off more than they can chew just for a quick buck that doesn’t even go a long away for them. At the end of it all, these fly by night prima-donnas end up cutting corners and producing subpar records which eventually leads to a premature death for their careers.

Fella’s advice is that fellow colleagues should be patient and continue learning the craft, even if it means taking online tutorials. “Even though I’m still learning too, for I believe music is a fast infinite universe where no one can never say they know it all, I think believing in what one does, the level of creativity and being able to stand alone can do magic.

We living in an era where people go through a lot, so it is imperative for a music producer to be able to relate to those kind of situations. This takes only the right instrumentals, which will compliment emotions of an artist.”

The most asked question outside the music industry is; who chooses the instruments for a song, is it the artist or the producer? Fella gave his take;

“I make instrumentals and keep them until an artist comes to work on a song. That’s when I advise on whether I think the concept they chose goes hand in hand with the instrumentals. We will then look for a more appropriate song.

In some cases, artists can come and we record vocals without an instrumental and then get to make a beat on top of the recorded vocal which in that case guides me to make a relevant instrumental,” he said in an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday.

Digging more into finding the difference between a producer and an engineer, Fella clarified that there is not much difference. There is actually a thin line between the two even though an engineer does more than a producer when dishing out a song.

“We use the word production to credit people who only make beats. Engineers are people who record vocals, clean them, do the mixing and master the song preparing the record for radio. I must say an engineer, does the critical components of a song.”

As young as he is, Fella has been through thick and thin with young artists. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, because, frankly some of these fledging artists are way too complicated to work with. Fella admits that he too has flaws but c’est la vie, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

“It’s always a blessing and quite exciting because these different people of different energies and mind-sets and creativity will humble you. It’s a chastening experience and also accords me with experience to manoeuvre and adjust to people with different characters.

So truly, it has helped me grow as a person, and a producer.”

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WeekendLife

BOMU spruce up dirty laundry

30th March 2021
BOMU awards

Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is known for its bad reputation that has been getting worse over the years. There has been a lot of chinwag, squabbles and the organization literally lost touch. It has gotten so bad that stakeholders pulled out, and members were left with no choice but to face the music alone.

Just when you’d think the waters are calm, the new Executive Committee awarded a fledgling company, Total Music Group, to handle the 2021 music awards. This move was seen as a biased decision that got BOMU members bent out of shape.

However, BOMU Secretary General, Rasina Rasina told Weekendlife that the Executive Committee that it has many irons in the fire. He indeed admitted without reluctance that, BOMU has been clouded by hubbub.

“We pledged when the new administration took over that it would begin with cleaning our own house. We have built structures as we had promised and we are glad that they are fully functional. One of those is the disciplinary committee.”

“BOMU has for a long time appeared to be lacking discipline and proper laid down procedures. This has led to the organization losing out big in its endeavour to serve its members and the entire music fraternity. The National Executive Committee, chapter committees and sub-committees have committed to ensuring that non proper governance and accountability shall take centre stage and this is all that is happening,” Rasina told Weekendlife on Tuesday.

Rebuilding and rebranding a disintegrated intuition such as BOMU is not just a walk in the park, it needs concerted efforts and team work to actually reach that goal. A stitch in time saves nine, but as for BOMU, the entire union failed to address its dares a long time ago, but the union says everything is on track in recuperating public trust and fixing the mess created then.

BOMU Research and Policy Committee is hard finalizing a new code of conduct which will contribute significantly to how members and leadership conduct themselves and relate with each other for the furtherance of BOMU’s mandate, Weekendlife has been reliably informed.

“We are doing everything according to our constitution, logic and reason. We advise our members that they should point out where the constitution has been breached and that they are at liberty to follow due process and report any misconduct to the disciplinary committee,” said Rasina.

This is following the suspension of some executive committee members and BOMU subscribed members for questioning the integrity in awarding the music awards tender. Some members, told Weekendlife that they will seek legal advice on the matter.

“We do have members who have already appeared before the disciplinary committee on various charges and decisions are yet to be taken. We also have members who are yet to appear before the committee for various complaints levelled against them. Current suspensions are related to various complaints and offences.”

With regard to appointing Total Music Group, BOMU National Executive Committee says it used Article 9.3.19 of its constitution. The article says; “The National Executive Committee of BOMU shall have the authority to enter into legally binding contracts on behalf of the Union.’’

Rasina says the leadership needed a company to manage, host and sell the BOMU awards for five years consecutively so as to attain stability and refurbish the brand image of both the music awards and the organization. “Without any money at our disposal, we debated on the best model and agreed that we should engage a company that also has the capacity to mobilize resources. We used our discretion and decided on a direct appointment model which is perfectly legal and constitutional.”

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WeekendLife

SENEO PERRY: Beauty with a purpose

24th March 2021
Seneo Perry

To a stranger, Seneo Perry would describe herself as a young darling zealous about wildlife conservation, international travel and tourism enthusiast.

She is also a staunch believer in empowering young children through educational programs that could expose them to live improved livelihoods.

Perry is a former beauty queen (Miss Earth Botswana 2020). For her, a beauty queen should get down and put in some work, get dirt and make an impact. Of course a picture paints a thousand words, and judging from her successful projects, she lives the talk.

During her reign, Perry adopted the SOS Children’s Village. This is a home for 92 orphaned and less privileged children. She introduced few projects to aid the running of the children village, at the same time sourcing sponsors. She named one of her projects ‘Restoring the Prime Colors of the Earth.’

Restoring The Prime Colors of the Earth was founded on the basis of teaching children about the importance of conservation and environmental protection through tree planting and vegetable gardens.

The project, she told Weekendlife this week, gained local and international recognition, particularly from tourism magazines.

COVID-19 came over and messed up her strategies for the year. Perry however did not cry over spilt milk instead she was smart enough to divert into other streams of raising funds to execute her obligations.

Perry did not put all of her eggs in one basket by doing something that could make her get infected, but rather sold t-shirts that would double as a promotion strategy dubbed #PeopleWildlifeEnvironment. To this date, she raised over P7000.

“I love being out in the wild and promoting sustainable tourism. I would then pick the best 10 children that worked very hard at the project I have with them and introduce them to the wild with the money I raised,” she said in an exclusive interview.

“The idea is to stick to making the trip for the children educational especially on the aspect of conservation because realistically speaking tourism is the backbone of conservation.

I want them to have first-hand experience with the African elephant and visit the Elephant Havens Wildlife Foundation in Maun. Unfortunately due to floods in Moremi Game Reserve, the plan of a game drive has been aborted.”

Initially, Perry says she wanted the children to have been those from the SOS Children’s Village. She had to put them on ice due to insufficient funds to transport them to Maun. This however did not dishearten Perry, instead she located Bana Ba Letsatsi (in Maun) to embark on this journey.

She told Weekendlife that the trip will be undertaken today (Saturday 20th March 2021).“Tourism has always been the backbone of conservation and it needs to be protected. Therefore, it is imperative to introduce children to wild spaces so they get to appreciate the ecosystem in the wild.

These young children will be leaders and decision makers in the near future. Decisions made will either cause a catastrophe to the wild or help it recover to a point wherein both humans and animals co-exist.

Seneo Perry is an environmentalist equipped with a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University and Miss Earth Botswana 2019 finalist. She was crowned Queen in 2020.

She is also a member of Kalahari Conservation Society, a conservation society which is instrumental in environmental initiatives and activities that concern the environment.

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