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AIMING FOR THE STARS: Thipe is unstoppable Source:The Midweek Sun

Botswana’s multi-talented entertainer Itumeleng Thipe has seen it all just at age 25 having had acting stints at two of South African soapies in Generations the legacy and Muvhango as well as being a TV presenter at Zallywood Productions, a channel on DSTV is still soaring high up in the skies.

In 2015, she appeared among staff members of Hastag staff members in Generations before she acted on Muvhango as Rendani’s university close friend, two roles she said opened doors for her.

Speaking to Vibe recently in Francistown where she is planning a modelling workshop and Ikalanga-themed fashion show, Thipe admitted that back home things are not that professional as compared to South Africa but expressed hope that the situation could improve. She noted that her main aim is to focus on youth through various workshops on modelling acting and fashion designing hence her partnership with an American designer of repute.

She also She shared that she was an entertainer, presenter, hostess and masters of ceremonies who learnt all the skills in Mzansi through her own desire accompanied by talent, hence it did not take for both Muvhango and Generations talent scout to use her when the opportunity arose. As a TV presenter, she disclosed that she would single handedly find location for the show, write its script as well as coming up with content which included celebrity guests as well as controlling the quality of the show.

Her other achievement include being a Miss Earth Botswana finalist of 2007, Miss Francistown 2009, Miss Earth Botswana finalist top six and she also Modelled for BOCCIM in 2009.

Thipe added that she is very excited to be working with a USA based designer Clavon h. Leronard, whose story is quite inspirational.  At the age of twelve, Clavon had a dream of seeing people walk down the runway in his clothing. He did not fully comprehend the dream then, but saw the affinity for clothing and being well dressed. Appearance was important and his father’s care for style instilled in him his own passion to express himself through clothing. The freedom Clavon found in fashion became limited as high school required uniforms. “With that restriction, then came a greater awareness of his skin colour.

The experiences of high school pushed Clavon to experiment with fabrics, colours, and patterns so his skin was not the only thing standing out.” At age 51, Clavon is finally living the dream he had as a young boy. From his first NYFW show with the Set NY in 2014, doors began to open. In 2015, he showcased at Mercedes Benz New Zealand, Fashion Gallery NYFW, Fashion Week Los Angeles, to his stand alone show for NYFW in 2017. His designs have been featured in publications such as British Vogue, Tattler, and British GQ, and he has dressed and styled Carla Hall of ABC’s “The Chew”, pop music’s Frankie Zulferino, and NFL star Jonathan Casillas.

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BOSJE elevates jazz education in Botswana



CHANGING LIVES: Music has the power to empower youth.

The Botswana Society of Jazz Education (BOSJE) will host the 9th annual International Jazz Day for the 3rd time this year at the Maitisong theatre. According to the founding chairperson Akhutlheng Mogami, the society was formed to create a platform for jazz musicians and aspiring jazz musicians to grow and share ideas and even have their work documented.

“As a society, we have realized a need for jazz education. There is also no documentation about jazz in Botswana, which makes it difficult for both the teachers and students when it comes to teaching and learning about jazz as there is no local content to refer to. It is also for purposes of funding applications to run workshops and host festivals and exchange programs that we needed to have a legally registered nonprofit making entity as this one,” she said.

BOSJE was officially registered on the 31st of August 2015 with the registrar of societies and some its objectives include to ensure the growth of Jazz in Botswana and development of jazz education; to build jazz community by advancing education and research; to document, preserve and archive our Botswana jazz heritage; to promote skills development and performance through jazz camps, exchange programs and jazz shows and festivals, and to also develop new audiences.

In January 2017 the society formed a youth jazz big band (Big Bands). Mogami noted that they managed to bring together young people from all walks of life to teach them about jazz and how to play jazz. Since then, the band has been growing substantially both musically and professionally. She noted that The Big Bands in Botswana project which aims to put together jazz bands in schools and communities all over the country. “The project brings together young people and teaches them to play music in an ensemble set up.

The project commenced on the 15th of February 2019 with the primary objective of this project is to bring positive social change through music. Children who are involved in this music program receive a music education, which we believe will lead them to improved overall academic success. The children will also learn the essential skills needed for the 21st century workforce.

In addition to that, these children will also have a platform to exercise their creativity, and all this will in turn grow their confidence.” The band has graced the Masire foundation annual gala dinner, International Jazz Day, Annual De Beers sight holders Dinner, and Gaborone toastmasters among others.

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Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego drop love sin gle

The MidweekSun Admin



NEW OFFERING: Benson & Diva Vebrok’s listening session rocked

Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego recently released their joint single titled Ha o ka leba. The two launched the song at a listening session at Greenberry Gardens. Music artists including Nono, Franco and promoters PP and Gloria Dzwikiti as well as other industry role players flocked the venue to listen to what the two have to offer and they were not disappointed.

The single is good quality – from the melody, lyrics, rthyme and production. The divine diva Diva Vebrok adds a golden touch with her smooth voice while the bold and eloquent Phutego’s voice complements hers as he breaks out into poetry.

Director of ceremony at the listening session Berry Heart also kept the crowd galvanised throughout the night with her energetic spirit. President of Music Promotions Zenzele Hirschfield expressed appreciation for the support rendered to the two and highlighted that it is important for artists to support one another. “I am honoured to see that that many people in the local music industry have come out to support their fellow artists.

This means a lot and we really need to unite as artists all the time,” she said. She sang praises for Diva Vebrok who she said was passionate and hard working. “She is more than just an artist but also an influencer and entrepreneur. She is one of the women in the music industry who work hard and never give up on their craft,” she said.

Phutego impressed the crowd with his words of wisdom as he appreciated being featured by Ve brok on the single. “It was great working with her as she is passionate and hard working. Women are the pillars of society and as such they should be respected. I have no regrets about this project because I am confident that we produced a great love song.”

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