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Amantle Ntshole: Ascending songstress and engineer

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Many will remember her as the petite aspirant singer with a strong and powerful voice who took to the My Star stage in 2011, and sang passionately with unmatched keenness and hunger for success.

Born Amantle Ntshole, 22 years ago, this ambitious girl who hails from Morwa village, has worked hard to make her dreams come true. Amantle openly shares about being raised in an underprivileged home, but that this didn’t stop her from dreaming big.

“I could see that beyond that affliction, I could rise from poverty and one day share my testimony. I thank God for uplifting me. The challenges I have faced in the past didn’t break me but rather, made me who I am today,” she says.

Amantle comes from a close-knit family comprising of her parents and two sisters, Andile and Chedza, who she says are all supportive of her music career. Growing up, Ntshole never imagined that she could sing before crowds because she was extremely shy and lacked confidence. Things changed in 2007, when she joined a choir at Borwa CJSS called The Saint. Everybody instantly fell in love with her voice.

In 2011, immediately after completing her Form 5 exams, she decided to enter popular singing competition, My Star. “I didn’t have any expectations or clear goals. However, after I made it to the top ten, I realised that I had potential,” she says.

Amantle was eliminated in the 9th spot. Her knockout was a huge blow. “I cried like a baby. I thought it was the end of me. I felt cheated and wanted to prove a point. I carried a lot of negative energy because I was so hurt,” she recalls.

She eventually decided that languishing in bitterness and wallowing in pity would do her no good. Amantle wasted no time in putting together her music career. Her first ever single, Drop it Low, released in 2014, didn’t do well. She returned to the studio with talented producer, Orbylardo, and burst onto the music scene in February this year with the contemporary hit song, Moratiwa.

It topped music charts on local radio stations and pumped at jazz shows, parties and in kombis. The song is a plea to a man who has abandoned his home nest to return. This is an accurate reflection of reality, especially considering the rampant “trend” in our society in which some men dump their partners with children. Amantle had hit home for many Batswana; and what more, she sang in Setswana.

Amantle has since then worked with local artists such as ATI, Mapetla and DJ Kuchi among others. She hopes to one day collaborate with local talents Charma Gal, Lizibo and Samantha Mogwe. She also dreams of working with South African house music duo Uhuru and Nigerian music star Davido.

Amantle recently returned from Lagos, Nigeria, where she attended the Africa Music Awards (AFRIMAs) as the country’s representative and nominee in the “Best revelation” category. Ntshole is also a nominee in this year’s Yarona FM Music Awards’ best female singer category. At the recently held BOMU awards, she was nominated in the Best Female Artist, Best RnB and Best Newcomer categories. She walked away with the latter gong.  

Earlier this year, she was among the artists invited to perform in Zimbabwe at a concert aimed at raising awareness against xenophobia. Amantle has also undergone a makeover from a tomboy, and nowadays sports a stylish hairdo and dresses in fashionable garb which accentuates her slim perky figure, and gives her an alluring, mature and effortlessly feminine edge.

But if you think that she’s all song and looks, but no brains, think again… Amantle balances her music career with her studies at the University of Botswana where she is a third year student in Mineral Engineering.

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JUST PROPAGANDA

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Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.

It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.

According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.

Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.

“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.

Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.

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ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING

Yvonne Mooka

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IN GOOD TIMES: The late Matlhogonolo with Simba in good times

Simba Mooketsi Mampori, 31, of Mbalambi allegedly killed his girlfriend in Bontleng, Gaborone and used her blood to scribble a message on the wall.

The message read, ‘Ke lapisitswe ke maaka’- translated to mean ‘I am tired of lies.’ Matlhogonolo Moshashu’s body was found inside his sister’s rented house in Bontleng.Mampori and Moshashu, 34, had a two year-old child together. Mampori allegedly killed her in March 31 by stabbing her with a screw driver, which was found inside the house. In an interview with The Midweek Sun this week, Otilia Kholiya, one of the tenants in the yard, said that she arrived on that fateful Sunday to find a yellow tape surrounding the yard with the police all over the place.

She said that she was the one who helped with cleaning. “He used her blood and wrote ‘Ke lapile ke maaka.’ I washed all the blood in the house by myself. Although police officers suspect that he used the screw driver they found in the house to kill her, I beg to differ. “That blood was just too much, it must have been something bigger,” she said, adding that they found a new dress that the deceased was going to wear to Mampori’s sister’s baby shower.

Another tenant Nicah Mandefu said that the house belonged to Mampori’s sister and that she rarely slept there and preferred her parents’place in Gaborone. She stated that she saw Mampori with his girlfriend arrive on Saturday around 4pm. “I don’t know him much because the house belongs to his sister. He probably just needed it for the weekend to spend time with his girlfriend who was staying and working outside Gaborone.

“They just greeted me and another tenant as we were sitting in front of our house. They stayed for 30 minutes and left. They would come again around 7pm,” she said. Mandefu said it was the first time she saw the deceased.

Murder
Mandefu said that Mampori’s sister arrived on Sunday around 9am, found her house locked and asked about his whereabouts. “She then told me that the lady he was with was actually his girlfriend and mother of his child,” she said. After some time, the sister returned to tell them that she received a report to say Mampori was found in Mmankgodi where he had tried to hang himself on a tree after killing Mashashu.

Upon failing to kill himself, he drove off recklessly at high speed, thus catching the attention of the police who stopped and charged him with reckless driving. “The police then noticed that he was not well as he had bruises from trying to kill himself. He could not even speak to the police but wrote down his mother’s phone number and gave them the keys to the sister’s house.

“They then took him to Thamaga Primary Hospital to be attended for his wounds on the neck, and later the police called his family and finally drove together to Bontleng where they found his girlfriend dead inside the sister’s house,” the neighbour tenant narrated to The Midweek Sun.

Serial killer
According to Botswana Police Service Deputy Public Relations Senior Superintendent Near Bagali, Mampori is also linked to another murder that occurred on 26 March in Gaborone in which a 39-year old woman from Molepolole was found with stab wounds.

At the time of his arrest, Mampori was awaiting trial for two murder cases committed in Mahalapye and Gaborone in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The deceased were his girlfriends. He was arraigned before Extension 2 Magistrate Court last Wednesday. He is incarcerated and expected back in court on April 17.

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