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Youngster explores photography as business

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Ontlametse Mokhwela of Bob Photography says photography is still a new business in Botswana that he dreams to take to the next level. He believes that though it creates opportunity for business not everyone with a camera will succeed in photography business. The 22-year-old says that photography requires so much passion. “Everyone can do photography but on the other hand, it requires different strategies and different styles to make a photographer unique, while presenting their different work,” he says.

Mokhwela started as a videographer at church in 2012 and soon realised that he was indeed born for photography. He shares that he could even dodge school for his video captures in South Africa. He told Business Trends that he started without a camera or computer, but depended on borrowing from other people until he saved enough for his own equipment to fulfil his mission of being a businessman through photography. His work is impressive and many people are fond of it. Since the establishment of the company in 2015, many have shown support. He has more than 14 000 followers on his facebook page, Bob Photography.

The renowned photographer captures photographs in functions such as; weddings, parties, baby showers, maternity shoots, corporate functions and he also designs business cards, posters and flyers. He is thankful for his church where he used to work for free and sees himself growing. “I want to reach America in three years time just through photography, because it is an art and a business that requires exploring,” said Mokhwela. He has employed a manager at Bob Photography and also has two models that are the face of Bob Photography, while he also often engages people on freelance basis on his projects. Mokhwela says that in order to enhance photography in Botswana, he will from next month have lessons for photographers to help them achieve quality work. He says photography is still new in Botswana and it is best for people to do it right if they want to make a living out of it.

He also does street photo shoot and so far he has done it in Main mall, CBD, Bonnington Farm and Molapo Crossing. He believes that, “if you want to achieve something, do it and don’t wait for anyone to help you with money”. Mokhwela has so far worked with Vee, Jack Botlhoko, Owen Banks, Stone Maplanka and Abed Mogorosi, as well as in national events that include; Orange Tour 2017, GIMC 2017, ST Louise 2017 and BUAN 50th celebrations.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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