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Here comes Diamond, the Celebrity Stylist

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Business Trends: Who is Thabiso or can I say Diamond?Thabiso: My full names are Thabiso Moje but most people know me as Tlhomamo Diamond, with many calling me Diamond. I was born in Thamaga.

Business Trends: Why did you choose a career in styling, most specifically celebrity styling?
Thabiso: Well one doesn’t wake up and chooses to be a Celebrity Stylist. You start from the bottom as a regular stylist/artist and grow gradually if you have passion and drive for the cut throat industry. One needs to be exposed to the entertainment circles to prosper in this industry. You need celebrity clients who will believe in your art and skill. We all know the celebrity culture is not that prospering at the moment in Botswana. Only a few take branding seriously and hire Stylists, be it Fashion Stylists or Make-up Artists. I started as a Registered Cosmetologist and majored in Proffessional Make up, TV effects and Special FX.I strived everyday back then to be the best hence attracted a lot of artists, public figures and many other influential people.

Business Trends: How long have you been in the styling industry?
Thabiso: I have been in this game for seven years now.

Business Trends: What qualifications are needed for someone to become a stylist?Thabiso: Any person with the right skill and passion can be a stylist. You can still be a Stylist with a Political Science degree, we have Fashion Gurus such as the likes of Mothusi Lesolle who did sciences in school and still made it big in the industry through passion and determination. There are some Organisations to land a job in a Magazine or TV, a Fashion/Beauty portfolio is an added advantage. One can study Fashion and Design or Beauty Technology.

Business Trends: Which university did you attend?
Thabiso: I did Cosmetology with the University of Cape town.

Business Trends: Describe your normal day at work?
Thabiso: With me normal is not the word to use, I literally do whatever it takes. I deal with production (Special projects making, TV programmes, hair styling, make up, props and wardrobe among others. I also get to write articles for certain blogs.  In addition, I get to do some work for the guild of celebrity make up Artists based in Johannesburg.

Business Trends: What are some of the highs and lows of working as a stylist in the local market?
Thabiso: As a stylist, you need to make contacts with PRs who will lend you clothes or even custom make garments for your client needs and it can be quite challenging as most local designers are not keen to lend their clothes. All styling jobs are pretty hard to secure. Doing make up, hair, fashion styling, prop styling for the fashion and entertainment industry is no easy task. Financially, it can be rewarding if you are focused. Life is full of suprises. You may have your heart set at being a fashion stylist or a TV make up artist, then after working on one project for several months or even days, you discover that the long hours and pay scale are not what you expected. In contrast, you may decide after working on a CD cover or a fashion sped that you like the fast pace and the styles for shooting print assignments is more suited to your creative abilities.

Business Trends: What kind of advice can you give to aspiring stylist?
Thabiso: For those of you out there trying to establish yourselves as stylists, start testing as soon as possible. That means doing “trial” shoots, where you work with a team who is looking to create their portfolio, and everyone works for free. Building a portfolio, getting experience, and making contacts are the first steps in a styling career. You also need to have a good eye, and that is something that cannot really be taught. The right attitude and consistency is key in this field. You are as good as your last gig.

Business Trends: Does being a celebrity stylist pay?
Thabiso: First of all one needs to be driven by passion. You must never chase money but work really hard until what you want pursues you. Yes you can make good money if you are focused and strategic.

Business Trends: Is styling industry growing in Botswana?
Thabiso: Yes it is now growing. More and more people are taking themselves seriously and government is also starting to recorgnise fashion and Art. We are getting there and I’d say we are getting there.  For it to grow even further we need people who are passionate about the art.

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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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