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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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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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