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A night of awe at the #BETXAFRICA

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All roads led to the Ticketpro Dome in the city of Gold, Johannesburg this past Saturday for are of the biggest lifestyle and entertainment event to take place on the continent – BET Experience Africa –trending under the hashtag, BETXAFRICA.

The event, the first of its kind, organised by BET Africa, a channel showing on DStv, marked the first time that the BET Experience took place outside the United States of America. And it lived to its hype of bringing only the crème de la crème, of music, comedy, fashion, as well as motivational speakers. For 24 hours, multitudes of fun lovers descended on the venue, and partied like rock stars.

One thing that media personalities from several African countries including Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Botswana, Zambia and Ghana noted was the amount of work that went into putting an event of this magnitude. It also became evident once, one walked into the venue that a lot of manpower and infrastructure had been deployed to give revellers the best Christmas outing, one that will forever remain etched in their memories. 

The most important event of the day for those who were itching to dance till their feet hurt was reserved for the evening. On the line-up were top performers who have over time mastered the art of live performance. Starting off the mouth-watering line-up was none other than Tanzania’s Diamond – the young performer left no stones unturned, and gave his fans a thrilling set.

Next up was the sexy Nigerian born Flavour of Nwa baby fame. The minute he took to the stage everything changed, the man who is popular for his rubber waist was in his best element and brought the house down. He was particularly on point when he completed his set with the performance of his most popular hit, Nwa baby, sending all in the Dome into a frenzy.

Even the VIP section where the likes of the minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula was seated turned into something else, with many silently shaking what their mamas gave them. Others who also held their own was the Twitter king of South Africa, AKA who for once was not spewing bile on social media, but was using his talent to spread love. For once, people were not looking for a corner to hide, but were embracing him and his music.

American rapper, Young Thug making a grand entrance on stage with a heavy jacket that looked like a heavy blanket sold at Oriental Plaza, also rewarded his fans for their loyalty. He was short and sweet, and even for those who could not grasp his lyrics, they still enjoyed his perf.

The last two performances of the night were by U.S born award winning artists Mary J.Blige and Maxwell. MJB was in her best element and she was a marvel to watch.

Pausing between performances to give her fans a bit of wisdom, she thrilled with performances of several of her all time hits. Maxwell, of ‘This woman’s work,’ who was also the headline artist, also delivered, taking time to spread love and showcase why he is one of the best performers in the worlds right now. Flexing his muscles on stage, and taking routines that appeared like he was in an exercise session, he beautifully concluded the first of many BET Experience Africa events.

Prior to the main festival taking place in the evening, dozens of revellers trickled into the venue, both young and old, all looking forward to a one of a kind experience. They were treated to several build-up events that took place at the venue including a fashion show featuring none other than Africa’s top designer, David Tlale who recently returned from New York Fashion week with his retro themed designs. 

On the one end, those who were looking for motivation were given the opportunity to listen to inspirational talks from gurus that included South Africa’s Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, Khanyi Dlomo a media mogul, Amadou Fall, Beverly Bond of Black Girls Rocks, Greg Maloka, as well as Stephen Hill.

For those who were looking for some light entertainment that could loosen their jaws, they were treated to the best of Comedy with stand-up comedians that included David Kau, Jason Goliath, Kenya’s Churchill and many more.

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BOSJE elevates jazz education in Botswana

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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

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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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