This hunk is Katlego Banyatsi (23), the new face of Jack’s Gym. Thanks to his chiselled body, good looks and humble nature, the head model at X Models Agency is making strides in the local modelling and fashion industry. While Banyatsi concedes that there are several challenges besieging the modelling industry in our country, he is optimistic that the situation will improve with time and that the industry will be better appreciated. Banyatsi talks to Vibe about the ups and downs of modelling, and how determination has helped him reach his goals.
If Katlego Banyatsi were to take off his shirt, many ladies (and gents) would probably swoon over his sexy body. The gent is hot, and he knows it. Getting one’s body into tip-top shape is an art that requires a lot of self-discipline and commitment, and he bears testimony to this.
Banyatsi, who was recently unveiled as the new face of Jack’s Gym, is fast gaining traction as one of Botswana’s most esteemed male models. The software engineering student at Limkokwing University says that he only started working out in 2014. Within a year, his physique had transformed impressively to one that is toned, with defined muscles and flat hard abs.
The opportunity to model cropped up when he came across a social media post inviting aspirant models to join X Models Agency, owned by Leatile Motlhalamme. Banyatsi tried his luck and was selected. He is now the head model at the agency, which he gives credit for giving him a headstart. Banyatsi says that getting one’s body into perfect shape is no walk in the park and that is why many people fall off the radar when it comes to fitness and body sculpting. “In order to achieve anything, you need to be determined and put in the hard work.
It is important to have an end goal and work towards achieving it,” he says. Being strict with his diet and working out daily are sacrifices he makes to ensure that he is always in tip-top shape. To date, Banyatsi has modelled for Keno Suits and was the face of the Grand Palm wedding Expo last year. He also took to the runway at shows that include Grey Goose Fashion show, X Fashion show, X Models and FNB fashion show.
Most recently, he sizzled at the Presidential Competitions fashion shows, both regional and national. Banyatsi says that a lot of work goes on behind the scenes in modelling. “Models work with different people, and before the show, they are expected to go for measurements and fittings, attend rehearsals and choreography classes.” He says that the day of the event is often the most nerve wrecking.
“We are expected to be at the venue at least six hours prior to the show. After we have prepared ourselves we socialise with other models while waiting to be called up for make-up and the final fittings. Strutting your stuff in front of many eyes can be daunting but you get used to it.” Banyatsi is overwhelmed by the positive feedback that he has received since he started modelling. The money isn’t that bad either, he says, but hastens to add that there is room for improvement. “One can make the average salary of an employed Motswana for a day’s work.
It’s just that the industry here is still small and modelling gigs are few and wide apart; this makes it very difficult to live off modelling alone because the income is inconsistent.” Banyatsi admits that it is still early days to make modelling a full-time career in Botswana. He also bemoans how models are not taken seriously. “What we do is often not treated like work and models are often exploited.” Needless to say, he remains optimistic that this will change with time.
Making outstanding art through waste material
Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame
Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.
One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.
Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.
He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”
BOMU awards go on…
The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.
The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.
He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.
We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”
Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.
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