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Katlego dishes eye candy

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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.

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Motlha to finally release debut album

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Trendsetting songbird Motlha is pencilled to release his solo album in February next year. Motlha is signed under Rok Lefatshe Records. The album will be produced by Suffocate. The vibrant singer currentlyhas three singles out and they include Hisa Hisa (featuring ATI), Mmamotse (which catapulted him to the top of the charts) as well as Nnenekwane.

Speaking in an interview with this publication last week ahead of his debut at the Mascom Live Sessions event featuring Bongo Maffin, he revealed that he started work on music for his debut album right after the release of Mmamotse.

He also says that the album is still a work in progress, and that he is yet to finalise the final list of songs that will make it into the album, as well as the name of the album. Ï am still eliminating and adding songs,” he explains.

He further says that his fans should look forward to collaborations with artists such as Zanda Zakusa (South Africa) and Soul Culture (also from South Africa). He reveals that he wants to work with a lot of artists who are in line with his vision.

He also notes that it is difficult for him to identify his genre. Some he says, classify his music as Afro Jazz, other Jazz with a fusion of RnB. Ï am still trying to classify my genre, and I might have to come up with a name for my sound,” he notes.His goal, he says, is to make music that touches and changes lives in a postive way. “I want to empower people through music.”

Meanwhile, Motlha proved his mettle as a stage performer of note when he put on an impressive performance at the Mascom Live sessions this past Friday.He gave revellers their money’s worth and many cheered and sang along throughout his energetic performance.

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Kokoamokoko entrances poetry lovers at his wedding

Irene Shone

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TALENTED: The recently married poet is working on a new album.

Former President’s Day competitions poetry award winner Okabo Gaopelo, also known as Kokoamokoko, tied the knot in style this past weekend in Mankgodi. The energetic performer could not help but serenade guests with his rich Setswana poetic rhythm. The superb poet better known as ‘Kokoamokoko’ planned on enjoying his day while listening to other poets doing what he loves best.

A variety of poets made his day as they added the cherry to the blissful wedding by presenting poems to him. While he had sworn that he would not recite any poem, his talent itched to be shared and he asked for the mic and gladly presented poetic verses, singing praises to his gorgeous wife.

The guests cheered him in amusement, imitating his usual line “Ke kokoamokoko weeee.”Gaopelo glamorously rocked his traditional attire that he normally use for his poetic sessions, saying that it is his signature for the love of arts. The bridesmaids and groomsmen also looked the part in the African attire, and they danced magnificently, showing off their well-choreographed moves.

They danced to the poet’ traditional song Ao ntate, from his album Tswhwarelo. Gaopelo told Vibe that he performed his work on his wedding day in order to motivate upcoming artistes who enjoy poetry and traditional music. He pointed out that many people think that many people seem to think that musicians and other arts practitioners do it to earn a living, but that is not the case.

“I wanted to show that we also do this out of passion and to showcase our talent. It really felt wonderful to perform for my wife and guests, and to also dance to my own song on my wedding day.” Gaopelo added that he plans to release another album next year.

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