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When rain clouds gather…

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A photographic exhibition titled Maruapula by Thalefang Charles is currently on show at the Thapong Arts Centre gallery until the 4th October. It boasts 30 awe-inspiring images taken over a period of five years. Charles notes that Maruapula coincides with September (Lwetse in Setswana – the month of sick clouds). Pula is not only currency, but also that rain is an integral part of the life of any Motswana. Rain perhaps resonates differently with people, but essentially, it has a personal significance. Most of the images are of veldts, roads and settlements but all capture clouds in different motions.

Like most Batswana, Charles was raised in a village, playing nkgodisa and the likes. From a young age he had to know which side the clouds were coming from because if the dark clouds were rising from Mogatsapoo (south west of Serowe) he had to run home because that would be pula ya matlakadibe (storm). One cannot help but conjure images of a young Charles, beady eyes staring at the sky, shaking at the grumbling of the clouds and running home, chest puffed out, dirty feet making strides to arrive home before the first pelt of rain hits the ground.

“When the thundering storm approached, I had to remember to cover mirrors in the house before the lightening saw its reflection, got angry and struck our house.” He further says that as a small child, rain brought joy and inconveniences. In Setswana traditional custom, when we exchange greetings or pleasantries, we ask about rain. We are a nation that prays for rain. Furthermore, “We come from a history of people who boasted rainmakers – and rain is associated with happiness and prosperity, but lack of it with hunger, frustration and even death,” as Charles states. He says that the title Maruapula, has a literal meaning but each image has a unique story behind it. “I have been following clouds, storms for a while and I felt it was time to present them.” Charles shares that the picture that has special significance is Matlakadibe.

“As small boys we knew that when matakadibe comes, you must run home.” Charles, who is also the author of the book Botswana’s Top 50 Ultimate Experiences, says that that he loves good stories. “A few years ago I discovered that I could retell stories with pictures. Photography is a powerful medium to tell stories. Everything has a story: trees, animals, roads, clouds, places… and obviously, people. The Internet has also brought out the storytellers in us.” He says that the arts deserve support and investment. “I have been using my own money to finance my projects but received help in some.” He further says that artists should utilise the resources at their disposal to boost their profile. “I encourage young people to publish their art through online mediums. I say to young artists, ‘Keep publishing what you already have and compete with your best. Be your biggest critic but don’t let anyone tear you down.”

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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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Model Olorato Erica going places

Keletso Thobega

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Tall and slender with striking features, Olorato Erica Moalosi turns heads everywhere she goes. This unique beauty has graced True Love magazine, been the face of the Mascom derby, Fashion without borders and the De Beers Forever Mark Diamond campaign among many others. She is a globetrotter with plans to take the global modeling world by storm and she sure has what it takes to be counted among the best.

The God fearing young woman who was born and schooled in Lobatse, was raised in the Guta Ra Mwari (Zvimiso) church. Straight from the streets of Woodhall, she went to school at Lesedi la pela before completing her secondary school at Crescent School. In school, she loved sport and took part and excelled in basketball and athletics. She started with beauty pageants in kindergarten but only fell in love with modeling in 2010.

After completing her Form five, she had not performed too well and took a gap year to re-write her IGCSE examinations. She then had time to explore her other interest and that is when she found her passion in modeling. After re-writing, she went on to do short courses in business, entrepreneurship, insurance and Portuguese. This kept her busy and gave her competitive leverage in the work sector but her love for modeling remained unchanged.

Moalosi says that the journey to modeling was stressful although it paid off in the end. She started off as a beauty queen and was a finalist in Miss Teen Universe Botswana Finalist in 2008 and 2013, and Miss Vision 2016 in 2013. In 2016 she made it to the top 16 of Miss Botswana and was crowned Miss Global International Botswana in 2016.

She joined Gemstones in 2011. “A friend of mine believed in the potential God bestowed in me and paid for my auditions at the time. Little did I know that experience would change my life! I was top four in Gemstones and had my first magazine feature.”

To date, her career highlights include Gaborone Fashion Week (2012), Independence Fashion Show (2013), Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show (2014-2017), President’s Day Competitions (2014-2018), Fashion Without Borders Fashion Show (2015-2017), Woolworths Fashion Show (2016), Mascom Derby Fashion Show (2017), Forever Mark Diamond Showcase (DeBeers) Africa (2017), True Love Magazine Night Of Style Fashion Show (2018), which was held in South Africa, Zimbabwe Fashion Week (2018) and Africa Fashion International Johannesburg Fashion Week (2018) as well as Look Of The Year Competition (2018),where she was chosen out of the whole of Africa to represent Botswana in China.

Moalosi says that for one to excel as a model, they should preserve and also be consistent, passionate, authentic, disciplined and professional. She points out that Botswana is still lagging behind in growing the modeling industry, but there is progress. “We need to stick together. Let’s nurture and grow the talent we have. Furthermore, more seminars should be held to equip aspiring models with knowledge and skills about the industry. Just because one is tall, it does not mean one can be a model. But stakeholders such as the Ministry Of Youth Sports And Culture Development have made effort and other companies and individuals should come on board.”

Moalosi says that in modeling one day in you’re in and the next you are out. “My secret weapon is prayer. I believe in the beauty of my dreams. The fact that I may not be where I aspire to be also keeps me going. I aspire to be better than Model Erica from 2011 and grab every opportunity that comes my way.” She advises aspiring models to never give up on their dreams. She also says that it is important to do research and that rejection is sometimes necessary because it is meant to be a form of motivation. She adds: “Confidence is the best outfit you can wear as a model.”

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