Preach against alcohol, drugs and crime
Formalisation of pantsula movement in the pipeline
Once a pantsula, always a pantsula; it is a lifestyle. The pantsula never fail to turn heads because they always look dapper. Dandyism is a part of black culture and the pantsula are no exception.
Their style has been unaffected by the evolution of trends and pervasive street style in black communities. But for the pantsula, it is more than being fashion conscious but also paying homage to their black roots and reflecting a significant cultural period that resonates even today. The cultural and aesthetic of pantsula might not be well-documented, but in recent years more people have become interested in them.
The pantsula movement emerged in the 1950s and 60s. Initially, it was just a pastime for largely young men who danced to entertain themselves. It was later perceived as a response to forced removals during the Apartheid era – as you might know, black South Africans used song and dance to express themselves during that challenging time. The high-energy ecstatic sycophantic dance style became more popular over the years. Considering that Africans often copy trends from the West, pantsula remains one of the styles and modern sub-cultures unique to southern Africa.
There are many ma-pantsula in Botswana; a bit more than you could possibly imagine, actually. No, not run off the mill riff-raff who pick pocket and stab people, but rather clean, respectable and responsible men and women, who are passionate about the sub-culture.
This past weekend the pantsula from Old Naledi branch members inspirited a street parade hosted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture development on Saturday morning. They later flocked to Mochudi to join hundreds of members from more than ten other branches across the country, who took part in a parade festival hosted to fight alcohol and drug abuse.
The executive team, comprised of chairman Fejus ‘BraFejo’ Modise, Senki ‘Tiza’ Chaba, Mompati ‘Sparks’ Dikgomo and Ntsima ‘Tizolah’ Sekao, are intent on ensuring that ma-pantsula get a positive image. I get this sense when I meet them for an interview on a cool Monday morning. They beam when they see me and greet in the traditional Setswana manner, exchanging polite pleasantries. Clad in stylish garb, they attract attention as passersby jostle to look or ask for a picture.
Confidence pours from their every pore as they sway in stride. The youngest, Tizolah, has a spring in his step and seems ready to break into energetic dance. But apart from the pantsula vibes, they are ordinary family men, sons, uncles and members of society, who are worried about the social ills and want to see a better future for the country. Dikgomo explains that the culture derived from Mbanqanga music, which paved way to disco. “At the time, local pantsula danced to South African township music. The likes of Dan Tshanda introduced township disco here,” he recalls. A meeting with Patrick Boloko who was a member of the Botswana Defence Force led to the idea of taking pantsula seriously. “At that time, we were dancing for Don B shortly after the release of his offering Banna wee,” he says. They later hooked up with Senki. The trio established a pantsula movement and named it Dlala Pantsula. Last year they met Modise, who hails from Kopong, who suggested that they host pantsula dance competitions across the country. They have not looked back since. They have traversed southern Botswana and have been to Thamaga, Kanye, Molepolole, Kopong, Tlokweng, Lentsweletau and Mochudi. The next parade festival will be in Ramotswa on the 7th of October.
Modise says that reception has been promising but they need tangible support. They currently want to help an underprivileged former pantsula based in Mahalapye but are struggling to piece together the project due to lack of funds. Chaba says that they also want to purchase a combi bus and have resources to incentive winners in their competitions, as well as travel around the country. “We want to go to places such as Maun and other areas in the North,” he says. They want to build trust in communities and work with the police and community leaders to help combat crime. “The kgosi in Old Naledi recently summoned us and expressed gratitude over what we do. The police have also stated their faith in us,” Dikgomo says. The groups also perform at weddings and parties and other social events. They can be reached on 76 39 50 51.
Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego drop love sin gle
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.”
Model Olorato Erica going places
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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