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BOMU Awards 2017 Hits and Misses

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The 9th Botswana Music Union (BOMU) was an electric affair that attracted scores of Batswana and guests from across the borders. The night was all about celebrating local talent and it was great to see how everyone had a blast! Vibe was in the mix of things and we jostled down what was super cool and what needs to improve. Hits:

** It was packed to the rafters. It was heart warming to see so many people thronged to GICC to celebrate homegrown talent. Keep it up Batswana!

**ATI bagging six awards. It was undoubtedly his year to shine!

** The clap and tap gospel performance was a refreshing act. Thank you to the organisers for appreciating the fact that Batswana are a Christian people who believe in worship. It was marvellous!

**Sponsored categories. It is great to see how locals go all out to support those who are trying to make a living through music. We all know that the BOMU awards don’t come with a fat pay cheque but some local businesses sponsored several categories.

**Having top guests in our midst like a team from Lesotho radio and from South Africa, Tshwane University of Technology, at the invitation of BOMU boss Pagson Ntsie, who graduated there in mechanical engineering, as well as from India, Ekam Maanuke, who also performed with Berry Heart. It is great to see locals cement ties with other countries through the arts and media. Misses:

**The seating arrangement was muddled up. Performers, artists, journalists, judges and other guests sat anywhere. Some artists were seated at the back and had to walk all the way to take their award, while journalists craned their necks to see what was going on. Next time please have accreditation tags and devise a more organised seating plan. Worse still, the MCs were boring. In fact, Mokaragana presenters Lehenza and Atamelang did a better job when they presented an award because they were energetic and upbeat. Next time choose people with a bit of energy.

** Charma Gal seriously needs an attitude makeover despite her fame and talent. She was cold and uptight. Honey, no amount of make-up can conceal a stinking attitude. Don’t forget that “the masses” made you what you are, so be nice or life will chew and spit you out back to Lerala. Swallow some chill!

**Vee snubbing the awards. He is suddenly too big for the Botswana that made him? Those South Africans once used him and he returned home crying. To make matters worse, of late his music sucks. He has forgotten that it is Batswana who understand and appreciate his music, everything else is business. Oh, how we miss the days of Taku Taku and Pompatswidi.

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Model Olorato Erica going places

Keletso Thobega

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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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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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