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Mr Confidence a resounding success

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The inaugural Mr Confidence 2017 pageant attracted an impressive crowd on Friday evening at the Civic Centre in Gaborone, where Edward Dhliwayo was crowned king. Thuso Rrasetapa was crowned first prince. The organisers pulled all the stops for the unique and meaningful pageant that showed inclusion of everyone in the community. The gentlemen were dressed to the nines in their elegant suits and stunned the audience as they graced the ramp on their wheel chairs in full confidence. The MC for the evening Matlhare Matlhare did a sterling job of ensuring that proceedings went smoothly.

The audience was quite receptive and supportive as they happily cheered on the seven gentlemen who vied for the crown. Second prince, Leatile Kgokong impressed the judges as he tried by all means to utilise the time he was given on stage. Despite his disability, he danced and showed off happily, much to the crowd’s delight. Kgokong cannot speak but everyone could tell that he was excited about the opportunity as he enjoyed himself on the stage, let alone the happiness that he expressed when he was crowned the second prince. His emotional mother could not contain her excitement.

“I am so grateful for this contest because it brings hope to our children living with disabilities. My son can’t do anything for himself and he cant even talk but I thank God for the initiative because here he is. He has emerged the winner tonight,” she said. Spokesperson of Botswana Society for the Deaf (BSD), who also forms part of the organising team, Mpho Tapela stated that Mr Confidence is a build up activity for the commemoration of International Day for People living with disabilities to be commemorated on November 29th. “The committee is comprised of different stakeholders who advocate for disability and lead by Gaborone City Council. Every year there has to be a celebration via a beauty pageant to encourage people living with disabilities,” she said. Tapela further explained that they started with deafness and last year the pageant was focused on Intellectual disability, while this year they chose to embrace physical disability through Mr Confidence to give men in wheelchairs a chance to express themselves.

“This initiative was meant to instil confidence in the disabled thereby making them to realise that they can do anything that the so-called able bodied can do because their disability should not be a stumbling block in their lives,” she added. Mr Confidence 2017 Dhliwayo commended the initiative, saying that they too need such opportunities. “I was not expecting the crown since it was the first time I have entered such a competition, but thanks to my dearest wife who believed so much in me, however, I am not doubtful that I am the winner because I am confident in everything that I do. I am just overwhelmed as I build my legacy and enduring the spirit of respect from the community and environment around me,” he said. Dhliwayo uses a wheel chair as a result of car accident he was involved in several years ago. He noted that he looks forward to advocating for other disabled people during his reign. “My intention is to change our country Botswana and better the lives of people living with disabilities. I plan to inspire them and encourage them to face their fears and make their dreams come true. I often hold workshops, and address gatherings and hold motivational talks to inspire the disabled to overcome their challenges,” he said.

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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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