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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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KUX DROPS LEFATSHE LENO

Keletso Thobega

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Hip-hop artist Kux has dropped a single dubbed Lefatshe leno, out of his latest EP titled That’s Me. The song is currently on high rotation on local radio stations and notable music platforms. In an interview with Vibe this week, Kuk said that he was pleased with the positive feedback to the song.

Born Kutlwano Kabelo Mokgatla in Selebi-Phikwe, 31-year-old Moshupa native, is also a composer and writer. He started his solo career in 1999. His first solo track, I Kicks It, was recorded by Young Sluggz and produced by Motswako Makaveli. He was still schooling in Johannesburg, South Africa then, and it was during this time that he got to interact with the likes of Zeus, KB and Samba T who he says are still some of his inspirations in the local music industry.

He recorded his second song Huskey with Loso and Lunatic in 2010. Lif Aman, produced by Skywalker Productions, recorded the song at Bazamele Records. In 2012 he put together a mix tape and worked with QBio and Uzzi among others. Last year he linked with GreedySkillz, which resulted in the introduction of long-time producer Lil Boi and signed onto his label Fiendz Music Records. “That is when we decided to fuse and create a dynamic apply named Motswako Palamente,” he recalls. Their track Shots played on Yarona FM for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he worked on a new EP titled L.I.F.E.S.T.Y.L.E ya mrepa.

The first single, Campus, featuring Saxxx, was released online and was downloaded more than a thousand times, and also featured on Yarona FM Hip hop show Headspace. In 2015 he recorded his second single Cough It Up featuring Jinx and Swazi Block. In 2016 he linked with Lanie and recorded and released a cover song titled R.I.C.O. originally done by Drake and Meek Mill, which raised heads for both of them. He later dropped his second mixtape, Phapha, which dropped later that same year. To wrap things up, he dropped BluChampagne. In 2017 he featured on Free, another single off Jinx mixtape. In 2018 he shot the video for BluChampagne and recorded a follow-up single titled CBD later the same year.

He says that he is working on more music individually and also wants to collaborate with local artists such as Apollo and Loosecat among others. He said he chose artists who he admires and has a strong following as this would also give him the vantage to extend into their markets. Kux also said that he is working towards a full studio album. He said he has international appeal and wants to create a brand that will be competitive globally.

“I dream of more than local awards…I aspire to clinch MTV and Grammy awards.” Earlier this year Kux was signed to Exclusive Media, which handles publishing, recording, vocal mixing mastering, recording, brand development, show outsourcing and general management. His management team explained that they are working hard to create a brand out of Kux and subsequently attract endorsements for him.

They said they had collaborated with several youth owned companies to help them build capacity and create seamless solid brands. “Through Exclusive Media, we have also created platforms for young artists, particularly those who are upcoming, to not only show them the ropes but also help them elevate their careers.”

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MARUATONA PUBLISHES ABSTRAXTION BOOK

Keletso Thobega

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Oarabile Omaru Maruatona has published a book titled Abstraxtion, a collection of literary summaries. He recently explained to Vibe that an abstract in a literary sense is a summary of a larger text.

“The pieces I wrote are abstracts in both a literary and artistic sense. In this book, I take the reader through the exhibition of my abstracts, hence Abstraxion. This is a word I came up with, and it is as daring as the book itself is,” he said. He further said his context at the time he started writing is what got him to write in the first place. “In 2010, I decided to leave the best job I could ever have in Botswana, as a graduate with Debswana to return to Australia.

I had previously studied my bachelors’ degree in Australia on a Debswana scholarship. I probably had the best job any graduate could have at the time, and I spent it moving from one section of the mine to another until I had covered the entire mining value chain. As you can imagine, it was an amazing opportunity and I was getting paid for it. So to walk away from a gig like that, I had to think deeper about the new Australian opportunity, an industry PhD.

“This is a PhD that one does in collaboration with an industry entity who have a direct interest in the research or the research outcome. My PhD was in collaboration with one of the biggest banks in Australia and involved researching and developing Artificial Intelligence algorithms to be used in the bank’s Internet banking systems for security. So all this overwhelmed me and I felt like I was going insane at some point. I needed an occasional outlet. To reaffirm my sanity, I started writing short pieces, mostly reflecting on my experiences and learnings.

I have always been a keen reader and a conscious consumer of music so as I started to write, my musical, literary and other artistic tastes came together and the product was the unique style of writing and content found in Abstraxion.”  Maruatona further noted that he first wrote the book for his sanity and intellectual freedom, and mostly because he loved it. “Over time, I realized my topics were always political, Africanist, philosophical and somewhat activist.

I resolved that if these pieces had to form a book, it had to inform and inspire the reader. I also knew that the book had to be on-point content-wise, style-wise and timewise. I wrote every piece when I had at least an hour to write, most pieces were written in between times, which is why the whole book took the duration of my PhD.

The book includes 45 pieces and I cover a range of topics including the state of Africa, the global economic system, climate change, personal introspection, old African legends and a few homages including one to women, one to my unborn child and another to the people who have enriched my life one way and another.” Maruatona noted that this book is for knowledgists: those who love and seek knowledge. “The book came from deep intellect but the philosophical notions shouldn’t scare the everyday reader. It is a book to be read, shared and discussed.”

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