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Young author releases inspirational novel

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Budding writer Olerilwe Sennanyana has published a short novel titled Segwaba itaye, an offering that is sure to stamp his name among the finest storytellers on the literary landscape.

The 26-year-old has an excellent command of Setswana and combined with creativity and passion for storytelling. It is this talent that motivated him to release his first-ever novel, which took five years to complete. Local company Diphalana Publishing published him.

Sennanyana financed the project through a youth grant. ‘Segwabe itaye mmago o sule’ is a Setswana adage, which means that one should be responsible for their own life without depending on others or blaming their circumstances for their misfortunes.

A reserved and soft-spoken unassuming character, Sennanyana doesn’t speak much but his boyish grin brightens up his handsome face when he talks about his writing. He concedes that writing a book in Setswana was not well-received in all quarters as some people prefer to write and dialogue in English, but he asserts that it is important for Batswana to be proud of their culture and language.

Sennyanana hails from Kanye but was raised in Lobatse. He discovered his writing talent when he was still a learner at Letsopa Secondary. By the time he proceeded to Lobatse Senior Secondary school (Lobsec), he was a marvel with the pen. He singles out his former teacher Sophie Modiegi Gaborone for believing in him. “She would read out my compositions to other learners, encouraging them to learn from me.

This motivated me to write more because it confirmed that I have a gift,” he explains. He however hastens to add that the teacher used tough love, as she would sometimes give him low marks.

“I believe she did not want me to become comfortable; she expected the best from me and always challenged me to push myself and do better,” he says. It all paid off as and not surprisingly, he obtained an A* for Setswana in his BGCSE results. Interestingly, Sennanyana opted to pursue an Electrical engineering course after school.

“I am a naturally gifted writer with inborn flair, imagination and skill so I did not find it necessary to study any writing-related course.” He however insists that writing is his first love. Sennanyana states that he would like to see his books included in the local schools ‘ curriculum. He points out that the fact that many Batswana have not adopted the culture of reading for leisure; writers are usually forced to write educational material.

This is however has not dettered his love for story telling. He plans to also write scripts for television and theatre. To get a copy of the book email: bmokwadi@yahoo.com.

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Making outstanding art through waste material

Keletso Thobega

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Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame

Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.

One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.

Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.

He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”

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BOMU awards go on…

Keletso Thobega

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The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.

The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.

He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.

We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”

Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.

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