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Scouting for local talent

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Local actors/actresses in the making who wish to follow in the footsteps of Botswana’s growing number of actors/actresses such as Lerato Motshwarakgole, Connie Ferguson, Kgomotso Ramakoba, Khumo Maakwe, Kgomotso Ratsie and Tlholego Chaba will need more than just talent in order to make it into the cut throat industry of television across the borders.

Those dreaming about seeing themselves appearing on hit television dramas also need to have the right principles for success. This was said by one of the faces of Signed International, Johnson Otlaadisa.

He was speaking ahead of the first auditions that are slated to take place this Friday and Saturday at the Public Library in Jwaneng. The second leg of auditions will take the scouting team to Lobatse at the Lobatse Sports Complex on June 2nd and 3rd. Other auditions are slated to take place on June 10th and 11th at the Francistown Sports Complex, Life Centre in Maun on June 17th and 18th, The Grand Palm Hotel on June 24th and 25th, and lastly Tautona Lodge in Ghanzi on June 30th and July 1st. Auditions are open to anyone over the age of 18 years, and there is no audition fee.

The winner of Signed International Season 2 will walk with P100 000.00 cash prize, and a contract with South Africa’s Talent ETC in order to start their professional acting career in South Africa. Those who will be trying their luck at the auditions will be auditioning using their own script.

Otlaadisa also advised those who wish to try their hand at acting that besides having talent, one needed to be very patient and a fighter. “We learnt from Season 1 that this is not child’s play. The industry needs someone who is willing to chase their dream and someone who has the stamina to keep pushing,” he cautions. “Once they have won the competition, it is only the beginning,” he adds.

Signed International season 2 was launched this past weekend in Gaborone and was graced by the likes of Connie Ferguson, Minister Thapelo Olopeng, Member of Parliament for Lobatse Sadique Kebonang to mention a few. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, Sport & Culture as well as CIPA (Companies & Intellectual Property Authority).

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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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Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego drop love sin gle

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NEW OFFERING: Benson & Diva Vebrok’s listening session rocked

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.”

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