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Joss Stone rains music on local fans

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A Tswana maxim that equates visitors to rain and fortune harbingers best suits the talented and internationally acclaimed songstress, Joss Stone. The singer who was performing on Friday evening at Botswana’s live entertainment premiere venue – Botswana Craft – might just do wonders for Botswana’s entertainment industry and tourism after her visit was accompanied by downpours in the capital city.

Donald Seberane, MC for the night even joked of how she earned the soubriquet Motlalepula. Stone came to know about Botswana Craft after googling live entertainment, and coming face to face with the venue that continues to break barriers when it comes to live entertainment and bringing some of the best renowned musical gems into the country.

Her show, one of the many that forms part of her worldwide tour, a Mascom Live Session event also featured Botswana’s very own The Contrabanditz and Abigail Isa could soon see a peak in the number of artists & tourists who wish to see and know more about Botswana. The performance was nothing short of the extraordinary, thrilling and showcasing the best of what a live show should be. The beautiful part is that it attracted a mature audience that certainly understands and appreciates music.

Instead of the usual suspects who crowd events and shows in various venues in Gaborone, the Friday event was very different and was only attended by those who know and understand the music of the gentle artist. She took to the stage amid a downpour that did very little to deter the audience from enjoying a once in a lifetime performance. She even informed her audience how she composed a rain song prior to landing in Gaborone. Starting off her performance with the special dedication to the rain, she had her fans right where she wanted them.

One would have expected her to wait for the rain to subside before taking to the stage but she went right ahead, belting hit after hit, and sending her fans into a frenzy. Huddled in pairs and in groups, the rain did not disrupt most of her fans and they stayed around to see the impressive show through.

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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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