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Presidents ‘concert captivates audience

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Members from the Mophato Dance Theatre, Sky Blue Dance hHub and Sereetsi and the Natives came together to display creativity through their different arts to give the audience an unforgettable experience.

The first act of the concert titled ‘Togetherness’ was written, directed and choreographed by Clayton Ndlovu. In this act the performers including the MCs for the night were dressed like cats. They acted and behaved like cats; purring, licking their ‘paws’, sometimes walking on all four, both hands and feet. The setting was a rubbish place where garbage is disposed off.

The cats were divided into two rival gang groups competing in the ‘cat glorious cup challenge’. The sub story in the act involved two gang members in love with one another but unable to pursue their love due to the gang rivalry. One cat was played by Leshie Lovesong who sang heartbrokenly because she could not be with the cat she loved.

Each gang danced in different dance styles; one group was break-dancing, b-boking and doing the splits whilst the other danced traditional styles and themes. Both gangs gave each other moments to perform their routine, with a fight breaking out after each dance. These fights were often ended by the MCs for the night. At the end of the competition, the judge cat would announce the winner; with the message being that instead of competing against one another they should learn to work together.

The second act of the concert was titled, ‘Let’s celebrate Botswana’ and was directed by Gao Lemmenyane. Unlike the first the second act included three women dressed in Herero traditional wear and singing and dancing whilst playing traditional instruments like Segaba and Setinkane in a funky way.

Spiza Valentino and Amantle sang a duet called ‘When I die’ which was followed by Spiza, Sereetsi & the Natives, Thabang and Leshie Lovesong’s performance of a popular local song Robete much to the delight of the audience.

At the end of the night a cheque from the show’s sponsors was presented to the beneficiary of the concerts proceeds being the Tebogo Horatius Carter Foundation (THC Foundation); a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing support for women and children who are victims of gender based violence.

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Three vie for Miss Botswana 2018 crown

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A press release from the organisers states that general public public voting through sms line from 10am Tuesday 18 September – 10 am Friday 21 September 2018 (25%). Apparently creative Industry and Past Miss Botswana Queens Representatives at the boot camp (25%), Panel of judges at the event (25%) and attendants at the event through an app (25%).

The organisers stated through a press release that Miss Botswana rebranding, relaunching, crowning night will strictly by invitation and corporate hosting, adding that very limited tickets at P1500 will still be available from countrywide webticket offices.

The pageant will apparently be broadcast on television. Development Advance Institute (DAI), represented by Benjamin Raletsatsi, was subcontracted the license to Miss Botswana 2018 by Botswana Council of Women (BCW), the License Holders for Miss Botswana. DAI presented to BCW a five year plan to restructure BCW and Miss Botswana brands. In terms of Miss Botswana this was necessary to salvage our National Beauty Pageant, which has produced Mpule Kwelagobe (1998 Miss Universe winner) and Emma Warius (1st runner up to 2010 Miss World).

The organisers acknowledged that the pageant has been marred in controversy and noted that their mission is to rebrand and regain trust with all stakeholders and the general public.

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Excitement mounts ahead of inaugural Gabs Book Festival

Keletso Thobega

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It is all systems go for the inaugural Gaborone Book Festival (GBF), which will be held from the 21-22 September 2018 at Maitisong. The two-day book festival will feature panels, talks, readings, conversations, book chats, book launches and book sales all headlined by the featured local and guest authors.

The opening night on Friday evening will feature authors Michael Dingake, Margaret Daymond, Brigitta Zwani and Nsungululi Mbo. Dingake will focus on his biography and there will be readings of selected Bessie Head letters and interpretation by author Daymond. There will also be an authors meet and greet as well as book sales.

The organisers, GBF Trust states that confirmed featured authors are Lauri Kubuitsile, Michael Dingake, Andrew Sesinyi, Ednah Rosen, Modirwa Kekwaletswe, Donald Molosi, Brigitta Zwani, Tomeletso Sereetsi, Thalefang Charles, Monirul Bhuiyan, Nelson Letshwene,  Kgomotso Jongman and Bongani Malunga. From across the continent, the confirmed authors are Lola Shoneyin, Margaret Daymond, Zukiswa Wanner,Victor Kgomoeswana, Esinako Ndabeni, Sihle Mthembu, Niq Mhlongo as well as publisher, Thabiso Mahlape. The organisers say that they wanted to feature authors whose books cover a wide range of themes and topics. The 22 September, which is the main festival day, will kickstart with a writers’ seminar involving all those in the book ecosystem. The seminar will cover issues of marketing and publishing.

According to one of the organisers, Kenanao Phele, an exciting programme will follow this for all, filled with panel discussions, conversations, inspirational book chats, readings and book sales amongst others.

“With the diversity and experience of the authors, the festival touch on varied, in depth topics highlighted by featured authors including culture, music, fiction, travelogues, memoirs, politics, mental health, culinary and cuisine. Furthermore, the festival will also have a fun and exciting space for 100 students from government primary schools, a section made possible by the Orange Foundation,” she says.

She further says that since the beginning of this year, the GBF Trust has been involved in a number of book related activities to get readers in the city and beyond ready for the festival. On the criteria for selecting the authors, she says that the Trust was looking for authors who have been part of GBF platforms in 2018, who have written on important topics/themes that are conversation sparkers, books that have made a mark in Botswana, across the continent, beyond and are some award winning. “Some of our guest authors are celebrated or award winning.

We would also like to feature similar local authors on our platforms to introduce them to more and new readers as well as show them the possibilities that exist for them in the continent and beyond as they interact with the guest authors and publishers.”

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