Botswana-based author Lauri Kubuitsile’s novel The Scattering has won the prize for best international fiction at the Sharjah International Book Fair, the world’s third largest book fair, in the United Arab Emirates.
According to a press release from the book publisher Penguin Books, The Scattering is a moving and intimate novel that brings to life the genocide of the Herero and Nama people in German South-West Africa in the early 1900s.
“Against the backdrop of southern Africa’s colonial wars at the dawn of the 20th century, the novel traces the fates of two remarkable women whose paths cross after each has suffered the devastation and dislocation of war.”
This is not the first prize in her illustrious writing career spanning almost two decades. Kubuitsile has won the Golden Baobab (2009 and 2010), Orange Botswerere Award for Creative writing, BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Award (2007) and Pan African prize for children’s writing. She was also listed for the 2011 Caine Prize.
In a brief interview with this publication, Kubuitsile said that while she is grateful for the prize, raking in awards is not necessarily her bottom line.
“I’m always writing- prizes or no prizes- but prizes are helpful as they tell you you’re on the right track and they are some validation after lots of rejection and hard work,” she said. There aren’t many local writers who have reached the level of international recognition and acclaim that Kubuitsile has in recent years.
She talks down any insinuation that local writers should work harder than their international counterparts to overcome the challenges synonymous with writing. “Batswana writers face the same challenges every writer in the world faces: to sit down, work hard at their craft, and write a book publishers will like and readers will want to read. We, like writers everywhere, live in a connected world so thinking only about problems with local publishing is very outdated,” she said. She disregards the assumption that African writers should engage the African narrative and write their own stories that reflect their own history and lifestyle. “I get angry that people think it’s okay to dictate what African writers must do. I wonder why this constant prescription and bullying is always falling on African writers’ heads. Imagine if people attempted that with European or American writers? No, African writers have no obligation to anyone except themselves, they should write what they want - always. The stories will come out.”
As a writer with more than a decade of writing experience, she advises aspiring writers to invest in their craft. “Talent will only get you so far- writing requires work. The work is reading and writing, nothing else. “Respect the writing and give it what is required. I see so many new writers sending off slapdash rough drafts and waiting for glory. Put all of your energy into the writing, that’s all that matters if indeed you are a writer.”
The government of Botswana will continue to invest in the development of the arts in Botswana. President Ian Khama revealed this in the State of the Nation address this Monday.
Khama noted that Government continues to promote the diverse cultural heritage of Botswana through various programmes to develop the arts and crafts to a level where the producers can eke a decent living from their products and services.
He noted that the President’s Day Competitions remained a key programme in pursuit of this goal. “Participation levels in the country competitions have grown from 3, 274 in 2008 to 18, 971 this year.
The numbers of categories in which artists compete has resulted in the prize money awarded to artists also rising from P1million to P4.6 million, over the same period.”
The president also stated that to further promote arts and crafts, government had taken the lead in allocating P10 million to procure art and crafts, as well as performance services from local artists.
Khama has been lauded for his contribution to the development of arts and culture despite his clash with stakeholders over limited bar and nightclub operational hours.
In recent years, Botswana government has encouraged local communities to derive economic benefits from their initiatives to preserve, promote culture and the arts.
In 2008, government made a decision to instruct all its agencies including ministries and departments to purchase artworks from local producers and solicit services of local artists in an attempt to expand their market base and increase economic gains from their trade.
Botswana is slowly recognising and appreciating that the arts can contribute to economic diversification and help generate income for artists to achieve a better economic status, and also attract domestic investment as well as foreign investment.
Natureal Jewellery Designs is an incredible local haven for the bride, groom and the fashionistas.
Their designs are apt and befitting the 21st century and certainly position Botswana as a diamond country. Their wide selection range of jewellery includes platinum, palladium, white Gold, Yellow Gold and Sterling silver from all sorts of jewellery items.
However, they are commonly known for their exceptional rings. Director of the Jwaneng based company, Ronald Maloisane says they actually do Jewellery Design and Manufacturing (Dressing , Engagement and wedding Rings), cleaning and polishing, repairs, re-sizing, stone (Cibic Ziconia’s), Corporate gifts (trophies, plaques, key holders, badges, broaches, cufflinks, tie pins and book markers), ornaments , cutlery and table wear as well as watch repairs.
The gentleman is perfect at what he does because it is so common that such products are specifically ordered by shops from South Africa but he does them from home. These are the products that are needed to enhance a lifestyle once in a lifetime. They call for sparkling weddings, engagement parties, and beauty pageants and just for looking good and unique.
Most women interviewed said one can never go wrong with jewellery from Natureal as it has a unique touch of authenticity. Maloisane also designs natural products based on the individual’s choice. We had an opportunity to see one of his rings made in a glass form and with a Mophane dried worm in it.
He explained that all he touches is inspired by natural talent and that he uses natural products to highlight his creativity and love for nature hence the name of his company, Natureal.
“Our seeds of inspiration are found in the natural rhythms of Africa rich with beauty and mysticism. Our designs bridge this world and that world, the real world hence the name ‘Natu-real,’ explains the Jwaneng born and bred Maloisane.
Maloisane underwent thorough training for this elegant work. He says he just had to do something unique in the country. “Being born and raised in the mining town of Jwaneng, I was just inspired to join this industry because of its niche market.
“Botswana is faced with a challenge of raw material processing, we export our resources to be processed into finished goods then import them with a price seven to ten times a price it was sold. So I really wanted to make a difference. The diamond hub being relocated to Botswana has created a perfect opportunity for this industry to flourish,” he explained.
He plans to expand and offer training in the years to come. He also mentioned that people don’t only like their products and services but also support and appreciate their efforts to impart skills and knowledge in jewellery and manufacturing.
Maloisane learnt all about the business from his father who worked in Rusternburg. He applied and enrolled for varsity at Obert FET College in South Africa to study Electrical Engineering in 2007. He says Jewellery Design and Manufacturing introduced on their syllabus was a dream come true for his business. “I still remember it so well. Platinum beneficiation incubator called Seda Platinum Incubator course got me to love my school work more and the rest is history as I finally completed NQF Level 3 which is an advanced Diploma in Jewellery design and manufacturing in mass production,” he explained.
He had to do the 18 month course without his parents’ knowledge and it was worth the pain. The 32 year-old then registered a company in 2009 with two South African ladies where he learnt a lot until he relocated to Botswana. However the challenge is that some people do not know about it.
Their target market is the working class.
There is no doubt, fashion industry is growing in Botswana and Kushatha Fashion is envisioned to take it further.
She will be holding her unique fashion brand launch this Saturday at Travel Lodge. Kushatha Fashion Brand launch is not just an ordinary launch but an esteemed brand launch that has never taken place in Botswana.
For the past 27 years, the fashion designer, Vivian Woto better known as Kushatha, has been doing so well in the industry but she did not know anything about branding, and has now decided to take her work to the next level through branding.
Her new brand is going to be launched with a fashion show to allow the “brand to meet the mass”. The 48-year old has an absolute touch to what she does and her work speaks volumes for her.
Perspective Branding has put it altogether for the launch, and the golden idea is to attract marketing executives for clothing chain stores. They are anticipating nothing else but to see Kushatha Fashion clothing being sold in stores. They have so far approached Edgars, Jet and Mr Price for this initiative.They aim at having a proper catalogue of Kushatha Fashion to get people to know about the brand and have a wide range of selection from it. “The strategy is to go into stores and have a style that is 100 percent BW and we aspire to see this clothing line selling in South Africa and neighbouring countries,” said Kushatha. The clothing line to be modelled includes casual wear, corporate wear and African outfits.
The gifted fashion designer started designing at 21-years old. She was not trained but simply got inspired by the love for clothing and designs, she says. She recalls that she would draft designs and never thought they would become practical work at any given time, until she tried.
She shares with BG Style that it all started when she decided to design Herero dolls and dressed them up. She suddenly took it to the next level by designing clothes for herself. That gave her the confidence to go on and she kept on developing the talent.
Her mother who was also a fashion designer encouraged her by giving her a manual hand sewing Singer machine that suddenly attracted customers asking her to design them outfits. “I started by making Setswana gathered dresses and simple designs and people really appreciated them. When Financial Assistance Policy (AFP) started many years ago, they approached me in Kanye saying I should turn my work into a business. “To me it was just riddles until I applied and managed to get bigger sewing machines and concentrated on proper designs particularly gowns. I learnt how to operate an electric machine and my clients supported me even further as they always recommended my work to the next people,” she explains. After getting all the necessary machinery, she started having confidence and believed in herself especially when she first participated at International Trade Fair and won first position in the Textiles category.
She believes she was only inspired by the Holy Spirit and to date she still does her favourite hobby, ‘drafting’. “For the past 27 years I have never known anything about branding until I met Perspective Branding and I appreciate them countless times because I just noticed how branding is important while working with them,” said Kushatha.
Her fashion show will be characterised by local models and she will be working with upcoming designers from Limkokwing University of Creative Industry known as ‘Curtain Raisers’.
The occasion is expected to be explicit and Zenzele Hirschfield will be the Master of Ceremonies while Acapella artiste, Franklin will grace the event with his melodious sounds.
Kushatha Fashion line is a glitzy celebrity type of market. She is determined to do this and believes in women empowerment and trading. She has in the past 27 years, designed over 3000 wedding gowns according to customers’ interests.
She admits that fashion industry has grown in Botswana because even young designers make an effort to meet the standards and trends of fashion. “It is an achievement that now everything can be designed in Botswana. The industry looks beautiful and some locals are very supportive,” she said.
They say Jazzy music soothes the soul, and TafNaz proved this at Masa Square Hotel during a recent Jazz Xchange session.
There is no doubt the artiste is a good product of Jazz Xchange whose mandate is to mould artists and expose them to the real world of music. The sophisticated TafNaz humbled the show attendants with his repertoire encompassing various music genres.
He did a fair bit from RnB to Rock music, which led to some attendants labelling him an ‘all-in-one’ kind of artist in Botswana. The live performance was made even more ideal by the two bands; Alive and Bolder as well as Contra Banditz which illustrated the definite mood of jazzy music.
TafNaz describes music as the message that lives on forever. “Music is timeless, thus old music sometimes just need to be replayed because of the core message that it carries.
“I believe that music perfectly soothes the soul,” he said as he paused to engage the emotional audience which was appreciating his golden voice. The gentleman has exceptionally good RnB songs which he dedicates to lovers. He has been writing music for seven years now and it is quite evident from the flow of his songs.
He started off by writing poetry and later on decided to put a melody to it. Reiterating the universality of music, he singles out El Kindiy Rahman for moulding him to become the artiste he is through RMC Records.
“Music is universal and in order to grow as an artist one has to be ready to learn a lot of things from other artists. I am proud to say I can indulge so well in different genres of music because Rahman transformed me from what he calls white music that I was doing back then to realise that I am multi-talented,” he said.
TafNAz started singing from a young age at church (Seventh Day Adventist Church) where Acapella is mastered. His song, ‘I am sorry’ left the audience in awe as his angelic and matured voice filled the hall. This harked back to the vigorous voice training process and the use of guitar that Rahman instilled in this renowned artiste.
The slow jams indeed suited even the cold night in the Masa Square Hotel. Towards the end of the show Rahman shared the stage with TafNaz as they set the stage on fire with their guitars, which TafNaz said is the best skill ever that Rahman has blessed him with.
He was initially a self-taught guitarist but now he can confidently say that he is a guitarist eyeing to improve Botswana music.
Rahman described TazNaz’s performance as exceptionally good since he was able to entertain the audience through different genres. He says it is not easy to be on that level but TafNaz can now easily play in a range of Acoustic music, up tempo, RnB and a little bit of swing and Jazz.
He says Jazz Xchange tries to mould local artists in such a manner. “His voice has the rock element and that is why he is flexible to sing anyhow. This has developed him and having featured in Jazz Xchange on his own gave him a big exposure to his music career as a refined artiste,” said Rahman.
Good cooks don’t just cook.
They are strong willed, inquisitive, passionate, imaginative and very creative, according to a silent cook in the city, Khathazile Masuku.
He was born a good cook and aspires to own an exclusive restaurant one day, with what he calls his first love and talent - ‘cooking’.
In fact he dubs cooking his best hobby, says good food does not have to be just mouth-watering but healthier as well. He says in as much as food is a basic need it also unites people of different backgrounds.
He advises that more vegetables should be used in cooking for health purposes while too much spices, salt and oil must be avoided. At early age of ten he learnt cooking and everyone in the family preferred his cooked meals.
“My father inspired my cooking because growing up, I would cook with both my parents and my father was best at cooking meat so I wanted to be just like him. On the other hand, I often visited my aunt who owned a restaurant and often catered food for different functions.
“That is where I discovered that I can also turn greens into yummy food that deserves a fork and a knife,” he explained adding that he learnt how to make salads such as coleslaw, green salad, mashed potatoes and chakalaka.
Masuku tells BG Style that he never uses a recipe book or plan recipes. It all comes naturally the moment he sets foot into the kitchen. During his spare time he prepares meals for birthday parties and individuals.
He believes that everyone can cook but at the same time, cooking is a skill and a God-given talent. He advises that breakfast is the most essential meal of the day among other meals. He also makes his own marinades with a mixture of different spices, sauces and herbs.
For the birthday sessions, he often prepares salads and different kinds of meat including; pork, chicken and fish. “I also have my special pot that I always recommend and people appreciate it since I like to uplift healthy living.
“The meal includes; sweet corn, any steamed meat with my special marinade, and a healthy salad of my choice,” said Masuku. His clients take pride in his fresh food because he actually gets some veges like tomatoes from his own garden.
Masuku shares that each cook has its own secret and his is making his own homemade marinades and using a cooking spray. “Non-sticky pots are the best essential in the kitchen,” he explains.
Book title: The Shrink
Biggles and Boggles - Botswana
Available for pre-Order:
Reviewed by: Olivia Unopa Molefe
‘The Shrink’ is a fictional but realistic and insightful read based on Tebogo Harrison’s life, a young Motswana Psychologist. Recently returned home from her studies overseas, she starts a new and exciting job as a Guidance and Counselling staff member at a local school, Mogwana High in a city in Botswana.
While the story is about a young woman who moves back from England with the hopes of forging a new life, it also presents challenges for this main character – challenges, which many can relate with and learn from within the realistic world.
Tegobo arrives at Mogwana High confident that her past is buried and forgotten. She immerses herself in her work, as ‘The Shrink’, taking each problem with elegant determination while dealing with work politics that include a challenging love triangle.
Her job requires her to mend and heal the psychological wounds of others, address broken family issues and handling psychotic personas. The book narrates difficulties faced by this psychologist who carries the burdens of others as well as her own.
While Tebogo tries to juggle her new life, her past slowly comes back to haunt her - this complicates her life but forces her to confront and address her old wounds. At the same time, she must outwit her nemesis before she is completely ruined.
‘The Shrink’ is a light hearted read, with little twists and a tinge of humour. It is a must read for parents with adolescents as well as teens who are struggling with changes in their lives. It subtly puts forward issues of misunderstanding, abuse, low self-esteem and other challenges that young people may be faced with but afraid to share in today’s society.
The novel is a ‘launch pad’ for an online comic, to be launched in 2018. It is apparent that the author intends to continue tackling psychological issues faced by young people using the comic series.
In order for the hair to grow well, it needs thorough caring and most of the people overlook this, says according to hairdresser Lydia Keabetswe.
Keabetswe of LyShirz salon explains that there are important tips that one should consider as part of hair care. She says oiling, conditioning, trimming and washing the hair are very crucial tips. She explains that hair treatment like hair Mayonnaise is required once in a while to make sure that the hair grows well.
On the other hand, she noted that washing the air is also beneficial to the glow of the face as it helps the face not to be oily most of the time. “Clean hair prevents one from getting pimples, therefore I always encourage my clients to make sure that they always have clean, healthy hair,” she said.
Hair Spa is very essential to everyone, therefore picking the choice of treatment should also be considered because there are different hair types, she told BG Style.
“The first step in hair-care is the diet and the two most important diet for the hair include; iron and protein.” She says lack of appropriate diet could affect the hair and make one suffer deficiencies, leading the hair to break and be stagnant.
Some Important Tips For Hair Care
Comb wet hair with extreme care because they’re fragile and prone to breakage. Take a broad toothed comb and run it from the roots to the ends of your hair as gently as possible.
If you’ve got dry hair then it’s best to avoid colouring. However, if you can’t resist that gorgeous shade of brown, especially under the winter sun then follow this clever advise shared on the blog Free People. Use lemon, chamomile tea or honey as they work as great hair lighteners. You can add lemon juice to water and spray it over your hair when you’re heading out. You can rinse your hair with brewed chamomile tea after you wash them with shampoo or add honey to the water you use to wash your hair.
Don’t wash your hair everyday and whenever you do, apply some conditioner on the ends. Try and use the same brand of shampoo and conditioner.
Trim your hair every few weeks to get rid of those brown and rough split ends. Cut about 1/4th an inch of your hair every 6 to 8 weeks to avoid the split ends to grow out again.
Rinse the conditioner off with cold water, as it is good for both strength and shine.