Afinitas, the Botswana-based company this week announced it has entered into negotiations which if successfully-concluded may have an impact on the price of the company’s securities. Shareholders have been advised to exercise caution when dealing with its securities until the company announces fully the impact of the negotiations. Afinitas Limited is a pan African investment holding company with a mandate to seed and develop new companies focused on investment opportunities in Africa. According to its website, the company has investments in Africa Events Limited – a specialist events management business that focuses on investor oriented events, Adventis Limited – an Africa focused asset management company and Ethiopia Investments Limited – a permanent capital vehicle that seeks investment opportunities in Ethiopia.
The Botswana government is revving up efforts to ensure that citizen entrepreneurs venture into the lucrative oil and energy business.
This week, the Botswana Oil, which is one of the institutions mandated to ensure that more citizens get involved into the sector, brought aspiring businesses and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from across the country to Gaborone to discuss how they can get involved into the sector.
It is estimated that over 90 percent of the oil companies are owned by giant multinational companies with limited participation by Batswana. In an interview, BOL, Chief Executive Officer, Willie Mokgatlhe, bemoaned that the level of participation of citizens in the petroleum oil and gas industry in the country is very low.
He said currently the sector is restricted to the filling stations but the petroleum sector is bigger than that and this presents big opportunities for aspiring businesses to venture into.
“In the petroleum space, opportunities are in a number of areas and when you look at the supply value chain there is procurement of products for the country, transportation and distribution,” said Mokgatlhe whose company is 100 percent government owned and formed to ensure security and efficiency of supply of petroleum products in Botswana.
“As Botswana Oil we are there to show the local citizens on where the opportunities are so that they can then start getting into the business,” said Mokgatlhe. He said the government insists that the sector should be controlled by Batswana. Mokgatlhe however said the oil and gas industry is not an easy industry and has its own challenges and hurdles which need every stakeholder’ input to resolve.
“We are also looking at some of the hurdles and jointly working with government on how to manage and support the companies and start making a meaningful contribution into the petroleum sector,” said Mokgatlhe. The BOL CEO said his company has storage facilities and local companies and players don’t necessarily have to build new facilities.
“We are able to supply products to local companies at the same price as multinational companies so that you are able to complete equally with those multinationals,” said Mokgatlhe. Since the oil and petroleum industry is a fairly new industry, Mokgatlhe said they intend to train and educate locals about the industry. He added that they have come up with policies and programmes to ensure that citizen companies grow.
“As Botswana Oil we are starting to reserve about 30 percent of our works for citizen companies and this intended to make sure that we support them to grow in that space,” said Mokgatlhe. The official also said they are starting to develop smaller facilities that can also be used in the smaller villages to provide fuel.
The Botswana government has also come up with a policy that intends to empower local companies with keen interest to venture first into procurement and retail of petroleum products.
Bank Gaborone, the unlisted bank has opened its latest branch in the tourism town of Maun to service the Ngamiland area, Botswana Guardian has learnt.
The opening of the Maun branch comes a year after the Palapye branch was officially opened. Bank Gaborone Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Sandra Mokobi however says the bank is not new to Maun as it has been offering clients unsecured loans through its BG Finance division.
“In pursuing its purpose to be a connector of positive change the bank saw it fit to give the people of Maun a wider range of financial services which would help give them greater access,” said Mokobi.
Mokobi said as a destination for both tourists and budding entrepreneurs within the tourism sector, Maun was selected by Bank Gaborone to increase its retail prospects and to service both the town as well as those in surrounding areas.
“BG Finance will however continue to operate from its existing office offering unsecured loans,” said Mokobi. She said the Maun branch offers a suite of products and services ranging from transactional accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, business banking and SME banking.
The branch also offers treasury services including foreign exchange services, property finance, vehicle finance, and electronic channels including E-pula Internet Banking and Tobetsa mobile banking which provides for convenient banking.
To show further commitment to servicing their clients with the best products, Mokobi said the bank has launched its new E-pula internet banking to individual customers. She said business clients will be migrated to the new system over the next few months.
“The new E-pula comes with more security and is more user friendly with a refreshed look and feel,” said Mokobi in a statement. She said Bank Gaborone commits to being an active participant in the Botswana economy by being a catalyst of sustainable opportunity and will continue to explore ways in which it can connect Batswana with a meaningful banking experience.
The bank was awarded a banking license by Bank of Botswana in February 2006 and has been providing banking services since September 2006 across a network of nine retail branches, 12 BG Finance unsecured lending offices and 17 ATMs spread around the country.
Building international networks and tapping into the many groups and associations is one of the ways that local artists can take their craft to the international market and find serious buyers who are passionate about the arts, says local artist Shepherd Ndudzo.
His focus right now is growing his footprints globally, and getting his brand where he hopes to catch the attention of European and other international investors who do not bet an eyelid when it comes to investing in art.
“There are so many opportunities out there. For example in my case, I am part of sculptor groups that share some of these opportunities,” he says. Ndudzo recently returned from Switzerland where he attended a one-week international symposium for sculptors.
The Switzerland trip is not the only forum he has attended this year. He was one of four artists from Africa. Other artists came from Egypt and Mauritius. In May he was the only African artist that attended the International Festival Wood Sculpture event held in Siberia.
During the ten-day competition in Siberia he created a 2.2m piece titled Hope. The piece is made up of seven figures that represent days of the week. Looking up the sculpture can be deciphered as someone looking forward to the future and what it brings. But one of the figures is looking down, this he says represents those days when one is down and without hope.
The competition that has a focus on realistic sculptors and fairy tales as evidenced by the many works that are created during the event has given him a lot of exposure as well as a platform to learn new skills and techniques from other sculptors from other parts of the world. In Switzerland, he had a chance to work on a 1.6m piece by 0.5 m (height) and 0.3 m (wide) titled Tug of war.
He started working on this piece on a Tuesday and completed it on Saturday. “It was a learning experience. My attention right now is getting exposed to more of these platforms as they are a stepping stone into the international scene,” he explains.
Both events afforded him the opportunity to work with Pinewood, which was a first for him. Locally, he uses Motswere and Mosetlha. “I have never used Pinewood, and it was a new medium, and it challenged me to learn very fast how to work with it,” says Ndudzo.
Ndudzo, a member of Thapong Visual Arts Centre explains that one of the reasons that he is focused on these networks is simply because through these professional networks he gets to meet and interact with new people, learn new techniques, as well as other tricks of the trade.
Calling on other local artists to invest their time in these networks, he explains that this is one of the ways that they will get their works outside the country. “One thing that local artists need to understand is that, yes, government will continue to buy our works, but there will come a time when they will stop doing that. They also need to understand that when it comes to buying art, the demand is outside the country,” he says.
“With art most of the people who are buying art are in Europe,” he adds. He also advises them to raise the bar when it comes to the standards of their art in order to make their work appealing.
“Private players play a big role when it comes to buying art. Even if it means little pieces, at the end of the day, one can feed one’s family,” he explains. He also says it will help them a lot to interact with their peers in their respective fields.
“I was not into networks before, but when I started I met many artists especially from Europe and America and I am learning from them everyday. Artists need to be proactive when it comes to their work, some of these opportunities will not work for them, and others will,” he advises.
With a residency in the pipeline, which he says he will reveal in good time, Ndudzo is surely a busy man. His next move, he says is to try his hand at stone. He needs a portfolio that will comprise five/six pieces, and having one will open more doors for him. He hopes that the self-funded project will pay off at the end.
“As an artist, one needs to invest in their work,” he says.
Admittedly, he notes that his field is one of the most difficult and that one needs to constantly evolve with the times. He also highlights that one might have the talent but that without the right attitude one will find oneself stuck in the same place.
The humble Ndudzo who lets his work do all the talking, learnt the art of sculpting from his father, Barnabas and began earnestly in 1999, and has not looked back. Over the years, he has extensively seen the world, travelling to all corners of the world. Last year, he had a residency in New York at the Art Omi Workshop.
He has also travelled to Zambia (Insaka Inter Artists Workshop), Johannesburg, South Africa (Art and Media Workshop), Kenya (Wasani inter Artists Workshop), as well as Taiwan (Hua Lien Inter Artists Workshop).
His awards include third prize for the Fuzhou Sculpture Symposium in China, Outstanding piece at the Beijing Biennale, Honorary Certificate Chang Chun in China to mention a few. He has had solo and group exhibitions both locally and internationally including Omang, Two men show with Ann Gollifer in Cape Town, Africa now in Washington, Artists from Abroad in Helsinki, Finland, Taipei Artists Village as well as Kunstlahaus, in Dortmund, Germany.
Back in the days, perception was that pregnancy is the time in a woman’s life that she becomes and feels less sexy, but now, with the high fashion taking its toll those days have become history.
Being pregnant nowadays doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the trends and feel fashionable. Maternity clothing used to be shapeless and frumpy simple because people felt that they were not supposed to show their bumps or wear clothes that are too tight as it was believed to suffocate the baby.
Now, thanks to the advent of stretch fabrics and low rise styles, jeans can be as much of a sexy staple during pregnancy. But, careful ladies, you do not want to sacrifice comfort for appearances. According to Jody Kozlow Gardner, co-author of Pregnancy Chic: The Fashion Survival Guide (Villard), the key to dressing modern and sexy during pregnancy is to pick out the trends you like and adapt them to your new body.
Doctor Victoria Lozhkarova of Family Wellness Clinic in Francistown says that there isn’t enough data to say women can wear this or that. The Doctors say that stretchy pants such as tights, jeggings and dresses are completely healthy. “Women wear tight things but there really is no problem, even when we check them they are ok,” Lozhkarova told Style. She went further to say that it is fortunate that these days some pants are tailored specially for pregnant women.
Natasha Kamakama who recently gave birth to a bouncing baby boy says that it is important that a pregnant woman buys outfits that make her look sexy and accentuate her best features. Kamakama cautioned that soft, rich fabrics with lots of stretch are the best to go with during pregnancy.
The young lady also says that clothes that dig into one’s body or restrict one’s movement in any way are to be avoided. However she said that colour is an essential part of a pregnant woman’s wardrobe.“Do not limit yourself to black and neutral tones, add some colour to give your outfit that pop glow,” she added.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city is Lily’s Petting Farm in Oodi, some 15km north of Gaborone.
The farm offers agri-tainment and fun picnic venue for the whole family. According to the owner Lily Fidzani, the petting farm was started in April last year. She says it was a God-given project. “I never planned on having it. But for the love of children, I did it,” she says, explaining that she wanted to teach children farm animals.
ays do not know how to interact with animals. She says that unlike in the past, children today are caught up in a world of modern technology and do not have a sense of outdoor fun.
It is quite busy at Lily’s Petting Farm. Activities taking place include family walk-ins, birthday parties and educational tours. Children also find time to enjoy themselves in the colourful fun maze. Here, they are introduced to a life of farm animals and a variety of breeds of birds and play various games.
Children always go back home with smiles on their faces, according to Fidzani. Referring to the children as ‘our little farmers,’ she states that nothing gives her more happiness than seeing them excited around animals.
“Away from sitting in front of television all day, we offer them amazing fun in the farm, while also teaching them,” she says, adding that they also do jungle gym. At the farm, children also get to feed the animals and play with them. It is also a beautiful haven for family picnics.
Churches have also found a way to entertain their children’s Sunday School classes at the farm. The adventurous outings also offer families an opportunity to bond. For example, Fidzani made a special recognition on Fathers’ Day last month to commend fathers for coming alone with their little ones for a special time.
Perhaps what also makes Lily’s Petting Farm an attractive place for children to go out and have fun there in its colourfulness. Different colours used for decoration will definitely catch the eye of children.
Terra Cotta Pottery studios located in Notwane opened its doors to the public on Saturday, marking one of the many highlights of this edition of the Winter Open Farm event.
The main activities of the event took place at Kingfisher Farm also located in Notwane. Other highlights for the day included a tour of the Kingfisher Farm, and learning all about Organic farming, as well as enjoying a relaxed atmosphere with friends and family.
A special place for those who are passionate about Pottery, guests had a rare chance to try their hand at Throwing, and making their own unique pieces under the guidance of Kealeboga Tlhomelang, a pottery maestro. As beautiful as all the pottery pieces always look on the shelves, it is not easy to work with clay especially for amateurs.
This reporter was one of those who tried her hand at Throwing, and it was an experience and a half. Trying to concentrate on the clay and pushing your foot on a lever that turns around the potter’s wheel is not an easy thing. But once you get the hang of things, it is smooth sailing from there.
Rika von Schwerin-Franken, an artist at heart, owns Terra Cotta Pottery. The exterior of her home and studio is reflective of her passion. Franken’s specialty lies in using an old age Asian ceramic firing technique called Raku. This technique is tipped to be hot and hazardous due to the acrid smoke.
Her pamphlet states that this is very risky, as pots undergo a severe shock when they are removed from the red hot kiln plunged into organic materials like sawdust, leaves or dung, and then into water. You can clearly see right here that this meticulous technique requires one to be very patient lest they rush the process and are left with an ugly looking item.
According to Franken, this severe difference in temperature creates cracks in the glaze into which smoke from the burning organic material penetrates, sustaining them a permanent, irregular black. Speaking in an interview with BG Style, she explains that she uses tough clay that is sourced from Grahamstown, South Africa because of the shock effect.
The glaze that gives her products a unique look is also sourced from outside the country, Germany to be precise. She says that the Raku is extremely work-intensive, and that it is a fascinating and difficult technique. “For Raku, you cannot use the local clay,” she says.
“It is the best clay in the whole of Southern Africa,” she says noting that she orders a one-tonne clay that lasts her a year, and is stored in dry bags. Most of her costs in the business, she says, go towards paying staff, glazes, clay and labour. “It is labour intensive. We do a lot of decorating, we do fine decorations and the painting glazes come from Germany because I am very particular about my colours,” she explains.
She also notes that the main thing that comes from Botswana is the enthusiasm, tourists who invest in her work and her staff who are very passionate about what they do. She explains that their main focus is on artistic items, and that they ensure that their customers get their hands on unique pieces. One of her gifts is designing and coming up with new ideas.
“I learnt pottery as a teenager, and it is my profession,” she says. She runs classes for those who are interested at a small fee. Speaking in an interview with Tlhomelang, who is based fulltime at Camphill in Otse, she explains that she has been doing pottery for 22 years. She started working with Franken in 2009, and is tasked with throwing.
At Camphill, she is imparting her skills to others, and learnt the art of pottery through reading and watching others. A self-taught student, she says that teaching gives her so much joy. “It brings me so much joy to be able to teach others,” she says.
Franken came to Botswana in 1982. While working at a Game Lodge, she learned traditional Tswana pottery making from an elderly potter. After working briefly for National Museum and Art Gallery, she founded the Pelegano Pottery (now called the Gabane Pottery), a project for women in Gabane.
The project is still running today. In 1998, she travelled for two years on a motorbike through Africa with her husband, Mike Franken, which provided additional inspiration for her to work. Back in Botswana, Franken taught pottery and art at the Gaborone Polytechnic.
Over the years, she has shown her work at several local events as well as exhibitions outside the country including Birmingham and Germany where pieces were sold out. Her customers range from locals and tourists, and she also has a number of customers based outside the country.
Terra Cotta Pottery items are sold at Botswana Craft.
The new lighter and faster Audi RS5 is almost the perfect car. An engineering marvel with looks to book, the RS5 is expected to be a precursor to future Audi design language.
The RS5 comes with a downgraded yet more powerful V6 biturbo engine that generates 335 KW with a whoping 600NM. The 2.9 litre power plant is enough to accelerate the awe-inspiring coupe from 0 to100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds before reaching a top speed of over 270 km/h.
The new Audi comes with an 8 speed gearbox and a high revving V6 exhaust note. The awe-inspiring exhaust note is one of the main party trips the new coupe has to offer. The sweeping lines and aggressive front end of the sports coupe was inspired by the original Audi 90 Quattro.
The interior of the RS5 must be one of the best Audi has ever stitched up. The A5 halo coupe also features Audi’s highly impressive virtual cockpit. The new RS5 is squarely aimed at Mercedes Benz C 63 and the might BMW M4.
Miss Kay’s Touch Event Planners will host a Le Gardenia Wedding Expo this Saturday at Baisago University in Gaborone in a bid to embrace the essence of forever lasting marriages.
Event director, Kaone Malete noted that the mandate of the expo is to bring all the services regarding both the wedding and marriage under one roof. “We want to bring the whole marriage package to the customers in one place and we expect marriage counsellors, beauty and make-up artists, wedding cakes, jewellery and flower bouquet to mention a few,” explained Malete.
She added that their event would be the first of that nature in the country and therefore the newly-weds and those planning on getting married should come to utilise this platform as well as those who trade in wedding services.
The event will also be graced by Pastor Joseph Mundambu who will address marriage issues, as well as Siya Ngcangca from South Africa, who is the author of ‘Before you get married’. Malete said that they have been observing high divorce rates in the country and therefore this unique wedding expo could be helpful for people other than just getting them excited for weddings that end in vain.
The day will also be filled with various activities to indulge and revive love as well as offering fun moments for the day. Thus there would be games, bouquet toss by the bride which will win a make-up voucher by Gorge make-up and the best dressed couple will win a cake voucher by Cakes For You.
On the other hand, there would be a local company that makes rings and would also give out a ring voucher for the game; ‘how well do you know your partner’. The exhibiting stalls would also be judged and the winning stall will win a precious advertising prize to be announced on the day.
Marketing Executive of the event Gabriella Garaba expressed gratitude towards their sponsors, saying that the event will turn into a dream come true because of their help. She applauded BaIsago University for offering the venue and the multi-wedding based companies that would also give away three vouchers each to enhance the event and make it memorable.
Cakes For You, Gorge Make-up, and Barona Jewellery will all give three of their products as vouchers while White Lace Events will discount 50 percent for their décor to the winners and Glow up studio would also give three vouchers of 50 percent discount on their wedding gowns.
The esteemed event would end in a fashion show parade that will showcase wedding gowns and what is termed as second attire, as designed by the showcasing designers. General dress code of the event is ‘dressed up for a wedding occasion’ and no jeans would be tolerated at the event as the best dressed would get an award.
Special for the stalls is still open until July 27th where Garden stalls go for P500.00 and VIP stalls for P700.00. Tickets for the event sell for P50.00 and they can be purchased via contact numbers; 77133275/75374425. The event anticipates 50 exhibitors and close to 1000 people to attend the lovely event.
Congolese guitarist, Kapenda Katuta will this Sunday set Afro Fusion Jazz and great jazz standards at a Jazz X Change renowned event at Masa Square Hotel.
Founder and Executive Producer of Jazz X Change, Rahman El-Kindiy says that the anticipated event is one of a kind and a very unique one. He noted that the theme of the occasion; ‘Jazz Frica Fusion’, aims to treat Jazz lovers to a hilarious evening through the sensational artist of the night.
He explained that Jazz X Change programme features main artists every Sunday month end as a way to bring about the Jazz artists and put them together in one rehearsal studio to be appreciated by people.
He said that etiquette, development, play and good music let them express themselves better, thereby attracting people from all walks of life to appreciate good music. El-Kindiy further explained that the theme was influenced by how Katuta presents his work, saying that he is multi-talented and his music is unique.
“He sings good music and his music varies from that of all the artists that I have worked with because he can vary from Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, French, Western music and all the way to Sub-Saharan music and African music,” he narrated adding that an artist of such a calibre must not limit himself.
He believes that the show-goers will surely eat from the palm of his hands adding that the guitarist is eloquent. “People will not only be mesmerised but they will be more open minded into the range of the music that will appear in a particular song because this is not really easy to do and may even take effort for most of world’s greatest musicians because all it takes is talent to use different genres of music to compose one piece of music,” he said.
Jazz X Change has been existing for four years now and comprises of 32 artists including; Nnunu, Kearoma, Sereetsi, Mandy Mash and Vivian to mention but a few. El-Kindiy says that the artists gained experience through this platform and managed to venture further in their journey of Afro-Jazz music.
On the other hand, Katuta has worked with countless artists whose genres vary from Rumba to Hip Hop, including Oliver Mtukuzi, Vee, Lizibo, Zeus and Stampore. El-Kindy said that every Jazz X Change programme comes differently and he is hopeful that this one will also be more informative and more engaging.
He said that it will not just be a fun-filled night only but an opportunity for some artists to intervene, learn and make some suggestions to continue making the music jazzy. The tickets to the event are sold at P200.00 from RMC Marketing and the contact numbers are; 71422543 and 3960282.