On Sunday afternoon, Wagga Gardenex hosted the inaugural GIMC Champagne Picnic event. The event is one of the many events that form part of the fourth edition of the Gaborone International & Music Culture week.
Touted as an upper lifestyle event for the quintessential, the event ticked the right spots for those who have been looking forward to a classy event that allowed them to chill with friends in a sophisticated set-up and enjoy a glass of bubbly. And the socialites and ordinary graced the event, mingling and had the time of their life.
On the cards for the day, the quintessential were treated to a bottle of GH MUMM. What was special about this event was the theme, French Riviera. And the majority of the guests pulled all the stops, ransacking their clothes and putting together outfits that truly stayed true to the theme.
Colourful and with different styles, both the men and women were dressed to the nines and they represented the theme. The décor also spoke volumes about what one expected from an event of this magnitude.
Couches, cocktail chairs and tables, as well as red pillows were the order of the day. Music was also on point, with performers such as DJ Jam-n-i taking guests on a rollercoaster ride of tune after tune.
On May 2 this year, another restaurant joined the growing trend of restaurants that are fast sprouting all over the city.
The restaurant is none other than the MultiCuisine Restaurant and Deli located at Zambezi Towers in CBD. The restaurant blends Indian, English and Setswana cuisines and is divided into two businesses.
The Deli part of the business operates weekdays from 0730HRS-1800, and the restaurant, which serves an Ala Carte menu, operates between 0730HRS-2200HRS weekdays, and closes at 2300HRS on Fridays and Saturday.
According to Bar Manager, Kagiso Molefhe, one of the owners of the business, Shadrack Elango came up with the idea to open the restaurant following a trip to India. He was inspired by some ideas that he got from India, and decided to bring it back to Botswana.
Molefhe explains that the idea to combine Indian, Setswana and English tastes was so that everyone could enjoy their wide variety of dishes on the menu. On the Deli side, he explains that they serve breakfast and lunch, and that one can find various dishes that include Mutton curry, Dhal Fry, Chicken Tikka, Buttered Chicken, Aloo Chicken, and many more. For breakfast, one can pick from a selection of dishes that include ox tongue, Tlhako, Serobe, Liver, Philo, and wors for P15 each and P3 for Fatcakes and Phaphatha. There is also a choice of Omelette. The lunch menu costs P27 for stew, P30 for Chuck and P45 for oxtail with a choice of starch. The ala Carte menu ranges from P71-P97. “Our doors are open to anyone,” says Molefhe adding that their loyal customers love dishes such as Chicken Tikka and Buttered Chicken.
The Mascom Live Sessions gig at Botswana Craft this past Friday was off the hook.
Despite having been in the music industry for more than three decades, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse can still give many young artists a run for their money.
He had the audience eating from the palm of his hand with his rich voice, fluidity on the saxophone and youthful impromptu dance moves. The curtain raiser for the evening was ATI, who gave the crowd their money’s worth. He performed old hits such as O tsididi and Poelo morago, in between taking the audience on his journey in the music industry.
But it was the hit song Khiring Khorong that made the crowd go crazy; the track sure is a banger. ATI is still edgy, but there is evident growth in his personality and craft. Like fine wine, he gets better with time and at this point, his immense talent is undisputable.
Mabuse took to the stage and started his set on a relaxed note, breaking into a popular hymn. It was a short but gratifying moment that left many waving and swaying along. But just as quickly, he shook us out of that lull and went on to perform the classic Shikisa, which saw everyone tapping their feet along. Mabuse urged the crowd on and gyrated along. He is quite energetic for a 66-year-old; he has the ‘vrr vaa’. After a few performances, he took the audience down memory lane, sharing how he had first come to Botswana in 1968. He also made a shout out to Isaac Makwala who did the nation proud with his gold win at the Diamond League.
Mabuse’s mood took on a sombre tone when he paid homage to renowned jazz artist Bheki Mseleku, who had returned from exile in America during apartheid, only to stay for a short while in South Africa before returning to America, where he died. He performed a deep song called Angola that strung at emotional chords and had a profound sound.
Mabuse then picked up the tempo when he performed the song that I had been waiting for the whole evening, Burn out. The song is older than myself, having been released in the early 1980s, but it still has magic and more than three decades later, it gets everyone on the dance floor. Revellers could not contain themselves as they burst into excited cheers when the song played.
Young and old got down together and shook this way and that, stomping, shuffling, and doing get downs and different variations of pantsula dance. Even yours truly, three left feet and all, started swaying, head nodding, finger snapping and feet tapping.
His act came to an end when he introduced his band, comprising a percussionist, drummer, guitarist and keyboard player, as well as a backing vocalist with a stunning voice, who was quite an attraction with her long legs, with her unconventional beauty made more pronounced by her unique fade cut and bright unique African print top and sky high heels she wore.
But the biggest applause went to bass guitar player, David Mabaso, who was with the now defunct Big Dudes (of Brenda and the Big Dudes fame). He went down memory lane as he strummed away Weekend Special, much to the delight of the crowd who sang along to the legendary jam.DJ Robbie Rob closed the great night on the decks, playing classic RnB, hip-hop, kwaito and house tunes.
The Top 30 semi finalists who are closer to realising their dream of being crowned Miss Botswana 2017 have been revealed.
The young ladies were revealed at a press briefing Monday morning in Gaborone.
They are Moitshephi Elias, Olorato Kealotswe, Evita Tlhobogang, Nicole Gaelebale, Amanda Ramatsui, Modioki Gaborone, Neelo Nthobatsang, Phio Ntloyakgosi, Kelebogile Bakoko, Keoseme Seabo, Kenaope Madisakwane, Onalethata Tlale, Uua Murangi, Katlego Gaotsenelelwe, Uzapi Hange, Gaone Masilo, Judith Kgwadi, Judith Tlokweng, Debbie Reepane, Khumo Leburu, Lorato Ikobe, Leungo Moiphemedi, Oratile Buti, Ivy Thomba, Oratile Baleti, Tsaone Boikhutso, Mpho Moloi, Chookula Mosweu, Mimi Gopadileng and Matlhogonolo Moses.
Out of the top 30, there are a couple of potential queen materials who might possibly give other queens from across the world a run for their money. The top 30 are expected to go into boot camp at which only 12 ladies will make it to Boipuso Hall on September 28th where the outgoing queen, Thata Kenosi will crown her successor.
This year, it has been revealed that a total of 59 young ladies auditioned in comparison to the 109 aspiring beauty queens who auditioned for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Botswana. The crowning in September means that the queen will have to work around the clock to prepare for Miss World. She will depart for the international pageant early November.
Speaking during the press briefing, Dorcus Thobega from Botswana Council of Women explained that they are confident that they have picked the fairest of the girls from the auditions. She also says that it is very difficult to select the beautiful because they are usually spoilt for choice.
Outlining the requirements for entering the pageant, she notes that the young ladies should never have been married, 1.67 m tall, and should not have any visible tattoos.
She also says that when it comes to the other attributes of the queen, the emphasis is on what Miss Botswana can do for the nation and the youth.
“The young woman will compete with some of the best from the world. Help us build a queen that can stand out from others,” she says.
Miss Botswana will represent the country at the 67th Miss World beauty pageant slated to take place on November 18th at the Crown of Beauty Theatre, in Sanya, China PR. The reigning Miss World, Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico will crown her successor.
Saturday night was a special day for Jazz lovers.
On the line-up, music revellers were looking forward to spine-tingling performances from a number of acts that include the internationally acclaimed Kirk Whalum, who was making his maiden appearance in Botswana.For a second year in a row, the scintillating and award winning Jonathan Butler was in the line-up, having performed last year at the same festival. His return clearly proved that he had fallen in love with the local audience and found a third home in Botswana.
Even though the weather was in a bad mood, jazz lovers were not bothered but came dressed for any eventuality and were ready to dance the night away. Hosted at the Stanbic Bank Piazza, other acts for the night included Canadian based Trinity Mpho, Lionheart who is based in the U.K, and Elemotho to mention a few.
A night to remember for many jazz lovers, the event marked the first time that Whalum and Butler were sharing the stage on home soil. And they did not disappoint. Whalum with his saxophone and Butler with his guitar were a marvel to watch, leaving their fans with goose bumps.
Butler, who has mastered the art of dishing out great music, began his performance with his beautifully titled Many Faces from his 2002 album titled Surrender. For those who know one or two of his songs, it was a magical moment to hear and see him perform this song and many others. He would later go on to invite Whalum with his sax to come on stage and the duo produced magic.
Whalum, an American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter, declared on stage that he had to wait for an invitation before he came to Botswana and that he was inviting himself back to the country in future. Narrating a story of how he toured with Whitney Houston for a number of years, it was a special moment for those who appreciate and understand what jazz is all about. He explained that during his time with the legendary Houston, they had a number of conversations about God. One of the songs that he performed was his version of I will always love you from his recently released album titled hashtag love cover.
The song, originally sung by Dolly Paton, was a beautiful reminder of the legend that Houston has become. Namibian-born Elemotho was another marvel on the night. And at 40 years-old, he still has the energy to pull off some dance moves. However, a sad development with the show was the low turnout, with many white and black seats left un-occupied. The general seats were even worse. And some even wondered why those who were at the back were not upgraded to the golden circle seating instead of making it look like they were attending a totally different show.
This past weekend many of us were spoilt for choice. As a result, travelling was made easy and, or even cheaper for some because one was presented with an opportunity to enjoy oneself at a place nearer to one’s residence as the country came alive with all kinds of entertainment for those who like indoor and outdoor activities.
Such activities spread throughout the country ranged from sporting activities, weddings, musical concerts, cultural activities and business and leisure. For economic reasons, BG Travel confined itself to the Greater Gaborone area where there were many places to visit any time of the day, either with the family or on one’s own.
The place that I frequented was the Consumer’s Fair organised by the Fairground Holdings and was used as a window for corporate, private businesses, government departments and individuals to showcase as well as market and sell their services to the world.
What attracted me most was their slogan, ‘It is more than just shopping’. Being an inquisitive person, I wanted to find out if the organisers have lived up to their word. What perhaps was evidently clear is that countries like Kenya know how to market themselves. This is one country which never fails to attend any show in order to market and sell some of its great exports, being different types of tea, coffee, honey and other related products. The same applies to Lesotho women who come here with their fashionable German print dresses, shirts and attires, as well as Swaziland who specialise in in-house décor and Zimbabwe with their arts and crafts, handbags and shoes.
It was equally pleasing to note that Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) did not just come there to impress farmers to consider selling more cattle to them, but equally took advantage and improved their bank balance by their different types of meat be it corned beef or packed raw meat.
If I had a prize to give for the most attractive stall, I would have simply awarded it to Debswana, followed by Botswana Police and the Department of Broadcasting respectively. Forget about the armed police both uniformed and plain clothes officers that surrounded the Debswana stall each day when the diamonds were on display at the stall, were simply there to execute their mandate in case unscrupulous characters were tempted to misbehave.
But the good thing about it is that many people both young and old got to see the real diamond and learned how it is processed from the friendly Debswana staff who manned the stall. Botswana Police Service (BPS) too is worth commending, in terms of the design of their stall, which was just too simple but equally appealing.
The most attractive gadget in the stall was the huge motor bike used by traffic police. It was amazing to see how people of all ages and shapes wanted to snap their pictures either near or seating in a riding position on top of the expensive BMW motorbike.
Department of Broadcasting Services (BDS) surpassed their usual trend of taking the radio to the people through commercial radio station RB2. But, they enlightened many Batswana, allowed visitors to mingle and interact with their favourite announcers and DJs.
Without doubt the centre of attraction was the Set Top Boxes (STP) that were distributed for free. However, the department charged with the responsibility to disseminate information to the public, used the moment to continue educating the masses about digital migration as well as testing people’s knowledge on how the STP works and is connected to the television.
At Fairgrounds Holdings everything appeared great at the trade fair, save for the fact that the boxing ring was assembled just too close to the exit point and this drastically affected the traffic movement during the time of bouts. The most worrying fact is that as usual, there were many toys on sale, and most parents appeared to buy their children toy guns and pellets.
Parents appear to care less about safety as some of those toy guns had laser light which can be harmful when pointed directly to the eye. Secondly, no one seems to care to teach their children not to just shoot a gun once it is loaded with pellets or whatever, because they could either injure themselves or a passerby.
There is also the question of safety. Did all the parents who bought their children toy guns and masks as a way of showing love, ever bother to inform themselves about their safe custody once they reach home? The truth is save for the fact that the other is a toy and cannot kill, the fact is a real revolver and a toy gun look the same, and thieves can use the same toy gun that you have bought to rob you. In some cases many get injured or are killed trying to resist thinking that maybe the thief is carrying a toy gun.
Another family event that was exciting was the Motocross of African Nations (MoXAN) which attracted a good number of African top riders from far afield as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia at its newly-constructed track – Wings Moto Park in Mmamashia. It was a great event.
The weekend could not have been complete without attending the much-talked about Jazz at Molapo Piazza where American based Jonathan Butler was the star attraction. It was a moment worthwhile and pity those who did not attend one of the greatest live shows ever.
Prior to the concert - the jazzman-cum-gospel singer, Butler visited Nanogang Secondary School - a school adopted by GIMC organisers (NCJSS)- where he gave a word of encouragement to students before serenading them with two songs.
Does anyone else think the weather’s been a bit weird recently?
I know it’s August and we’re on the cusp of a serious seasonal shift but I still can’t remember it being quite so up and down, temperature-wise. It’s hard to know what to wear when you get dressed in the morning and it’s no good checking the weather forecast because it changes so rapidly from hour to hour.
And of course it plays havoc with our health. Our bodies can’t adjust and we’re vulnerable to any coughs, colds, ‘flu strains and other assorted bugs that are floating around. And have you also noticed that we haven’t had a serious winter frost for the past 4 years on the trot? And that means that the weather never gets cold enough to kill off all the mozzies, ticks, flies and other bugs that bug us.
I know what you’re probably thinking – that winter has been with us forever and you’d be right. I stopped swimming in early March, when normally I might still be in the pool for most of April; so yes, winter set in very early and it’s dragged on for months so that even now, we’re still having the odd really chilly day and we can’t say it’s over till it’s over. It’s just that whilst it’s been persistently cool, it hasn’t really been cold. Strange days, as The Doors sang.
What really amuses me is that people overseas have a concept of ‘Africa’ as being forever hot and sunny. I say ‘Africa’ in inverted commas because that’s how they view the continent – one large amorphous mass of sameness.
They forget that whilst there are thousands of kilometres of coastline in dozens of different countries, some are above, below and in the tropics and that position affects the climate, just as the fact that some are washed by the Atlantic Ocean, some the Indian and both those factors hugely influence the climatic conditions.
Some countries are desert, come equatorial rain forest. Some countries, like our own, are so far inland, we’d have to travel a over a thousand kilometres to see the sea; and some places, such as Johannesburg are thousands of feet above sea level which adds a third dimension to the climates. So weather-wise, there are dozens of different ‘Africas’, not just one.
And speaking of Johannesburg, it’s said that it snows there on average about one every ten years; so how come I seem t catch it every time?! I’m always cold when I go down there – that goes without saying – but over the years I’ve found myself stranded at Sun City for 3 days because of snow in Jo’burg.
I’d flown there in a helicopter piloted by my ex-husband who was supposed to pick up some hotel execs when the bad weather set in and we had to sit it out for 2 days before he decided he could duck and dive around the clouds and we got back to Rand Airport which was covered in 6 inches of snow; another time I was flying out to London but my British Airways flight was grounded because what was then Jan Smuts Airport had been experiencing light snowfall all day, the 747 had been sitting out on the tarmac the whole time and the airport had no de-icing equipment so the passengers were bundled into a hotel for the night and we made a daytime flight the following morning; and don’t even get me started on the third occasion when I was doing a short course at Wits University and sleet set in which wouldn’t have been so bad had my room at the Milpark Holiday Inn had a functioning heater!
So no, don’t try and tell me that ‘Africa’ is hot and sunny.
Food-wise, this cuspy, unpredictable weather leaves me in a pickle. Instinct told me to put some white wine in the fridge (I only usually drink it in the warmer months), so I did just that but I haven’t opened the bottle yet – I still need the warming comfort of a hearty red; and it’s still cool enough in the evening to close the doors and cook something substantial for supper. And yes, I know it won’t be long before I’m once again sweltering in my air-condition-less house, wilting like the lettuce you buy and have to rush home and refrigerate before it cooks itself in the car. But right now I’m stuck in the middle and just wishing Mother Nature would make up her mind and decide exactly what season we’re supposed t be in.
Afro Botho is this weekend expected to host an Afro Botho Spring Mindfulness Retreat.
The event is slated to take place in Maun, and those who are in need of getting in touch with their spirituality have something to look forward to.
This is the second retreat that Afro Botho is hosting in Maun where they are currently based. The founders of Afro Botho, Mother K. Masire and Dr Didi Biorn, will facilitate the retreat.
According to one of the founders of Afro Botho, MotherK Masire, the Afro Botho Spring Mindfulness Retreat targets those who wish to take time to connect with their authentic self.
“Becoming authentic is an individual mission since each person has their own way of being human and consequently what is authentic will be different for each individual,” she says.
“Most of us also have this ability, but we are conditioned out of trusting our core self by a society that teaches us to use logic to make our decisions or by habitual internal and subconscious pressure to make decisions from a place of fear, and to minimise perceived pain and suffering,” she explains.
She says that participants will learn and get to practise mindfulness as well as Yoga conducted by a certified Yogie, Khutsie Kasale. Other activities to look forward to include learning the basics of mindful eating.
And for this session, Hearth Generation comes on board as the ideal partner as they promote healthy snacking. The GODDIE bag is sponsored by Nubian Seed, a local natural body products company.
Afro Botho believes in synergies because they are all about value addition. “The interaction or cooperation of two or more organisations or products/services produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects,” says Masire.
Applauds Makgobokane for a successful Mokoto festival
Shoshong expo billed for November 25th
The Shoshong constituency will hold its annual Expo in November 25th at Shoshong Brigade, area Member of Parliament Phillip Makgalemele has revealed.
Giving a keynote address over the weekend at the Mokoto wa Lesoso cultural festival in Shoshong, Makgalemele urged the Shoshong youth to help drive the promotion of culture and tourism in the constituency.
Applauding the Makgobokane social club for successfully putting the Mokoto wa Lesoso event together, he revealed, “this upcoming expo is for our comparative advantage, where we will look at spreading up job creation, alleviating poverty and promoting agriculture. “We should be proud of our cultural heritages, tradition and be able to market ourselves internationally. We want to see this event grow and become well-known just like other calendar events that have been able to attract internationals.” This year’s festival attracted over 400 revellers this past weekend compared to 200 when it first launched last year. Lately, Botswana has seen a mushrooming of cultural festivities from various tribal backgrounds, with the aim of promoting and preserving their respective cultures. Mokoto was Lesoso is an initiative by the youth of Shoshong known as Makgobokane social club, which was benchmarked from Molepolole’s annual Dithubaruba of the Bakwena tribe.
Makgobokane Chairman, Edwin Lesole told BG Style that it was formed as an organisation aimed at helping the needy and giving back to the communities of Shoshong village and its proximities. To diversify on their mandate, the social club then looked back into their village, on what they can do to promote culture, bringing people together to embrace their culture as the Bangwato of Shoshong.
Meanwhile, in another development, Makgalemele revealed that, “we are in the process of coming up with a Shoshong constituency Tourism trade hub so that when a tourist travels to Shoshong they know what cultural sites or tourist destinations to look out for.
“This will not only attract tourists but also attract possible investors to come and invest in Shoshong and help develop it.”
Standard Chartered Bank Botswana, the country’s oldest bank, is expecting lower interim results, but has promised shareholders it has a war chest to fund its future strategy.
The lender, which is among the top in the country has been experiencing a string of declining profits in recent years due to among others, lower banking rate, increased competition and closure of mines which the bank has been financially exposed to.
It seems the bank is yet to exit troubled waters while some of its peers such as Barclays Bank Botswana and Stanbic Bank Botswana are reporting improved profits. “Shareholders are advised that the company’s overall performance to be reported period ended 30th June 2017 is lower than those achieved in the corresponding period in prior year,” said a board statement.
For the half year period to June last year, the bank profits tumbled to P62, 9 million from P66, 2 million in the same period the year before. ‘Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Limited continues to have a strong balance sheet with sufficient liquidity and capital to deliver on its strategy’
Standard Chartered has not disclosed to the market what has led to profits fall after telling the media early this year that performance will improve going forward. Meantime, shareholders have been warned to exercise caution when dealing with the bank’s securities.
Despite the challenges at the bank, the board and management are upbeat, at least for the rest of the year. Writing in the bank’s annual report, Board of Directors Chairman, Professor Bojosi Otlhogile said. “A rebound in economic growth is expected in 2017 led by improvement in the mining sector. The business is well positioned to take advantage of the forecast growth given the strong fundamentals in place’ Bojosi, a law lecturer at the University of Botswana added that the lender’s balance sheet is fit for growth, and the control environment has improved. “The teams are focused on sustainable and well controlled growth that will generate good returns for our shareholders for the next coming years.
“We remain confident of our ability to realise long term sustainable gains and build a strong franchise,” he stated. The BSE listed commercial bank is without a Substantive Chief Executive following the unexpected resignation of Moatlhodi Lekaukau in February after five years at the helm. Chief Financial Officer, Mpho Masupe is acting.
At the close of trading on Wednesday, Standard Chartered was trading at 560 thebe.