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A burning passion



A burning passion

Gifted young student wins university challenge

20-year old University of Botswana (UB) student, Ludo Ntshiwa etched her name into the history books last week, becoming one of the privileged few to win the CEDA/DBSA University Challenge.

The Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning scholar scooped a staggering P350, 000 courtesy of Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

The money will go towards implementing her successful business idea, using waste to produce Bio-mas briquettes.

The University Challenge, which marked three years in existence this year, is the outcome of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI) 3rd Joint CEO Forum held in Gaborone in 2017.

The challenge calls upon the youth of Botswana, specifically those enrolled with institutions of higher learning, to come up with implementable solutions to issues affecting the country.

Cheerful from emerging as a winner, a beaming Ntshiwa shares with Voice Reporter, KABELO ADAMSON her passion for seeing her idea come to fruition.

A burning passion

Q. Firstly, congratulations on winning this year’s University Challenge.

A. Thank you, I am really excited because I honestly wasn’t expecting to win.

But now that I have won, I am trying to find ways of establishing the business and thinking outside the box.

Q. Was it for the first time you entered the competition? What influenced you to take part?

A. Yes, it was the first time.

I saw the challenge being advertised on social media but never really followed it much.

I followed more closely at the end when the top ten was being chosen and I looked at the ideas and proposals and realised that I too as a Motswana can do something of that sort.

So, I decided to try my luck!

I went on the Internet, did some research and submitted my own proposal.

Q. How confident were you of winning?

A. Well, at first I didn’t imagine myself winning because it was really busy on my side due to schoolwork and assignments.

It was hard dividing the time.

Even the research I did wasn’t really sufficient.

I just did a proposal from the research I have carried out and submitted.

Q. Share your idea with us?

A. I proposed Bio-mas briquettes – they are an energy source used as heat and they function as charcoal but are made from waste material unlike charcoal.

After testing a few of my samples, I noticed that they are actually much better than charcoal because they burn for longer and don’t produce much smoke when burning.

Also since they are made from waste they are really affordable – 1kg will cost P4.50.

Q. And how viable is the proposal?

A. It is viable in the sense that there is a market for briquettes looking at the industries that need this kind of product.

We have breweries, plastic industries, ceramic industries and textiles – even the street vendors who sell food along the roads could make use of this product.

I am still exploring the market because I think there is a huge potential for briquettes locally.

Q. You mentioned you are studying Urban and Regional Planning. Your proposal seems linked to that?

A. There is some relation because some of the modules that I undertake are more skewed towards that.

For example, I did Land Management and Infrastructure Planning where we were taught on how to dispose waste and how waste affects the environment.

So I was very much exposed to issues of waste and environment and from that I managed to think along those lines of how we can dispose waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

Q. Now that you have won the money, how soon can we expect to see the project up and running?

A. Well, I was thinking of implementing it then and there but I was looking at the fact that this is my final year.

Yes I have got the money but that does not necessarily mean I should abandon school.

My parents have advised me to complete my studies first without other distractions so that next year I can start the business without any other hindrance.

I did mention that I need input capital, which is more than P350, 000.

I need around P34, 000 extra to implement the idea.

As I am still studying, I am thinking of a way to raise that amount.

Q. You feel this is the right amount to kick-start the business?

A. Yes, because when I calculate my financials show that most money is consumed by rent and other miscellaneous stuff.

So if I can just find a plot then I don’t have to deal with rentals.

The prize money is P300, 000 and since you are a female, you won P50, 000 extra as way to encourage female entrepreneurship in the country.

Q. Do you feel women are not given enough platforms to express themselves?

A. Botswana is making efforts because in the past there were no such platforms for women to express themselves.

But now we have the likes of Women in Engineering Botswana, Women in Energy and, even though it just a few, the country is trying to create platforms.

But I don’t think it’s enough because there are more women out there.

Q. As a child, what did you dream of doing with your life?

A. Growing up I was a creative young mind and I guess I have faced reality from a very young age that whatever you can be in life is determined by your level of knowledge.

Although you can be whatever you want, you have to set achievable goals.

For me, from a young age I have always been into Arts and Design and was getting awards at school.

This is the reason why I chose the course that I am currently doing.

Q. Looking at some of the ideas from other contestants, would you say yours is indeed the best?

A. (Laughs) Oh well, I know two or three ideas which I thought were good.

I felt these two ideas were good but I think the problem with other contestants was that they were more focused on explaining the processes of their ideas but did not concentrate on the business part of the project, which was their main undoing. Others failed because of the required input capital; one said she needed a capital of P35 million!

Q. Do you feel the local youth come up with original solutions or just copy from other countries?

A. When we look at other countries and the fact that countries are different in terms of development, it is always going to be a challenge to implement an idea which has for example worked in China.

Even factors like population play a key role in terms of the ideas.

Q. What can you say about the CEDA/DBSA University Challenge?

A. To be honest, it is a good initiative in the sense that it promotes entrepreneurship in the country because most people have a mindset of going to school, getting a degree, graduating and finding a job.

They end up getting disappointed because of lack of jobs and life can be devastating.

But if you have a mindset of doing something for yourself, you can work something out in your life.

CEDA has created that platform for young people and I hope it can continue with the initiative for the benefit of more people out there.

Q. Away from school, how do you relax?

A. I find it easy to relax by playing games with friends, mostly engaging games.

I avoid going to parties and clubs.

I find it very entertaining to have a games night and play games with friends or watch movies.

Q. And finally, Thank God It’s Friday, what are you up to this weekend?

A. It’s my birthday this Friday.

I don’t know, maybe some people close to me will take me somewhere but so far I don’t have any plans.

But on Saturday we have an outing with friends, I am not sure if that’s part of the birthday celebrations!

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Zeus to release Pieces of the Now



Zeus to release Pieces of the Now

One of the few local artists to ever receive the coveted Chanel O award for the category Best Male Award ; Zeus (Game Bantsi ) is currently working on his much awaited album, which he hopes will reignite his 2014 fame.

Voice Entertainment visited Zeus at one of his rehearsals where he is also preparing for his fourth album, which will be called ‘Pieces of the Now’

The last time Zeus released an album was back in 2013 dubbed “African Time”. Commenting on his next offering Zeus said, “The coming album will have about 15 songs but as you can imagine we have not finilised the list. I have featured about four guys in the album one guy called Rane Rap who is based in the US and another rapper from Namibia called Dollars or Yens as well as Owie and ONx Da Poet.
It is a really exciting project that has been a long time coming and I really can’t wait to have it out,” Zeus said.

Catching up on his thoughts on the state of the of Hip Hop at the moment, the “Gijima” rapper said, “Today’s hip hop music is more diverse that it gets credit for. The biggest problem is not that everything had gravitated to one sound, which is an arguable view, the biggest problem is how media covers the current hip hop.”

Asked to elaborate Zeus said, “There aren’t enough acts who are very organic in their appeal who get coverage. There is still a lot of lyricism in the game.”

But who does Zeus believe is the best rapper in BW? The energetic rapper who is also part of the organizing committee of popular Jam4brunch event said, “There are different traits we can look at and each one of those traits someone excels at. Ideally you would want an artist who can bring all those together from flow, to content to multiple perspectives and storytelling. When I think of flow, I think of Veezo View. When I think about say perspective a guy like Frost comes to mind.”

When I think of new age hip hop trap soul kind of vibe a guy like Manne dilla comes to mind, But if I am to name someone who brings it all together I would say arguably ATI. I can’t overlook him. But all the other mentions are special names,” Zeus said.

However there is no MC Zeus will rather not face , “One thing I have maintained is that one should be always ready to fight. I am confident enough to say there is no one I would shy away from if they want to go at it.”

Zues has another collaborative project with rapper Nomadic also expected to be released this year.

In the mean time he has released his single, Gotta get mine, which has shot up the ranks in the local charts.

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Fire in the bus




Fire in the bus

Football in Africa involves more than just training and kicking the pig’s kin about.

No in my motherland, the world’s popular sport involves all sorts of rituals.

Shaya has heard about chickens and snakes being slaughtered to fortify playing grounds.

Itchy powders made from dead lizards are apparently sprinkled on playing kits to confuse opponents.

Whether this works is a story for another day.

Yours Truly however knows that no African team has won the World Cup.

Recently an incident involving Jwaneng Galaxy FC had everyone talking.

Apparently one of the technical team member’s luggage caught fire as the team passed Kumakwane on their way to Orapa for the second leg semi final clash with Orapa United.

Strange enough no other bags caught fire, but only the said technical staff member’s luggage.

Conspiracy theorists claim that the bag contained muti meant to strengthen players or weaken opponents.

This was however never confirmed, what is not in dispute though is that Galaxy lost 1-0.

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Hail The Teen Queen



Hail the teen queen

Miss teen Botswana crowned 2nd Princess at Miss teen international

Miss Teen Botswana, Anicia Gaothusi was crowned 2nd Princess at Miss Teen International pageant, which was held in New Delhi India recently.

The 17-year-old Ledumang Senior School Form 5 Student won Miss Teen Botswana to secure her place on the world stage.

The Tutume born princess was previously crowned little Miss Districts of Botswana, Miss Multimedia and Second Runner up Miss Teen Africa.

Hail the teen queen
A RISING STAR: 2nd Princess at Miss Teen International

Our Reporter Portia Mlilo had a chat with this princess about her career in pageantry and her international achievement.

Q. When did you start participating in beauty pageants?

A. I started participating in pageants when I was doing Form 2 at Bonnington Junior Secondary School in 2017.

It was just small beauty pageants first, but last year I decided to compete on another level so I participated in Miss Teen International Botswana and won the title.

Q. Take us through your journey from the auditions for this event to the final, how was it like?

A. I was very nervous but at the same time looking forward to being part of the pageant.

After auditions only 30 girls from all over Botswana were chosen to compete for the title.

I was so excited to be among the top 30.

I knew it was time to learn and grow because I believed that the Miss Teen International Botswana title would help me gain my confidence and step out of my box and grow into a leader.

The journey during the competition was amazing as I learned a lot and definitely grew to being a confident person.

Q. When you were crowned Miss Teen International Botswana, did you ever think you would end in the top 3 in the world?

A. I was crowned Miss Teen International Botswana 2019 on the 27th of April 2019.

I was myself all the way and I believe that hard work does pay, so with the effort I had put in I was sure that no matter what happened I would win my crown.

With practice and support from Diamond Pageantry Academy I was definitely ready for the world competition.

Q. What kind of support did you get from the Ministry of Youth during your preparations for finals?

A. All the sponsors brought on board and their contributions to the Miss Teen International Botswana pageant were communicating with management not me directly therefore, my manager would be in a better position to answer that.

Q. What are some of the challenges you faced during your preparations?

A. My major challenge was finding a balance between school, fittings and practice for the talent section as well as attending pageantry classes at Diamond Pageantry Academy.

It takes a lot to get ready for an international competition and it needs one to be mentally and physically ready for the challenge.

Luckily for me I was blessed with an incredible team that helped me find a balance between my duties and responsibilities.

Q. How did it feel when you were announced second runner up, a position that was never reached by any competitor from Botswana before?

A. Being crowned the 2nd runner up was just an amazing experience truly a dream come true and as the first miss Teen International Botswana to actually represent Botswana, it felt surreal.

Q. President Masisi congratulated you on his official social media page, how did you feel about it?

A. Being congratulated by the President definitely made me happy.

That was when I realized that I have made him proud and for the achievement I have truly made my country proud.

Q. It was your first time to compete on an international stage, did you have stage fright? If yes what calmed your nerves?

A. I definitely had stage fright and I believe that no matter how prepared you are for the stage, you are always going to have that fright, but the overwhelming support from Botswana definitely kept me moving and gave me the confidence to pull out all the stops and represent because at that point I was no more Anicia but Botswana.

I was an ambassador for my country.

Q. What was your question and were you sure your answer was satisfactory?

A. My question was, “What is pride?” The first thing that popped up on my mind is the phrase ‘Our Pride Your Destination’ Brand Botswana.

I started from there and elaborated more on what it means to us as Botswana.

Q. What have you learnt from this competition?

A. I have learnt a lot especially having met girls from all over the world.

I have learnt different languages and traditional life styles and now I have international contacts.

It was an eye-opener and it is an experience that I will use in my career going forward.

I have also learnt that you have to read a lot, know what is happening around the world and be informed so that you do not struggle when you are asked a question during the pageant.

Q. How do you plan to use your title to motivate your peers?

A. As a young person and a public figure, motivating my peers is my number one aim.

I started off as a shy person and grew into a confident person and that is a compelling story that I can share to motivate the youth.

I will be launching a project soon named Lights to give the youth light and to encourage them to believe in themselves. Look out for it.

Q. What are some of your duties that come with Miss Teen Botswana title?

A. With this title my duties are to finish my project and reach out to as many young people as I can and help them believe in themselves.

I plan to do this through a project I mentioned earlier.

Q. How do you balance your education and pageantry?

A. Mixing school with being a teen queen is definitely not easy but with time management and a good timetable for every activity it becomes easier to manage.

And the Miss Teen International team has also made it easier for me to balance both.

One of the incentives that came with the prize is management paying for my extra lessons. I have a tutor and for that I am grateful.

Q. What advice can you give to those aspiring to be beauty queens?

A. To be the best in this career you have to win the hearts of the people both locally and internationally.

I will also advise them to be their authentic self, have confidence and be disciplined.

Q. What does it take to be the best in this career?

A. Know that your personality is your true beauty, it brings out the real queen within you.

Q. Do you have a dietitian? What do you eat or avoid eating to maintain a perfect body?

A. As a student and as young person, I love to exercise and I do mind fatty foods.

Home cooked meals have been always my favourite.

I avoid eating out at the restaurants.

This has kept me as healthy as I am.

Q. What is your future plans as far as your career is concerned?

A. My future plans are to pass my BGCSE exams and study medicine or accounting.

These two are my dream careers and I want to achieve.

My dream is to be the next Miss World or Miss Universe.

Q. Who is your inspiration?

A. My biggest inspiration is my family, my mom who has inspired me to become a hardworking, loving, and compassionate and caring young lady.

My grandmother who has inspired me to be who I am, she taught me that blessed is the hand that gives.

My family’s unwavering faith in me has always been and will always be my drives to stay optimistic and push to have my dreams come true.

Q. How do you kill your time?

A. In my spare time I draw portraits, write poems, short novels and listen to music.

Most of the time I practice and watch other beauty Queens interviews on their programmes, projects making impact in other people’s lives on interview.

Q. Thank God it’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

A. I am doing my final year and I have started preparing for my BGCSE so my schedule is very hectic.

Saturday morning I will be at school for my weekend studies and Sunday I go to church with my family.

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