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Rising Tv star

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Rising TV star

Dichi reaches for his dreams

Maxwell Dichi is a renowned actor on the popular South African soap, Muvhango on SABC 2.

On the soapie, the 33-year-old Dichi from Ramotswa plays “Seretse”, a Motswana lawyer based in South Africa who is in a triangle with two cousins Gugu and Imani Nkosi.

He ends up choosing Imani over Gugu.

Dichi and Sharon Seno made waves towards the end of last year when they made it through rigorous auditions to land plum roles on South African screens.

The multimedia designer and owner of Dichi Media has always had a passion and dream to be an actor during times when there was no local television and such dreams appeared far-fetched in Botswana.

His first appearances were in commercials for companies like DStv and Room 50two restaurant.

The reserved lanky dude has also appeared in the local television drama, Colors.

Voice reporter Tshupo Matontshe talked to the rising star about his acting journey, his adventures and what the foreseeable future holds for him.

Q. How did you end up in Muvhango?

A. I saw the Muvhango auditions advertised on Facebook and shared the info with my many friend actors.

We then went to the auditions as a group of friends who had done Colors and other projects together.

There were 2, 000 people there so we spent the whole Saturday there.

I finally got my chance, got in and we did a few lines on the scripts.

Rre Ndlovu asked me if I can grow a beard – first question – and I said “Yeah. I think I can do that.” So he said, “Look, I’m not promising you anything but we’ll call you to come to Jo’burg in a week or two for screen test.

In three weeks we went there with eight others including Sharon Seno who plays Marang.

The next day I was cast as Seretse, Sharon was given the role and in 3 days we started filming.

Q. How did you go from multimedia design to acting?

A. The love for acting has always been there.

As a creative, as a multimedia designer means I somehow had an interest in visual effects; in videography and in motion pictures generally.

But this meant I was working behind the camera and post-production.

So, you could say the passion has always been there as a child, you know like every child watching movies.

Some kids take it as far as wanting to see themselves in movies.

So I guess I was one of those.

Q. You have been an extra, in commercials and in a local drama and now you’re in a big soapie Muvhango, how is the experience different?

A. It’s a huge difference coming from being in a one-time thing – being an extra you appear once in a while and you’re in the background.

Only the people who know you personally will tell you they saw you.

But once you get a role, the whole nation knows you – even though they only know the character you play – and you get a lot of attention; people notice you a lot.

So yeah, it’s a big spectrum compared to just being in the background.

Q. Did you have a job before Muvhango?

A. No. I didn’t have a job.

I quit my job three years ago having been a lecturer at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology for eight years.

They were retrenching then so I volunteered to be retrenched.

During that time I started putting myself out there.

It gave myself a lot of time to explore.

Q. Duma Ndlovu only allows acting degree holders in his shows; do you think a degree guarantees a good actor?

A. It’s talent and skill.

Let’s take an athlete, he or she comes with talent but they still need to be trained.

Even with acting, it’s talent plus skill.

You might have the talent but you still need to be skilled.

I do agree, there will be a point when a degree speaks more for you.

But then again, just like any other job, there are people with degrees but still suck at what they do. (chuckles).

We never stop learning; I still go for training and workshops.

Q. How difficult it is to play a character that uses a different dialect from yours in Ramotswa?

A. I pay attention a lot to Bangwato when they speak, they have no “l” after their ts nor do they use the “f” sound but its “h” counterpart.

And they have a whole different pronunciation.

So these I put into Seretse, my character.

There are times when I approach my shooting days, I switch to the Ngwato dialect ahead of shooting so that I flow.

Some people do not understand it though, they come to me and ask why I suddenly sound the way I do on TV.

Q. Do you ever watch yourself on TV?

A. Yeah! Yeah. I do.

I am at a stage where I still critic myself – I mean, I don’t think I am the best.

I watch myself and note what I should work on, and I do it as the character I play.

Sometimes you shoot a scene and it feels terrible onset but then when you see it, it looks better.

Sometimes it feels like you did a good job and then the editor kills you – he takes out your good parts and puts in the ones you don’t prefer.

Q. How do you advise creatives to tap into controversies such as political feuds, and corruption allegations going on around the country?

A. Usually I don’t comment on politics because as a public figure you do not want to come across as partisan since we have influence on opinion.

But as a funny way, as creatives we are going to make good movies out of what’s happening.

One thing I can tell you, we have a lot of stories to tell.

Q. You’re working on “The Maxwell Dichi Talk show”. How do you find the time? Has it started already?

A. Before Muvhango – about two years ago – I started a YouTube “vlog” called Session with Dichi and I did it with my brother.

We did one-on-one interviews with the likes of ATI, Mothusi Lesole, and Tshepo Kgositau.

We did about five interviews. So The Maxwell Dichi Talk Show is a revamp of that, it’s the same kind of interview where we want to tell people’s stories but now in front of an audience.

We recently shot two episodes, one with Khumo Kgwaadira.

The second one was shot on the 6th of November, and we had Nigel Amos, Owen Rampha and Mpho Sebina.

We are going to do the third episode on the 5th of December.

It is a dedication to the fight against HIV.

We are hoping to have Kgosi Mosadi; we already have the cast of a documentary called Have it All where they’ll open up about living with HIV.

It is shot once a month, and it’s not difficult because I have filming breaks at Muvhango.

Q. You are one of the interns Steve Harvey selected to work on Family Feud, how does it feel and does it mean goodbye to Muvhango?

A. I feel very fortunate.

This is going to be Family Feud Africa, so it’s going to be filmed in Johannesburg.

I take it as a mentorship programme and I believe what worked for me was the fact that I was already working on The Maxwell Dichi Show.

Whatever I am going to learn on Family Feud will be to come back and beef up my show.

And no, it’s not going to be goodbye to Muvhango.

There will be times I will be afforded time to go and shoot seeing that it’s an internship.

Q. Recently, there were clashes between the South Africans and immigrants in South Africa, how did you feel when you were there being an immigrant yourself?

A. During the first xenophobic attacks, I was in school.

It started in Alexandra; it always starts there for some reason.

I stayed in Bradley – a walking distance from Alexandra.

But what I learnt is that the xenophobia there is never really about Batswana.

It’s South Africans against Nigerians; against Zimbabweans.

Fortunately we never got affected.

I’m not saying it’s a good thing for those who got affected; it’s a horrible thing!

I think people who drive that, are very ignorant seeing that there is no how a country can survive with its people only.

You can fight all you want but Africans will never be separated.

Q. When are you going back to South Africa?

A. I am expected to go any time now.

I believe I will be there in December to continue filming because as I know, there are new stories for Seretse being written.

Steve Harvey will find me on the way. (Laughs).

Q. Before you go, how would you advise local and aspiring artists such that they could penetrate the market?

A. I would just encourage people – whoever they are, whether into music, art – to study what they are doing. Read. Get technical.

The key is in learning.

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Renewed hope for the youth

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Renewed hope for the youth

He is one of the youngest Ministers in the country’s history.

However, at the age of 36, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, McDonald Chilliboy Rakgare already boasts a rich political background.

From his days as the University of Botswana (UB) School Representative Council (SRC) President, to his vocal time as the Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) President before joining the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Rakgare is well travelled in the world of politics.

The charismatic politician also has an insider’s understanding of the media, having worked for Yarona FM and Duma FM.

Ten years after it started, Rakgare’s political career reached new heights at last year’s general election, where he received 6, 350 of the 11, 116 votes casts to claim Mogoditshane constituency from the Alliance for Progressives (AP).

This week, Rakgare, in his capacity as a Minister, visited The Voice newsroom for a tete a tete with reporter SHARON MATHALA about the vision he has for the youth.

Mindful that some responsibilities will be lifted off his large Ministry with the introduction of two new Ministries, after exchanging pleasantries he shares…

Q. How would you summarise your political journey?

A. My political career kicked off when I was still a UB student back in 2009 and I subsequently joined the BNF.

I later resigned from BNF to BDP after a few differences.

With the BDP I believed in the leadership then of Rre Motswaledi, Ntuane and others.

I was with the youth committee and I differed on many occasions with the then President Ian Khama so I left.

Khama wanted to destroy our country and we now have our country back with President Mokgweetsi Masisi!

I then joined BCP, which was well organised.

I was with the BCP for six years and it really shaped me into the politician I am today.

Q. But why then leave the BCP? Did the party’s decision to join forces with the umbrella have anything to do with it?

A. In 2014 we differed with the UDC on principle as the BCP. Subsequent to that was the report of Rre Motswaledi and the UDC still failed.

Some things are internal but the UDC is not organised, its leader is not organised!

I had a serious problem because should Batswana vote for us we would have a problem of leadership.

Q. How would you describe the leadership skills of President Masisi?

A. Masisi has a love for the country. He is an intelligent man.

The BDP needed someone to appreciate the work of the elders and veterans.

The democrats are happy. They have renewed hope for the party. He runs the party with consultations and inclusion.

Q. Taking you back to when your win was announced for the parliamentary seat of Mogoditshane constituency. What was going through your mind?

A. Some said I did not show emotion. What was going through my mind was how I was going to take the constituency forward and the people who voted for me, how I will fulfill my promise and change their lives.

I knew I would win; the team had done its homework.

The people liked President Masisi, even from the Kgotla meetings one could see.

Q. But one can never be too sure in politics, what made you so confident of victory?

A. We went into the election with six incumbent councillors who had done pretty well.

But also our party manifesto spoke volumes towards the transformation Batswana and the people of Mogoditshane yearned for.

Q. Moving on, you were eventually appointed a Minister. Did you expect such an appointment?

A. I never expected it! It came as a surprise to me despite the background I have in sports and issues that affect the youth.

When I received the call and was summoned in to be told, the first thing I did was ask the President if I had heard him properly and he gave me a piece of paper to sign against my name.

I thought the President would go with someone more experienced but he knew what he wanted, and I guess that was me!

Q. You are taking over a position once held by heavyweights such as Tshekedi Khama and Thapelo Olopeng. Did that not shake you a bit?

A. Not at all, Rre Olopeng did his part but there are ways in which I look at things.

What we will do going forward is not about me.

I have an able team which I am confident will steer this ship forward.

Q. What is your vision for the Sports sector?

A. What we will do is give young people a platform.

Our youngsters are doing very well in different sporting codes.

The issue is to give them the right tools, the money.

We will resource our sporting codes; we will build the facilities and introduce sports and coaching at primary level.

If we want to compete with international stars we need to give our stars a fair chance.

Q. And as for the Arts?

A. We have young people who are creative and innovative.

We will support them fully.

We will capacitate them to create wealth and facilitate the process.

It is still a bit too early for me to go into detail but we do have a plan going forward – let’s have this conversation again in six months.

Q. Any international events planned for Botswana to host? I know the Forbes Under 30 Summit is coming to town in April, apart from that?

A. We have two in the pipeline.

I would not want to reveal which – we already have teams on the ground working around those.

I can assure you, they will be a first for Botswana!

Q. Sounds intriguing! How do you intend to address issues of alcohol and drug abuse amongst the youth?

A. About 60 percent of our population is made up of the youth and more than half of them are unemployed.

This you are likely to get as a government.

We as a government need to seriously introspect and come up with job opportunities for our youth but that is a long-term solution.

For now government will build a Rehabilitation Centre as well as be more visible in schools with campaigns and mentorship programmes.

Q. Is that not what the alcohol levy was for? Why is it taking such a long time to deal with this phenomenon?

A. That was the intention to have and build Rehab and Rehabilitation Centres with it, but that has not happened.

Q. What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

A. I would tell him he can be anything he wants.

You can be anything you want in life. Just focus.

Take every day as it comes – look at me, I am a full Minister!

Q. What can you say to the youth who abuse social media and in turn bully others?

A. I stand here as a Minister and I really don’t know what can be done.

I log onto social media everyday and it’s disheartening what I see.

I think its starts really from home.

We should start having the conversation with our kids at home around the use of social media.

Q. Do you still play football?

A. Of course! Yes I do, very much so.

I am a really good midfielder, I might add.

These days, however, they play me up front.

You should come watch one of the games.

Q. Apart from ministerial duties and scoring goals, what else do you get up to?

A. I spend time with family because honestly I hardly have any spare time.

I leave early for work and come back really late.

Q. Thanks God It’s Friday, what will you be up to this coming Friday?

A. I will be addressing a Kgotla meeting in Mogoditshane.

Q. Any parting words?

A. Well I will just say corruption has no place in the current administration.

The rot in Government is huge, people went all out to destroy our country and steal from us.

We are going to have an investigation.

There is something in the works which will assist us with this.

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Celeb edition with Casper the Dj

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Celeb edition with Casper the DJ

Having enjoyed a stellar 2019, establishing himself as an ever-present on the entertainment scene, Casper the DJ has high hopes for the new year. The trendy 24-year-old music man joins an exclusive club by becoming the first CELEB EDITION of the year.

Briefly summarise your music career for us?

My birth name is KgosiTshiamoSabone.

I started Disc Jockeying in 2011 when I was doing Form 4.

It’s been a nine-year rollercoaster, having featured on a number of big musical festivals along the years.

I dropped a six-song project two years ago‘Strings Attached’ which is still available on all digital platforms.

What inspired you to venture into Deejaying?

Mostly my love for music.

It was amazing to know how many people I could make happy by pressing buttons and merging two songs into one!

If music didn’t work out, what career would you have gone for?

Accounting. Numbers are probably my next favourite thing after music.

Would you ever post a nude picture of yourself on social media to promote new music?

I’ve done a few controversial things but I’d never go that far!

What can fans look out for from you this year?

A lot! My team and I are working on my ‘One Man Show’ set for 28 Feb. We are trying to sell the best eight hours from a solo act you will see in a while! I’m working on new music as well, for now I can confirm at least one single for the year 2020.

You are known for your fashion sense. What is the most expensive item of clothing you own?

It’s definitely a pair of shoes.

If you could choose one superpower what would it be?

Reading minds. I’m a curious guy.

I’m always interested in knowing what other people are thinking.

What’s your favorite action movie?

I am really not a movie person.

Who is your local celebrity crush?

MsGeeKays.

Have you ever been arrested or had a run in with the law?

Does almost arrested count? Jokes!

I have had a run in with them though – it was for a car accident in 2018.

Five things people don’t know about you?

  1. I’m loud,I’m always talking
  2. I love my sleep
  3. I’m short so it amazes people that my shoe size is size seven
  4. I have this fantasy of being buff!
  5. I’m not too good at replying people over the phone – I’m a horrible texter

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Karim turns to Kwasa Kwasa

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Karim turns to Kwasa Kwasa

Having tried his luck as House Kwasa and Hip Hop, the multi-talented Onamile Ownah Wanga aka Karim has finally settled for Kwasa Kwasa.

The Beetsha native’s latest release is called ‘Mogata’.

The EP comprises of six tracks and incorporates a number of languages, including: Mbukushu, Seyei, Ikalanga, Sesubiya, Setswana and English.

The album opens up with ‘Sepoko’, then ‘Becha’ featuring Russ Décor and ‘Mogata’ featuring Malembe.

On track four is, ‘Motsene Mosimane’ which features the trio O-B, Quadra and Malembe, with ‘Appa’ and ‘Tlogela Bojalwa’ rounding up the album.

The title track is one of the songs to look out for.

If marketed well, it has the potential to transform Karim into a force to reckon with.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Carlos Ditsheko at CMD records in Maun, for Kwasa Kwasa lovers, this is a must have album!

RATINGS: 8/10

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