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Shooting for the stars

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Shooting for the stars

Flying high in a foreign land

As far as local footballers go, few have achieved as much as Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele.

For the last seven years, the long-legged 29-year-old midfielder has plied his trade in the South African Premier League.

The Gaborone native’s time in Mzansi has been laden with silverware, including two league titles, a CAF Champions League triumph and two Telkom Cups.

Ngele has played for giants such as Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Platinum Stars, Supersport United and his current club, Black Leopards – a side he joined at the start of the season on a two-year contract.

He was also part of the history-making Zebras squad that qualified for AFCON 2012.

In what remains Botswana’s only appearance at the continental competition, Ngele – then aged 21 – was the country’s standout player.

Voice Sport’s PortiaMlilosat down with the former Township Rollers enforcer where they discussed his footballing past, present and future as well as his clothing label.

Q. How did your interest in football start?

I started playing when I was eight years old, turning out for FlamengoDesportos under the tutelage of Sexton MatshidisoKowa.

I was coached by Kowaand George Mogopodi.

These two have contributed a lot in my career development.

They nurtured my talent until I caught the eyes of coaches in the junior national teams.

Q. Much of your time at Sundowns was spent warming the bench. How did that affect your career?

It’s a sad part of football life to not get enough game time but you must have discipline and remain strong mentally.

I kept myself busy with my clothing line, ‘Supplies Company’ and music-recording label, MN Entertainment.

That really helped otherwise I was going to be depressed.

Of course it did affect my career because for you to excel and perform at your best, especially in the national team, you must have game time.

Taking an enforced break affects your performance and there is nothing as painful as being passionate about your career but not gettingthe chance to play.

Q. At the start of the current season, you joined another South African PSL side, Black Leopards on a two-year contact. How have you settled in in?

Joining Leopards was a blessing because I am now doing what I love most.

For them to show interest in me even when I didn’t play last season shows that they believe I can add value to the club.

They saw something special in me and I should reward them with a good service of my talent.

Everyone was happy to see me when I arrived and it was like I’ve been here for years because I knew former teammates like Robert Ngambi and ThusoPhala.

Their reception was perfect, I can’t complain.

Q. What would you say was the turning point in your career?

My career turning point was when I went to Wits on loan from Sundowns.

It was special move as the coach who rejected me at SuperSport when I was on trial wanted to give me an opportunity to play for him.

I still thank Coach Gavin Hunt for giving me that opportunity and it was special because I contributed during my time at Wits with goals and assists.

We ended up winning the league and MTN 8 Cup.

Q. You turned 29 in October – do you still harbour dreams of playing in Europe?

I had an opportunity to go play in Europe but some internal issues that I can’t mention denied me that.

Remember when Abedi Pele Ayew was in Botswana for AFCON trophy tour, I spoke with him and he agreed to take me to Europe.

Unfortunately some people decided to block my move.

Even when I was at Platinum Stars I did well – all I asked from my agency at the time was to go for trials but they failed to do that.

The truth is I’m old now, I have ruled that dream of Europe out.

I think it’s my time to pass the baton on to another big player to not just come out of Botswana but aim to play in Europe.

Q. Zebras newly appointed Head Coach, Adel Amrouche recently suspended a number of players for indiscipline. What was your take on that?

I’m a well-disciplined player.

Football is like a father-to-son relationship – if your son strays into trouble,wakgalemajaakamotsadi(you speak to them like a parent), you don’t have to be harsh on them especially if they are young.

They are learning and have the talent they can make a life out of.

They need guidance.

Q. Most of our local exports to South Africa never seem to last in Mzansi for long. Why do you think that is and how have you managed to achieve such a lengthy stay?

Maybe they become home sick (laughing).

On a serious note, this is a major concern.

I would love to see more players playing in other leagues, and not only in SA.

We need those skills and international experience to have a competitive national team.

It is something that football agents should look into and find out the possible reasons.

For me, discipline, hope, faith and patience are things that made my stay long in SA.

It has not been an easy journey and at times I felt like I was rejected and wanted to come back home.

Shooting for the stars
INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALLER

Q. Looking back, what do you regard your greatest achievements on the football field?

I will start at home.

When Botswana qualified for AFCON 2012, I believe that was the greatest achievement because we made history.

At Sundowns, I won Telkom, league and I was part of the squad that won CAF [Champions League].

At Wits, we won the MTN 8 and were league champions, whilst at Platinum Stars I won, MTN 8 and Telkom, where I was even voted Player of the Tournament.

Q. What does it take to be a professional player?

To be a professional requires a lot of sacrifice as you will no longer live a normal life to succeed.

Discipline will take you far and you need to have a big heart to be positive in every situation.

You should not be mentioned in scandals or any act of wayward behavior and find yourself making headlines for the wrong reasons because it will shift your focus and you will lose confidence.

Q. Who is your inspiration?

I draw a lot of inspiration from my family: my mother Susan, brother Godfrey, aunty Tebogo, sister Kefilwe, grandmother Josephine and grandfather George Ngele.

These people are my pillar of strength, I am what I am today because of them.

I will also not forget my fans, they are so amazing and they inspired me to work hard and take my career to another level.

Q. As you mentioned earlier, you have interests outside football. What inspired your clothing label?

I used to watch fashion channels;Pharrell Williams inspired me with his fashion business model as I look up to him.

Every business has ups and downs but the aim is not to give up.

You must keep up with the trend, especially in clothing.

My challenge is being far from my company.

I’m new in the game of clothing industry and experience is the best teacher.

You will lose money in the process but don’t quit, patience is key.

One day the brand will be big and penetrating the international market.

Q. And what are your plans once your playing days are over?

My future plan after football is to focus on my businesses.

But obviously I will still engage in football, maybe start coaching.

I really want to play a part to find another star from my Township White City, that’s why I make a charity tournament every year for my people.

I hope to find sponsors next year to grow the movement.

It’s not about football only but also music, health issues, business ideas and it’s about giving back to the community I grew in.

It’s about giving HOPE in my township.

Q. And finally, Thank God It’s Festive – what are your plans for the holidays?

I can’t wait to be home.

I am coming to Gaborone and I will be spending time with my family.

This is the time when everybody will be home and we share Christmas meal.

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Zeus to release Pieces of the Now

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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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Hail The Teen Queen

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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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Vee’s displeasure

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Vee's displeasure

Kwaito star blasts YAMAs for ‘Dumalana’ snub

Kwaito star Vee Mampeezy has slammed Yarona FM for ‘snubbing’ his hit song ‘Dumalana’.

Last Thursday, the radio station announced the nominees for the sixth edition of its popular awards show, the YAMAs.

Despite boasting over four million views on YouTube, ‘Dumalana’ failed to make the ‘Song of the Year’ category, much to Vee’s dismay.

Instead, the six tracks that will battle it out include: ‘Rolling Stone’ (ATI), ‘Peter’ (Bouncy), ‘Rejection’ (DJ Kuchi featuring Han C), ‘Dlala Ngamla’ (Girly), ‘Re ma Afrika’ (Phologolo featuring Zakwe) and ‘Cream’ (Veezo View featuring Ason).

Speaking to Voice Entertainment this week, Vee remained adamant his single should have been nominated.

“I am worried. If it was someone else who had such a big song how would it affect them? The station has decided to turn a blind eye but one need not be a rocket scientist to figure out that ‘Dumalana’ was the best song of 2019!”

When Voice Entertainment suggested it was perhaps a sense of entitlement that made Vee feel this way, the artist responded immediately, “This is the first time I am speaking out about this. I am just saying let us be fair. I have never ever complained in the previous years. So no I am not entitled!”

Another big name to miss out on a YAMAs nomination was Double Up with his single ‘Thukwi le Mala’.

There was also confusion surrounding DJ Kuchi and Han C’s ‘Rejection’ nomination. Released in November 2018, sceptics suggested it should not have been nominated as the awards cover 2019. However, as the single was dropped after the nominees for 2018 were announced, it is indeed eligible for this year’s YAMAs

The 2020 edition, which will be held under the theme ‘Fabulous 20’, will take place at the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Centre as organisers strive for their biggest attendance yet.

“This time around the YAMAs are back with a number of interesting surprises which will be unveiled during the awards ceremony. The YAMAs team is working tirelessly to make sure that this year’s event will be one to remember. The YAMAs brand has a new feel and the packaging is fantastic,” said Yarona FM Marketing Manager Kutlwano Monnamoncho.

A statement from the Radio Station also says, “The change of venue was due to the fact that the YAMAs have been attracting large numbers in the past years. This time around more than 3, 000 people are expected to attend the glamorous event.”

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