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Artist behind the three hands Mmabana drawing

Born and bred in Itsoseng Township, North West Province Thato Seboko says he has been an artist since the age of 7. The Fine and Applied Arts National Diploma graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology also has his painting on the Mmabana Arts and Culture Mafikeng wall.

The painting is still there and was done last year February. Seboko explains that there were four artists painting on that wall and each one had to come up with their own concept.

He shares that his painting was different because it was more on challenging the thinking than aesthetics. “While I was serving as an intern at the Department of Arts and Culture one of my colleagues was deaf. We used sign language in the office”. “I got my inspiration from that. I painted three hands that say art. I did not add anything else to the sign language”, explained Seboko.

Some of his recent work includes a mural at the Itsoseng Youth Centre. The mural is basically a collage of all the activities that happen at the centre.

Seboko, popular trending with the name Thato Sbk, shares that he draws inspiration from everything around him. Some of his paintings are a comparison of the life he has lived in Pretoria as compared to that of Itsoseng. He has also done works on abuse, children, environment and so on. Having experience with different art materials, Seboko is now using hair dye.

The passionate artist reveals that there is some work that he is attached to but a more specific one that he is never selling to anyone. In 2009 his brother had a daughter, 2010 December he died in a fatal car accident. 2011 Seboko did a pen drawing of his brother and daughter. “That was an emotional piece for me. That was the closest piece I have ever been through. I am never selling that one”, said Seboko.

“In the township, being an artist is seen as a hobby. When I used to tell me parents that I am going to study art, they will say that art is not a career”. “I am trying to change that perception of us black people looking at art as a hobby. That is not just for white people. Us blacks can take this thing and make a living out of it. And also have fun with it”, said Seboko.

Article also published on Mafikeng Mail of 15 December 2017 Updated on 29 February 2020

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Urban Family Market shows empathy to township school

It was an emotional and joyous day for the Montshioa based Bodiri Primary School when Urban Family Market donated 20 pairs of     shoes, as part of their social responsibility initiative, on Tuesday.

“We are giving you these shoes today so that you will not have a problem of being pricked by stones and thorns when you come to school. We want you to come to school and learn”, said Tebogo Pule during the handing over of the shoes. Tebogo who is the administration officer for Urban Family Market also reminded the learners why they are in school and urged them to work hard.

The principal Patricia Molefe and HOD Mavis Nage expressed their relief and gratitude. “We are happy for our school to be selected, with regard to helping the learners in need. It is important that they do not feel different from other children. So now they will see that they belong to Bodiri just like other learners”, said Molefe.

The principal also privately shared the heart breaking destitute circumstances that most of the learners live under. Most of the learners are from child headed families while others stay with their grandparents and do not know their biological parents. Such learners do not have proper school uniform and shoes. The school continue to encounter annual cases whereby some learners come to school barefoot. It is also apparent that most of the learners who attend Bodiri do not reside in Montshioa but from various rural villages around Mafikeng.

Another Urban Family Market official, Morongwa Pule related that the reason why they chose the school is because most donors usually focus on the outskirts, particularly rural villages, neglecting the fact that a child right next to them might be in need.

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Watch Onalenna Leepile MESA Brand Ambassador

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MESA Brand Ambassador pushing tirelessly to get ahead

Onalenna Leepile of Madibe Makgabana, rural village outside Mafikeng has worked hard towards, and recently obtained the title of Miss Eagle South Africa (MESA) Brand Ambassador for the North West Province.

Leepile`s modelling journey kicked off in 2016 when she made it to the top 5 of the Miss Heritage North West pageant. This automatically qualified her for Miss Heritage International but could not go further due to a lack of sponsorship. The size 32 model who enjoys the gym, jogging and participating in marathons reveals that, this was her first pageant ever in her life.

She went on to be crowned Queen of Fashion Challenge on 24 April, which is one of the local pageants. The 20 year old is also a finalist for Face of Mafikeng where she will compete for the tittle on 3 March 2018 at Mmabatho Palms.

Leepile relates that there are four levels for MESA. The contestant, brand ambassador, semi-finalist and finalist. She started as a contestant then completed particular tasks which qualified her to be the brand ambassador. Points are accumulated through generating publicity such as doing interviews with the media, attending events and so on. Meaning that she needs to accumulate enough points in order to advance to the next level.

The second year Bcom Economics student at the North-West University Mafikeng, has proven that she has the brains behind her beauty by passing all her modules. In addition to being a model and a student Leepile runs Helping Hand Initiative which is a project that donates clothes, toys and sanitary pads to disadvantaged young children.

MESA pageant is going to take place in Sandton on 15 December 2018. Leepile shares that her mother who has always been her number one supporter is already organising transport for those who want to support Onalenna at the pageant. “I attribute the person that I am to my mom. She has made it clear to me that circumstances don’t determine where you are going. If you love it that much, go for it” excitedly said Leepile.

Leepile admits that 2017 has been hectic for her because of the pressure of having to juggle multiple roles. “Miss Eagle S.A is one of the most challenging pageants ever. It has brought me off my comfort zone”, she said. “Doing that and also balancing school was not easy at first but now I am already used to the pressure. It has been interesting and fun. I am enjoying every minute of it”, added Leepile.

She says that she is not planning to quit modelling even if she obtains a well-paying job after completing her degree. “Once I get my Bcom degree I am not going to sit back. Even though I am working I am still going to continue with pageants”, said Leepile who passionately expressed her love for modelling and her studies.

You can follow Onalenna Leepile on her Facebook page: Ona Leepile Miss Eagle S.A Brand Ambassador 2018

Instagram: Ona Leepile_MESA 2018

To vote for her sms Ona to 35334

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Watch Thato, the fine artist give us a glimpse of what he is all about

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Watch Africa`s #1 speaker

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Training for aspiring tourist guides commences in Taung

By: Kamogelo Pooe

In its endeavour to create a conducive environment for youth entrepreneurship and create methods which will enhance the fight against unemployment within the tourism sector in villages, townships and small dorpies, the National Department of Tourism and the North West Provincial Department of Tourism will for the next three months give ten young people an opportunity to become qualified and registered tourist guides.

This will be done through a three months NQF level 2 certificate in culture site guide training which recently commenced at the Taung Hotel and Convention Centre in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District.

Deputy Manager for Tourist Guiding, Growth and Development at the National Department of Tourism, Bakang Makolomakwe said the purpose of the training is to ensure that new entrants were brought into the tourist guiding subsector. We need young people to play meaningful part in tourist guiding and assist in dealing with the scotch of poverty and unemployment in this country.

“This is an NQF level 2 certificate which upon completion will afford these young people an opportunity to better their lives. We want to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth even though we know the challenges that are faced by our country with regards to unemployment in general. This is a qualification that is acquired to assist the tourist guides to become legally compliant and professionally recognized in the subsector”, said Makolomakwe.

She added that the National Department of Tourism will continue assisting provinces in capacitating tourist guides and contribute towards the growth and development of the sector.

Supporting the course and assisting in ensuring the realization of this course, Manager for Local Economic Development at Greater Taung Local Municipality, Tshepang Baloyi said that this training was as a results of good working relations between the provincial department of Tourism, the district municipality and the local municipality. She said they work closely in capacitating local unemployed youth in relevant skills programs.

“This is the reason why the department has deemed fit it to bring this training to Taung, we need to capacitate our youth in tourist guiding. In this area there is a dire need for such training because this area is rich in tourism and we have products and projects which needs to be packaged and we don’t have enough young people to assume responsibilities of a qualified and registered tourist guide.” “As the municipality we appreciate this kind of training, these young people will now be qualified and registered tourist guides and when there are employment opportunities within the municipality in this sub-sector they will be the first to be considered”, Baloyi said.

The participants are from various areas across that Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District. One such is Mothusi Maine of Bloemhof near Christiana who said was hopeful that the training will be able to equip them with the necessary tools to be able to actively participate within the sub-sector.

“I am hoping to turn my life around. I hope that this will inspire me to start my own tourism business. We are really grateful for the opportunity as we are from the most rural villages of this province where nothing ever happens. Information about opportunities such as this one is very scarce and I’m grateful that I was able to apply, got interviewed and now I’m part of the ten aspiring tourist guide in this district”, said Maine.

The training will run in phases for at least three months and upon completion as part of their assessment for competency, trainees will be expected to create a route for a guided tour. They will conduct this tour under supervision of a training facilitator.

 

 

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North West obtains three National Lilizela Awards

By: Simon Mmope

Potchefstroom Road Lodge has done it again at the National Lilizela Awards. This time they were joined by Pilanesberg Tented Adventures and Anne’s Guesthouse. The three emerged as overall winners in their respective categories, during the 17th Annual Lilizela Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

North West MEC for Tourism Desbo Mohono congratulated the three provincial product owners for winning in different categories. The three represented the North West Province during the Lilizela Awards. The awards honor and celebrate excellence beyond the ordinary, by their establishments in the tourism industry.

According to Mohono, the North West Province has a potential to scoop more awards at the Lilizela Awards and vowed that her department will continue to work harder in encouraging other product owners to enter the competition.

“I am personally pleased by the performance of the three products from the province. This shows that we are steadily getting somewhere as a province. I am sure that through the strategy that we have adopted as a province, we will be able to attract big establishments like Sun City and others to take part in the Lilizelas,” said MEC Mohono.

“The big and well established businesses have not shown interest in taking part in these awards and as a department, we have a duty to encourage them to take part. I however congratulate other big establishments that entered for this year’s awards like the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg. We have a great potential as a province as many product owners started from nothing and are making it big in the industry,” she said.

Mohono said that the awards should also be seen as celebrating tourism product owner’s efforts, sacrifice,  ambassadorship, their will and sheer drive of making sure that tourism in the North West is noticed and is taken to greater heights.

“Product owners are a pivotal component of the tourism industry and should be supported at all costs. As a department, we will continue to work very closely with our product owners and assist them in marketing their products, the province and its warm hearted people”. “We salute and give honor to the three winners in helping us to realize the dream of ‘A Re Yeng Bokone Bophirima’ as a destination of choice,” said the elated Mohono.

Meanwhile the Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa praised all those who took part in the awards, saying their efforts are recognized and their contribution into the economy of the country is much appreciated. “The triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment would only be defeated if we stand together and address the reality of what we are faced with as a sector. It’s for this reason that as government, we are accelerating our efforts to support rapid transformation in our sector and across the value chain”.

“The department, working with sector stakeholders has put in place a number of tools in line with our vision of “Leading sustainable tourism for inclusive economic growth in South Africa”, which would enable our contribution to the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) – vision 2030″ said Minister Xasa.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards serve as a platform for government to assure the tourism and hospitality industry of continuous support.  The awards also recognize and reward tourism players and businesses who work passionately to deliver world class products and services to both international and local guests.

 

 

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Acquiring inspirational wisdom from Mo Klaasik

Mogomotsi Klaas born and bred Mahikeng artist, known to his fans as Mo Klaasik, brings a unique flavour to the RnB soul genre. His motto is “be you, do you, it does not matter who says what”. “I want to motivate youth. I want to show them that in life you fight for your dreams”, he says. Klaas also asserts that this is the nature of the legacy that he wants to leave for his 10 year old boy.

GET TO KNOW HIM

Currently managing Klaasik Entertainment, founded in 2011, Klaas says he is not stereotyped to focusing on being an artist only.

Klaas has released two singles from his album which he plans that will be out early 2018. His latest single “happiness” which is receiving air play from various radio and television stations around the country, Klaas says was motivated by his pursuit for happiness. “Through everything that I have been doing, it`s all about seeking happiness. Fame, money, all these things are just a bonus”, he says. “Life for me is about happiness. If I am not happy there is no way I am going to move from point A to point B”.

A professional recording artist from the year 2000, Klaas went into being independent after leaving a recording company he was working with. He went through a traumatising phase of his life when Nosipho, his mother passed on mid-2017. Written and recorded by him, produced by Jerah Mothusi, “happiness” was written a week before his mother`s passing and was recorded two months later. “Through my mother`s sickness, the only thing that I kept trying to instil in my mind is that there is hope”, he says. “There is always tomorrow, a loophole that one will get and find a way where to attain happiness”.

HIS THOUGHTS ON MUSIC

Passion evident in the energy that he executes, Klaas asserts that what makes his music unique is because he always experiments and doesn`t restrict himself to one specific sound element. This is evident in his track “happiness” which is fused in with pop and classical tunes.

The 34 year old RnB soul singer believes that music is a platform to share a lot of things. “I share the life I have been through, the life I know other people might have gone through”, he says. “I don`t expect my music to be special but trust me, you are going to stop and say, wait who is this”, he adds.

Klaas admits that every journey has its ups and downs, but says that his experience in the industry has been and is still an exciting one. He continues to earn reputation for himself and he has had the opportunity to share stage with various award winning artists such as the likes HHP, Tuks Senganga , K.B Motsilenyane,  Morafe, MoMolemi and outside province he has shared stage with Solly Moholo,Hlengiwe, J.R,Thembi Seete amongst others.

One of the changes which the musician would like to see happening, is the recording companies being transparent with regard to the monetary side. He has learned that going independent is hard for every artist given the current economic status quo. “I want to be me, do me and sell me to the people”. “The music industry shapes people to be which I believe I won`t align easily to. That is why I don’t want to sign my name as an artist to someone else”, shares Klaas.

ADVICE FROM THE ARTIST

Klaas counsels that humility is one of the qualities that every artist should possess. He says knowing where you come from can set you apart from a lot of people. “I am looking at the music industry right now. Very monotonous is terms of character. Everybody displays an I don’t care type of attitude”, says Klaas. “Don’t sell fake stuff to people. Don’t be a different person on stage and totally different off stage”.

One of the lessons that Klaas wants to pass on to other aspiring artists is that no other person can manage you better than yourself. “The best thing that you can do is to study this industry as much as you can”, he says. “You don’t have to go to university to do that. There is so much information at your disposal on the internet”.

Klaas urges artists to be creative, find a loophole in the industry where they can make a mark. He further elaborates that that is what he is trying to do and does not want to go the obvious route which is hip-hop.

To follow Mo Klaasik and know more:

Facebook: Mo-Klaasik (Klaasik ENT)

Twitter: @MoKlaasik

Instagram:@mo_klaasik

 

 

 

 

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BURNING ZEAL FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

 

Currently the Provincial Head of Supply Chain Management in the North West, Brigadier Claudine Delia Alexander has been serving the SAPS for over 20 years and continues to show passion and dedication to her work.

“Every human being is created with a specific purpose in life. I have always wanted to become a police officer, it forms a part of my character”, says Alexander, sharing the motivation behind her choice of career.

The 43 year old Alexander, points out that one of the challenges and sacrifices that a police officer faces in the line of duty, includes the risk of loss of one’s life. She commits her life as service to all South Africans.  Alexander further states that since the day she took oath, she knew that the Lord has a plan for her in being part of upholding the Vision and the Mission of the SAPS.

 Alexander confidently articulates the love for her career. “I cannot think of any other career, than being a police officer. My calling is to serve and to be a servant to my colleagues and the community at large”, she says. “It is part of my creation to be a police officer. Once a cop always a cop”, she continues.

In difficult times the highly spiritual Alexander draws her strength from God, family, friends and colleagues. She also explains that professionalism, respect, commitment, passion and integrity are qualities that a good police woman should possess.

Alexander was elected as the SAPS NW Provincial Women`s Network Champion in May 2016. She has also been serving on the National Council of ‘Men for change and Women Network’ from this same period. She echoes confidently “If you strike a Woman you strike a rock”

The main objective of these Structures is focussing on the empowering of Women, raise awareness on Gender issues and Championing Crimes against Women and Children,

People choose a career for various reasons. Passion, commitment and professionalism should be the most prominent attributes.

To be successful and to excel you have to love what you do!