Dona@Balos lines up beauty contest
FIVE youths are set to host the first arts creatives’ conference at Lehakoe Recreation and Cultural Centre on 13 May aimed at addressing the challenges faced by local youth in different sectors of the arts. The African Creatives Indaba (TACI) is a brainchild of renowned actor ‘Matli Mohapeloa, Libe “Swiss” Mohale (founder of Fun and Class Relations Agency), Lipalesa Kolane (assistant vice president for the youth customer value propositions at ABSA Bank Limited), Tholoana Ncheke (Legal Officer: Film and Publication Board) and human rights lawyer Lineo Tsikoane. Save for Tsikoane, the rest are based in neighbouring South Africa. They said they were often approached by learners asking for career guidance, with the questions centring on job opportunities and sustainability in the creative industry.
Recognising the gap in information, the five decided to form TACI: a youth-based initiative aimed at educating, supporting and informing Basotho and other Africans about opportunities within the creative space and how the world is gradually moving towards appreciating creative professionals as decision makers and influencers in corporate industries.
“The workshop was sparked by a conversation I had with ‘Matli where we were discussing the high number of Basotho creatives sending us messages via social media asking about careers in the art space,” Mr Mohale said in a recent interview with Xpress People.
“We then joined forces with others (Ncheke, Tsikoane and Kolane) and to come up with this programme for the event which also include 15 minute participatory discussions, sponsored prizes and entertainment by Basotho artistes.
“Everyone who wants to take up the creative space as a career; from film, photography, fashion, branding, graphics and right across to music. We have speakers from different sections of the creative industry therefore tertiary students, school leavers and anyone who has been practicing with or without professional training is welcome to attend.
“One of the core issues we will be discussing is earning a living out of your talents. We aim to empower people with personal promotion skills, branding as well as encourage them to hunt for business,” he said.
He also said they hoped to secure sponsorship to enable them to host regular workshops with international speakers.
During the one-day event, each of them will address topics in their areas of expertise as indicated in the table below.
Education and the creative space
Lipalesa Didi Kolane
DONA@BALOS Hospitality and Chef School has lined up a beauty pageant for 30 September with the aim of introducing culinary arts training in the beauty industry.
The winner will be awarded a full scholarship to study for a diploma at the institution valued at M65 000. This includes an internship programme in Ghana.
The first runner up will be awarded a full certificate scholarship and the second princess will receive a 50% discount on the course of her choice at the institution.
A representative of the organisers, Limakatso Tšosane ( said they felt it necessary to combine the beauty industry and the culinary arts as the disciplines were already linked by their appeal to the tourism sector.
“Much like beauty pageants, culinary arts are also considered to be cornerstones of tourism and in many international pageants contestants often compete in preparing dishes,” Tšosane said in a recent interview with Xpress People.
“There is also nothing better than beauty with brains so we also want to equip beauty queens with other skills to enable them to become prominent business people in future.”
Ms Tšosane said registration for the pageant was opened on Friday and will run until 30 June. Thereafter, SMS voting for the entrants will begin until the day of the event.
“It is common for beauty queens to cry foul after the crowning so we decided to introduce the SMS voting process which will be administrated by an external independent company.
“We will publicise on a weekly basis via different media platforms such as radios, newspapers, Facebook and Twitter just like it was done during the Miss Lesotho Sunday Express last year so that each contestant can be able to view her performance. An external panel of judges will decide on how much votes are needed to crown a winner,” she said.
Dona@Balos Hospitality and Chef School was established in 2013 by renowned Chef Donald Moletsane to promote culinary arts in the country.
The institution has since won a number of accolades including the fourth place at the Nelson Mandela Culinary Cup competitions in South Africa in 2015.
Two Diploma students were offered internships in Abu Dhabi after impressing at a competition in the emirate last December.
Another eight students are already in Ghana.