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Ramogapi scoops Redds country finals

Staff Writer
Lovers of fashion, fashion critics and journalists were last Saturday treated to fashion galore at the Redds African Fashion Design Awards (RAFDA) country finals at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC).

The top prize went to the youthful Kagiso Ramogapi who beat nine other contestants at the awards held under the theme, "What is the nature of your fashion?"  The entrants' works were influenced by the elements of wind, fire and water.

The fashion show, courtesy of Redds and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL), was graced by invited guests only, while the directors of ceremonies for the night were television and radio personalities Benson Phuthego and Boitshwarelo Lebang. Although it started later than the stipulated time, once the show got under way, revellers feasted their eyes on some thought-provoking and exquisite pieces.

One of Botswana's leading hip hop artistes, Thato 'Scar' Matlhabaphiri, warmed the runway, performing some of his hits, before the well-sculptured female models strutted their stuff.

Ramogapi contested for the top prize agaist equally talented designers such as

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Francinah Dipate, June Pulenyane, Lopang Moanaphuti, Wame Ledimo, Anthony Sefhemo, Opelo Lesake, Thato Joseph, Refilwe Sephetsolo and Dineo Mophakedi. Although it was clear from the onset that the competition was tough, the judges, former continental grand-finale winner Seneo Moji, Lefty Motoroko and head judge Sonwabile Ndamase, who is the designer of the internationally famous Madiba shirts, decided that the night belonged to Ramogapi.

The former Mater Spei College student, who dreams of owning a fashion house, said she had been inspired by a friend in the beauty pageant sector.

It now remains to be seen if Ramogapi will emulate Batswana female designers Mpho Kuaho and Seneo Moji who brought the award to the country in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The continental RAFDA grand-finale will be held in Botswana before the end of this year.



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