A teacher at Gaborone's Kgale Hill Junior Secondary School, Mogorosi Modisane, is the winner of the 2011 Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) Directory Cover Design competition.
Modisane, who studied art at the Molepolole College of Education (MEC), was declared the winner during a prize-giving ceremony held at Thapong Visual Arts Centre last Thursday evening. Modisane walked away with P25, 000 first prize. This is the third year that Modisane had entered the competition. But he said this year he decided to put more effort into his work.
Modisane said the idea behind his winning design was based on cultural socio-economic principle of the lives of Batswana as a whole. He said he was portraying the way Batswana used to gather under a social activity called Molaletsa, a cultural gathering during which people worked together for mutual benefit, assisting one another to complete a certain project within a predetermined time-frame and budget. "I had chosen the Molaletsa in construction of a traditional shelter as this was the most precious property any Batswana could ever own. Although it was traditional, it required much skill, patience, creativity and innovation as well as team work," he said.
He said economically, many people were benefiting as not every Motswana could afford to pay to have decent shelter. Molaletsa, he said, was used to bring together skilled personnel for less or at no cost - hence benefiting ordinary people. He said the cooperative spirit was the order of the day. "Everyone had a role to play in this Molaletsa concept. While parents were busy with the main chores, children were serving in areas considered minor, but very critical to completing projects on schedule." Modisane said his work reflects the success and pride of every Motswana regardless of location in society. "These are the true results from molaletsa and the same applies to BTC and its partners," he said, as he explained the theme of his piece. He said the traditional roof constructed on leselo and the cow dung on his piece, resembles worldwide web (www). "The outcome and approach of such have been carefully done to emphasise the beauty and satisfaction in every Motswana. This is very similar to the BTC group as it reaches a large portion of Batswana in almost all corners of the country." The portrait of the three women carrying traditional posts symbolises a team and BTC partners. Modisane said in as much as the work as a whole depicts a lot more of the technical aspect, an inventor has been illustrated to give more emphasis on such technology. He said his work suggests that the BTC group has made Batswana proud and simplified their lives by offering a variety of modern telecommunication facilities. "I have seen it very relevant to reflect the practices of Batswana from the traditional shelter project in view with BTC and its partners. I would personally title this work as 'BTC group, a catalyst to Motswana pride'." Modisane said it took him four weeks to complete his piece of which three weeks were spent on paper work. A representative of the judges, Kentse Bogatsu, said there has been a growth in the number of entries as well as the quality and diversity of materials. He said a cover design falls under a category of art called, 'Book Illustration'. During the ceremony, BTC donated a cheque of P25 000 to Thapong Visual Arts Centre. The coordinator of Thapong, Reginald Bakwena, commended BTC for contributing to the development of art in Botswana by among other things staging the cover design competition. He said they really appreciate what BTC has been doing over the years. Bakwena said from the time they started working with BTC on the competition project, Thapong membership has increased.