Basotho vow there is no party without meat.
But in Botswana stylishly dressed bridesmaids and groomsmen, twisting and turning to music behind the groom and bride, are what light up weddings.
Otherwise the nuptial festivities do not leave lasting memories.
This is where Thapelo Mbali comes in. He has decided to get into the business of providing wedding dance services.
Mbali told BusinessMonitor that ‘Baetsana for Hire’ was started in 2010 as a group that would be booked for weddings to be bridesmaids and groomsmen.
He says it is a group of six, made up of three women and three men who are based in Francistown and Sowa Town.
The group started out with 14 members, a number that was trimmed over the years as Mbali says he had to cut ties with some of the members due to their lack of commitment to the group.
He says he had to reinvent the group two years ago while ensuring that he maintained his commitment to deliver the best services along with his team.
Mbali says the group does not only offer performances at weddings but also provides wedding dance coaching for the wedding entourage.
According to Mbali, the group started in response to the lack of bridesmaids and groomsmen along with some people having their wedding entourage walking out on them at the last minute.
“The aim of the group is to be a go-to service provider that will not disappoint or pull out during the last minute. Batswana have been welcoming to the idea of my services even though there are still some complications,” he said.
However, this year they have been getting a lot of gigs. He says the competition is very high, but sometimes he manages to beat them through his marketing strategy using social media platforms as a way to get their services exposed. He provides updates for followers on the group’s Facebook page.
Moving forward, Mbali wants to have a car and house all the group members in one place in the interest of the group’s convenience.
He says the biggest lesson he has learnt from being in the service industry is that one has to exercise patience as customers need a person who can be calm and collected even when the client is unreasonable.