Often times, our kind tends to argue Botswana has no celebrities but we beg to differ. According to Wikipedia; the word celebrity simply resonates with fame and public attention in the media; usually applied to a person, group of people, or, occasionally, to animals. Celebrity status is often associated with wealth and fame and can often provide opportunities to make money.
Based on the above narration; for anyone in the showbiz or sporting fraternity to tell you that they did not get into their callings to seek attention are therefore lost; at least that’s what we think. It is therefore the attention-seeking exploits that bring them wealth. Brands all over the world want to associate with celebrities who cause havoc and grab the public’s attention.
While some celebrities often squander their cash or earnings by balling out of control others on the other hand invest it wisely; in a typical ‘make hay while the sun shines’ approach. BOTSWANA UNPLUGGED recently pondered and came up with a list of Batswana celebrities who could be silent millionaires or are destined to become millionaires soon. While information on Batswana millionaires remains a closely-guarded secret; we looked at what and how the few chosen Batswana are doing in order to possibly make the millionaires’ list.
Shona and Connie Ferguson
There’s absolutely no doubt that the happily married couple are millionaires. Based in South Africa; but originally from Botswana, the two started their careers as actors; Connie having played the character of Karabo Moroka in Generations for the longest time as well as yet another TV series, The Wild and Rockville. Shona on the other hand acted in Scandal, Muvhango, The Wild as well Rockville.
The couple now owns a production house dubbed Ferguson Films, which is doing extremely well. Currently, the couple produces the popular Igazi which beams on Mzansi Magic every Sunday at 2000hrs as well as Rockville. Recently Ferguson Films scouted and signed an agreement with Botswana’s Signed International; where one lucky winner will be given a role in one their all-star productions.
Just recently, Shona surprised his wife with a brand new Mercedes Benz AMG 63. Connie is the first woman in South Africa to launch her own celebrity fragrance named “True Self”. The couple also partnered with KDC Opticals to produce Connie Eyewear.
Thato ‘DJ Fresh’ Sikwane
Born in Botswana on October 15, 1972; the legendary mix-master, music producer, entrepreneur and radio and television producer is definitely a millionaire. Having started his craft as far back as 1997 on YFM to date; after leaving Botswana’s RB2 and commonly known as The Big Dawg, DJ Fresh is a true legend having done and seen it all. Currently, DJ Fresh hosts #Freshat5 on 5FM.
Surely the legendary DJ has accumulated enough to surpass the millionaire mark. In the past, he was a presenter of the Tropica Island Show, Studio Mix and Club Culture. Fresh has also sold more than a million records with his House music albums aptly termed ‘Fresh House Flava’. Not only is he one of Msanzi’s most loved DJs; he has released music over the years that has changed the face of music in South Africa and beyond.
He continues to dominate the music scene, and he has played in Johannesburg, London, Dubai, Melbourne, Brisbane, Moscow, and many more places in the world. He has also shared the stage with the best DJs in the world, including the likes of Jazzy Jeff, Fat Boy Slim, “Little Louie” Vega, Deep and many more.
Not only is he a DJ and artist, he’s also a businessman and some of his business ventures include running Big Dawg Productions, F.E.U; a partnership which he has with DJ Euphonik and many others. Just recently he partnered with BUDDS for Bluetooth earphones. He was also a judge on SA Got Talent that airs on eTV.
He has in the past raised money for organizations such as POWA and the Cancer Association with unique initiatives like “kissathons”. He also takes education very seriously! As a graduate of Boston Media House in South Africa, DJ fresh has a DJ Fresh Annual Scholarship Programme in partnership with his former school which helps students from poorer communities by paying for their college tuition.
DJ Fresh’s net worth is estimated at a whopping US$2million.
Zibanani Oneal Madumo
The Selibe-Phikwe born and former Yarona FM and RB2 presenter is a true and inspiring conqueror. Talk about a hassler-cum-entrepreneur in the making. Born Zibanani Madumo, the Botswana brother has truly made it to the elite league. His biggest break came as a result of his stint in the continental reality TV show; Big Brother Africa which sold his outgoing character to the rest of Africa.
After Big Brother Africa, Oneal landed himself a lucrative job at Gareth Cliff’s Cliff Central online radio station where endorsement after the other followed suit. He’s now the Samsung and The Aramis Black Fragrance brand ambassador and the value of his endorsements and cars combined amass over million bucks. Well done to our Botswana brother, you make us all proud!
If there is one man who has truly changed the local television landscape, it has to be Maretlwaneng. Through his company; Deezone Productions, the young and Black brother produces a show called Letlhabile which beams on the national broadcaster; Botswana Television (BTV) and showcases the ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture.
Deezone also produces the popular TV show Pula Power. Last year, they showcased a series called Ntwakgolo which was sponsored by NACA and they also have a breakfast show on DSTV Channel 154 dubbed ‘Good morning Africa’. Maretlwaneng is always spotted around town driving an Audi Q7.
Tenacious is the proud owner of Urban Soul stores. Nkwete started off ordering sneakers and jeans from the USA back in the late 90s and selling them from the boot of his car to his hippity hop customers. Currently, the young man is the proud owner of five Urban Soul clothing stores across Gaborone as well as franchise rights. He can best be described as the entrepreneur of our last decade.
Urban Soul currently operates in Rail Park, Riverwalk and Airport Junction malls. His determination continues to inspire the youth alike. He’s also one of the first few companies locally to partner with Barclays Bank of Botswana to offer cardholders relatively reasonable discounts.
He’s the original cover boy. From being a rapper parallel with lecturing at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, the Francistown-born artist together with his wife own one of the Urban Soul clothing stores at Rail Park mall after buying a franchise recently. Officially known as Tebogo Motsie, Euri also has a clothing brand called Real Legends street wear founded in 2015.
Odirile Vee Sento
He’s by far the most successful artist in Botswana. Who would have thought the pint-sized deadlocked star possessing not-so-good school grades will be a millionaire at only age 32. Vee and his family are truly living in opulence. However, don’t get it twisted; this lavishness didn’t’ happen overnight but the young man ploughed in hours of work over the years to reach the millionaire zenith.
He now stays in the lush suburbs of Phakalane. Recently, the all-star musician took to social media, Facebook that he has bought a brand new pair of wheels- a BMW X6 cash. The couple also has other cars among them a Range Rover Sport. Recently, Vee also broke the internet when he shared via Facebook that his newly-born baby enjoys the comfort of a P21 000 stroller.
There was also news via local mediums in the past that Vee had donated some of his cars to his church after he was born again. He continues to make a killing through various roadshows and campaigns courtesy of government. He will soon be releasing his new album dubbed “I Do”featuring RSA’s biggest artists among them Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, DJ Tira, Professor, DJ Maphorisa, African Roots, S’fiso Ncwane and Trademark among others.
Mogakolodi “Tsotso” Ngele
The sensational ABSA premiership-side, Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder could also be a silent millionaire. Three seasons ago he won the Telkom Player of the Tournament worth a whopping R200 000. He was also signed from Platinum Stars to the Pretoria side in a move football pundits referred to as money-spinning. However, Ngele has been spending this season on the bench or sidelines due to an injury.
His salary at Masandawa is estimated at over R60 000 a month, which means he makes over R700 000 annually excluding team bonuses. The club owner, Patrice Motsepe has also announced that the players will share their championship price of R10 million and this will see every player pocketing over P320 000. Signed under the worthy management of Mike Makaab, a loan move could be looming for the Zebras marksman and also a European move is on the cards. In South Africa, Bidvest Wits and Supersport are also said to be great admirers of the left footy.
Forget football, the father of two kids to Tumi Gabonamong still owes Botswana his autobiography. He’s the only footballer in the history of Botswana to go for trials at the old Trafford turf in Manchester United, England. At the time he was said to be allegedly too young to don the jersey apparently by Sir Alex Ferguson. Before coming back to Botswana, Gino was one of the Top 10 best paid defenders in the South African football league.
In 2011, Mogogi was the highest paid athlete from Botswana at a whopping US$354,000. At Township Rollers, he is also one of the top earners. A certified commercial farmer of note, the hard-tackling defender has a sizeable farm in his home village, Mmutlane which he continues to escape to whenever he needs to spend time with his family away from the glare of football fans.
After relocating to Windhoek, Namibia together with his wife sometime in 2011, Junior seems to have struck gold. He is now a news anchor at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and also runs a few businesses. With three houses and a plot in the upmarket suburb of Gaborone Block 10 under his name, surely combined they are worth a well over a million.
The brother from Gabane also has a fleet of taxis in Windhoek, Namibia; a classic case of “Never judge a book by its cover, or in Juju’s case, “Never judge a comedian by the taste of his jokes.”
The Maun-born A-lister is an international model of note. Her biggest break came after she won the 2005 M-Net NOKIA Face of Africa model search competition. Most local men could possibly be using Nivea products after seeing the sexy Kario on billboards and TV commercials.She almost clinched the coveted SABC3 Top billing presenter search which was won by the late Simba Mbere. Over the last 10 years in between USA, South Africa and Botswana, Kario has worked with top modeling agencies. She has also had stint with ‘aYeYe’ where she starred as Leano. The show debuted towards the end of February on VUZU Amp, DStv Channel 114.