12 On Passion : #010 Thato Tido Masebo, Interior Designer

This week, we caught up with the lovely and energetic Tido Masebo. She is a woman of many talents. She has an unwaivering vision for a bright future and it shows in her work and her abilities. Originally trained as a nurse, her nurturing and caring side shows from her love for interaction with people. Upon seeing her at first, she comes off as shy and reserved, but once you get to know her and get a feel for her style you will get to discover the bubbly side of Tido.

Stylist: Nollie Ngwira

Photography: kMoe Foto

Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari

Art Direction: T A N L U M E


1. Please tell us about yourself?

I am a village girl from Bobonong, a very fearless and ambitious village girl…not forgetting ‘hardworking’. Haha… I honestly believe in myself and when I believe in my vision I am unstoppable.Some people think I am a ‘snob’ but I am just a simple village girl who is  keeping her dreams alive

2. How and when did you start Tido Decor?

My motivation for Tido Decor started in June 2015 when I read an article about a UK based company that does recycled decor. I then explored  the concept and did my research and in August 2015 I registered Tido Decor Pty ltd and immediately started working on my concepts which was initially only recycled decor…but during the process of business I felt like my concepts cannot be sustained for longer and I saw an advert online about interior design and decoration courses and I knew I had to do it for Tido Decor and a new concept was born for Tido Decor now known as TIDO DECOR INTERIORS.


3. Growing up, was there any indication you’d be doing what you do now?

It was never part of the plan. God gave me that vision and i worked on it. I never pictured myself as an entrepreneur…All I wanted to do was drive health promotion somewhere in an international office *laughs*. Initially I wanted to be a lawyer and yes I had a chance to go pursue law studies at University of Botswana, but my love for nursing and giving back to the community overrode everything. I am a Nurse on a mission…and I believe God placed me there so that I can explore and inspire others in the process.


4. What inspires you?

My family especially my mother; A woman who breaks her back praying for me and supporting me. Women who are fierce, bold and fearless and go out to make things happen for themselves and most importantly God. I get most of my inspiration from the Holy Bible.

5. What have you learned along the way and what advice do you have for young people who want to go into interior decor?

I have learnt that in life you have to believe in yourself. When you have a vision, trust and listen to your inner voice…forget the noise of the world and just do you. Just BEGIN.

The power is in Beginning. ACTION!!!.To all those who want to do interior design and decoration I say…it is a beautiful concept and not yet explored much in Africa. All you gotta be is creative and be original in your design concepts. Clients can be intimidating but let them have confidence in you.


6. What have been some of the challenges and triumphs along the way?

The challenges  I meet mostly is financial constraints, negative talk from people and self doubt, But as a self motivated person I always find a way to push through…Nobody said it would be easy but eventually you will achieve. As for triumphs I have gained recognition in some online decor blogs and magazines. Locally the media has been supportive too in helping me launch my work. I have gained loyal customers who believe so much in me. I am a work in progress and I believe the best is yet to come.

7. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love working with people…that defines me as a nurse too. haha…I am getting inspired by my clients and through my decor consultations I gain unique concepts from them. I pick their brains during the decor consultations and play around with their requests and deliver something that is timeless and elegant.


8. Tell us about your women empowerment event and what it aims to achieve.

Wow!!! I am answering this at a point where I have experienced a proud moment about the event. The event made it to national news 👏 Now the whole nation knows something about my vision and I thank all the women who had supported this event. I have always envisioned cultivating projects where women come together and celebrate one another, empower each other and build each other. I love to see women retracting claws and holding up the ladder for one another. Women empowerment is a global topic and it is time for Botswana to rise too. I have a lot of strategic plans drafted already to do more in empowering Botswana women.


9. What do you do in your spare time?

I am a serial volunteer. I love giving back to my community. I also read a lot …I believe in personal development. I value my peace of mind too and enjoy trips to my home village to recharge and spend time with family.


10. Love is…

Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow. Love is selfless. Love is everywhere and I am Lovable.




12 on Passion : #009 Barbara Gotlop, Crocheter

I am surrounded by such beautiful,intelligent, focused women,please meet Barbara the most beautiful,calm and extremely intelligent woman. Barbara is a Communication  Specialist by profession but her love for her craft is extremely beautiful,she inspired me to start learning crocheting. Lets catch up with her :

Stylist: Nollie Ngwira

Photography: kMoe Foto

Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari

Art Direction: T A N L U M E


  1. Please tell us about yourself

I’m a passionate lover of life, free spirited soul, cultured woman with a great sense of humor… I believe in the joy that comes with life’s ups and downs.

I’m an African daughter, mother, sister, partner and a friend to many but close to a few. In society, I’m a philanthropist, entrepreneur and communications specialist.



2.Tell us about BarbaraKnitsProject,how you started it?

BarbaraKnitsProjects started very unexpectedly, I was at a shop buying cloth for a dress and I saw a crocheting needle and as they say the rest is history.


The first and last time I did this was when I was still at primary school in the 90’s and I really sucked… I remember trying to make a mat and my work kept curling up to make a beanie… So I kinda gave up on that. Forward to this year… I was so surprised when I managed to make something and it turned out the way I wanted it to.

Since then I believe I have found one of my hidden talents… I’m still learning to perfect my craft, with time I will get there. This to me is a lesson that indeed its never too late for anything.



  1. Growing up was creativity something that was actively encouraged?

My mother is the pillar of my strength she has taught me a lot about going after what I want and doing what makes me happy. She is also very creative, although she doesn’t knit anymore she used to make a lot of nice things around the home when I was growing up. She is my “go to person” when I get stuck with my knitting, she is always there to guide me.

I believe I’m very creative… I used to love making dresses for my dolls (which I kept until university… My dolls that is). I also designed and made clothes for myself, I used to redesign my clothes and I always got into trouble to messing up my new clothes while I attempted to outdo the original. If I wasn’t a communications specialist I think I would have been an interior designer or some kind of creative artist.



  1. Where do you look for daily inspiration?

I believe there is no greater inspiration than the inspiration we get from our journey. Life has taught me a lot about myself and through life I have learnt to accept who I am and look forward to where my journey takes me. I read and spend time listening to my “noise”. Knitting has also given me an opportunity to enjoy the time I spend alone.


  1. What influences your craft?

Life. My craft is my solace… When I knit I’m at peace and in touch with my emotions. It doesn’t matter what I’m faced with knitting somehow helps. I’m also a lover of vintage my work resembles a lot of styles in that era.



  1. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I don’t think much about tomorrow… In 5 years I think I will be wiser than I’m now and I will have a better understanding of who I am. Most importantly I wish to be at peace.


  1. Any plans to expand BarbaraKnitsProjects?

I believe I was sent here to bring about positive change in the lives of my fellow human beings. Through my craft I hope to change the lives of women by expanding what started as a passion into a business that employs many.



  1. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I knit and read I also love traveling and spending silent moments with my partner… I would love to one day travel alone and see the world. And I believe this shall come.



  1. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Knitting is very relaxing, I have a very demanding job that keeps me busy all day, I always look forward to going home so I can rewind with my craft.



  1. Love is…

The acceptance of self.


I met this young woman through an amazing friend, the first time we talked we clicked! She is magic, she is poetry, she is love, she is laughter, she is everything! An inspiration to the young and old. She is extremely focused, bubbly and have a beautiful set of eyes! I hope her story inspires you as much as it inspired me.

Stylist: Nollie Ngwira

Photography: kMoe Foto

Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari

Art Direction: T A N L U M E


  1. Please tell us about yourself.

I am Nametso Dorothy Phonchi, a Christian woman who was born and bred in the Township of Lobatse.I hail from Gabane, that makes me Molete.I am a Barclays F.G Mogae Scholarship achiever  currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science at the University of Botswana.I work part time here in the University as a Laboratory Demonstrator.I  am a multilingual spoken word poet and a live performer.I am an author of an Anthology titled STORIES FROM THE SUN.I am a Co-founder of a mentorship movement called Motswana wa Sekei. I am passionate about God, and I love doing things for his glory.I believe in community development and the power of volunteer work.I read, a lot.And I am an outspoken individual who just enjoys talking and eating potato meals.


  1. What were you like as a child. Growing up,was creativity actively encouraged?

I grew up in a township, lekeishane as some people would call it. I grew up as a talkative and outspoken tomboy.I was too playful, I loved volleyball and debate.I sang dikwaere on Christmas holidays so in this I believe I always exploded the artistic side of life from a young age. Unfortunately, where I grew up, creativity only came in the form of knitting and sewing for girls, but for us, the tomboys, playing “mathaere” (a game in which boys usually play with worn out tyres). It was only until University that I was able to explore my writing skills through a platform known as the writers workshop, which held small poetry sessions every Wednesdays in the University.


  1. What are some of the issues/topics you find most rewarding to write about?

I write to inspire, to reach and sometimes to question.I love God, love, women, nature and Africa.I try to write about anything, from day to day conversations, to personal experiences and places.However I have made a record of collecting STORIES that explore social issues in an attempt to reach, raise awareness or question our knowledge as the people.Basically I write about everything that I feel needs to be said and known.


4. Tell us about your recent book?

Oh!this is exciting! I am an author of an an e-book titled STORIES FROM THE SUN.This is my debut anthology with about 58 pages and 48 poems.These are my original poems, my stories, and experiences of self and my significant others. This book was published in July 2016, by an International publishing house called Bahati Books, which aims to give rise to African Voices. I believe this book is one voice that refuses to be caged, it is STORIES from different African places written at the break of dawn. Poems from this book are emotionally fulfilling, breaking and uplifting all at the same time. This book is available to purchase online on various platforms such as Okadabooks.com, Amazon.com, DigitalBackBooks.com, iTunes and Kobo at only P58.04.


5. What influences your craft?

I believe my craft is spiritually led and directed.I write to fulfill my God given purpose.I write to find my feet and to help others find balance in their own lives.I write to collect STORIES which my own children will live to tell. I want to be remembered for the love I have for God, my Mother, my family and friends through the stories I collect.I am influenced by the urge to be a better woman, than I am today.


6.Where do you look for daily inspiration?

I find my daily inspiration from meditating on scripture and reading books. I listen to Ted talks a lot, and I find myself tapping wisdom from there on most days.I am a prayer warrior, I kneel and pray to fix, to uplift and to feed my soul.


7.What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Being a writer allows my to talk, freely and widely. I adress different areas of life, when I write.When I perform, the stage affords me a platform where I can artistically and boldly represent God, and serve my purpose. Being a performer gives me the joy of always being in touch with my emotions, even forces me to explore my deepest hidden emotions, which I otherwise wouldn’t explore on a normal life stage.

  1. Some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career so far?

I have faced only a few, that I wouldn’t see as problems because I have successfully managed to rise from them.Currently, I would say the only stumbling block I face is financial constraints in growing our co-founded mentorship project, Motswana was Sekei, which I have co-founded with a brilliant author Mmakgosi Tau.We are currently unable to reach as many schools and children as we would love, because we are a self funded project currently. However we believe this is only a start, we work extra hard with the believe that nothing can stop us to impart and mentor other growing writers as ourselves.


  1. Where do you visualise yourself being in the future?

I see myself as an Environmental Economist consulting for international organizations and advocating for underprivileged communities. I see myself as a nation builder with a few books that changes lives of many people both young and old.

  1. Love is selfless, giving and should be felt by everything and given to everyone.



12 ON PASSION : #007 Malebogo Marumoagae, Personal Image and Etiquette Trainer

Malebogo Marumoagae is highly educated, very smart,with an unforgettable smile, warm,beautiful inside and out, and gracious. She is Miss Botswana 2007, has a  Degree in Economics and Populations Studies, obtained her MBA  from the University of Botswana and finally established Belle Larissa in 2009. She is everything you want to be at her age. Her dedication to her craft is inspiring, I hope her story inspires you as much as she inspired me years ago, she continues to be an inspiration to many!

Stylist: Nollie Ngwira

Photography: kMoe Foto

Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari

Art Direction: T A N L U M E

1.Please tell us about yourself.


I am Malebogo Marumoagae. I was born and bred in Tonota by one of the most strongest women I know, Diteko Marumoagae. My mother has taught me how to be confident in my own skin, to respect others and myself and most importantly to know that I am nothing without God. I am a lover of life, a yoga and zumba enthusiast (I know that sounds like water and oil!). I love trying new things but half the time I don’t get to because the people I live with think I might just die. I mean a little skydiving-nyana or something like that! I believe in the law of attraction. That whatever you think, eventually becomes your reality. Even the Bible says in book of Proverbs ‘above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”.  I love reading, infact I have learnt so much from the books I read. They have literally contributing in molding the woman I have become.



  1. Tell us in detail about the services provided by Belle Larissa.


Belle Larissa is a BQA registered and accredited institution providing training on personal branding, professional image and etiquette. Our main aim to assist individuals, young and old to be the best that they can possibly be especially in today’s world where there is competition in almost every opportunity that arises. For organizations, we assist their employees to align their personal brands with their corporate brand.



  1. Growing up was there any indication you’d be doing what you do now?


I have always wanted to be a lawyer but when I applied I did not make the cut. That changed my plans altogether. I ended up reading for a degree in Economics and Population Studies and for the four years that I was at the University of Botswana I knew that I would end up working for government. I was ok with that until I won Miss Botswana in 2006 and got exposed to a different life altogether. In fact, Belle Larissa was formed after I got back from Miss World solely to assist other aspiring beauty queens to perform better in international pageants. This was because I knew that had I been exposed to certain things, I would have performed better or atleast enjoyed my journey. Having started Belle Larissa for beauty queens in, I later realized that there is actually a huge gap for the same services in the corporate world. So I eventually shifted my focus to corporates and children. Seven years later, I feel like I have made the best choice. I also know that I have created a job for someone whose job would have been mine, over and above the people I work with.



  1. What has been some of the challenges and triumphs along the way.


Being in business is not a bed of roses. Some days are better than others but what keeps me going is the knowledge that I am doing something that fulfills my heart.  We have seen many good days, we have won awards (2nd Prize in the Business Services Category at the 2014 Boccim Northern Trade Fair and 1st Prize in the Business Services Category at the 2014 Women’s Expo). This was proof that Batswana recognize the work that we do and that was a huge motivating factor.  We have faced challenges head on and emerged victorious and we believe the best is yet to come. One of the challenges we faced was convincing our clients that we are not beauty pageant trainers. This was made worse by my beauty pageantry background. This forced me to bring other people with a different background on board. We are not there but eventually, we will arrive.



  1. What inspires you?

I am inspired by my mother, who against all odds has managed to single handedly raise 5 children without complaining or feeling sorry for herself.  I am inspired by people who have started from nothing and made something out of themselves and others.



  1. Other than work, what else do you enjoy doing?


I love yoga, zumba, reading and some tv. But not as much as I enjoy spending time with my friends at I Am Special Education Society, a center for children with learning and or physical disabilities in Tlokweng. They are very special to me. I also enjoy speaking in woman and youth fora. There is something fulfilling about awakening someone’s awareness and starting them on a new path of self discovery.



Love is…..a beautiful thing as perfectly articulated in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.



Its not everyday that you meet someone who is been through hell but is still full of life and love. Her passion for life is beautiful. She is love, she is beauty, light and joy. She got so much passion for everything that she does, I was drawn to this woman by her beauty, love, honesty and resilience. I hope after reading this, you will view life differently and you will find beauty in the things that shatter you, you will want to live your best life, you will view women differently and will have the strength to fight your way to living life to the fullest.

Stylist: Nollie Ngwira

Photography: kMoe Foto

Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari

Art Direction: T A N L U M E


1.Please tell us about yourself?

My name is Tebogo Ngele.  I was born and raised in Gaborone South, Ext 14 township, Babusi Ward, ko Kofifi . I am a very simple girl who loves little things in life. I love LOVE. Self confidence, self love and self respect defines me. I am a woman of many hats. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, business owner, employee, friend and most importantly a child of God because it is only through him that I can wear any of my hats.


  1. When and how did you find out that you have cervical cancer?I went for a normal, medical checkup and pap smear towards the end  2012. This was after more than a year without doing pap smear.  My health was a mess that year because I was first diagnosed with obesity, my blood pressure was too high as well as my insulin level.  I was a ticking bomb waiting to explode. I weighed 136kg and I wore size 24 after using an industrial scale. Bathroom scale couldn’t handle my weight. My doctor gave me 5 months to shed some weight and come back to check on my BP and insulin level.

    I did my pap smear that day and my doctor called after 5 days which was very weird because she has never done that before. She always waits for my next appointment to give me results. I went to see her and I could sense that there was bad energy in the room. She then told me that my results have shown that there are abnormal cells in my cervix and she should do more tests which included another pap smear and later on colposcopy and cervical biopsy.


  2. What were your main concerns after being diagnosed?I was therefore diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 1A1 after my colposcopy & cervical biopsy, which is the earliest stage of cervical cancer. The first thing that came to my mind when I was diagnosed was that there was no way I could have cancer because I didn’t feel like someone who was sick.  Secondly, death!  I was still dealing with obesity and now I had this scary thing to deal with. I went through deep depression. I went through all sorts of emotions. There was a time in my life when I just wanted to give up because I felt really tired but I had resilient support from my doctors, family and amazing small circle friends.


  3. How did you cope emotionally?I didn’t tell lots of people except close loved ones because I wanted to fight my own way without people feeling sorry for me. I prayed for strength only from God to fight everything. God gave me that strength and His support and I managed to do all my treatments without any worry. I went through everything with my head up high and a huge smile because I knew God was holding my hand throughout…. Even my doctors were amazed by my strength and resilience.  Most of the time, I would go for my appointments alone because I didn’t want to stress my beautiful parents. I wouldn’t even tell them about the results.

    All the doctors recommended cone biopsy for treatment since I was on the early stages and I wanted to keep my fertility. However I intend to do hysterectomy when I am done having children. I did cone biopsy which removed the cancer cells on my cervix.

    I have continued to do my pap smears and a coloscopy after my surgery (cone biopsy)and the results have been clear ever since. I still continue to go for my regular six monthly pap smears and other checkups. I don’t miss a single check-up.


  4. How did you change your lifestyle after being diagnosed?I made healthier choices, eat better, rest, exercise and I never miss my medical checkup. I managed to lose weight, from size  24 to a super sexy size 14. I laugh louder, hug harder, smile bigger, love deeper, kiss longer *blushes*. I tell my loved ones how much I love them daily. I spend more time with my loved ones. I protect my loved ones with my life. I am a ball of happiness. KE A TSHELA!

    The whole thing brought me closer to God. It resurrected my beautiful relationship with God. It made me calmer and focused, IT SAVED MY LIFE. It made me the strong woman I am today. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.  It’s all his GRACE. All my love, my heart, my life is a testimony.


6.Do you really think women support each other?

  • I have seen women bring each other down because of envy and I have also seen some support each other as they climb the ladder of success. But we need to encourage more support for one another to ensure women empowerment.


  • in a lot of the cases we as women don’t stand for each other, but I also think this is nothing to do with genders but with the way we are conceiving the “rules of the game” in the society, we are always taught to be THE best, the richest, the strongest, the skinniest, the prettiest and so on, we need to stop teaching generations to compare themselves with others but to create together, to strive to be the best version of THEMSELVES and to aim to build better societies and places to live, because overall we are all on the same path to achieve happiness.


7. What inspires you?

I am inspired by my beautiful parents, Mr. & Mrs. Ngele

Dad, The first best guide I could ever get…. He is like a coach to me who would push me through extreme conditions while still being gentle with me all the times. My dad is still a hard working man at 76yrs old. It was from my dad whom I learned how to live life while keeping my head up. He taught me to follow the path of love, honesty and integrity. My dad believes in EDUCATION. My dad is always there for his children and he supports everything we do.  My dad is LOVE

Mum, is a very kind woman. She would stay awake all night when I am sick and would scold me really bad when I make mistakes. She is a multitalented woman who is my mother, doctor, therapist, cook, priest, counselor and an INSPIRATION.  She gets me. She is able to read my mind. My silence speaks to her in a lot of ways I can’t explain. She just peeks into my eyes and everything becomes clearer to her. My mum is a GODDESS of scarifies. She has given up a lot in life to make raise us well. I have seen her go hungry just to make sure that all her children have something to eat. My mum is GREATNESS. My mum is a SUPER WOMAN.


8.Love is…1 CORINTHIANS 13



Lessons from 26, Birthday!

Today i woke up with the sun in my mouth 😀 because its my birthday!! Its been an incredible day and i couldn’t be happier. I am  27 and it feels super good already! I am healthy and my family is very healthy, my son’s love and smiles are endless and this really melts my heart. I am loved by the most beautiful man so i am thankful, thankful for the gift of life. Here are some of the lessons from 26.






  • God is Love
  • Pick your friends how you pick your fruit
  • Do not let fear dim your light
  • Give yourself time to heal.
  • Be present, consistent and conscious in  your healing.
  • Unlearn the old ways of thinking
  • Allow yourself to be exactly where you are. feed your soul the sweetness of the present. be aware and full of life.
  • Stop complaining and appreciate the what is. reassure loved ones. kill your ego. communication and transparency is key






I am still enjoying my birthday and i am going to celebrate the whole of October! Thank you so much for all the sweet messages and your support, you are all appreciated.