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Talented singer Saltie spreads her wings

Keletso Thobega

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Saltie might be new on the block but humble beauty with a golden voice is fast making waves in the music industry. This coming weekend she will share the stage with South African gospel giant Dr Tumi at Bojanala Waterfront, at a not-to be-missed concert.

Born Tshegofatso Agatha Seabe, she is a singer, songwriter and all-round creative. She started off singing in church and later joined We Must Praise gospel choir before deciding to become a solo artist.

Saltie has a powerful voice that would give anyone goosebumps – she sings from the heart and her lyrics are powerful; you have to hear her to appreciate her musical gift. It is this amazing voice that is fast catapulating her to stardom, and she said that she is both excited and nervous to share the stage with Dr Tumi.

In a recent interview with Vibe, she explained that venturing out as a solo artist was initially nerve wrecking as she was unsure of herself. “I doubted myself and my music. I was also not clued up on how the music industry works and was forced to learn as much as I could. I did not give up in pursuing my God dreams.” She further said that she is motivated by her love for God, everyday life and the desire for people to know that a life with God is all about a relationship than it is about rules and fear. “I would describe my music as life experiences through the lense of faith,” she said.

Saltie has two new singles out, Freedom and Omatla. She explained the meaning behind both songs. “Freedom is a poem I wrote about the need to be free from the hurts of life; pain, depression and darkness. Omatla talks about how powerful and mighty God is, so we must have faith in Him regardless of whatever challenges we might face,” she said. She noted that her favourite line from the latter song goes ‘Ke lebile tatlhego mme nkga phenyo’ (I am faced with misery but I smell victory).

Saltie would like to work with local gospel artists Tshepo Lesole and Mathews Matsetse, and internationally with Dr Tumi, Jonathan McReynolds, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene, Ntokozo Mbatha and Mahalia among others.

She shared that the highlight of her career so far has been meeting and sharing the stage with Joyous Celebration music director Mnqobi Nxumalo, and veteran Joyous Celebration choir member Andiswa Mbatha.

Although she is pleased with the growth of the local music industry, Saltie is adamant that more could still be done. “Sponsorship should be taken seriously because music is expensive to produce. Money should be injected into music projects if local artists are to stage quality shows. Artists should be funded and more people should buy tickets to shows,” she said.

Saltie noted that young people intent on joining the music industry must put in the work and be open to learning because consistent hard work pays off. “Get informed, ask questions and never be afraid to pursue what you love, and continue dreaming while doing it. Also keep in mind that we are all unique and that there is enough for everyone to shine.”  *For updates on and to listen to her music like Facebook page Saltie BW.

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BOSJE elevates jazz education in Botswana

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CHANGING LIVES: Music has the power to empower youth.

The Botswana Society of Jazz Education (BOSJE) will host the 9th annual International Jazz Day for the 3rd time this year at the Maitisong theatre. According to the founding chairperson Akhutlheng Mogami, the society was formed to create a platform for jazz musicians and aspiring jazz musicians to grow and share ideas and even have their work documented.

“As a society, we have realized a need for jazz education. There is also no documentation about jazz in Botswana, which makes it difficult for both the teachers and students when it comes to teaching and learning about jazz as there is no local content to refer to. It is also for purposes of funding applications to run workshops and host festivals and exchange programs that we needed to have a legally registered nonprofit making entity as this one,” she said.

BOSJE was officially registered on the 31st of August 2015 with the registrar of societies and some its objectives include to ensure the growth of Jazz in Botswana and development of jazz education; to build jazz community by advancing education and research; to document, preserve and archive our Botswana jazz heritage; to promote skills development and performance through jazz camps, exchange programs and jazz shows and festivals, and to also develop new audiences.

In January 2017 the society formed a youth jazz big band (Big Bands). Mogami noted that they managed to bring together young people from all walks of life to teach them about jazz and how to play jazz. Since then, the band has been growing substantially both musically and professionally. She noted that The Big Bands in Botswana project which aims to put together jazz bands in schools and communities all over the country. “The project brings together young people and teaches them to play music in an ensemble set up.

The project commenced on the 15th of February 2019 with the primary objective of this project is to bring positive social change through music. Children who are involved in this music program receive a music education, which we believe will lead them to improved overall academic success. The children will also learn the essential skills needed for the 21st century workforce.

In addition to that, these children will also have a platform to exercise their creativity, and all this will in turn grow their confidence.” The band has graced the Masire foundation annual gala dinner, International Jazz Day, Annual De Beers sight holders Dinner, and Gaborone toastmasters among others.

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Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego drop love sin gle

The MidweekSun Admin

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NEW OFFERING: Benson & Diva Vebrok’s listening session rocked

Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego recently released their joint single titled Ha o ka leba. The two launched the song at a listening session at Greenberry Gardens. Music artists including Nono, Franco and promoters PP and Gloria Dzwikiti as well as other industry role players flocked the venue to listen to what the two have to offer and they were not disappointed.

The single is good quality – from the melody, lyrics, rthyme and production. The divine diva Diva Vebrok adds a golden touch with her smooth voice while the bold and eloquent Phutego’s voice complements hers as he breaks out into poetry.

Director of ceremony at the listening session Berry Heart also kept the crowd galvanised throughout the night with her energetic spirit. President of Music Promotions Zenzele Hirschfield expressed appreciation for the support rendered to the two and highlighted that it is important for artists to support one another. “I am honoured to see that that many people in the local music industry have come out to support their fellow artists.

This means a lot and we really need to unite as artists all the time,” she said. She sang praises for Diva Vebrok who she said was passionate and hard working. “She is more than just an artist but also an influencer and entrepreneur. She is one of the women in the music industry who work hard and never give up on their craft,” she said.

Phutego impressed the crowd with his words of wisdom as he appreciated being featured by Ve brok on the single. “It was great working with her as she is passionate and hard working. Women are the pillars of society and as such they should be respected. I have no regrets about this project because I am confident that we produced a great love song.”

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