Tswelelo Gaboitsiwe, who goes by the stage name Tswello (#The Rose of Palapye) has dropped a new house song titled, Let me Love. The song features Palapye based artist Lizkid, and was produced by Smiz and Afrokay. The song has infectious beats, an upbeat vibe and catchy lyrics. It talks about the love for a certain woman and makes a promise to marry her.
He has been quiet for a while, but Tswello is back and promises to drop another single and an album later this year. He says that his subsequent single Maphakela, produced by Sammy Winston of Flight Machine Studios, will be out end of September. In an interview, Tswello explained that he had to take a break from music at some point to focus on his studies and hustle.
His latest re-emergence was a feature in a song on ATI’s recently released Envelope album. Tswello explained to Vibe that the song, Buffering, was inspired by the trials and tribulations artists face in the music industry. “We wanted to give hope to the optimistic; to remind them that they can achieve anything that they put their mind to if they believe, and remain focused on their goals,” he said.
He added that while the message is profound, it was equally important to ensure that the beat is energetic and upbeat. Tswello further said that the song was recorded almost two years ago but ATI kept it for his album. It was when he invited ATI to perform at his birthday party at Hunter’s Inn pub in Palapye, did they finally talk about the track.
“He asked me if he could include it in the album and I agreed.” Tswello’s journey in the music industry started in 2007, when he was a student at the University of Botswana. He hooked up with a few guys and started a hip-hop club. It was during this time that he met the likes of ATI. He later joined forces with BK Proctor of Basement Records, who helped him release his first album, Ke Tswello, an introductory offering with ten tracks. The rapper is currently based in Palapye but remains active in the entertainment industry.
“I work closely with Hunter’s Inn pub and put together their entertainment gigs. I organise many shows where we bring artists from Gabs here,” he said. Music is not his only terrain as he is also working on a clothing line that will have merchandise such as T-shirts and hoodies, to be released next month. He said that it is called OSTRICH, an acronym for Overcome Struggle to get Rich.
Making outstanding art through waste material
Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame
Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.
One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.
Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.
He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”
BOMU awards go on…
The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.
The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.
He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.
We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”
Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.
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