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Vee Mampeezy “blesses” his fans with Champion

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Botswana’s award-winning kwaito kwasa artist, Odirile ‘Vee Mampeezy’ Sento has released another album titled ‘Champion.’ This follows hot on the heels of his successful album ‘I do’, which was released last year in August and earned him a Metro award. The album, Champion, which was launched together with the video of the song of the same title last Thursday, is expected to hit the shelves in two weeks’ time.

The intimate launch gig was held in collaboration with Orange Botswana, which he is a brand ambassador of. Sento, affectionately known as Vee, spoke passionately of his music and stated that he never wants to release half cooked material. While some people thought it was too soon for him to drop a new offering, the pint-sized artist explained that he wanted to refine his work. « ‘I felt that ‘I do’ did not reflect the real me. I had to compromise on a lot of things because I didn’t work alone. In this album together, I worked with Trademark and Universal Music Group, who are both based in South Africa.

Locally, I worked with DJ Bino, DJ Kuchi, Suffocate, Lizibo and DJ Lou,” he said. Sento and his team started putting the ten-track album together in April this year. He noted that 2017 had been his busiest year. He said that he had worked on the Orange tour Botswana and Safe male circumcision campaign. ‘I hired a lodge for three weeks to a month, in order to work on the recording whilst also doing the country tours,’ he said.

Vee said that he wanted to reflect his true identity and his love for Jesus on this album. “This album is very much a street album, and it is more personal in the sense that, I worked alone on all songs so I could send a clear message of how I feel and what is currently happening in my life.” He further said that when he put the album together, he was under pressure from his new record label, the Trademark and Universal studios and he had to ensure that he gave his very best. ‘’They told me that if the whole album is boring they would rather release a single only.

They said no artist is going to change the rules of Universal ; I had to make sure that I produce a hit.  This video cost P250 000 and it is the most expensive video I have ever done. This is a risk I’m taking. I must show that I am an international artist through the standard of my work.  This is the best video to be ever produced in Africa not only in Botswana,’’ he said. For her part, Lepata Mafa- Orange Botswana Director of Legal and Corporate affairs, noted that Vee is a true ambassador of Orange Botswana.

‘We are honoured to have collaborated with the multi-award winning artist to launch his new video. His passion, commitment and busines acumen remain unmatched. He is a true testament that hardwork pays. We applaud him and continue to play a part in development of culture and music arts in Botswana. Vee is a true living legend and a true champion.’

Vee explained that he had named the album Champion because of his belief that everyone is a champion in his or her own right. “I wanted to encourage people to remember that, no matter what you do in life, as long as you are committed and show dedication, you are definitely a champion,” he said. Vee entered the local music industry with his first hit ‘Taku Taku’ back in early 2000s. He has since released 14 albums and Champion becomes the 15th one. Orange Botswana is passionate about his brand, his talent and the fact that he represents what a proudly Botswana brand can do when managed correctly. Mafa emphasised that Botswana is blessed with talent that has to be nurtured, celebrated and supported.

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Making outstanding art through waste material

Keletso Thobega

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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.”

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BOMU awards go on…

Keletso Thobega

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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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