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Music industry mourns Soares Katumbela

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Renowned jazz promoter and deejay, Soares Katumbela (DJ SK) made his spiritual transition under heart wrenching circumstances on Thursday. Katumbela’S corpse was reportedly found in his burnt to ashes car in Tlokweng. Police investigations are still ongoing and it has not been confirmed whether it was a suicide as widely speculated, or perhaps foul play.

Katumbela was the soothing voice that brought music lovers jazz tunes every Sunday on Duma FM. He was also a sought after promoter, events organiser and the owner of the popular Street Horn music shop in Molapo Crossing, Gaborone.

Katumbela, born October 12, 1961, had an undeniable passion for jazz. He also had an unquenchable desire to see local jazz artists recognised and celebrated across the world. He was one of the founding members of the now defunct Orapa Jazz Club in the 80s. He later formed the Francistown Jazz club and subsequently co-established the New Yorker jazz club that attracted jazz lovers and musical icons from across the country and beyond borders.

He went on to form Street Horn Promotions, through which he has been credited with many milestones. Katumbela is credited as being instrumental in the success of several local jazz artists including Shanti Lo and Nnunu Ramogotsi among others. He has also brought many jazz artists to Botswana such as Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwanga, David Sanborne and Joe Sample, among other artists. He also did his share of charity through Street Horn and some of the beneficiaries include Rentse Foundation that received clothes and blankets. Katumbela has been described as a warm man with a heart of gold.

Katumbela was the organiser of the Francistown Jazz Festival, which was to take place on Saturday but was cancelled. The show was postponed a few months earlier due to lack of sponsorship. The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Culture and Sports Development, which was one of the main sponsors reportedly withdrew its sponsorship last week following a rushed new regulation that stipulates that no music events be held at stadia. The Ministry has since retracted this stipulation. Katumbela was also due to receive a Presidential Award from President Ian Khama later this month to coincide with Independence Day celebrations. Some saddened artists took to social media to express their condolences and a few of the messages read:

*Folkore artist Tomeletso Sereetsi of Sereetsi and the Natives fame

–Rest in peace bro. Soares Katumbela. You have opened doors for many of us. God bless your soul.

*Performance poet Mmakgosi Anita

–Rest in Peace Uncle Soares Katumbela. Your life is a monument of Jazz resting on depth. You started a revolution that knows no end.

*Jazz singer Kearoma Rantao

–May his soul rest in peace… In memory of Soares Katumbela

*Reverred songstress Maxy Golden Queen

–Rest in peace abuti waaka Mr Soares Katumbela. You were a good promoter. I did so many good jobs with you back in the day. You have really built the local music industry and always believed in local artists. I salute you and your work. You raised me musically… Only God knows why…May God be with you motsadi wa me.

*Goabaone Bantsi better known as Zeus

–The “I don’t wanna have to go to funerals” line in Drake’s More Life album gave me chills after Steez passed on this year. It is devastating that not too long after this tragedy, we lose another giant of a leader in the music business, brother/father/uncle to us all Soares Katumbela. Once more we shed tears, attend prayers and seek comfort. My thoughts are with his family. I cannot imagine the pain they are in right now. I wish “more life” was an easy option to access for us as video game characters, but I realise the only way to have more life is through the lives you touch who carry your spirit and values.

Rest in Peace bra Soares, you will be missed by many!

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Motlha to finally release debut album

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Trendsetting songbird Motlha is pencilled to release his solo album in February next year. Motlha is signed under Rok Lefatshe Records. The album will be produced by Suffocate. The vibrant singer currentlyhas three singles out and they include Hisa Hisa (featuring ATI), Mmamotse (which catapulted him to the top of the charts) as well as Nnenekwane.

Speaking in an interview with this publication last week ahead of his debut at the Mascom Live Sessions event featuring Bongo Maffin, he revealed that he started work on music for his debut album right after the release of Mmamotse.

He also says that the album is still a work in progress, and that he is yet to finalise the final list of songs that will make it into the album, as well as the name of the album. Ï am still eliminating and adding songs,” he explains.

He further says that his fans should look forward to collaborations with artists such as Zanda Zakusa (South Africa) and Soul Culture (also from South Africa). He reveals that he wants to work with a lot of artists who are in line with his vision.

He also notes that it is difficult for him to identify his genre. Some he says, classify his music as Afro Jazz, other Jazz with a fusion of RnB. Ï am still trying to classify my genre, and I might have to come up with a name for my sound,” he notes.His goal, he says, is to make music that touches and changes lives in a postive way. “I want to empower people through music.”

Meanwhile, Motlha proved his mettle as a stage performer of note when he put on an impressive performance at the Mascom Live sessions this past Friday.He gave revellers their money’s worth and many cheered and sang along throughout his energetic performance.

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Kokoamokoko entrances poetry lovers at his wedding

Irene Shone

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TALENTED: The recently married poet is working on a new album.

Former President’s Day competitions poetry award winner Okabo Gaopelo, also known as Kokoamokoko, tied the knot in style this past weekend in Mankgodi. The energetic performer could not help but serenade guests with his rich Setswana poetic rhythm. The superb poet better known as ‘Kokoamokoko’ planned on enjoying his day while listening to other poets doing what he loves best.

A variety of poets made his day as they added the cherry to the blissful wedding by presenting poems to him. While he had sworn that he would not recite any poem, his talent itched to be shared and he asked for the mic and gladly presented poetic verses, singing praises to his gorgeous wife.

The guests cheered him in amusement, imitating his usual line “Ke kokoamokoko weeee.”Gaopelo glamorously rocked his traditional attire that he normally use for his poetic sessions, saying that it is his signature for the love of arts. The bridesmaids and groomsmen also looked the part in the African attire, and they danced magnificently, showing off their well-choreographed moves.

They danced to the poet’ traditional song Ao ntate, from his album Tswhwarelo. Gaopelo told Vibe that he performed his work on his wedding day in order to motivate upcoming artistes who enjoy poetry and traditional music. He pointed out that many people think that many people seem to think that musicians and other arts practitioners do it to earn a living, but that is not the case.

“I wanted to show that we also do this out of passion and to showcase our talent. It really felt wonderful to perform for my wife and guests, and to also dance to my own song on my wedding day.” Gaopelo added that he plans to release another album next year.

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