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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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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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