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Kg’ oesakeni: The Musical, to thrill theatre lovers

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A play that explores the themes around the new found life of the Basarwa, told through the eyes of a young Kua maiden, a granddaughter of Nzabwe will thrill theatre lovers at Maitisong next week Saturday. The story is portrayed through the native song and dance of the Kgalagadi people.

According to a press release from the production companies, Lepatata Arts Ensemble and Botswana Blue arts series Foundation, in his book Tears for my land, Kwela Kiema explains that New Xade was named Kg’ oesakeni (which means ‘in search of a better life’) by a delegation of four men, including himself, in April 1997. Sources indicate that it was inspired by the government relocation of the people of New Xade, which was intended to give them “a new lease on life”.

The play explores the themes around their new life- their identity, spirituality, socio-economics and general well-being. According to the director and writer of the musical play, Shabba Kgotlaetsho, the case between Basarwa and government that culminated in 2008 intrigued and propelled him to research and find out more about the Basarwa. Initially he wanted to shoot a film but later resorted to a stage play. He updated the details and added oomph to the script, to give it substance and relevance.

“This play presents what I have assessed and brings the viewer into the realm of their life,” he said in an interview with Vibe. The creative arts space is not without challenges, even for Kgotlaetsho, who has many years of experience as an arts practitioner. Top of the challenges is financial constraints. “Putting together this production together cost about 300 thousand Pula but we are likely to get much less profit. There are many expenses one incurs. Right now, I have 18 Basarwa living with me right now. I have to accommodate and feed them. It is a tall order and one has to rely on generosity and favours.” He further lamented that government is focused on grassroots development of the arts and doesn’t pay much attention to matured artists.

“There is a disturbing discord between government and artists. We have created a system that just doesn’t work,” he said. He further explained that lack of financial support is a huge impediment that can frustrate even those the most talented practitioner. Kgotlaetsho however insisted that Batswana are patriotic and support home grown talent. “The problem is that there isn’t sufficient marketing of projects, so the audience would not know about the production,” he said.

Last year Kgotlaetsho staged Hosana, a musical celebrating Botswana through Kalanga spiritual music systems of Hosana, Sangoma and Mancomane. The story is a plot against faith and religion at a time when Christian missionaries made first contact with Southern Africa. Exploring local social communities’ values and needs, the story covers a fictitious nation of Baka-Habangana community whose village chief was the first to convert to the Christian religion.

The play received rave reviews. Before then, Kgotlaetsho had been rendering support to different ensembles until he decided to go at it alone. It has been a journey fuelled by passion but not without pain, and resilience has carried him through especially as he focused on the bigger picture. The support from the public has also encouraged him to continue telling relevant and interesting stories unique to Botswana’s social and political landscape.

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Local artistes steal the show at GIMC concert

Keletso Thobega

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La Timmy gave his best as usual and set the mood a notch higher with his upbeat sounds.Meanwhile, Boogie Sid took the crowd way back with a set reminiscent of the early 2000s. Robbie Rob and Brando also gave a fun set that had dancing along. Meanwhile, Sjava’s performance was quite tepid.

He didn’t seem excited to be on stage and his performance was bland from start to finish. Han C on the other hand was a fireball of energy and set the pace, proving that local is truly lekker. The Sedilaka star belted out in tune while also gyrating madly as if his life depended on it. Many sang along to his hits Mafura fura and Se-ileng.

South African rapper Nasty C also held his own fort and although his performance was nothing to write home about, he seemingly gave his fans their money’s worth as they cheered wildly. The Hell No hitmaker saved the popular song for last and everyone sang along to the jam with a catchy hook.

Another energetic performer was Master KG who has been making waves recently. His unique sound, a mix of kwaito, mosakaso had many wiggling and jiggling as if they have ants in their pants. The Situation and Skeleton hitmaker and his dancers churned infectious dance moves throughout their performance.

Meanwhile, Lady Zamar churned hits such as Collide, Criminal, Charlotte and My Baby among others, as she showed off her well-choreographed dance moves. Prince Kaybee was in his usual element and while it was not his best night, most revellers enjoyed the house tunes, especially the hit Club Controller, which can make even the most uptight person lose their morals and hump and bump in the air.

One of the revellers Tshidiso Mokaila said she had enjoyed the concert. “It was chilly but the whole show was well-organised, from the sound to security. It was my first time here and I had the time of my life. I will definitely come again next year,” she said. Another reveller who only identified himself as Tshepo said that the popularity of the bash seemed to be declining but said he was impressed that the organisers had beefed up security this time around.

“We had fun knowing that our cars are safe. The performances were just OK but I think that the no cooler box policy turned off many people especially as there was only one beer on sale and no ciders.” The MCs for the night Loungo, Sadi and Somizi did a sterling job and kept revellers in a party mood. While the previous editions were much better than this year’s instalment, there were few incidents this time around. Revellers let their hair down and partied the night away until the wee hours of the morning.

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The sky is the limit for Ginah Molodi

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In what started as only a mere passion for music at the age of (11) for Ginah Tinah Molodi, it has now changed into a big reality as she recently featured in one of the most decorated DJ in Botswana Boineelo Othusitse known as DJ Bino in a single house-track dubbed Ke Mosadi. Growing up, 23-year-old Molodi was a vital member of the Praise and Worship at her church.

In a recent interview with Vibe, Molodi said that her mother had always encouraged her to give her best. “My late mother has always been my mother, a role model, a best friend, an instigator and that really kept going because she motivated me,” she said.

The Mmadinare born aspirant artiste made her first major appearance in one of the Botswana Television (BTV) talent show called My African Dream before deciding to try her luck on this year’s My Star Show, “I have always dreamt of joining My Star from the moment it started broadcasting on BTV and I only got join this year because I wanted to share my talent with Botswana as I always believed in my singing and the talent that got has given me. Winning would have been a great bonus to me,” she said.

Molodi further reiterated on her current main enthusiast who is apparently her aunt. “The one person who was always behind me is my aunt Thusano Moseki, she has always been my biggest fan and she used to call me at my tenure at My Star wanting to find out whether I chose either the right song or rehearsed well and stuff and that really motivated me a lot as she strongly believed in me,” she said.
Molodi said being eliminated in the My Star Top 12 had not deterred her as she went on to release a single. “I did not win at My Star but that never really discouraged me because I have so many people that believe in me. I decided to do a single titled Ke Mosadi which is basically a personal song and it celebrates a women from her phenomenal transition from a young to a women with a massive help from DJ Bino as my producer,” she said.
Meanwhile, DJ Bino said that Molodi’s brother had sent him her audio. “When I first heard that our home girl is currently at My Star, I told her brother to send me the audio and she was amazing. I promptly decided to start working with her.
She did not win maybe because sometimes the judges do not see what we see as producers hence I took liberty to do a song with her because I appreciate her talent,” he said. DJ Bino added that Molodi still had a long way to go as she will soon be working with big names such as Odirile ‘Vee’Sento, Busi (Malawi) to push her promising music career to greater heights. DJ Bino also confirmed that he was working on dropping his 2nd album, which will be titled The Journey.

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