Gospel singer Joe Tshukudu, who goes by the stage name Joe T, will launch his debut album at Mantlwaneng theatre at Westwood International School on Saturday evening. The four-hour concert, complete with a band, will feature Chris Wills, Johnson Phefo and Fuego.
In an interview with Vibe, Joe T says that it is all systems go, as this concert has been in the pipeline for a while now. He admits that although he is a bit nervous, he is also excited about finally dropping his much-awaited album titled Dinonyane. The album was recorded at High Note studios owned by Tshepo Lesole.
The contemporary gospel singer, songwriter, compose and minister, would like to endear to the hearts of Christians and gospel lovers, and is confident that his ten track album will help do just that. Two years ago Joe-T dropped his debut single titled, Wa Galalela. He later dropped Dinoyane, which was a marked improvement from his previous offering.
The video to the song went on to be played on Botswana television show Melodi ya kgalaletso and South Africa’s One Gospel. The 32-year-old points out that the highlight of his music career was being invited to minister at Benjamin Dube’s High Praise Centre in July last year. “It was a humbling experience and showed me that I have a lot of potential.”
Joe T cites financial challenges as a niggling problem in the life of any upcoming artist but he has managed to pull through. Finding time was also a challenge because he still holds an 8-4 job. In fact, he studied a Bachelor of Social Work at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is currently employed in government.
He points out that as much as he would have loved to study music, he appreciates and enjoys his job. “When I went to tertiary, music was not a study option. It was important to pursue a course that would hopefully guarantee you a job. Yes, music is my first love but I appreciate my job and the value I add to society,” he says. He admits that it is not easy to balance the two but he tries his best “My job gives me a sense of purpose and my music fulfils me,” he says.
Joe-T fell in love with singing as small boy growing up in a Christian family that worshipped at the Assemblies of God church. In school, he formed acappela groups with friends and he received great feedback about his voice, which amplified his passion for praise music. currently He worships and ministers at Revelation Times International in Block 3. **Tickets to the show are on sale at Cross Gold, Sebele Centre.
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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