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Northern Music Awards ready to upset BOMU’s apple cart

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When Francistown artists complained last year of the ill-treatment they receive from Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU), commentators regarded them as crybabies. Undeterred, they came together and launched the first ever Northern Music Awards, which were held on the 19th December 2015 in Francistown.

The awards, which received coverage from Botswana Television, have left BOMU with a stinking egg on the face. This is because, for a long time, BOMU has been enjoying the monopoly of staging awards for local artists without any competitor.

The Northern awards covered all areas of creative arts as they recognised and awarded trophies to all deserving creative artists including theatre, comedians, producers, poets, journalists, promoters and disk jockeys. BOMU has never done this since it promotes music only.

The project coordinator Lyelor Nkosi could not hide his excitement in an interview with Vibe. The awards, he said, had exceeded their expectations. “When we initiated these awards, we decided to do something different knowing that BOMU was only concentrating on music at the expense of  other creative arts. We decided to close the gap by encompassing all creative arts as a way of rewarding the artists for the good job they have been doing for this country. For a long time, artists from the north have been neglected,’’ he explained.

He added that it was very rare for a northern artist to get recognition at BOMU awards. Nkosi cited the example of MC Maswe who was nominated for two categories last year only for him to be “cheated” to walk away empty-handed. During the northern awards, the Zwamaronga hit-maker won the best lifetime achiever artist in the north as well as the most popular artist, beating the likes of Mahempe hands down.

Solomon Chase Mabutho of Bon Fella records bagged the best Francistown producer while DJ Bunz aka Peter Gaseitsiwe ran away with the best DJ award. Maswe told this publication after the awards that after he was “cheated” at BOMU, he had resolved never to enter any competition as most of them were biased against Francistown artists.

“I could not believe what I saw at the Northern Awards. The arrangement was out of this world. The number of Francistown civic leaders also motivated me, including Councillors and Members of Parliament (MPs) who graced the occasion. The last BOMU awards had dented my pride as I had been certain of winning at least one award but that was not to be.

I must confess that the Northern Awards made my day as my hard work was finally recognised. One good thing about these awards is the fact that all the judgments and nominations were done by Francistown based journalists from all media houses including the Botswana Daily News. These journalists are always following our progress and it was a good thing to involve them to avoid needless complaints,’’ he said.

WINNERS
Best Poetry-  Tsikitsiki, best theatre- Ghetto Artists, Best DJ- Bunz, best producer-Solomon Chase Mabutho, best upcoming artist- BBlock, best music group Tjilenje the Ngwao, best Arts reporter- Kabelo Dipholo, best comedian- Top –Shut, best promoter- MC Poster, best overall artist- MC Maswe, life time achiever- Mc Maswe and best upcoming artist- BBlock.

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CHARMA GAL DROPS NEW ALBUM

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GOING PLACES:The singer has a new offering

CharmaGal is back with a bang. After a hiatus, following her hit Jabu last year, she has released an all Setswana thriller album just in time for festive.

The local music sensational is back into her stardom feat, the album brings yet another set of tracks in her 8-track album titled Lekgamu la bananyana. Touch Records in Gaborone officially released the album this past week.

During a media brief held at Botswana Craft in Gaborone this past week, CharmaGal revealed that she has been working hard on the album thus having high expectations on it. According to Charma, Lekgamu la bananyana is a notch high than her previous music deliverables.

Speaking to Vibe a day before boarding a plane to the United Kingdom where she was performing alongside South Africa’s BabesWodumo, she said that what makes her unique is staying to her craft. The Mmokolodi hit-maker said that it is giving what you are to the people that then opportunities arise for artists.

“People need to stay true to their uniqueness, this new album represent my style of delivering music, that represents my key and my melody that is why it is easy for people to react to it,” shared CharmaGal.

She also said that piracy is a concern in the music fraternity, adding that she has targets she has set for herself in regards to the number of copies she wants to sell on the album. “New technology remains a mystery for us artists, in a day after the release of the album, people will be she sharing out the music through Whatsapp and other social media networks and that is amazing.”

Meanwhile, a week after the release of the album, track 3, dubbed Banyana, is driving CharmaGal fans crazy. The song has already been played on various radio stations in the country. In the song, CharmaGal says that she does not need to get to work because she has hangover garnered from the weekend. **The album is available at most music stores.

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Shamele drops solo kwaito offering

Irene Shone

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omolemo Thepa aka Shamele says kwaito music has taken out the artiste in him and he plans to elevate the genre as time goes. The 27-year-old recently released his first-ever solo single dubbed, ‘Dula S’tilo’.

He tells Vibe that the new single was actually written to honour the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi as he sat on the presidency throne. He explains that he has been in the music industry for the past six years, featuring other artistes but decided to [produce his solo work this year.

“I have written this song and composed it to dedicate it to Masisi as a way of welcoming him to his new position,” he says.Shamele is confident that having worked with a variety of well-established artistes has given him light and direction to grow the Kwaito genre. Asked why he chose Kwaito of all other genres, he said that Kwaito is unstoppable and just needs nurturing.

“I found Kwaito in existence when I was growing up, and I have never come across any boring rhythm of Kwaito music. It is just unstoppable and thus, I want to be associated to it.”
He also shares with Vibe that local talent kept him motivated to also have a dream of becoming a solo artiste.

“The Real Magosi group inspired me to be where I am today together with all the local artistes in general because I embrace local music.” Shamele further says that he takes pride in the fact that he has already performed his song in the president’s presence recently in Moshupa at an event.

He also appreciates the positive feedback that he already has on his new work. Dula S’tilo currently enjoys airplay at Duma Fm, RB1 and RB2. The single was produced at True-African Studios. Shamele says that at the moment, he is focused on building his brand and give his fans and the local music industry the best.

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