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BOMU Awards 2017 Hits and Misses

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The 9th Botswana Music Union (BOMU) was an electric affair that attracted scores of Batswana and guests from across the borders. The night was all about celebrating local talent and it was great to see how everyone had a blast! Vibe was in the mix of things and we jostled down what was super cool and what needs to improve. Hits:

** It was packed to the rafters. It was heart warming to see so many people thronged to GICC to celebrate homegrown talent. Keep it up Batswana!

**ATI bagging six awards. It was undoubtedly his year to shine!

** The clap and tap gospel performance was a refreshing act. Thank you to the organisers for appreciating the fact that Batswana are a Christian people who believe in worship. It was marvellous!

**Sponsored categories. It is great to see how locals go all out to support those who are trying to make a living through music. We all know that the BOMU awards don’t come with a fat pay cheque but some local businesses sponsored several categories.

**Having top guests in our midst like a team from Lesotho radio and from South Africa, Tshwane University of Technology, at the invitation of BOMU boss Pagson Ntsie, who graduated there in mechanical engineering, as well as from India, Ekam Maanuke, who also performed with Berry Heart. It is great to see locals cement ties with other countries through the arts and media. Misses:

**The seating arrangement was muddled up. Performers, artists, journalists, judges and other guests sat anywhere. Some artists were seated at the back and had to walk all the way to take their award, while journalists craned their necks to see what was going on. Next time please have accreditation tags and devise a more organised seating plan. Worse still, the MCs were boring. In fact, Mokaragana presenters Lehenza and Atamelang did a better job when they presented an award because they were energetic and upbeat. Next time choose people with a bit of energy.

** Charma Gal seriously needs an attitude makeover despite her fame and talent. She was cold and uptight. Honey, no amount of make-up can conceal a stinking attitude. Don’t forget that “the masses” made you what you are, so be nice or life will chew and spit you out back to Lerala. Swallow some chill!

**Vee snubbing the awards. He is suddenly too big for the Botswana that made him? Those South Africans once used him and he returned home crying. To make matters worse, of late his music sucks. He has forgotten that it is Batswana who understand and appreciate his music, everything else is business. Oh, how we miss the days of Taku Taku and Pompatswidi.

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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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