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DJ Darkboy Masey takes house music industry by storm

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It is a sweltering weekday morning when I meet Masego Ntshontsi, popularly known as DJ DarkBoy Masey for an interview. He is currently making waves in the house music industry but there is none of the pomp one would expect of a local artist making it big in neighbouring South Africa. He arrives alone, dressed in simple jeans, plain T-shirt and sneakers. The only sign of lavishness is the expensive-looking Gucci watch on his wrist. He is punctual, and waits patiently while I finish my morning cuppa. He comes across as shy and reserved. To break the ice, I ask if it is true that he had a fling with Zodwa waBantu as a certain gossip page reported. He laughs and exclaims: “Oh no, that was not true. Zodwa and I are worlds apart: our personalities are different, we wouldn’t click.

The whole thing was blown out of proportion.” He breaks into a grin when we talk music and he chats animatedly about his journey in the music industry. His latest single, Konakele featuring Mzansi songstress Mpumi of Yawe fame, is on high rotation on radio and television. The music video has already premiered on Botswana television as well as on South African television shows, Live Amp and Etv’s Club 808. The duo also performed live on a show called Crazy World on Etv. Konakele is a follow-up single to the Mr Blesser, which he released last year featuring Mckenzie.

Darkboy Masey recently relocated to Johannesburg and he points out that his move to SA is about business because the music industry there is bigger. “South Africans take their craft seriously and the music industry there is fast paced compared to here. I am confident that I will do well,” he says. He and his team, that includes his manager, Zayne Aftermath felt that the move would catapult him to higher ground.

He admits that he has not been approached by a big record label but points out that he would scrutinise any opportunity that comes his way. Darkboy Masey emphasises that he will still work with local artists. He however laments that there is no unity among local artistes, which stagnates growth. “Some of our artistes don’t believe in working together.

They put ego and pride first, which affects their work. Collaborations have the power to help one grow their career: because you learn, exchange ideas and get recognition. Collaborations are good.” He plans to go global and is confident that he has what it takes to be counted among the best house DJs from Africa. His journey in music started several years ago when he worked with the likes of Amantle Brown on the song Maria Pela and Mel D on Wenzwabe. He also worked with an artiste called Abbie on a track called Change my lingo.

His breakthrough came when he was playlisted on Big Brother Africa Hotshots in 2012. It gave him recognition and motivated him to work harder. He also secured an interview on a big radio station in Nigeria, Vibez FM. “From there I started making solid connections that helped me break into the SA music industry,” he recalls. A chance meeting with DJ Malwela of Metro FM led to him working DJ Cyndo and eventually through their manager Lucyman, he worked with Trademark and Zinhle on the song Yilo. “Working with them raised my profile. Some DJs started remixing our songs and they would play on radio.” This past festive season, Darkboy Masey performed at Zeerust beach festival, Babina tholo family fun day, Clap your hands and had a gig in Kalamare. He played in Hamanskraal and featured at Rama City in Pretoria. He also toured Durban. “The reception was great,” he says.

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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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