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Manyati drops debut single, Tshwarelo

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Onkokame Joyce Manyati Santagane, who goes by the stage name Mnanyathi, has dropped her debut single Tshwarelo. The eight-song album, produced by Tshepo Lesole at High Note Studios, will be released end of August. In an interview with Vibe, Manyati explains that Tshwarelo speaks about repentance. “I am asking God to forgive me for all the wrong things that I have done that are not correct in His eyes. I also vow to worship and serve God for the rest of my life,” she says. The upbeat singer shares that her single was inspired by her own personal journey as she had gone through ups and downs, as well as her turning over a new leaf.

“There were times when I made wrong decisions but luckily I saw the folly of my actions. I had to talk to God and also acknowledge the wrongs that I had done – knowingly and unknowingly,” she says. Manyati, who worships at Humble Before Christ International Church, said her music career was chiselled in church where she has been part praise and worship group. However, she knew that she had talent when she was young and fortunately was spotted by certain God sent individuals who helped her nurture her talent. “I discovered music talent in 1993 while doing standard 7. I was taking part in prize giving play and when I belted out in tune my voice was strong. In form two, I joined Scripture Union and sang there.

I was later discovered by one of my teachers Moemedi Bakhuruta, who coached drama at Itireleng JSS where I schooled. He was impressed and invited me to join a drama production. He told me that I am a good singer and made me join the then popular Bopaganang Music Group. Continued singing. I also represented the country at the SADC festival in Mozambique in 1997.” In 2010, the fired up Manyati joined My Star with the hope of launching her music career but she only made it to Top 11. This however did not deter her. “I sang jazz music at bars and clubs,” she says.

She however got entangled in that lifestyle and was led astray as she started drinking alcohol and doing other unsavoury activities. “One day one of my mentors Ishamael Otlaadisa took me aside and suggested that I change my life path. He told me that things were not going well for me because I was doing things the wrong way: he encouraged me to give my life to God,” she says. She took this advice and started going to church. Otlaadisa then encouraged her to inject seriousness into her music career. “He came back to me and said: ‘We need to release your single; it is time you bless others.’ This gave me the motivation to use my talent to touch lives,” she says.

Although she is a newbie to the gospel music industry, Manyati notes that she has observed that the genre is not fully appreciated but gospel artistes must take themselves and their craft seriously. “Gospel music is ministry. Artistes should let go of worldly things. As a gospel artiste you must be exemplary to the public – people must see that you lead a Christian life.”

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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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