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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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KUX DROPS LEFATSHE LENO

Keletso Thobega

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Hip-hop artist Kux has dropped a single dubbed Lefatshe leno, out of his latest EP titled That’s Me. The song is currently on high rotation on local radio stations and notable music platforms. In an interview with Vibe this week, Kuk said that he was pleased with the positive feedback to the song.

Born Kutlwano Kabelo Mokgatla in Selebi-Phikwe, 31-year-old Moshupa native, is also a composer and writer. He started his solo career in 1999. His first solo track, I Kicks It, was recorded by Young Sluggz and produced by Motswako Makaveli. He was still schooling in Johannesburg, South Africa then, and it was during this time that he got to interact with the likes of Zeus, KB and Samba T who he says are still some of his inspirations in the local music industry.

He recorded his second song Huskey with Loso and Lunatic in 2010. Lif Aman, produced by Skywalker Productions, recorded the song at Bazamele Records. In 2012 he put together a mix tape and worked with QBio and Uzzi among others. Last year he linked with GreedySkillz, which resulted in the introduction of long-time producer Lil Boi and signed onto his label Fiendz Music Records. “That is when we decided to fuse and create a dynamic apply named Motswako Palamente,” he recalls. Their track Shots played on Yarona FM for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he worked on a new EP titled L.I.F.E.S.T.Y.L.E ya mrepa.

The first single, Campus, featuring Saxxx, was released online and was downloaded more than a thousand times, and also featured on Yarona FM Hip hop show Headspace. In 2015 he recorded his second single Cough It Up featuring Jinx and Swazi Block. In 2016 he linked with Lanie and recorded and released a cover song titled R.I.C.O. originally done by Drake and Meek Mill, which raised heads for both of them. He later dropped his second mixtape, Phapha, which dropped later that same year. To wrap things up, he dropped BluChampagne. In 2017 he featured on Free, another single off Jinx mixtape. In 2018 he shot the video for BluChampagne and recorded a follow-up single titled CBD later the same year.

He says that he is working on more music individually and also wants to collaborate with local artists such as Apollo and Loosecat among others. He said he chose artists who he admires and has a strong following as this would also give him the vantage to extend into their markets. Kux also said that he is working towards a full studio album. He said he has international appeal and wants to create a brand that will be competitive globally.

“I dream of more than local awards…I aspire to clinch MTV and Grammy awards.” Earlier this year Kux was signed to Exclusive Media, which handles publishing, recording, vocal mixing mastering, recording, brand development, show outsourcing and general management. His management team explained that they are working hard to create a brand out of Kux and subsequently attract endorsements for him.

They said they had collaborated with several youth owned companies to help them build capacity and create seamless solid brands. “Through Exclusive Media, we have also created platforms for young artists, particularly those who are upcoming, to not only show them the ropes but also help them elevate their careers.”

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MARUATONA PUBLISHES ABSTRAXTION BOOK

Keletso Thobega

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Oarabile Omaru Maruatona has published a book titled Abstraxtion, a collection of literary summaries. He recently explained to Vibe that an abstract in a literary sense is a summary of a larger text.

“The pieces I wrote are abstracts in both a literary and artistic sense. In this book, I take the reader through the exhibition of my abstracts, hence Abstraxion. This is a word I came up with, and it is as daring as the book itself is,” he said. He further said his context at the time he started writing is what got him to write in the first place. “In 2010, I decided to leave the best job I could ever have in Botswana, as a graduate with Debswana to return to Australia.

I had previously studied my bachelors’ degree in Australia on a Debswana scholarship. I probably had the best job any graduate could have at the time, and I spent it moving from one section of the mine to another until I had covered the entire mining value chain. As you can imagine, it was an amazing opportunity and I was getting paid for it. So to walk away from a gig like that, I had to think deeper about the new Australian opportunity, an industry PhD.

“This is a PhD that one does in collaboration with an industry entity who have a direct interest in the research or the research outcome. My PhD was in collaboration with one of the biggest banks in Australia and involved researching and developing Artificial Intelligence algorithms to be used in the bank’s Internet banking systems for security. So all this overwhelmed me and I felt like I was going insane at some point. I needed an occasional outlet. To reaffirm my sanity, I started writing short pieces, mostly reflecting on my experiences and learnings.

I have always been a keen reader and a conscious consumer of music so as I started to write, my musical, literary and other artistic tastes came together and the product was the unique style of writing and content found in Abstraxion.”  Maruatona further noted that he first wrote the book for his sanity and intellectual freedom, and mostly because he loved it. “Over time, I realized my topics were always political, Africanist, philosophical and somewhat activist.

I resolved that if these pieces had to form a book, it had to inform and inspire the reader. I also knew that the book had to be on-point content-wise, style-wise and timewise. I wrote every piece when I had at least an hour to write, most pieces were written in between times, which is why the whole book took the duration of my PhD.

The book includes 45 pieces and I cover a range of topics including the state of Africa, the global economic system, climate change, personal introspection, old African legends and a few homages including one to women, one to my unborn child and another to the people who have enriched my life one way and another.” Maruatona noted that this book is for knowledgists: those who love and seek knowledge. “The book came from deep intellect but the philosophical notions shouldn’t scare the everyday reader. It is a book to be read, shared and discussed.”

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