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Son of the Soil shatters expectations

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The 11th edition of the annual Son of the Soil (SOTS) this year grew in leaps and bounds. The three day event was graced by multitudes especially the main event on Saturday.

Performers did not disappoint. And Dr. Vom aka Botswana’s Black Moses, was by all means the man of the moment on Saturday. He earned himself this name from fans due to his attire, which is akin to that of the Biblical Moses.

When he took to the stage, Dr Vom promised the wild crowd that he’d live up to their expectations. “This is Son of the Soil and when I am here you have to ask for more. We are going to sing together because son of the soil is all about together. I see that there seems to be a dull mood here, so I am going to change that”, he said.

Dr. Vom got everyone on their toes and pushing their way close to the stage. His hit song ‘Tsaya Thobane’ sent people wild as he got off the stage with his dancers to join the crowd.The other group that was in its element as usual was Mafitlhakgosi. The group is a crowd puller.

As usual the event on Saturday was kick-started by choirs in the afternoon. The two choirs North and South compete against each other every year. The choirs are made up of people who have attended the event. Those who come from the North of Dibete come together and become known as North Choir and those from the South do the same.

This year the competition was won by the South Choir. SOTS, which started in 2005 was this years staged with the aim of celebrating the past 50 years of cultural independence and projecting forward into the next 50 years.

It was hosted under the theme ‘Kwa re go yang – Ke Motswana’ an affirmation of the central role that culture plays as a pillar of national development. The sub-theme for the 2016 event (“Ke Motswana”) according to organisers is a nudging to every Motswana to reflect on the past 50 years and also project forward the next 50 years with a view to contributing to the continued definition of a Botswana culture.

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BOSJE elevates jazz education in Botswana

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CHANGING LIVES: Music has the power to empower youth.

The Botswana Society of Jazz Education (BOSJE) will host the 9th annual International Jazz Day for the 3rd time this year at the Maitisong theatre. According to the founding chairperson Akhutlheng Mogami, the society was formed to create a platform for jazz musicians and aspiring jazz musicians to grow and share ideas and even have their work documented.

“As a society, we have realized a need for jazz education. There is also no documentation about jazz in Botswana, which makes it difficult for both the teachers and students when it comes to teaching and learning about jazz as there is no local content to refer to. It is also for purposes of funding applications to run workshops and host festivals and exchange programs that we needed to have a legally registered nonprofit making entity as this one,” she said.

BOSJE was officially registered on the 31st of August 2015 with the registrar of societies and some its objectives include to ensure the growth of Jazz in Botswana and development of jazz education; to build jazz community by advancing education and research; to document, preserve and archive our Botswana jazz heritage; to promote skills development and performance through jazz camps, exchange programs and jazz shows and festivals, and to also develop new audiences.

In January 2017 the society formed a youth jazz big band (Big Bands). Mogami noted that they managed to bring together young people from all walks of life to teach them about jazz and how to play jazz. Since then, the band has been growing substantially both musically and professionally. She noted that The Big Bands in Botswana project which aims to put together jazz bands in schools and communities all over the country. “The project brings together young people and teaches them to play music in an ensemble set up.

The project commenced on the 15th of February 2019 with the primary objective of this project is to bring positive social change through music. Children who are involved in this music program receive a music education, which we believe will lead them to improved overall academic success. The children will also learn the essential skills needed for the 21st century workforce.

In addition to that, these children will also have a platform to exercise their creativity, and all this will in turn grow their confidence.” The band has graced the Masire foundation annual gala dinner, International Jazz Day, Annual De Beers sight holders Dinner, and Gaborone toastmasters among others.

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Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego drop love sin gle

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NEW OFFERING: Benson & Diva Vebrok’s listening session rocked

Diva Vebrok and Benson Phutego recently released their joint single titled Ha o ka leba. The two launched the song at a listening session at Greenberry Gardens. Music artists including Nono, Franco and promoters PP and Gloria Dzwikiti as well as other industry role players flocked the venue to listen to what the two have to offer and they were not disappointed.

The single is good quality – from the melody, lyrics, rthyme and production. The divine diva Diva Vebrok adds a golden touch with her smooth voice while the bold and eloquent Phutego’s voice complements hers as he breaks out into poetry.

Director of ceremony at the listening session Berry Heart also kept the crowd galvanised throughout the night with her energetic spirit. President of Music Promotions Zenzele Hirschfield expressed appreciation for the support rendered to the two and highlighted that it is important for artists to support one another. “I am honoured to see that that many people in the local music industry have come out to support their fellow artists.

This means a lot and we really need to unite as artists all the time,” she said. She sang praises for Diva Vebrok who she said was passionate and hard working. “She is more than just an artist but also an influencer and entrepreneur. She is one of the women in the music industry who work hard and never give up on their craft,” she said.

Phutego impressed the crowd with his words of wisdom as he appreciated being featured by Ve brok on the single. “It was great working with her as she is passionate and hard working. Women are the pillars of society and as such they should be respected. I have no regrets about this project because I am confident that we produced a great love song.”

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