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Sereetsi goes on a countrywide tour

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Tomeletso Sereetsi of Sereetsi & the Natives is starting the year on a good note. Hot on the heels of his phenomenal success in 2015, he is scheduled to embark on a two and half month tour of Botswana during which he will share, impart knowledge as well as exchange ideas with the general public, village leadership, students of the arts and teachers about the now famous Four Strings Guitar.

The opportunity to embark on the tour came through a P456 000.00-grant from the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA).

Sereetsi is regarded as the saviour of this oral traditional guitar, having compiled the first ever-instructional CD/book titled The Solo Four String Guitar of Botswana.  

The 83-page book is the result of research of Botswana’s folk guitar’s tuning, chords, song form, origin and development. The grant came in two forms. It assisted in making the book accessible to schools (secondary schools), through the distribution networks of Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MOESD) as well as libraries. It will also be used in schools as a supplementary book.

Secondly, the other half will be used to facilitate workshops that will see Sereetsi touring different parts of the country where he will workshop the public, students, teachers as well as artists in different parts of the country on how to play a four string guitar, its application as well as its musical content.

Ahead of the tour, whose dates are being finalised this week, 300 and 500 copies were donated to the Botswana National Library Service & the Ministry of Education & Skills Development (MOESD) respectively.

The books that were donated to (MOESD) will be distributed to various schools across the country. “The idea is for the students to access the book, and already we have students who are pursuing the arts in schools,” he explained in an interview.

He also said that the workshops are targeting 15 places that include Tsabong, Gumare, Ghanzi, Nata and Letlhakeng and will be done in phases with five places being visited in each phase. Following the completion of each phase, they will return to report back, document as well as find out if there are any lessons learnt.  

The workshops are not only targeting artists but include cultural enthusiasts also. “This will help in seeing Batswana take pride in their own products,” said Sereetsi adding that this can be seen as national pride.

On a personal note, he said that the tour will assist to deepen his knowledge about the guitar as well as pave way for writing his second book. “Chances are another book might come out of this tour. I am looking for something tangible from this project,” he said.

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CHARMA GAL DROPS NEW ALBUM

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GOING PLACES:The singer has a new offering

CharmaGal is back with a bang. After a hiatus, following her hit Jabu last year, she has released an all Setswana thriller album just in time for festive.

The local music sensational is back into her stardom feat, the album brings yet another set of tracks in her 8-track album titled Lekgamu la bananyana. Touch Records in Gaborone officially released the album this past week.

During a media brief held at Botswana Craft in Gaborone this past week, CharmaGal revealed that she has been working hard on the album thus having high expectations on it. According to Charma, Lekgamu la bananyana is a notch high than her previous music deliverables.

Speaking to Vibe a day before boarding a plane to the United Kingdom where she was performing alongside South Africa’s BabesWodumo, she said that what makes her unique is staying to her craft. The Mmokolodi hit-maker said that it is giving what you are to the people that then opportunities arise for artists.

“People need to stay true to their uniqueness, this new album represent my style of delivering music, that represents my key and my melody that is why it is easy for people to react to it,” shared CharmaGal.

She also said that piracy is a concern in the music fraternity, adding that she has targets she has set for herself in regards to the number of copies she wants to sell on the album. “New technology remains a mystery for us artists, in a day after the release of the album, people will be she sharing out the music through Whatsapp and other social media networks and that is amazing.”

Meanwhile, a week after the release of the album, track 3, dubbed Banyana, is driving CharmaGal fans crazy. The song has already been played on various radio stations in the country. In the song, CharmaGal says that she does not need to get to work because she has hangover garnered from the weekend. **The album is available at most music stores.

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Shamele drops solo kwaito offering

Irene Shone

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omolemo Thepa aka Shamele says kwaito music has taken out the artiste in him and he plans to elevate the genre as time goes. The 27-year-old recently released his first-ever solo single dubbed, ‘Dula S’tilo’.

He tells Vibe that the new single was actually written to honour the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi as he sat on the presidency throne. He explains that he has been in the music industry for the past six years, featuring other artistes but decided to [produce his solo work this year.

“I have written this song and composed it to dedicate it to Masisi as a way of welcoming him to his new position,” he says.Shamele is confident that having worked with a variety of well-established artistes has given him light and direction to grow the Kwaito genre. Asked why he chose Kwaito of all other genres, he said that Kwaito is unstoppable and just needs nurturing.

“I found Kwaito in existence when I was growing up, and I have never come across any boring rhythm of Kwaito music. It is just unstoppable and thus, I want to be associated to it.”
He also shares with Vibe that local talent kept him motivated to also have a dream of becoming a solo artiste.

“The Real Magosi group inspired me to be where I am today together with all the local artistes in general because I embrace local music.” Shamele further says that he takes pride in the fact that he has already performed his song in the president’s presence recently in Moshupa at an event.

He also appreciates the positive feedback that he already has on his new work. Dula S’tilo currently enjoys airplay at Duma Fm, RB1 and RB2. The single was produced at True-African Studios. Shamele says that at the moment, he is focused on building his brand and give his fans and the local music industry the best.

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