At some point in his musical career, he was ruled out and commentators declared an era marking the end of his lustrous career that has spanned for almost two decades now. When he finally found his mojo again, Vee Mampeezy was more determined to break records; and stand the test of time. He was set to invade Africa.
Within only a few weeks of the year 2017, Vee Mampeezy, born Odirile Sento, had already signed three lucrative endorsement deals in Botswana, to top that he scooped South Africa’s Metro FM One Africa Award over the past weekend. His spate has now pronounced an African invasion alongside the Naijas who continue to rule the continent Writes DAVE BAAITSE and ALFRED MASOKOLA.
He received a lot of praises from dignitaries such as South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa as well as Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi on twitter. His biggest breakthrough in the year 2016 was signing with one of the biggest record labels Universal Music in South Africa when he released his latest album I Do, ensuring availability of his music on Musica for the first time. The album featured many international artists in a bid to penetrate the international market.
Ever since rising to stardom in the early 2000s with the hit Lamalanga, there has never been a shadow of doubt that he was destined for greatness. The Metro FM Award signals that Vee Mampeezy has cemented his place as the greatest artist not only of his era but of all the time.
Last year (2016) Vee made headlines after signing the biggest digital music distribution deal in the history of Botswana. The deal gave ViB Mobile exclusive digital distribution rights in Botswana to VEE’s new album. The album is now available on all three local Mobile Network Operators; Mascom, Orange Botswana and BTC Mobile (formerly BeMOBILE). The hash tag Walaola Jeso, synonymous with the pint sized Kwaito star started trending on social media. This was a forward payment exclusive deal that saw him pocket half a million pula.
The talented Hukuntsi born lad has had the knack of switching from one genre to the other with ease while remaining on top of his game. The manner in which he does his music business remains imposing; he is known for his energetic performance which often leaves his myriad fans salivating for more.
Vee Mampeezy has managed to rise above the evils which often mar the entertainment industry; drugs, fast cars and womanising among the rest. In fact, he was even able to emerge better following his pronouncements on his association with Christianity as a ‘man of God.’ It later turned out that the move earned him a new legion of admirers in the believer’s fraternity, who now embrace him as “Lepantsola la ga Jeso.” Mampeezy now belongs to two worlds which are generally viewed as miles apart.
In his formative years in the music industry, Vee Mampeezy emerged among a squad of other equally talented music groups and individuals such as Kwaito Weapons, Wizards of the Desert, Coloza to mention but a few. Over the years, the groups have either broken up or failed to achieve ultimate success while Mampezy’s case has been different.
On his way up the ladder, Mampeezy has been an outright competitive artist, giving himself titles such as ‘Kgosi ya sterata’ which he went to live by. Even his music lyrics and song titles went on to project how he viewed himself, as evident in his hit “Letlhale” or lyrics in “Taku Taku”, his number one song, where he wonders ‘…sometimes ke a ipotsa gore a naa ba ntlaa nkgona na…” (I wonder if they will be able to keep up with me…) a bold statement to counterparts in the industry.
Many could not have predicted he would walk away from this past weekend with the One Africa Award. He was pitted against the likes of Nigerians; Tekno Pana, Tiwa Savage, Pato Ranking as well as Kommanda Obbs of the hit track ‘Ke tauwe’ from Lesotho. Nigerian music has in the last couple of years dominated Africa and the world, and the demographics pointed at Nigeria taking home the award.
Nonetheless, Vee’s I Do album has perched him at the summit of his career, perhaps owing to the transitions he has made in his music over the years and the fact that he featured a lot of seasoned artists from South Africa in it. Perhaps it is worth noting that on his way to the Metro FM Awards, Vee Mampeezy made a shrewd move by engaging several South African based artist, which certainly endeared him to many in that country. The video to the hit, features Somizi and Khanyi Mbau. The song has played on Y-FM, Metro FM, Trace Africa, MTV Base among others. The album was recorded at Universal Studios in South Africa and it featured revered artists such as Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Naaq Musiq, Professor, DJ Tira, African Roots and Trademark.
Organisers of the much anticipated As One Music Concert say preparation for the much awaited as one of the music concert are at the peak, with ticket and merchandise sales at a high just 13 days before the event.
In a statement Kesego Okie, Managing Director of Blue Skies PR Agency and event coordinator “The Concert is a celebration of ATI’s journey in music. It is also an incredible platform for all stakeholders, particularly businesses that operate in Francistown, to show their commitment to the resuscitation of the City’s economy following the impact of Covid.
We are grateful for the reception by the city leadership and look forward to cooperate Francistown heeding our call to support the arts, which would in turn, be supporting many livelihoods and small business in the area”.
She expressed gratitude to the public for their immense support evidenced by ticket sales and talk ability, saying this is testimony that indeed As One the nation can go fa in the true spirit of boipelego (self-reliance).
The concert is partnership between Batho Bame Investment and Blue Skies PR Agency. “A lot of work has gone in to prepare for the highlight, and I am thankful to everyone who believes in the dream and supports us. I promise nothing but the very best of me and would love to express my utmost gratitude to all creatives and businesses that are a part of this Journey” Atasaone ATI Molemogi.
The concert will be the first music show taking place within the main pitch of the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium, which was chosen to host because of its distinct state of art ambiance, coupling Francistown’s position as a gate way to many strategic places in Botswana.
Francistown is not only rich in history, but also an enabler for economic activity for unearthed tourist destination surrounding it. It is an honour to have been given the approval by the city leadership and the people of Francistown to host this Concert in their backyard’ ATI.
As part of activities for the 8th edition of Africa’s most prestigious award ceremony, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs), Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice Nigeria will host celebrity movie stars and film directors from Hollywood ahead of the awards ceremony taking place on Saturday, 14 May in Lagos.
The visiting Hollywood stars will be led by Tasha Smith, actress, director and producer, known for her role in the acclaimed films, ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ and its sequel, ‘Why Did I Get Married, Too?’. She will be joined by Bayo Akinfemi, a cast member of the popular television series, ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ as well as Brandon Micheal Hall of the ‘God Friended Me’ series fame
Also expected are Sidra Smith, award-winning Producer and Head of Essence’s Film and TV Studio and Grant Housley, Hollywood Producer, Writer and Director currently at Paramount Pictures, where he has worked on some of the biggest films and most critically acclaimed television series in the world.
While in Nigeria, the stars will meet with the #AMVCA8 nominees and other industry stakeholders. This historic visit is in line with MultiChoice and Africa Magic’s efforts in sustaining the Africa film making and storytelling momentum, through deliberate global collaboration.
The eighth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards is brought to viewers by Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice and is proudly sponsored by Amstel Malta. For more information, visit www.africamagic.tv/AMVCA and follow all official handles of Africa Magic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #AMVCA8
There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.
Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.
The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.
Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.
In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha. The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…
Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation
“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.
He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event. The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.
This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events. Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.
The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized
Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.
He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.
In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud. When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.