South Africa’s Lebo Sekgobela’s hit track, Lion of Judah, currently sitting at 1,5 million views on YouTube, was written and composed by a Motswana gospel artist, Mathews Matsetse.
The track is currently the talk of town and has already won the renowned gospel singer and Minister, Lebo, best female award at Crown Gospel Awards last year and nominated for numerous upcoming Metro FM Awards. However news coming in this week reveals that the song writer and composer, Mathews, has so far not benefited a single cent from it.
However, Directors at Music Lab, a local company that recently signed with Sheer Publishing and representing Mathews said they are working around the clock to get all his royalties paid. Seabelo Modibe of Music Lab said this was a story of two unknown artists who coincidentally met when Lebo was visiting the country. They exchanged CD’s at a church service and later Lebo called to request Mathews’ permission to use the song on her DVD after it received a lot of feedback while performing it live.
“The two artists had an agreement but it was in good faith; he did not know it was going to be a big tune,” said Modibe. Matsetse wrote three versions of the song, in Setswana, English and Shona and he is still working on it to be translated to other languages. Modibe said at Music Lab, they are working on branding Mathews as a composer and song writer because he wrote a lot of very good gospel music which can be marketed to international bands like South African’s Joyous Celebrations.
“The two artists are not fighting, they are close friends and they do communicate more often. They don’t have any beef and our goal is not to make them fight. She popularised the song thus giving Mathews an opportunity, the most important thing is for both of them to benefit,” said Modibe. Lebo is currently in top five of the biggest Gospel artists in South Africa and the song is the biggest right now.
Music Lab recently returned from Namibia where they are directly making contacts with other collecting societies across the region. The idea is to collect as much royalties as possible for local artists to benefit from their art. “Right now Vee is one of the biggest artist in Namibia but they think he is from South Africa”, he said.
Modibe said since Mathews is now their member, the process is simple, Sheer Publishing will notify Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and the artist; Lebo, about the deal and Mathews will get his royalties from all the collecting societies. They will also notify Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS).
Speaking to WeekendLife, Mathews Matsetse said he wrote the song in 2011 but he released it in 2012. According to him he had to do the Shona version which Lebo is singing, when he was booked to perform in Zimbabwe. “You know when you perform at a different country you try by all means to engage with the audience by trying their language”, he said.
On the Eve of the New Year at a show at Molapo Stanbic Bank Piazza, Lebo Sekgobela called on stage Mathews Matsetse and they performed the song together. She was quoted in Sowetan, one of South Africa’s leading mainstream newspapers saying she got the song from Botswana and according to Matsetse he had a lot of enquiries from South African gospel artists who are interested in working with him. “At a time I gave it to her I never knew it was going to be a big hit but I knew somehow it will elevate my career or help penetrate their market”, he said.
Matsetse who has five albums under his belt and featured many artists said they are in good spirits with Lebo and the issue of royalties will be sorted by Music Lab. The only problem he experienced was when they did not acknowledge him on the CD but they admitted it was a mistake and it was rectified on the DVD.
According to their website Sheer Publishing is one of Africa’s largest independent Publishing houses and is currently looking to expand its client base within the African diaspora. Sheer Publishing’s mission is to provide a comprehensive range of copyright services to clients, both domestic, Continental and international.
Sheer Publishing is a full-service, mid-sized, independent publishing company that is quickly growing its market share. They have grown their top line earnings 25% in a very difficult year for the local music industry, and are proud of the fact that some of their clients have been with them since we started in 1996.
A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.
The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.
“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.
The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.
She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.
“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”
They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.
July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.
“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.
The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.
The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.
He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.
The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.
The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.
The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.
The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.
Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others. “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.
“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.
“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.
“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.
“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.
The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.
”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.