Thank you Windrush PRâ€¨But Above All, Many Thanks to Liberty Life
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim! I walked into Molapo Stanbic Piazza last weekend, having been given two complementary tickets that I had also given away to two friends who desperately wanted to attend the Vusi Live show. That meant I had to part with a monetary gift I had received from a friend to purchase tickets for my entry, together with that of a friend into the show. Upon entry, it immediately became very clear that I had spent my money for a purposeful intent.
The show not only was characterised by a fantastically dressed audience, decency but the set up was also of great immaculacy. With the VIP section clearly visible as thus, right in front of the stage, and barricaded neatly.
One could tell that it was not a night of the rag tags. Rag tags usually have a tendency to after imbibing their ones and twos gain the unwanted strength to intrude the space they have not paid for. None of such incident occurred. Possibly because the security was fit for the day, but also because the environment was set up in a manner that showed and reminded everyone of their rightful space at the table.
The sound was crispy clear, and eye entertaining. You could tell that upon setting the sound, the idea was not just the volume but more importantly the quality. We still have a problem with shows that are characterised by poor sound yet this very ‘item’ of the night; sound, is very primary to the event. Rave Heart, Windrush PR and Liberty had set their sound from Friday morning yet the show was only Saturday evening. This planning in time ensures that the hosts ae able to check the sound, set and reset it, get all the needed accessories, test them, buy, rent where possible and be fully satisfied that they will not embarrass themselves on the night of the show.
Lightning was also set up from Friday morning, tested Friday night and used Saturday night. It correlated with the sound, Vusi’s wardrobe, mood of the songs and the decency of the audience. It was not disco lightning set up for a Gospel show as I have seen in other Gospel shows where one could tell that the lightning technician was not briefed that ‘’….rara….we are setting up for a Gospel show…”….! This is another area that I am hopeful that creative industry players, particularly promoters have learnt as they attended the show.
I had the advantage of having a chat with Mr. Hans Rooseboom of Eventpro Technical Service, a South African based company that was brought in to share the expertise on the part of lighting, sound and stage setting. A humble gentlemen who was above all mesmerised by the decency of Batswana. Though my conversation with him was about how he sees the Botswana Creative Industry, he was clearly over whelmed by the reception, love and embrace he got from Batswana on a two day visit he had been around.
He parted with me still expressing that it was astonishing that Batswana still greeted everyone they meet even strangers with such love and affection as if they know each other from somewhere. Knowing me, I then took him through the important elements of Botswana culture that make us a different from the rest of the clowns!…well….he understood me…I hope the reader also understands whom I was referring to…!…gape kene keipankanyetsa gore hakele kakwa, arotloetse bo morwa rragwe gore bantshware ka matsetseleko wabona…!…
On stage Vusi did not only present the new him, he had with him his new music, refreshing, soothing and Godly than ever before. Brave Heart and Windrush PR had ensured that Vusi’s wardrobe represented the show, the audience and the music. This is that part of the creative industry that managers and administrators of the creative industry often leave to the artists to sort out. And it usually ends up terribly bad as we often see gospel artists dressed for a rock concert. One could tell that for this show, Vusi ensured the right clothes, right colours and right fit. He did not look like he was putting on clothes owned as a result of a grandfather passing away as it is regularly the case with our local gospel guys. I guess this made the job of his make-up artist very easy. And for that I will say, less money for the make-up artist and more money for the wardrobe coordinator…hahahahahaha!
I must also not forget to mention that the choice of venue also ensured that not only ample parking space but surety of security was awesome. Quite often we attend shows were despite the promoters aware that they will sell more than enough tickets, continue to greedily chose venues where one has to walk a kilometre or more after parking their car to gain entrance into the show. This walking is mostly on heavy dust, upon entering the show, one’s shoes will not be visible due to dust covering them all over; a sore sight if you ask me. But alas, we have been made to be used to this that we seldom complain except from jokingly talking about it in the morning, largely on social sites.
Those who imbibe more than their memories can permit get a huge surprise in the morning when they see their shoes in dust. That’s when they begin to retrace their last night’s journey of entertainment. Yes, we do have friends who never plan to end up at any show but simply find themselves there, or worse enough, hear that they have been there. It is some form of magic never to be understood by the young ones. Surely this is not what Brave Heart, Windrush PR and Liberty Life had wanted anyone to go through when they chose the venue. A beautiful lesson that must be learnt from the Vusi Live show by our local promoters is that; those willing to spend their money prefer some form of decency. And their money must be acquired through providing them with the same decency they envisage.
And by the way, before I forget, the many Creative Industry faces that I saw and met that night said it all; that it was a show we have all been waiting for. It was of great interest to me that our local promoters amongst the audience were witnessing and experiencing that a show ought to be thoroughly planned for.
These Ladies and Gentlemen of the Industry have already been thanked in many other platforms but let me also express my gratitude to them as appropriate; Shabba Kgotlaetsho, Seabelo Modibe, Massie Hule, Moxx Gaolape, Johnson Otlaadisa, Bofelo Segotso and many others whom I have not mentioned due to my memory lapse and well, because this space could be filled up with only names, and also possibly because, lenna kene katsena modieemong! Once more, thank you Braveheart, Windrush and Liberty Life. Allahur Akbar!
This book is a true-life story of an African King based in South Africa. The Last Frontier is a resistance stand by Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe and its line of Kings from 1885 against a dark force called ‘western democracy’ that is insidiously destroying lives, peoples, nations and threatens to wipe away whole civilizations in Africa.
The story flows through four important episodes of history, beginning in about 1885 when Bechuanaland Protectorate was formed. This section briefly reveals interactions between Kgosi Linchwe 1 and the British Colonial Government, leading to the establishment of Bakgatla Reserve by Proclamations of 1899 – 1904.
The second episode deals with Kgosi Molefi’s interaction with the British Colonial Government in the period of 1929-36. The third episode records Kgosi Linchwe II’s interactions with the British Colonial Government and black elites of Bechuanaland. It covers the period of 1964-66, leading to Botswana’s independence. Kgosi Linchwe ii resisted the unlawful expropriation of his country (Bakgatla Reserve) by Sir Seretse Kgama’s government of 1966 to no avail. He wrote letters of objection (December 1965) to Her Majesty the Queen of England, which are reproduced in this book.
The fourth episode covers the period between Kgafela Kgafela II’s crowning as King of Bakgatla in 2008 to 2021. It is a drama of the author’s resistance to the present-day Botswana Government, a continuation of Bakgatla Kings’ objection against losing Bakgatla country to the Kgama dynasty assisted by the British Government since 1885. The story is told with reference to authentic letters, documents, and Court records generated during the period of 1885-2019. There is plenty of education in history, law, and politics contained in The Last Frontier for everyone to learn something and enjoy.
Hailed for being the prime gospel concert after the Covid-19 pandemic had put events to a halt, Golden Relic, in conjunction with Sweet Brands, recently unveiled the Arise and Worship Concert, Botswana. The show marks the return of worshippers and fans to enjoy music and worship together after what seemed like “cooler box” events were taking over the entertainment scene.
The concert to be held on December 11th 2021, at the Molapo Showcase, has a packed lineup with the Headlining acts being Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela from South Africa and Botswana’s very own Obakeng Sengwaketse. More international acts from Nigeria and Ghana are also expected to grace the event. The show organizers have invested an effort in diversifying the lineup with live performances.
The promoter of the Arise and Worship Concert, David “DVD” Abram revealed in an overview of the event that; “We have lost a lot of loved ones this year, and when that happens, one’s spirit goes down, and we need a light to ground us once more, to heal our souls. Therefore, the two main purposes of this event are to do the work of God and, secondly, to make sure that we nurture and develop talent in Botswana. With challenges that come up with events of such magnitude, the team and I have been committed to seeking guidance from God through having night prayers.”
Abram added that as promoters, they usually have a bias towards already established artists, thus neglecting the upcoming ones and wanting to change that. “We approached the Melody Gospel TV Show since we aim at nurturing new talent and agreed on having one of the winners as a headliner for the event to allow them to share the stage with gospel giants so that they are exposed to the industry. This resulted in securing the Second Winner of the Melody Gospel TV show; Thabiso Mafoko as a local headlining act.”
The concert also aims at celebrating a Motswana. Multi-Award Winner; with the most recent title; BOMU Best Traditional Gospel under his belt, also best known for his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, Obakeng Sengwaketse enthusiastically said, “I want to thank the organizers of the Arise and Worship concert, it means a lot to me after recently winning two awards that are currently the highlight of my career.
I regard this as a great revival because the Covid-19 pandemic has muffled events such as this. I am looking forward to sharing the stage with the great Bishop Benjamin Dube, Lebo Sekgobela and more artists from Nigeria and Ghana. Sengwaketsi urged Batswana to come and witness the greatness of the Lord as their lives will never be the same.”
Tickets are selling like fat cakes with VVIP tickets having only five tickets remaining; the VVIP tickets include rounder access backstage to all the performing artists. The event will also comprise a seated Gold Circle Ticket, which accounts for 50% of revellers to allow for easier enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and avoid a potential stampede.
In a bid to entice merrymakers to buy tickets, the promoters have come up with a layby strategy and buying tickets on an instalment basis for the attendees to be able to buy their tickets since the COVID-19 Pandemic has left many Batswana in financial ruin but having the interest to attend the event.
One can only imagine what is like being in the public eye. It is not a walk in the park; and not as easy as people might think it is because of the pressure from the public. Celebrities or influencers are perceived to be perfect, perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect parents, financially stable, healthy, and always smiling and patient with everyone – Is this for real?
However, when people’s expectations of celebrities are not met, the same celebrities are often victimized, body shamed, or blamed, fairly or unfairly. As a result of them not having a personal life, they are often scrutinized in all aspects of their lives; their lives are aired for the public to see and judge. Celebrities are often extra careful about everything that they do, they have to go an extra mile as compared to how ordinary people live their lives.
To understanding this experiences by public figures, this reporter made a case study of Mr Lizibo Gran Mabutho, the firstborn in his family with only one sibling, his younger brother. Lizibo describes himself as a simple Kalanga guy who was chosen by music and did not choose music.
He said being raised by his mother and grandmother, he grew up surrounded by music from birth. Lizibo said his grandmother was a religious person who held church services at their house in Zwenshambe, “for me singing was from Monday to Sunday. I was not like any ordinary child who only sang at church on Sundays or sometimes in school assembly, for me it was a daily thing. My mother was also a talented dancer in our village that is what I mean when I say I did not choose music, but music chose me.”
Lizibo said though he grew up surrounded by music, it was hard for his parents to accept the path he has chosen to be a musician. Lizibo said he had to prove to his parents that music was his passion and that it could pay the bills like any other profession. He said eventually they saw his passion for music and supported him.
Lizibo said being exposed to music from a tender age made him venture into the music career from a tender age. He said he was part of the Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete (KTM) choir, Lizibo said being in the public eye for the longest time has taught him that he is living for the people and that he does not have a life. He said the very society that is watching him has so much expectation for him and that means he has to conduct himself in a good manner because people are looking up to him.
Lizibo said he understands the saying that great power comes with great responsibility, “when people see me, they see a role model. I realize and understand that people are and have been modelling me even when I was not aware of it, I know of six mothers who have named their sons after me because they felt that I inspire them somehow.”
He said he has accepted his fate that he will never have a normal life because people are looking unto him. He said he is grateful to be in the public on a positive note by bringing hope to the people because he has always wanted to be part of people’s solutions and not their problems.
He said, “people should understand that our careers are our calling. One needs to be spiritually connected to their calling as an artist. The most rewarding part about being in the public for me is not about payment but about being the solution to someone’s problem.”
Lizibo said the greatest challenge that he has ever faced about being in the public eye has been the issue of trust, not able to know which friends are genuine and which ones are not. He said as a way of avoiding fake friends he has always kept his four close friends who have been there for him through thick and thin. Lizibo said being close to his family has also helped him as they have been his strength when things were not going well for him, “most of the time people say we change when we taste fame. That is not necessarily true because people are the ones who changed when we became famous. People always want something from us, nothing is ever genuine with people and that is why I chose to keep my circle very small.”
Lizibo said as much as he travels a lot because of the nature of his work because it is naturally demanding, he said he always ensures that he creates time for his family. He said that at home he is Lizibo who is sent to do errands, he is Lizibo the son, not a celebrity.
He said there is a lot of pressure that comes with being in the spotlight, “the public puts so much pressure on us mostly about the material lifestyle they portray us to have. We are often compared with South African celebrities, but people fail to understand that we are two different countries. Most people fell into the trap and are living above their means resulting in them living in debt. I often tell youngsters not to fall into that trap of being tempted to live life above their means.”
The advice Lizibo gave to upcoming celebrities was that they should know that being in the public is not about them, but it is about the people. He said, “one of my mentors once asked me if I make music about myself or the people. He said I need to make music for the people because it is my responsibility to feed them with what they need, he said they might not even be able to know that they have a need but that I need to identify that need and meet it. Our responsibility is to serve people what they need, our music is to feed people’s hunger. My music is about love, I feed people love.”
Lizibo said it is important for celebrities to seek counselling and take care of their mental health, he said he has been investing in his mental health for years because he understands the importance of mental health especially when one is in the public.