After running the shores with his 2006 first studio recording titled Life’s Journey which still sounds as if it was released yesterday, renowned Afro Jazz maestro, Lister Boleseng, who made headlines ten years ago with his hit track O tlhokana le nna is now back with another triumph. This eight track album is nothing compared to the ordinary, it is a true reflection of his ten year career and displays a class far above the rest and great maturity in terms of music composition and arrangement, reviews DAVE BAAITSE.
When he broke into the scene, he commanded a lot of respect for his magical touch and relationship with the Tenor Saxophone. The year was 2006; his debut album Life’s Journey took many Jazz lovers by storm. The song O tlhokana le nna was simply a je ne sais quoi, enchanting in every aspect. The ex- soldier, concedes that the album’s performance instilled in him some fear as his fans kept telling him that he set himself a very high standard, and he kept imagining he could not be able to surpass it, hence his staying 10 years before releasing his second album.
“An Englishman says a great song lives forever,” these are the words of the legendary saxophonist whose skill was crafted way back during his day serving in the Botswana Defence Force. He explained that that this is why he is still relevant in the market and booked despite having released his album about ten years ago.
“The album was about quality and it was well arranged,” he said. After its release the album went on to win three Botswana Musician Union Awards (BOMU), as well as winning song of the year competing against Shumba Ratshega’ s Makhirikhiri which was deemed to be one of the best productions of its time.
His latest release is titled Moratiso and according to the jazz maestro, moratiso to him is the type of affection towards someone or something that one cannot just ignore. “When this affection hits you, it manifests itself within and you become crazy,” he explains the feeling.
Listeners can expect to be treated to that type of affection with this new offering. They will be hooked right from the first song to the last one. “This is an epitome to the degree and power to which one will unconditionally fall in love with my music,” reiterated Boleseng.
He asserted that Moratiso is a word that exists in the Setswana language that needs to be preserved because the word carries a lot of hidden meaning relating to everyday life scenarios. Recorded at Track Studios, it was produced, mixed and engineered by David Skizo Molosi. It starts with Ke Swa Hela one of the songs that appeared in his video which was shot live at Millennium Jazz Restaurant in 2010.
Another song that one can look out for in this album is Malaika, featuring Samantha Mogwe, a Swahili love song which is famous in the entire East Africa and has remained one of the most widely known of all Swahili songs in the world. Malaika in this context means "angel" in Swahili, and this word has always been used by the Swahili speakers to refer to a beautiful girl. The song was re- arranged by Lister and the sounds of Samantha Mogwe still has the goose bumps effect and fans will be thrilled by this feature.
Sebouledi which literally refers to a jealous lover is another song fans can look forward to. Other songs in the album include Runnin’ Back, A re bine tribute to his friend Eric Juba from Zimbabwe whom they played together at Abraxas Jazz Combo, Nkinele Matsogo as well as Mma Mmati a Setswana traditional song. The album was officially released last week and from what I have heard as a judge fanatic it will set tongues wagging and it is due to be launched on August 5 at Maitisong Theatre.
Boleseng classifies his music as Afro Jazz and sings mostly about love. “I want people to live peacefully and in harmony, love is a precious thing and that’s why I want to value it. I do not want a situation whereby people are always tense and angry,” he said. He believes that he took a few steps in the album and will go a long way in the hearts of his followers.
After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.
On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.
The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.
Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.
The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.
At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.
“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”
The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.
The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.
The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.
However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.
Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.
Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.
“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.
“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”
Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.
Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.
The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.
Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.
Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)
Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.
“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”
For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”
“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.
Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.
“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.
When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.