Basotho, Tswana artistes clash at festival

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Mohalenyane Phakela

FOUR Botswana artistes are set to lock horns with two local rappers at the second edition of the LEBO music festival slated for 28 October this year at the Victory Centre in Moshoeshoe II.

The LEBO acronym was derived from the first two letters of the two countries Lesotho and Botswana.

The event is the brainchild of the Botswana entertainment group, Sold-Out Entertainment as an initiative to promote arts and cultural exchange between the two sister countries.

The inaugural edition was held in Masianokeng on the outskirts of Maseru in 2014.

This year’s edition dubbed Makhirikhiri Invasion will see local rappers Dunamis and Juvy share the stage with Motswana traditional musician Shumba Ratshega and rappers MMemo, Baxon as well as Lanie.

Sold-Out Entertainment representative Kaelo Sabone this week told the Weekender that they first performed in the country at the 2012 Morija Arts and Cultural Festival and returned the following year for the Harvest FM 10th Anniversary Celebrations.

“With those two visits we realised that we have so much in common. Although our cultural music differs our style of Hip Hop is the same,” Sabone said, adding, “We then realised that there was an opportunity for Basotho and Batswana to exchange music hence the LEBO concept”.

“Batswana and Basotho artistes seek better platforms in South Africa where there are already many artistes from across Southern Africa, so LEBO will enable them to create their own niche in unsaturated markets.

“At the moment popular Basotho artistes in Botswana are Tsepo Tsola and Bhudaza, so this will help introduce more acts. It is also good because musicians get royalties in Botswana for the airplay and we hope Lesotho will follow suit.”

He said the same line-up will perform in Botswana in December with more shows expected next year.

He also said the 2014 event was no more than a pilot project and this time they would “go big”.

“We failed to secure a traditional music act from Lesotho as those we tried to book took time to respond but we hope that when the show returns to Botswana there will be someone to represent Lesotho’s traditional music.

“Since the aim is to create a market for artistes on both sides, we hope to stage these shows every month, interchanging between the two countries.

“The next edition will be a gospel exchange show early next month and in future Jazz music will also be featured,” he said.

Sabone said with time the shows would be recorded on DVDs which would be sold and broadcast on television to benefit the artistes.

 

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