I have been blogging about talent for quite some time and I have even featured artists on my blog, readers who follow my work will be familiar with my saying time and time again that the music industry is taking a different track in Botswana. Is it for the good or for the worst? Well it’s up to how each individual sees it. In my opinion the industry is growing rapidly and the ‘SMART’ artists and entrepreneurs are making use of the opportunities the industry is dishing out.
            Batswana artists are always complaining about how people don’t buy their music. My question is “What are they doing about it or what have they done to date?” Complaints without any resolution ideas are merely deemed as NOISE.

                                                                                               Article by Abbie Ndlovu  
BLOG: DOWN THE CORRIDOR OF MY HEART, SOUL AND MIND.

            It has been 7 weeks since we celebrated Botswana's 49th year of Independence and I am sitting here reminiscing on that Independence week. I was blessed to have worked only the Monday and had the rest of the week off. As you can imagine, I utilized my free week to the max! I traveled a bit, attended the Independence Eve event that was at the National Stadium (amazing fireworks!) and attended three weddings (if I don't count the one wedding we found at the church my friends were going to use for their wedding). I never had any time to rest.  It took three solid days out of the following week for me to fully recover - mind, body and soul.
           
Speaking of weddings, apparently Independence week will go down history as the week with the most perfect wedding dates. I found myself on Wednesday the 30th of September, my country Botswana's Independence Day, rendering a poem at one of my friends' wedding and having to rush to another wedding immediately after that. The second wedding of the day was going to be a night wedding. Without much rest from the day's two events, I had to pack a night bag plus my outfit for another wedding the next day. I had to go spend the night at a friend's house because we were travelling to a small village 2.5 hours out of town and the transport we were using was leaving in the wee hours of Thursday morning at a place closer to my friend's house. Almost all conversations the wind threw my way that week were about weddings. All the three weddings I attended (if I'm counting that other wedding we found at church - all four) were of young couples. By that I mean people my age and younger, the youngest bride was 23 years old. This had me wondering to myself if this influx of young people getting married signifies a maintenance of equilibrium in the mindset of society?
   
          So big S.C.A.R dropped our own local Version of Bitch Better Have My Money single, NTUELENG which is his latest radio single offering from his upcoming Album REDemption.
         

SCAR is one of the Hip/Hop talents in Botswana that has been in the game for quite along time and has managed to stay relevant in the industry, compared to some Hip Hop stars who just vanished into thin air, I mean like what happened to those MCs who were featured on the All Kasi Anthem Launch? They just pulled a Sthandwa Mmopi on us (Remember Flava Dome the RE GO TSHOTSE GIRL with Thabiso Nasha, she done hibernated)


The YA.M.As
(((((Are back))))))



The Sopranist Blog has been profiling young talent from Botswana, today it’s no different, we have profiled a young talented Motswana in the modeling industry and she goes by the name Lot Lorah, she is one of the busy Freelancers that’s on our faces on the regular.

Check out what we got up to with her.

Please introduce your lovely self, where you are from, what you do and where you are based.
Hello, my name is Lot, Lorato Lot Marope!!I am a fashion model, communications practitioner and a wellness coach. One of the first “90s babies”, so I am on my mid-twenties. I did most of my schooling in Francistown, but ke Mmirwa from Bobonong.


            Music is dynamic, and of late it has been changing rapidly. We as fans follow the lead therefore, artists are forced to follow suit as well to keep up. Hip Hop music has always been dominating our airwaves and mostly catering to a certain niche and community.
            We hear new songs played on the regular from artists who come and go and form those who have been in the game for quite some time. One may wonder how some have managed to stay relevant and how the newbies managed to penetrate the market too.
            Like they always say, Rap is poetry, but how creative are rappers these days? Does it really translate to what we fans want? How do we respond to that? Well I guess we all have answers to most if not all of these questions. If a singer communicates well with us, of course we respond by pushing and jamming to their music in all sorts of ways.
Today on The Sopranist Blog we got a chance to Profile a young Rapper from the north of Botswana in Francistown. This is how it

For those who don’t know B-Blok, tell them who you are.
            My name is Baboloki B-blok Dambe, I was born on the 2nd of August 1989 and raised in Francistown. My home village is Nswazwi. I am from a family of 5, 4 boys and one girl. I did my primary at Mahube Primary School then proceeded to Donga Junior Secondary School followed by Francistown Senior School then Limkowing University and Institute of Development Management.
            I consider myself to be an open minded, friendly guy and naturally shy guy, but I make sure I don’t disclose that to people though LOL.

Without wasting any time, let’s get straight to it, your music, take us through your music career from inception to date?
            I started listening to hip hop at the age of 11 from my elder brothers. By the age of 14 I had started raping and I went by the name, Lil Rhyme a name I was given by my ghost writer (Rich). When I was 15, my crush gave me the name B-Blok, which was taken from my birth name Baboloki, I also started writing my own lyrics and by then I was only doing underground music. At 16, I put music aside and concentrated on my studies and it was later during my Senior School years that I continued with Music. I met other Rappers and we got to exchange music ideas.
            After completing my grade 12, I started working on producing my own beats and later on dropped a 24 track mixtape that featured people from my Hood (Somerset Extension) and still, we were underground.
The Sopranist Blog has had privilege to get to know a couple of Artists in Botswana, but today we are very much pleased to profile a team of young Batswana putting Botswana on the Map through their unique sounds performances and techniques. This Group is no stranger to many of us as they have been all over and they are hard to miss, they have been blasting our Radio stations, TVs, International Concerts and shows in and out the country. Their uniqueness, charm and fashion sense has captured hearts of many.
Today we are very much delighted to be profiling the one and only Team Distant, these guys have been working hard and still are to be where they are now. This is what they got to say.

Team Distant, a group of 4 members, kindly share with us who you guys are?
            Team Distant is a youthful Botswana based contemporary house music group comprised of four producer performers. A culturally rooted quad-who pride themselves in their Sesubiya Language which they use in their vocals who have changed our local music feel and atmosphere by adopting and implementing the live music aspect through improvising percussions in their sets: drum sets, cymbals, shakers and tambourine. It all came together after their manager and Director Pukka Entaile discovered the four firebrands half-way into 2012 at their tertiary institution (Limkokwing University) of which they still attend. The group continues to enjoy massive support and numerous daily plays in radio media.
            Modelling!!! What comes to mind when you hear that!!?? 6 foot lanky dark skinned girls? Naomi Campbell, Aleck Wek, Iman or Kaone Kario Perhaps? Well, I think of the ladies and gents who have revolutionized the fashion industry by being about able to show and sell us garments through their artistic traits and uniqueness.
            One might ask, what attributes one to become a desired model? A 6 foot dark skinned cocky girl? A skinny cocky blue eyed square faced girls or guys? Throughout the years, these modelling stereotypes have been broken, we have seen Shows like America’s Next Top Model crown plus sized and petite models. We have also since seen albino and curvilious models featured in Fashion Shows as well as International prints and campaigns.
            Coming back to Africa, Batswana models don’t want to be left behind in the industry as well, we see a whole of lot of models working tirelessly, day in day out and being represented by International Agencies. They get recognised and featured by International Brands. Today The Sopranist Blog is please to feature our very own Motswana Professional Model making it for herself. 

Give us a brief about yourself.
            Thabang Mmolotsi is a professional model who has been doing it for almost 7 years now. Born and raised in the Village of Morwa in Kgatleng. I am a very simple young Motswana Lady.

I follow you on social media and you are very active, what do you think of social media and what you do?
            I must admit, social media can build and or break you. I have built my brand through social media and some of the jobs I got them through it because people had seen my work.
            I honestly have to say social media played and still play a vital role in my career, it has helped me a lot. I push my Brand as Thabang Mmolotsi through Facebook, Instagram and the like.
            Disc Jockeys as they are formally known, however in this day and age we all know them simply as DJs.
            Most people always say, besides hyper active party lovers, a DJ is a life of the party, he or she can either make a party or an event a banger or a flop.
            Botswana has been blessed with such talent (DJs) and most of them have been working so hard to even get recognition miles and miles away from home by big names like BBC just to mention a few. A lot of them just like many artists within the country and worldwide wither away in time whilst some are still hanging on. 
            The Sopranist Blog took time to get to know one of the DJs in Botswana who hails from the North of Botswana, Francistown and making his mark in the DJ industry.

Please kindly lead us with an introduction about yourself.
            My birth names are Arnold Chengeta, born and bred in Francistown AKA Ghetto. I am a DJ, I go by the name DJ Cheng, the name is simply from my surname Chengeta. Back in the days my friends found it cool to call me Cheng, hence incorporated that into my stage name DJ Cheng.

When did you start DJ’ng, what or who were your early passions and influences?
            Being behind the decks it’s something I fell in love with probably around 2004 when I saw my cousin Kris blending two songs together and they sounded ONE. Each time he did his mixes he would say “Magic! Magic!” and I fell in love with that magic.
Like they always say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Is it how we all see it? Maybe Yea! Maybe Nay!
Capturing moments is what most people live for these days. Owning a camera is a must as well.
Photographers make a living out of it, a very lucrative industry for creative beings who see the beauty in everything through their lenses. Botswana is blessed with a bunch of superbly creative beings making a mark in and around the nation. With the industry being male dominated in Botswana, this young woman is amongst the very few female working so hard to make their mark in the industry. The Sopranist Blog had the privilege to get to know this young lady. Brace yourself The Sopranist Blog readers, this is how it went down.


Introduce yourself to The Sopranist Blog readers and people fond of your work?
Never been any good at talking about myself, which is why I always failed that “Myself” essay through primary school but here is a good shot. I’m woman, drifting between spaces, lover of life and I go by Lorraine Kinnear. I am a little bit of everything between half-ward psychologist, photographer and blogger.


Like they always say, Fashion is Art and it comes from within, its not about who you are wearing but rather how you wear it.
The past few years saw Botswana’s Fashion Industry come to a drastic change, with a bunch youngsters making a huge contribution to the industry. Fashion designers revolutionized themselves, stylists upped their game, models revamped themselves too, bloggers, writers and fashion enthusiast didn't want to be left behind too.
Today we see a lot of young Batswana in the fashion industry traveling and even getting recognition across borders and also given opportunities to work and collaborate with big names and brands outside the country.
Today The Sopranist Blog features a young Blogger who has been in the fashion Industry for quite some time and he is making his presence felt.

Care to introduce yourself? Let the readers out there know who you are.
Photocredit: Brilliant Kodie
My name is Kgosi Jimmy (Jay) it’s a long story haha Sethoko, a simple boy from a small village called Maun, which just happens to be my favourite place in the whole world and a lot of who I am is because of this place and growing up here, it’s a small tourist little town with humble simple people, so a lot of people would have thought I would be more interested in tourism or something and are always shocked when I tell them I am a fashion blogger and wonder how I got interested in it when there is nothing fashion about Maun, I wonder how myself as well  lol, but I guess it’s a passion that’s always been in me and never burned out.

My star is one of the longest running music talent show in Botswana, however we have seen so many contestants come and go. Have you ever wondered where all these contestants who didn’t win the competition go? Well I have too, but from time to time I always follow some talent around after the show and yes I caught up with one.
The Sopranist Blog caught up with a young and very talented songstress who captured hearts of many with songs from Leona Lewis, Melaine Fiona just to mention a few during her My Star journey.
She goes by the name Amogelang Moatlhaping simply known as AMO. I bet by now you've seen her back on your TV screens and heard on your radios. This what we talked about.

Photocredit: BD Photography
Thank you so much for taking time to do a piece with us.
Thank you for having me

Briefly tell us who Amo is?
Amogelang is a young lady from a family of 3, 2 brothers and me of course, from Moshupa, however I was born and breed in Mahalapye. I am an upcoming artist and a Business Management student at University of Botswana. I am very passionate about music and everything music.

Can you describe yourself in 3 words?
Focused, fearless and GodFearing
         Not a single minute, hour or even a day goes by without people obsessing about diets, fitness and healthy lifestyles on social media or randomly on social gathering or random chats. Bathroom and Gym selfies are literally shoved in our faces via social mediums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on a constant.
"Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." – Edward Stanley.
        With that said, my fellow readers, how do you keep fit and live a healthy lifestyle? What does healthy lifestyle mean to you?
We at The Sopranist Blog decided to take tips from a young entrepreneur lady who her business is in line with staying fit and leading a healthy lifestyle. She goes by the name Thato Kontle.

Introduce yourself to the readers..
My name is Thato, a 25yr old young woman from Thamaga. I am a driven, passionate and hard working person. I am somewhat reserved and introverted. Young entrepreneur and founder of The Fitness People (TFP).

Would you say you are proud of  what and where you studied?
Yes, I am proud of every institution I have ever been to because they laid the foundation of who I am today. Especially Fit Malaysia where I trained to be a personal trainer and Victoria University where I got my entrepreneurial skills.

I understand you are a Personal trainer, where and when did you get certified?
I was enrolled in a yearlong intense training program with Fit Malaysia called ACE Personal Trainer, and I also underwent training for Pre & Post Natal Training. Adding to my fitness qualification I am a certified Zumba instructor.

The Film Industry in Botswana has drastically changed, from shows such as Thokolosi to Diacha to new shows such as Mareledi, Travelogue, Pula Power etc. One might wonder if the change is a positive or a negative one on our TV station, that alone each individual can tell his or her tale.
The Sopranist Blog team got a chance to chat with one of the people who makes a contribution into the industry, the one and only Tsaone GREEN HOLE Majela. This is how it all went down…

Who’s Tsaone GREEN HOLE Majela?
Tsaone "Green Hole" Majela is a young man who followed his heart and discovered his talent and developed skills in the not so friendly industry, The Film Industry. He is the founder of Green Hole Productions.

Would you say you are proud of all the schools you studied at!?
I am very proud of each and every educational institution that I had the privilege and opportunity to attend because I believe that every experience imparts wisdom and every person can teach you something new and to me, that is Growth. I have met so many people in my journey as a scholar and many are still part of my life and part of my success.
With Botswana Music Industry growing, it comes with a lot changes, artists that have been in the game for quite some time reinvent themselves, some are however left behind and lost within the mix, artists come and go and a whole lot of confusion goes down. Different genres get introduced, from house kwasa, disco kwasa and so forth. One genre that has been dominant with elderly audience and of recently the youth have been warming up to it is the Afro Jazz and Soul.
The Sopranist Blog got a chance to chat with an Afro Pop/Jazz/Soul artist Tebogo Mathiba about him and his music. Pop

For those who don’t know you, tell them who you are.
I am Tebogo Mathiba, I was born on the 13th September 1980 in a nuclear family with 1 sister and 2 brothers. I am from Kanye a town on the Southern part of Gaborone.  I am a dream chaser, a workaholic, a God fearing guy who loves music. I was born and raised in a Christian household.

Straight to your music, when did you realise that music was your calling?
Early in my Sunday school days. I was raised by a God fearing mother who insisted that church was the only way to get a brother grounded! That is where I fell in love with music. It was around the age of 12 and 13 that I started writing my own songs and I knew since then that this is where I belong.

Talent is a natural aptitude or skill that every single one of us possess. It is of no doubt that it come in different practises, being it on sports, entertainment, politics and so forth.
Television is amongst the most influential sources of Media that talents push their agendas on. Millons of people get glued unto their screens every single day for an hour or 2 or even more to get the latest news locally and even globally.
Today The Sopranist Blog team is delighted to talk TV with the ever bubbly and vivacious talent, Sadi Dikgaka, a female host on one of the longest running music TV shows on Botswana TV the Orange Flava Dome.

Good day Sadi!! How are you doing today?
Hello! I’m very well thanks, lovely weather outside today. I’m loving the drizzle!

Tell us about yourself?
Well, I was born in Serowe, I grew up in Palapye with my parents but my home village is Molepolole. I grew up in a Christian household where I was taught the importance of prayer and the power God has bestow upon His kin. I was a generally shy child, and I learnt to break out of that slowly through performing.  As a young girl I loved music and dance, there were times I'd sing into my dad's torch and imagine myself performing! I always believed I'd end up doing something in performing arts. I'm gradually getting there!

A DEAR ME CAMPAIGN: is a campaign edging individuals to write letters giving advice to their younger selves at 16 years old. I felt compelled to go with the trend this week and give advice to younger Orsen, this might give hope to a 16 year old "Orsen" somewhere around the Globe. Being a teenager can be one hell of a mess. 
This is how it goes.


Dear Me:

You are 16 years old now and you are about to graduate from High school, funny enough your voice isn't like the rest of the other boys, it hasn't broke, don’t worry about that you’ll grow to love and even appreciate it more, hence calling yourself The Sopranist, and doing greater things with the title. Oh!! You own a blog titled The Sopranist Blog, that’s how crazy it is.

Don’t worry about friends you have lost and yet to lose, much more cooler and real friends are coming and you’ll reach milestones and even have lasting memories together.


I know right now you are struggling with issues you’d love to discuss with your family but there are nowhere in the reach, just stay optimistic and strong, believe me you are stronger than you think now. Stay positive and believe that it will get better, you are not alone, so many of your loved ones care about you in more ways than you can imagine.
A great poet once said “You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have.”
Botswana has been blessed with creative talent, from poetry, design, scriptwriting, dance, and film directing, just to mention a few. Garments, books, documentaries, music videos etc have been done by our very own talents in Botswana at international standards.
Writing a book on the other hand it’s not an easy task, the courage to sit down and write one is amazingly impactful. I have seen some of Batswana do it, from books like Madam Speaker, Sir! By Dr Margaret Nasha to Lindo Morolong's "Insight For A Victorious Lifestyle"  etc, since then, we have seen bookshelves flooding with our very own local talent.

I recently got an abstract of one recently published Novel from a young enthusiastic and very talented man whose articulation and delivery is exquisitely enticing. A book full of dares, thrill and suspense that will make you beg for more. The book that some jokingly say it’s the Gaborone's 50 shades of grey. The Sopranist Blog Team found it IDEAL to sit down with Thabo, the man behind The Mud Hut I Grew Upon Book and this is how it went down.

Who is Thabo, Prince, Prinzeville?

Thabo Prince Katlholo a self-proclaimed anarchist and an entrepreneur embodies the entirety of a modern artist. A powerful speaker, Novelist, Poet and I aspire to change the game. “One syllable at a time!”

You are a man of many names, which one do you prefer going by and why?
Whichever suits your palate, really! Haha. Mostly family calls me Thabo, My friends call me Prince and those in my poetry circle call me Prinzeville. Basically it depends on the level of relationship we have.
                                                          
“You.. go to your closet, and you select out, I don’t know, that lumpy sweater, for instance……….
            …….what you don’t know is that sweater is not just blue; it’s not turquoise; it’s not lapis; It’s actually cerulean…..
            However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it’s sort of comical how you think you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when in fact you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of StuffMiranda Priestly
Fashion is around us, we can’t deny the fact that we live and breathe fashion. Botswana’s fashion industry is on the upswing and being recognised across borders as well as internationally. Fashion Gurus are working tirelessly to grow and sell fashion from Botswana. Today on The Sopranist Blog we have Thapelo Letsebe, one of many Fashion Gurus in Botswana. Let’s get to know more about this Fashionista..

Photo Credit: Uyapo Ketogetswe
Who is Thapelo Letsebe?
I’m a very colourful 23 year old guy, who is ambitious, very autonomous, hardworking and willing to work for everything that I want. I believe that if you want something you got to go for it, that’s my mantra. I’m a stern believer of one taking responsibility of their life and doing everything in their power to make their dreams come true.

Define your sense of style and where you get your inspiration.
I wouldn’t say I really have a particular sense of style, I’m the kind of person that rocks almost everything.  My mood and feelings are reflected on my dressing. If I’m feeling sad I’d wear a black ensemble with
Showbiz keeps us buzzing that’s undeniable, the industry itself on the other hand with prompt deviations can get ugly. Thick skinned game changers survive and the rest wither.
Talking about the industry in Botswana, it has drastically changed, with a TV station and 6 radio stations up and running with numerous shows (both radio and TV) hosted by young talented Batswana. Our team sat and narrowed down a number of youngster to get to know them better. On our list was the ever vibrant, bubbly and charismatic young lady by the name Khumo Gape Kgwaadira known to her radio listener as Miss Gee Kays.

This is what Miss Gee Kays had to say:
Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
I am this loud talkative young ambitious lady who is aiming to make a million soon (Yes, I want to be a millionaire lol). I’m 24 years of age, Born in Jwaneng originally from Sefhare, my dad is Motswapong and my mother is Mongwato from Mookane. I have the coolest parents on earth. I have 1 older half-brother and 2 older sisters. I am the last born and loving it, whoop whoop!!

What do you think of the entertainment industry in Botswana?
Well, first and foremost it is male dominated, which gives me that push as one of the few females in the industry to work extra hard and be an example to all females who aspire to venture into this industry.