Young hip hop artist reaches for higher heights
by Keitumetse Letlhogela
Ozi F Teddy is a young hip hop artist with a great love for music. The 22-year-old talks at length about his short but eventful career, his excitement almost infectious.
“Music has always been my passion,” says the artist, whose full name is Ted Tshepang Phaphane. “I always dreamed of performing since an early age.”
Currently a second-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Media Studies at the University of Botswana, Ted was born in Thamaga. It was not until 2009, however, that he took to music seriously after completing his Form Five.
The first single off his debut album, titled “While I’m Here”, peaked at number one on Yarona fm’s Mascom top 20 chart, staying on the top slot three weeks in a row. It is an achievement Ted holds with great pride, showing his potential to reach greater heights.
“In 2008 I was a top five finalist on My African Dream, an annual show that is broadcast in over 10 countries in southern Africa,” he says. “The show is hosted by Maitisong and Mandy Mash.”
Throughout 2009 and 2010, the budding artist performed at high school variety shows, private parties and other events. He points to the ‘Stageworks meets flipside pre-release party’, featuring Zeus, as one of the shows he did with Cibil Nyte and Eureka, the coverboy.
“I also performed at the Kas’ lam clothing label launch featuring Pro, Red Button, Zeus, Apollo Diablo, and Cibil Nyte,” he says. He also refers to his presence at the ‘Urban legends against AIDS’ concert featuring Eve, Scar, Vee, Zeus, Shanti Lo, Juju Boy, and K-bos.
Last year, he performed at the memorable Scar versus Zeus final showdown.
“My most exciting performance was at the UB amphitheatre featuring Khuli Chana,” says Ted. He also performed at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) when Nigerian sensation Flavour and other major local artists took to the stage.
He says his other appearances of note include one at Wharic Park alongside Ice Prince from Nigeria and another at the Orange Expression show alongside Dj Zinhle and A.K.A.
Clearly, working with award winning rappers like Zeus, Eureka and Scar has encouraged him. So, too, has featuring in the November/December 2011 issues of the Hub and Lapologa magazines, aside from being a fixture in the Mafia soul compilation, Botswana’s biggest hip hop store.
Currently a Sprite Ambassador, Ozi F Teddy is involved in DREAM CHASERS, a voluntary community service project involving motivational speeches given to high school and junior school students. He was a presenter in the Coca Cola game show on Botswana national television.
These days, when he is not busy in the studio on his next “deluxe edition” album, he will either be blogging or playing basketball. He says he looks up to hip hop artists like Ludacris, Bow Wow, and Kid Ink and draws inspiration for his vedoes from the likes of Aaliya.