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A poet virtuoso, a business woman, a farmer, a woman rights activist and now as she transitions into evangelism she sashays past afro music as a token of goodbye to her many followers who never quite know what to make of her. Berry Heart, controversial as they come, has once more stepped out of her comfort zone and ventured into the popular yet very competitive world of music world of afro Jazz. Her offering Kgolo; an afro jazz album is her first foray into the world of jazz music and also her last. Kgolo is an offering that shows Berry Heart’s willingness to push boundaries. “You must be dynamic, you cannot afford to be typecast as being one thing, and you must be driven by passion,” Berry Heart says. She feels that it is only natural that she gravitates towards Jazz. “I learnt the origins and significance of jazz music in Professor Maude Dikobe’s African Diaspora course. A perfect escapism and demonstration of black strength is how I view jazz. My journey through arts was always going to get me here,” she says.
Leading this new challenge for Berry Heart is Zenzele Hirschfeld of Zen Promotions. “Berry Heart’s project is one that enhances that which I have been up to all along. You know I have a long history of doing work with women in arts, especially in the music industry. For me it’s as much about the nature of the project as it about what it stands for. Women must stick together generally but women in arts in particularly must do so if they are to bring much needed support and respect in the trade.” Hirschfeld says. The founder of Women of Works Hirschfeld is nothing but passionate about facilitating collaboration of women in music. She says her contribution to the ‘Women of Jazz’ bears testament to this passion.
The album launch was held at Millennium Jazz restaurant in Mogoditshane this past weekend hosted by Women of Works, another Zen Promotions initiative. Women of Works is a platform that that seeks to celebrate women in sectors that have hitherto not been taken serious. Women in the arts, journalism, activism, and other ‘non-traditional’ careers are offered an opportunity to network with women who are in ‘traditional’ career paths with a view to showing the strength, ability and power of women.
Kgolo launch featured the Punah Gabasiane, Nono Siile and Kearoma Rantao. An all-female line-up to drive home the passion of the two women behind the project. “Most line-ups in Botswana are male dominated and that appears to overlook the special talent that Batswana women possess. We seek to throw this as a challenge to sponsors, promoters and fans that women can indeed do it on their own,” Berry Heart says.