After hundreds of jazz revellers thronged the Millennium Jazz Restaurant (MJR) to watch performances by various jazz artists during the just ended festive period, the MJR has found it fit for Puna Gabasiane, Banjo Mosele and Malombo Mmereki to perform their ‘grand finale’ this Sunday.
The holiday activities included performances by Citie Seetso, Nono Siile, Socca Moruakgomo sharing the stage with Ndingo Johwa at an event where Gabzfm had a live broadcast of Uncle Shima’s Joy of Jazz Fusion show.
According to Shima Monageng, the restaurant owner, the friends of the Joy of Jazz came in big numbers to witness the first radio live broadcast at their popular jazz restaurant that has stood the test of time over the last six years.
“Gabzfm intends to have these live broadcasts of my jazz show on a regular basis staged at different locations in and outside Gaborone following the successful one at MJR,” says the promoter, Uncle Shima.
The highlight of the scheduled festive performances was Lister Boleseng on New Year’s Eve.
Lister is a marvel to watch on stage and he proved to be a crowd puller when over 700 jazz lovers attended the show to welcome the New Year.
“This is a good job well done by our local artists who have, through their magnificent performances, given our patrons their money’s worth. It is promising and gratifying to realise that this time around no single foreign jazz artist performed in Botswana at any given concert or festival during the festive period,” Monageng said.
“Gone are the days when we at Kgalagadi Jazz used to always engage Artists from South Africa and pay them a fortune. A foreign artist like Bhudaza showed lack of appreciation when we brought him here to perform more than five years ago and that was the last time my stable Kgalagadi jazz billed a foreign artist in Botswana.”
Monageng added that they had just had a breakthrough.
“We have to accept that our local artists are coming of age and the public is reciprocating by attending their shows in big numbers. I have always maintained that for our artists to grow and reach international standard, they must first take their work seriously, be committed and appreciate that they are in business and not only entertaining people.”
He also says that he feels that they, as promoters, should do things in a business-like manner: lead, guide and sharpen their art of promoting jazz since jazz is a genre which is regarded in high esteem globally.
To wrap up the festive schedule at MJR are Puna Gabasiane and Banjo Mosele, arguably the most popular jazz artists in Botswana whose songs Ntsa e jele ntsanyana, Mama and My Wish, are currently enjoying a lot of airplay on local radio stations.