This past week gave the pioneering guitarist, Bonjo Keipidile, Chumza and the house drummer an opportunity to bid the bassist, famously known as ‘Guard’, farewell on his way to Palapye.
The impromptu ensemble played the regular Gaborone African pop standards, Mannenberg, Skokiaan and Bonjo’s version of ‘Batsomi’ permitting Guard to perform on his favourite instrument.
“The bass guitar is my favourite instrument. It shows me the way around the music,” says Guard. “I just play the six string guitar to make a living.”
The sturdy bass player and collaborator with guitarist Banjo Mosele on recordings and live performances spent a good two years as a stranger in the river based village.
“The man has developed into a celebrity in these parts. He is easily recognizable everywhere he goes in Maun,” says an avid fan.
Guard’s unrelenting search for work led him to Rileys where he lifted the spirits of lovers of live music who do not have very many places to go for their favourite pastime.
Perhaps only Riley’s, already a cultural landmark in its own right, would have permitted Guard to practice his craft there.
You could catch Guard at the cocktail bar adjacent to the restaurant on weekends pacing through jazz based renditions of the blues; a programme that deviates from the usual bubble-gum and ‘kwasa-kwasa’ programmes that one gets at the stadia and other entertainment houses that promote live music.
On Sundays, starting at 3’o’clock, Guard presented a more jazz centered programme at the pool overlooking Tlhamalakane River.
There is ample opportunity for guests to offer their own taste of artists to share with the lively audiences.
It was not certain last week who would take over from Guard though it seemed certain that his followers will miss him and the regular variety music sessions that ran from Tuesday to Sunday.
At Palapye, Guard will replace the duet of guitarist, Emmanuel and singer, Victoria, who kept nightclub patrons entertained at the Bosele Hotel.
Emmanuel had previously made a name for himself in Serowe to where it is rumoured he might return and Victoria may very well be headed for Gaborone.