Monday, November 29, 2021

Does she still have a crush on Khama?

When one sees Berry Heart’s name on a list of artists that are billed to perform at the Maun International Poetry Festival, the first question that comes naturally to one’s mind is, will she or won’t she? So, will she?

“No, I won’t,” she responds. “I will recite another poem and not that one.”

That one is the one in which she goes to extreme erotic lengths to proclaim her crush on President Ian Khama. Appearing on stage almost naked at the same festival last year, Heart riffed off Khama’s 5Ds roadmap (Discipline, Delivery, Development, Dignity and Democracy) by outlining her own First Lady 5Ds programme she poetically fantasised about: “Daily, Darling, my Dove you Determine my Destiny.”

Some were incensed by her performance but, as she later told Sunday Standard, women – some of them pastors, commended her for mustering up the courage to finally say what they have felt all along but were too inhibited to put into words.

“A lot of ladies said to me afterwards: ‘What is all this fuss about? He [Khama] is a hot man.’ I also fail to understand what the fuss was all about because we have a hot president,” she said at the time.

On YouTube, Heart (whose real name is Keotshephile Motseonageng) has a music video of an entirely different offering and a netizen who goes by the nom de net of “livingstoneiam” pleaded: “upload the one about President Ian Khama sooner pliz, i loved it to bits, controversial as they try to make it.”

She says that she knows that the poem is very popular “but as a writer, I never repeat material because I have a lot more to share.” She still gets and rebuffs requests to do the “Crush on Khama” poem at the shows that she does.

What is most remarkable about Heart’s story is that although she was introduced to most of Botswana through an erotic poem, Heart – who speaks three international languages, is actually a much more accomplished artist with a respectable following both here at home and abroad.

In 2008, while a University of Botswana student, she recorded her debut album, “Mama” in Germany. It was on this trip that she met Rachel Wong, a Chinese singer from Hong Kong with whom she collaborated on a really catchy song in the album. The two ladies became fast friends and Wong later invited Heart to Hong Kong where the pair performed together. The reigning Miss Botswana Musicians Union, Heart’s reign officially ends this Thursday, on October 31, but there are no immediate plans to replace her.

The Maun International Poetry Festival started on Friday and will end this coming Saturday with a performance by Heart and other poets.

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