They may not be famous in the local arena, but the Francistown-based group, Dinkwe nkgoga, is a traditional group that is set to take the whole country by storm in the coming year.
Ontiretse Nthinthe Bakaile, the leader of the group and a former member of another acclaimed group, Ditholwana, told the Sunday Standard in an interview last week that Thwaa Tsebe, the debut album they released in 2008 has enjoyed much airplay in neighbouring South Africa where local traditional music has gained fame in the past years.
The album, he said, has six tracks, being Tlhwaang Tsebe, Madube, Ratlholego, Sebatana, Naledi ya masa and Re a bina.
Bakaile added that in South Africa they have whipped up such momentum that they always receive invitations to perform at different events.
“We always get overwhelming invitations to perform in different events in South Africa although we are not very popular in the local scene,” he said.
Bakaile mentioned that the group is comprised of four members, Teedzani, Tshambani, Kefentse and Outlwile.
He added that they released the debut album in 2008 after he defected from the famous group, Ditholwana, saying that his passion for traditional music catapulted when he went to perform in the United States of America under the Department of Youth and Culture.
“By then I was still with Ditholwana traditional group, and then we were chosen by BEDIA to go and represent Botswana at the Festival of Disneyland in Orlando,” he states.
However, Bakaile further stated that as a new artist, sometimes one has to face insurmountable challenges.
He said he owes his success to former BTV reporter, Gomolemo Zimona, for encouraging him to venture into music. He added that after his tour in the USA, he teamed up with his childhood friends to form the traditional group.
“Although I defected from the group Ditholwana, I still maintain a cordial relationship with them,” he revealed.
Bakaile maintained that their album has done better in South Africa than in Botswana, stating that music is a challenging career that needs passion, patience, perseverance and hard work in order to survive.
He also indicated that the group has shared stages with big names like Shumba Ratshega and Ditiro Leero.
“We financed the whole project from our pockets because we believe that everything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard enough,” he says with a chuckle.
Traditional music, he said, is very good element of culture because it exposes the African culture to countries abroad. He added that one of the people who inspired him is Kgobola, adding that although there has been a challenge of piracy in the country, the future is bright for local music due to the introduction of the hologram and the reinforcement of the law in fighting piracy.
Bakaile applauded the move by the Botswana Music Union (BOMU) to decentralize their services throughout the country by establishing offices in different districts to try and serve up-coming artists.
“I would love to encourage the up-coming artists to work hard but they should not forget education is the foundation in every aspect of life in the modern world,” he said.
Bakaile pointed out that the group is to release their second album this year.