Traditional musician, Rejoice Gaonakala of Mpatiseng fame, explains to The Telegraph the story behind her lyrically explicit song seen by many as one of the most controversial written by a local artist.
It is this controversial song that has seen Jojo, as he is popularly known, rise to stardom, becoming an international act.
Ever since the song reached the height of popularity two years ago, a lot has been said and many misconceptions derived from its lyrical content.
The Setswana saying “pina ga e na bosekelo” was clearly at play in this song which is no different from other Tswana folklore songs.
This ancient saying gives artists freedom of expression and it has been part of folklore songs for generations.
Who can forget the protest traditional song by Matsieng called Tinto. The song forced most local radio stations to edit out the vulgar parts. But it received massive response from the listeners around the world. Just like Tinto, Jojo’s song has not only sparked controversy but also has made her an international artist.
In the lyrics Jojo is heard saying she is looking for her a real man who will satisfy her sexually. She is saying that she has heard enough of less satisfying sex. The ‘bed lion’ has to be gifted in all department of love marking and surpass the normal excellence.
“Locally most people misunderstand the message of the song Mpatiseng…….But it has been a hit in the international arena,” said Jojo in an exclusive interview.
She says the song is mistaken for the cry of a sexual starved female who is asking for ‘real male help.’
Contradicting the popular belief, she explained that the song is not about her but rather a story about women who are sexually starved and end up concealing their frustration to those who are close to them. Jojo said that does not help at all.
“It is about women who are not open to their lovers and tend to gossip about their partners not satisfying them in bed. Women should speak to their partners and find a solution, not by undressing their lovers while they are with their friends,” said Jojo.
Jojo said she usually writes songs based on real life experiences and Mpatiseng is no exception.
She wrote the song after she heard her female friends discussing the issue of sexual satisfaction. One lady was complaining that she was getting a raw deal in bed and that prompted Jojo to impersonate the lady in her song.
Jojo said women should talk to their lovers and solve problems instead of running around in frustration. The song calls for women to be assertive and articulate their sexual wishes without being limited by cultural issues or beliefs.
Another thing that got many talking is her stage performance. She usually wears a sexually provocative leopard printed costume when on stage.
But what could have got into the once-shy and ever smiling ten-year-old girl who once schooled with this writer at Tlapalakoma Primary School in Mmadinare?
“In music for you to be on top of the game you need to be unique and attract attention. For you to penetrate this market creativity is the name of the game,” said Jojo.
The singer described her music as modern but traditional. She said by her performance she relates well with both the youth and the elderly.┬á
Jojo tried to blend the new genres with her music and made it to be appealing to those who love contemporary music.
She has been an ambassador of the South African Ministry of Education cultural and heritage initiative music festival called Cultural Experience since she was spotted in 2010.
She boasts a fan base that stretches across borders to South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe and has just received an invitation from the Malawian Embassy in Zimbabwe to perform next week Friday at Africa Unite concert in Malawi.
The show will see Jojo rubbing shoulders with Africa’s great musicians.
“I see this as an opportunity to represent my country…I also humbly ask for donations from Batswana so that I can make it to this music spectacular,” said Jojo.
Gilbert Seagile, known in the music industry as PP, spotted the young artist as a mere curtain raiser few years ago.
PP’s marketing and branding skills catapulted Jojo to success after she endured rejection for years.