When he first made his intentions public critics were quick to dismiss it as just a mere marketing gimmick to make up for his first failed attempt to fill up the National Stadium.
“He won’t pull it off,” they said. But the S’ja Bana rapper Kast Stallion gave the Chinese proverb that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” a whole new “literal” meaning as he took his very first step towards his Tlatsa Lebala 1 000km walk on February 12.
Now a month later, Kast has finally arrived home in Gaborone to a hero’s welcome to wrap up what seemed like an insurmountable task. And he holds no grudges.
“I was well aware of the criticism when I first began the journey but I have long learnt not to let other people’s negative energy interfere with plans,” he told Lifestyle.
“I know they have all made a U-turn now and I totally understand. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind and I appreciate all the support I am getting. The most important thing right now is ensuring the success of Tlatsa Lebala.”
Now that the long walk to Tlatsa Lebala is finally over, the rapper is even more optimistic about the success of the event. He is hoping to attract at least 20 000 fans to the National Stadium on Saturday May 6 for the music festival that will also feature at least a dozen other local musicians.
“Remember, the first event was not cancelled but rather postponed,” he said, “and we are only building on to that.”
At the time of going to press Kast could not divulge just how much financial support they had already received from the business community and other well-wishers. But he is hopeful suffice it to get a full report from his team.
While the rapper has been getting a lot of support from the public too little has come his way in terms of material and financial support for the actual Tlatsa Lebala event.
A lot of it has been nothing more than goodwill. Recently Orange Botswana ambassador Vee has donated P40 000 cash towards the event.
Minister of Basic Education Unity Dow was also one of the few who pledged financial support. She donated P5 000 to the cause. Minister of Health Dorcus Makgato bought tickets for lucky winners on social media. Yoli Jeans clothing pledged P20 000. Duma FM pledged P10 000 worth of airtime while Yarona FM offered P150 000 of airtime.
Botswana National Sports Commission had already pledged to avail the National Stadium free of charge even before the wrapper took his first step of the 1 000km walk. The Dialogue Group, which provided the vehicle used by his support team, has also been supporting Kast from day one. Funimotions has been printing the Tlatsa Lebala T-shirts which have been on sale at Urban Soul stores.
Kast said he needed at least P120 000 to cover lights, water bill, turf labour, forklift and a refundable security fee. He said the total budget for the Tlatsa Lebala, which he said will be an annual event, is P1,8 million.
Looking stronger for someone who had just been on the road for a whole month, Kast said he was looking forward to a couple of days’ rest and getting his life back to normal.
Kast walked the entire distance with a friend and volunteer, Mokwena Marobela. Tshegofatso Mtetwa of Trezy-Mtee Massage Therapy Studio provided physiotherapy throughout the journey.