Poverty-stricken folklore musician, Kwataeshele Baponyi, is poised to benefit from a sponsored walk and fund-raising dinner to be hosted by Zenzele Hirschfield of Zen Promotions next month in Molepolole. Proceeds from the two events will go towards uplifting the welfare of Kwataeshele, who currently goes through hunger pangs while listeners revel at his songs on Radio Botswana. This will not be the first time the 64-year-old traditional guitarist will be receiving donations from Hirschfield.
Recently he became a beneficiary in the P20 000 donation that was given to Zen Promotions by Mahindra Botswana and Akheel Jinabhai & Associates. Messrs H.S. Chahal and Akheel Jinabhai of Mahindra Botswana and Akheel Jinabhai & Associates, respectively, donated P10 000 each to Zen Promotions in a move aimed at inspiring other young entrepreneurs to work hard and reap the benefits of hard work.
The donation was received by the youthful Zenzele Hirschfeldt who runs Zen Promotions, a company that deals with events management, artists’ management, festival promotions and music agency.
When receiving the donation, Zenzele had promised to donate P2000 from the P20 000 windfall to Kwataeshele. True to her word, Zenzele traveled all the way to Batsetsing cattle post in the outskirts of Molepolole where she traced down and donated a P2000 guitar and P500 worth of groceries to Kwataeshele.
Zenzele said her gesture of benevolence was motivated by the Bible scripture, “blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives”. Zenzele said as ‘a daughter of Molepolole’ village, she felt obliged to help a fellow Mokwena who is a legend in his own right but less fortunate to be able to nurture his God-given musical talent.
Kwataeshele is a well known guitarist whose music regularly plays on Radio Botswana but has nothing to show for his talent.
Kwataeshele lives in a dilapidated mud hut, which he shares with his brothers and relies on government handouts for survival. His brother, another well known folklore guitarist, Setampore, was present at the handover ceremony.
While his brother lives in abject poverty, Setampore was happy to disclose his situation was far much better than his brother’s. He praised the owner of Botswana Craft, Oliver Groth, who built him a house, for free, in Molepolole. Setampore also said his working relationship with Solomon ‘Solo B’ Monyame was a fruitful one in that Monyame always pays him and saves some money for him in all the music shows they stage together.
Zenzele thanked his uncle who was instrumental in tracing down Kwataeshele to Batsetsing cattle post.
Mr H.S. Chahal of Car World and Mahindra Botswana provided chauffeur-driven cars to Zenzele and her entourage to Kwataeshele’s home during the handover of the guitar and food donations.
About the upcoming sponsored walk, Zenzele said she was hopeful that Bakwena and other well-wishers will come forward to help uplift the life of this unsung icon.