Sunday, February 28, 2021

New Year opens with jazz show

By Soares Katumbela’s determination, January 1 is when adults (some jazz lovers) would be back in town to start the new year but would be starved for entertainment because there is no place that caters for them. That explains “Botswana’s Top Jazz DJs” show which will be held at Wagga Gardenex on New Year’s Day.

“These people need an appropriate set-up where they can refresh,” says Katumbela, who, as deejay, goes by the name “SK.”

In this particular case, the refreshing will take the form of relaxing in a landscaped garden and availing oneself of what would be on offer: music (the DJs’ and jazz CDs on sale), food (full braai, pap, hot dogs and other refreshments) as well as different kinds of beverages.

The second uniqueness of this show is that unlike virtually all other high-profile shows nowadays, it will not feature outsiders – namely South Africans. The line-up includes Uncle Shima of GabZ FM, SK himself, McJon Mosenene, Motukisi “KC” Moremi, Sala Phiri and Tony “Milton” Motshwane. The after-party, which starts at 10 pm, will feature DJs Clarence and Sid playing oldies and classics.

“The fact of the matter is that jazz has never relied on DJs from outside. It’s probably because we are better than them,” says Katumbela in explaining this exclusivity.

However, some time back, the Gaborone jazz collective invited Chris Motshabi of Motsweding FM in South Africa to play at a show. At the time, GabZ FM was just starting jazz on Sundays and Duma FM (where Katumbela has a Sunday show) had not yet been established.

Katumbela says that the exclusivity also represents effort to promote Botswana-only talent and thus showcase its uniqueness from that of other countries. His company, Streethorn, has the right to use the Brand Botswana logo when there is need to do so.

“We are also promoting the Brand Botswana project with this show,” he says.

Ultimately though, this is a commercial venture which is why the organisers exhort revellers to not only bring their own camp chairs, mat and umbrellas but “empty cooler boxes” as well. Lately there has emerged a trend of merrymakers bringing full cooler boxes to car parks of places that sell alcohol and events such as this one. Needful to say, this affects sales.

“Family Fun Day” is a term that has not been used but it might as well be because other family members would be catered for as well. Chikono Fashions, a local fashion designer based at Nkoyaphiri mall in Mogoditshane will be displaying its creations. There will also be a jumping castle and jungle gym for children.

However, as even Katumbela himself acknowledges, January 1 is when many people (revellers especially) would be broke and unable to afford a P100 show.

“We are already selling tickets. We want people to buy them before they leave for the holidays,” he says.

The programme for the jazz event starts at 11am and ends at 10pm when the after-party starts.

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