Thursday, July 7, 2022

Night with legends to stir old memories

Fans of the old traditional folk music are in for an early nostalgic Christmas treat. The legends will be dishing out some of their best tunes of yester year ÔÇô tunes that made them household names of the 20th century.

Gilbert Mauco, one of the organisers, says the concert, dubbed ‘A Night With The Legends’, will be headlined by the legendary Mahottella Queens and Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje from South Africa as well as popular Botswana bands of the eighties and nineties Kgwanyape and Afro Sunshine.

Thuso Letlhoma of RB1, also among the organisers, says the show will be a life-time opportunity opportunity for both the young and old to watch the legends showcase what catapulted them to dizzying heights over the past three decades.

The last time the Mahottella Queens and Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje were seen in Botswana was over 20 years ago.

Mahottella Queens, the all-female group, was formed in 1964 with an original line up of Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola. In 1983 legendary deep-voiced Simon ‘Mahlathini’ Nkabinde and Makgona Tsotlhe beefed up the trio before partying ways after belting out a few hits. Mahlathini died in 1999.

The group is known for their Mbaqanga and fast paced Mqashiyo dance moves. Their Sotho/Pedi vocals struck a chord with Batswana in particular and the Queens say they will be more than delighted to perform most of the hits that endeared them to the locals. Their most popular hits include Melodi ,Mokete, Umona,Melodi ya lla,and Re Ya Dumedisa.

Also from South Africa, Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje is a group needing little introduction. Just a mention of their names evokes memories of their classic sounds of Mbaqanga’s heyday. Their initial line-up included Nunu Maseko,Windy Sebeko, Thopi Mnguni and Sannah Mnguni as the lead vocalist but the more memorable line-up was that of the seventies with Jane Dlamini, Lindiwe Mthembu, Wobesuthu Shawe, Hilda Tloubatla and Ruth Mafaxwane. The group were a major rival to the Mahottella Queens and regularly managed to topple them off top of the charts. They boast of Umuntu Othulile,Amathuba,Awufuni Ukulandela Na and Omzala as some of their hit songs.

Representing Botswana, Kgwanyape will be fielding Caxton Senyatso among others. The late Duncan Senyatso was also part of the group. Batswana can expect a cocktail of Sheleng,Mephato, and Tsetsejwe to bring back sweet memories of the past.

Afro Sunshine co-founder, Lekofi Sejeso, also promises an awe inspiring and nostalgic performance on the night. Four of the group’s founding members, Chris Mbewe, Alex Kunda, Rony Mkhululi and Dollar Paledi have since passed on leaving behind Lekofi Sejeso and Jino Maposa. Lekofi promises they will be some new faces at the concert.

“I know a lot of people have been wondering about the whereabouts of the groups so this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them perform for the last time.” Mauco said.

Radio Botswana’s Geoffrey Motshidisi and Mogatisi Kwapa will be the MCs for the night.

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