Thursday, March 4, 2021

‘Batswana artists overexpose themselves’

Richard Nixon didn’t make himself too available to the press and in his memoirs would say that such availability would have lessened his currency. On July 26, Gaborone hosts an American R&B superstar and the explanation that the promoter gives for this choice is similar to that of the late United States president.

“Local artists perform everyday and that lessens the quality of their music. Today he is performing in Mochudi, tomorrow he is in Rasesa, the next day he is at another location. At some point these people stop making sense as artists,” says Kgosietsile Mariri by way of explaining why, instead of buying Botswana, he chose buy to American – Kenny Lattimore.

By bringing this show, Mariri says that he wants to give music lovers a treat that is a million times different from the one they would get from a local played-out act. He also makes the point that there is a “huge gap” between international and local music with the former being more qualitative.

“I love good things. I love big projects,” says Mariri who is currently locked in a legal battle with the Kgalagadi Breweries Limited over a Joe Thomas concert that he says was his idea from start to finish.

By his account he is not sparing any expenses to ensure that the glitz and glamour of the Lattimore is big enough to excite the crowd. Mariri says that he typically attends concerts by international superstars next door in South Africa. As a matter of fact, his court papers say that he attended a Joe concert in Sandton, Johannesburg after which he decided to open talks with his management and have the R&B crooner play a show in Gaborone. The backstage meeting was part of the package of the platinum ticket he held. He says that at some of these shows, he has had the privilege of being shown behind the scenes and what he saw there was mind-blowing and overwhelming.

“When things aren’t going right, the promoter would be under tremendous pressure. For me that’s where the challenge is: to ensure that everything is going right. I don’t even think that I’ll be watching the Kenny Lattimore show because I will be running around to ensure that everything is going according to plan,” Mariri says.

Lattimore, who shot to prominence in 1996 with a self-titled album, is scheduled to play a show at Boipuso Hall on July 26. Mariri says that the artist is bringing a nine-member with him. He also reveals that he would have wanted to have Chante Moore, Lattimore’s ex-wife, to also feature but that that was not possible due to a scheduling conflict. In happier times, husband and wife recorded a duet album entitled Things That Lovers Do. The venue is owned by Fairground Holdings whom Mariri says will take care of catering and the d├®cor.

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