October 30th, 2015 is just the right time for you to break that rusty old padlock on your trunk case, whip out that Dickies two piece, slide into your All Star plimsolls, rock your bucket hat, and get ready to party, ’90s style. The Waar Was Jy (where were you) festival scheduled for Fairgrounds end of this month brings together a rich line-up of some of SA and Botswana’s finest Kwaito music artists and Deejays.
The festival conjures up memories of some of the biggest hits that played soundtrack to many a life from the early ‘90s to the early 2000’s. Who can forget Arthur Mafokate’s ‘(Don’t call me) Kaffir’ that seems to have kick started a whole new revolution of music in SA that eventually found its popularity in neighbouring countries like Botswana.
Thebe is expected to bring back his Lenyora hit. Kabelo of Dubula Dubula fame will also be there. Ishmael will take many back to the House of Blues (HOB) days with his Roba Letheka. The one time youngest kid of Kwaito, Mzambia, is also scheduled to perform. Locally one can expect T.H.A.B.O to resurrect Ke Batla Biri and Mapetla to perform the song that made him a household name, ‘Aah’. The origins of Kwaito music can be traced back to the township of Soweto (SA) in the early ‘90s as a form of expression for the black youth of South Africa who had just broken from the clutches of apartheid.
It is not clear exactly what the word stems from. It became more than just a music genre. Kwaito became a culture, a symbol of identity for many young people. From the music to: the walk, wardrobe, slang, and to a certain a degree even automobiles. The new culture spread, almost naturally, throughout townships as a voice for young people not just in SA but here in Botswana as well. Most people whose formative years fell in the nineties identified with the kwaito culture and this festival presents an opportunity to go back in time and reflect.
“Through the festival I am hoping to take people back to the time when Kwaito music dominated the local music industry,” says organiser, Lecco Kenosi. “Every song brings with it rich memories for various people. And there were dance styles to go with it like Arthur Mafokate’s ‘Twalaza’ or ‘Mnike’.” He says although the festival may appeal mostly to those over thirty years he hopes to also attract the younger generation. “Some of us were kids when some of the artists came to perform here back then, so this presents a perfect opportunity and second chance to see the artists live on stage.” Kenosi says he also wants to break away from the norm and bring artists that are not currently trending. He says there has been so much excitement about the show that they have been receiving calls from people from as far as Francistown and Rustenburg (SA) showing interest in attending.
“We have now decided to assist such people with accommodation with the help of one of our sponsors Travel Lodge.” Kwaito music has not been without its bad reputation as the culture has often been associated with gangster-ism. Being music from the townships, some of Kwaito fans have been known to have the propensity to get involved in violent activities and delinquency. This is perhaps why Kenosi says they are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to security. “We expect to have more than 400 security personnel as well as the police on patrol.”
Some of the other acts expected to grace the event include Lecco himself, Doc Shebeleza (SA), Deejays Sly, Obza, Mr O, and Ozzie the Great. The festival will commence at 4pm until late.