Government’s endevours to recognize the usefulness of indigenous skills is a positive step in the right direction, says musician Mosokwe.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard in Etsha 6 where he was amongst the graduates who graced the first ever indigenous skills graduation ceremony, Stepping Razor guitarist and singer, Jesus Mosokwe, said the government’s attempt to recognize the importance of indigenous skills, especially the traditional song and dance, is a milestone in the development of the music industry in the country.
“Government took a long time to recognize that indigenous skills can uplift the welfare of Batswana. Now that the government has come to its senses to recognize that informal learning can play a pivotal role in the uplifting of Batswana, I am truly grateful,” said Mosokwe. “It is gratifying to see young men and women graduating in arts and crafts. With thoroughly assessed, quality and recognizable certificates these young graduates can carry these certificates anywhere in the country and outside to eke a living. The government is surely on the right track.”
He said the government’s initiatives to introduce indigenous knowledge at vocational level was indeed a positive development but was quick to take a swipe at the government’s propensity to come with tangible and convincing initiatives only to abandon them along the way.
The dread-locked Mosokwe pleaded with the government to see to it that indigenous skills are promoted and the participants benefit immensely from the initiative.
“Talent has always been there. It is for the government to take these talents seriously,” noted Mosokwe. “Traditional dancers and singers often grace the arrival of high profile presidents at the airports. They grace occasions such as kgotla meetings by our MPs and other official individuals. Young and talented artists blend traditional music from the likes of Ratsie Setlhako and from popular song like ‘go ka tweng’ to suit the musical taste of today. You can see how useful these traditional songs are. They entertain and make us happy.”
A teacher by profession, Mosokwe was employed by BOTA as an assessor in October 2006. BOTA is a parastatal institution with the mandate to focus on the recognition of indigenous and vocational skills, knowledge and competencies.
During the Training Vocational Education and Training week commemorated at Etsha 6 in Ngamiland last week over 120 indigenous graduates graduated in basketry and traditional dance and song; the multi talented Mosokwe graduated into a consolidated assessor.
Now he can confidently assess participants in the traditional dance and song.
The group member of the Gaborone-based reggae out-fit, Stepping Razor, said his passion for traditional song and dance dates from the years when he was a teacher at Diphetogo Primary School.
Mosokwe used to coach the pupils at the school in traditional song and dance.
A father of three children, he attributes traditional song and dance with reggae music.
“Traditional song and dance and reggae music share some identical rhythms. I do not have a problem mixing the two,” he said.
A soloist, who has previously produced an album named an ‘African Child’, Mosokwe is indebted to his original reggae outfit Stepping Razor.
The group will on 15th December celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Ozone Club.
The anniversary will feature renowned artists like Bongo Mosele and Ras Juda, a musician born in Thabala but who resides in New Zealand and currently testing his musical prowess there.
Born in Ghantsi 38 years ago, Mosokwe is confidant his next album will be out by February next year.