Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sdojah hits the airwaves with ‘Fetlha Mathambo’

There being so many Mathambos, exactly which one Sdojah wa Jahmun is singing about is unclear.

In Fetlha Mathambo he delivers more than a mouthful about that person and from the tone of voice it all seems to be quite disparaging.

‘Tone of voice’ might seem a rather unusual way of discerning meaning but if, as the writer, you lack fluency in this year’s version of Tsotsitaal, that is what you have to settle for. On the whole, Mathambo is characterised as something of a killjoy.

In the next track, Sdojah lightens up on Mathambo to observe the first commandment of today’s music: Thou shalt praise thyself by referring to thyself every once so often.

Years ago one very influential cultural figure in the black America mainstreamed “If you don’t know, you better aks sumbody” into popular culture. Sdojah appropriates and vernacularises this line in “U came late.” He once more sticks to the disparaging and this time the object of his ire is someone who came late, hence the title.

How best can one make the remark look who’s singing in a subtle way? Here goes: from the writer’s real life experience with the artist and with regard to this particular point, this is a classic case of a kettle calling a pot black. On that basis, you totally agree with Sdojah (real name Leapetswe Jeremiah) when he says that he feels he needs a manager to take his career forward. Moving on, Sdojah enlisted the background vocal support of music buddies Oxygen and One Labantu to deliver his message about keeping time.

In “Strawberry”, which is perhaps the best track on “Kwaito Fassion”, Sdojah adds to the vocal styling of his debut album with the voices of Blaster and Ras Biki. This was a good decision because Sdojah himself does not seem to be at a point where he is actively exploring and expanding his vocal range. The subject matter is a ‘strawberry’ of his who has a Blackberry and just in case the poetry needs beefing up, Blaster steps up to the microphone and delivers back-up verses in Shekgalagari. Ras Biki rounds out this collaboration in the (non)language of ragga. What Sdojah held back in this track he lets loose in “Picnic”, the very last offering on the six-track album. While in the former he expresses lustful desire to fondle Ms. Strawberry’s breasts and strike her with “two or three” thunderbolts from his drooling tongue, the latter track is double-entendre-laden in a manner that leaves very little to the imagination.

To his first credit, Sdojah limited the number of tracks to what he can presently offer artistically.

Whatever the next project is, there would be need to sample more beats because “Kwaito Fassion” offers little in that regard.
To his second credit, this 23-year old Mmathethe-born lad is smart enough to realise that making it in the music industry is a hit-or-miss affair. Thus, in 2010, he enrolled at the Gaborone Technical College for a 16-month Certificate in Hairdressing course and now has a rent-paying day job at an upmarket hair salon in Phakalane.

To his third credit, he is an all-the-way patriot. On the sleeve of the album he has the most appropriate message for especially this month and the next (“Big up Zebras … Wish you the best at AFCON”), sports a Zebras T-shirt on the front cover of the sleeve of the album and has set the national anthem as the ringtone of his cellphone.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper