Over sips of wine, we handle a casual conversation and sample music from one of Botswana’s potential hit makers. As we bob our heads to the sound, some drops of wine fall from his cup to the floor.
You can call it a stunt by spirits, executed to remind him of his debt. “I’m owing … I should give back,” he says.
Curiosity builds up; he tries to feed more information to the puzzled face before him. “What I eat, they wanna eat,” he adds, still without identifying the recipient of his payment.
Desmond ‘Bazouka’ Molefe ÔÇô for that is the artist’s name ÔÇô claims that there is a mysterious world out there, accessible to only a chosen few like him.
He says there are supernatural things we can’t see with the naked eye and ‘people’ he can communicate with in the only way he knows.
Our talk intensifies into a tension-filled evaluation of spirits, and a shallow assessment of how he fits in. His responses are fear-inflating and make the skin crawl.
Molefe says he embraces the notion that Satan is hard at work, trying to possess the world. He however claims modesty, and opts to leave some information a mystery.
Witchcraft exists in a large scale, he says, its mandate being to destroy what human kindness builds up.
His story? Within the space of a decade of making music, he lost 12 hard drives of up to 500 of gigabytes each. He became an unhappy man.
Molefe chose to make a living out of music but has only managed to release just one record, and blames his failures on witchcraft. He says it takes an effort to survive.
“It’s either you go to church or spiritual healers for protection, otherwise ÔÇô if they strike ÔÇô you’ll spend the rest of your life struggling without clue,” he warns.
The man himself knows God is great and says it’s up to individual to embrace that.
“Going to church alone is the greatest achievement. You are in the presence of people worshiping God and gathering truth,” he states.
Yet within the church lurks those with evil dispositions and intentions. “The church is a clinic; you’re bound to find weird people there. In service, they behave right but after the service they drag you to their nude and pornographic tendencies. The problem is our fulfilment there,” he suggests.
Some worshipers believe parting with 10 percent will grant you blessings. “I don’t have a problem with 10 percent. But I have a problem with someone trying to buy God’s favour.”
Some go to the extent of skipping the border. “People leave the country for prayer in other countries and when they come back, they’ve already lost their faith. My greatest concern is not the cost ÔÇô it’s whether they know what they are doing.”
Molefe says he succumbed to pressure around 2006 after seeing the unthinkable happen to his pray-mate.
“Just when we were praying trying to cast demons, I saw him suspended in the air gasping…something was holding on to his throat but I couldn’t see what it was,” he claims.
His church attendance dropped. “I started compromising my beliefs. I put God as my enemy…like he was betraying me.”
The pain of leaving the place of worship began to haunt him, making him feel vulnerable. “When you get out of church, you fall on your arse,” he says without explaining.
In plain language, he became a bad boy. “I made sure I’m of good service to my woman, in any way a guy would be to his woman,” he reveals.
In Christianity, fornicating is a sin. His unhappiness is written all over his recent rap songs, and he acknowledges it.
“Pleasure doesn’t get me emotional…there’s too much in the world. I’m inspired by reality,” he says.
Beautiful things are not usually inspiring. “Even girls come and go, to some degree they do inspire me like wearing a revealing T-Shirt when you’re doing a recording, smelling like a million bucks, biltong on the table, her sipping on something, you on tune,” he enthuses.
He won’t reveal any of his mystery contacts. Instead, he explains that in his music career, he never put 10 years as his time frame, nor did he budget for many hard drives. Each time he wanted to release music, the computer would just crash. He would buy a new hard drive and start afresh until the same fate repeated itself.
That carried on to a point where he found it enough to call his failure witchcraft. It became an opportunity to step back and think, to assess the situation.
Then he took a spiritual path. “I went to war with whatever I had at the moment,” he says.
He turns up the volume of one of his aggressive rap songs that paints a picture of him as a friend with large sea and cave inhabitants. These are creatures thought to exist invisibly and thought to tame or swallow a person whole.
As creepy as it sounds, he just laughs about it and adds that ÔÇô contrary to ancient pictures showing an ugly horny man, with a tail holding a fork ÔÇô Satan is a very cute guy, but he still won’t tell where he had seen him.
He is cagey about the meaning behind songs, Satan’s good looks, his friends in the cave and sea. Instead, he says Africans should stand up and discover who they are lest they fall prey to foreign direct influence. “We have Pentecostal churches and earthy beliefs,” he says dodging a question of whether he fell prey to marine spirits.
Bazouka’s crafting history dates back to 2004 when he introduced a music style that he defined as ‘milk’ for what he fancied to be its nutritious value. Milk never made the anticipated impact. His hard drives had already started crashing. “Count from 2005 to now,” he insists, pointing to seven hard drives stored in a bag.
Any computer user on earth would be kind enough to advise him to install an antivirus, engage firewall and regularly update his system, but he insists he shares information with people who don’t experience the same problem. “But what about my friends…we share everything but their machines never crash. They use the same antivirus I use,” he claims.
He says time came when he needed serious answers for this bad spell. “There are two kingdoms in Africa…because I’m not in church, I’m of service to the other,” he repeats his earlier statement.
It is difficult to establish Bazouka’s position in the world of mystery. “I can’t share. I’m at war, a soldier can’t tell anything they are. It’s safe for me to say I’m a spiritual person…it’s hard for me to disclose,” he says honestly.
As it is now, he claims to be winning the hard drive battle and he will be out in the public soon. “I’m coming out good,” he says.