Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Tribute to Kago Setshogo

Condolences are in order to Setshogo family for the loss of their son, brother, and Uncle Kago Setshogo.

I have always been a fan of Kago and Gloria Kgosi off course, and I am not apologetic because I fondly fell in love with radio and television because of the duo. For now Gloria aside but the late KG on spot. The passing away of KG has brought nothing but pain and pending questions which I don’t know who will answer them. At least I don’t believe in celebrating a person when they are dead, when he was alive I had a chance to tell him how talented, effective and innovative he was, and he would always listen and instead of saying thank you, he would say, “Ah, my friend you are exaggerating, kana I am doing nothing new.”

Yes, even when he was doing nothing new, he would do it in such a way that you would think it was never done before, like news reading for instance. The way he read would make one to listen and be a fan of news. And when complimented he wouldn’t accept it from word go, you would have to go round and round until he finally gives in. I always pointed out to him that he should learn to accept a compliment with a thank you. He liked to compliment people a lot. He would say “My friend, today I can walk streets with you, I can pose for photos with you, o botokanyana gore, meaning you are smart.”

That’s Kaygee for you.

He liked to say “my friend…my friend…my friend..” He would not complete a sentence without my friending you, and all this time he would chuckle, and cut a deep smile even if he wouldn’t tell you exactly what’s going on.

Kago and I were friends by virtue of I being his producer, when he co-presented Breakfast in Bold with Tebogo Sekgoma nee Ragontse, RB 2’s morning programme which airs between 6 and 9 Monday to Friday, actually the name is his brain child. We went out to brainstorm, and he persuaded us to use his name, and we bought in to his story.

Funny enough even after I transferred to Urban Flavors and him to Midnight express, we still behaved as if we work on the same show, and he was all the same way I got to know him personally on 2009 until his unfortunate demise.

Even though open, Kago had this cagey character in him, where he would want to say something to you, and would say, at a later time. I don’t want to lie; I loved him because there was a lot to learn from him.

He always pointed out errors to my English, both written and spoken because I wrote news for him to read, he ended up giving me Sketches On Sand by James Reston, A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiongo and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. He said even though he liked the books I needed them more than him, in order to develop my English, and today I am not saying I am perfect, but I can write, as well as make a presentation in English because he sowed a seed in my life. I am able to attend international meetings without a sense of fear or intimidation because Kaygee sowed a seed of English in my life, and I will always remember him for that. I was still talking of his cagey character, even though we shared a lot of stuff, secrets included, he would never go deep, such that it would be hard to notice if he had a problem, because he would be smiling and laughing at the time we are talking.

I will always remember him for his persuasive character, he knew how to sell an idea, even at the times when I was not prepared to listen, I always found myself listening to him, and would buy into his stories, not because I wanted the case closed but because there was something useful always from him. Before I committed my life to Jesus Christ, I was a cider person, and Kaygee was Heineken man, I ended up drinking Heineken because he lured me to drink it. He painted a picture of how Heineken is good,

“My friend, you need to take this, ke gaenonkena.”

Trying there to sound Heineken in an English man Tswana accent. That’s how I ended up taking Heineken.

My poor friend, may his soul rest in peace. Ironically, I had a social and professional challenge on the previous year, and I attempted suicide, that night I and Kaygee planned to go out, and after he tried my mobile several times, he made a way to my house and found me in a bad state, he rushed me to the hospital, and after I was discharged he gave me a mouthful motivation, which left me speechless, when I thought of, after I heard of his death, and I realized that no one is strong enough. You can preach it today and might find yourself doing it tomorrow.

Hence I want to challenge those disappointed, angry, and surprised and mourning to do that with a reserve, because we are talking about someone made of flesh and blood here. Fortunately the doctors saved the life that I wanted to take; luckily Kaygee came handy and rescued me. After I was discharged he counseled me, he told me to always think of those close to me before rushing to some decisions. I am humbled to quote him word for word on what he said.

“My friend, suicide is not even last resort; you have a child, think of her. Think of your family. Your mother carried you 9 months, she felt sick for months with nausea, she watched her feet swell and her skin stretch and tear, and she did not abort you. She suffered many sleepless nights and later went through excruciating pain to bring you on world. She became your nurse, your teacher, your chef, your biggest fan and your friend. She struggled for you and hoped the best for you and off course she prayed for you.”

I shed a tear, he hugged me and told me to do the right thing, and this was over a couple of drinks at Bull and Bush and I remember that day as if it was yesterday because that was a day I built rapport with my mother, the first day I ever told my mother how I valued her, that was a day I reflected on how my mom has been good to me through thick and thin, an insight I got from Kaygee.

I really am going to miss him, his voice on radio, his drama and everything else about him. Indeed may his soul rest in peace. It was always funny seating around him because there would never be a depressing talks, but motivational. Those who are mourning, I know that in trying times as this one, we often ask why me? Why him? And this is the question I asked, but asking why? Might leave us with scars, regrets and stress. The only man who knows why is God. Even if it is suicide, it is a sad reality that we will never see Kago again on this earth; our only solace is our Lord Jesus Christ. I would like us to read Isaiah 43:1-2, it says

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”

I believe that through this turbulence, we are not all alone, we are with God. Let us rest assured. If Kago would hear me I would say a friend like you is a friend I don’t regret meeting, a friend like you is like having no dark days because you brighten all of them. A friend like you is a friend who opens my eyes and let me avoid bad things. Although unheard I thank you for always being there, My dear friend, close your eyes…and hear me whisper…For the times I was lost, you were there to look for me. Will you believe me when I say I love you more? May Kaygee’s soul rest in peace.

(Baboloki Semele is Urban Flavors producer RB 2 and former Breakfast in Bold producer)

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