It is the kind of music my close friends and I have always refused to be associated with. Having grown up to the sounds of American Hip Hop and R&B music, we wouldn’t be caught dead listening to any of it. We were just too cool for it. It is the type of music that has always been associated mostly with the young unruly, deeply rural township and village folk. Go to your nearest shebeen and chances are the music is bursting through large speakers as young unemployed gentlemen sit in a circle, with a carton of the traditional Chibuku Shake Shake brew in the middle. But hate it or love it, Dan Tshanda’s Splash disco music has been one of the most successful genres since he first burst into the seen in 1985. As much as we hated to admit it, deep down we all knew we were fooling ourselves; we all had a soft spot for Splash.
“Ha ke gane ke Le-Cat mme rra pina e ya ntshenya,” my friend Odirile Motlhokodise couldn’t contain himself upon hearing the sounds of Slindile Mthinyane’s Uyinkosi some couple of years back. Slindile is just one of the many artists signed under Dan Tshanda’s Dalom Music group.
But there have always been those that have never betrayed their love for the music, like my good cousin Agisanyang Sebele.
Perhaps the most prominent of the self-confessed Splash enthusiasts has to be my other good friend and former legislator, Botsalo Ntuane. It was through his love of the music that I first got a glimpse of the famous Dalom Music groups on stage. Ntuane had employed the services of the group to perform as part of his 2014 National General Elections campaign for his Bonnington South candidacy.
As popular as the music has always been with their multitudes of supporters, Splash has always had its fair share of controversies. This has been largely due to the violence and petty crime perpetrated by some fans at festivals.
So popular is the music amongst its supporters that one even went to the extent of fatally attempting to sneak through the lion’s den at the popular Lions Park resort just so he could catch a glimpse of his favourite Dalom artists.
Having entertained Batswana for the past 31 years it is only fitting that Dan Tshanda and his Dalom group would want to be part of the nation’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
“I have been part of your community for many years and have seen how Botswana has evolved to be one of the leading countries in the music industry,” Dan Tshanda said while introducing the Media to the Dalom’s Splash National Tour at the Grand Palm hotel on Wednesday.
“I can proudly say I have been part of this country’s history.” He said Botswana has always given his music a platform to flourish. He calls the upcoming tour one of the biggest for Splash. Locals, Slizer and Vee will be part of the tour that will also include Dalom Music’s Matshikos, Peacock, and Thabile Mazolwana. Dan Tshanda and Vee also announced they were working on an album together. The pair said they would also travel to Japan where they will get to share the stage later this year. Having sold and performed most of his music on the peripheries anyone maybe forgiven for underestimating Dan Tshanda’s net worth. He however refused to speak about it saying he was not comfortable talking about his money for fear of being victimised by the tax man. Although he stays in hotels when in Botswana the Dalom Music Distributors founder says he owns ‘a few’ houses at the plush Phakalane Estates. “The music industry is unpredictable and it is important that you invest every cent you make out of your music into property. This is the way to go. You cannot go wrong with property,” he once told South Africa’s City Press. His music has spread across borders into other African countries such as Zimbabwe, , Namibia, Swaziland, Nigeria. He has also performed overseas in North America, Australia, England, France, US, Japan and the UK. Dan Tshanda has under his leadership groups and artists including Patricia Majalisa, Matshikos, Dalom Kids, Peacock, etc. Dalom’s Splash National Tour will start in Lobatse on July 22nd, through to Mahalapye, Maun, Gantsi, Jwaneng, and wrapping up in Tsabong on August 6, 2016.