Festival Opening Night, A Review by Rethabile Mpatane
April 12, 2018: the start of the 2018 Maitisong Festival, the day that we’ve been waiting for. After months of preparation and many hours of rehearsal, the day arrived and it was beyond amazing.
Before doors opened, there was an all too familiar, nervous but excited buzz of energy emanating from most, if not all, who were present. Performers were getting ready to showcase their talent and hundreds of audience members came to experience the magic of the arts. It was packed house, which was quite encouraging because it showed how much Batswana enjoy and support the Arts. Several VIPs were in attendance, such as the Honorable First Lady Ms Neo Masisi, the Mayor of Gaborone Mr Kagiso Thutlwe, former Maitisong Directors, David Slater, Gao Lemmenyane and Ditsala tsa Maitisong to name a few.
For this year’s Festival, the theme is Lore Lo Ojwa Lo Sale Metsi, to show the importance of supporting young and local artists. With this in mind, the show combined cultural and modern elements, reflecting on them to show what they mean to Batswana and youth in Botswana.
Hosted by Dollar Mac and Ratie Kefitlhile, the evening began with beautiful music from the extremely talented Maru-a-Pula School Marimba Band. There were opening remarks by Mr Slater and the Mayor, who both touched on the History of Maitisong, the contribution it has made to the arts thus far and how we can continue to support local talent in Botswana. Their remarks helped to set the tone for what to expect during the Festival.
Songbirds Jordan Moozy and Katlego Ntirang, whose performances were breathtaking, sang the theme song alongside the choir and band. There were also amazing, multitalented dancers and an engaging poetry recital, which fit perfectly with the festival theme. The entire performance was electrifying. It invoked a lot of emotion. It was aesthetically pleasing and just simply magnetizing. You just had to be there to witness it.
The Opening Night was just amazing and worth getting a ticket for. It definitely set the tone for the Festival and showed the audience that supporting the Arts is a thoroughly entertaining and worthwhile experience.
She knew that her people had been treated as second-class citizens in Botswana but she never thought that one day she would also experience this gross injustice herself. She had heard the stories of the San herd boys who had been sjamboked to death. She had never thought that in her life she would be forced by those who felt they were more powerful than her to forfeit her only sons, the seed of her womb.
- Block bookings
- P150 for two tickets
- P50 for students
Directed By: Tshepiso Marumo
Languages: Setswana and English
Age Restriction: All
Running Time: 90 minutes
Company: Gaborone Youth Singers
This concert will feature extracts from various famous operas such as Willem Tell: Italian Googliemo by G. Rossini and Norma by V. Belini. Marabi. It will also feature performances by trained professional soloists.
Tickets: P60; available at Webtickets
Once Upon a Playground
Directed By: Douglas Newell
Written By: Jack Frakes
Cast: Baeng Moeng, Tuduetso Khumalo, Refilwe Seema, Kgancho Moncho, Malebogo Kgatlwane, Pelotlhomogi Tswanatso, Jina Mabutho, Entle Pheko and Norma Nlanda
Age Restriction: All
Running Time: 30 minutes
Company: Arts 4 Everyone, Marung Productions and the Overseas Theatre Works
Once Upon a Playground is a humorous, one-act play with the universal theme of wanting to make friends. It is perfect for families everywhere.
Music: Traditional, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Choral
Directed By: Tefo Paya
Cast: Samantha Mogwe, Jordan Moozy, Katlego “Seiko” Ntirang, and the Maru-a-Pula School Marimba Band & Choir
Age Restriction: All
Running Time: 120 minutes (2-hours)
Lore lo ojwa lo sale metsi; fa le kwakwaletse lo a robega. A Setswana proverb that means, “Mould the plant while it is still young and supple for when it is older and hardened, it will break.”
This year’s Festival Opening Night will embrace the practice of instilling the older generation’s wisdom in the youth. Featuring performances by a cast of young, vibrant musicians, the evening will highlight the Festival’s influence on Botswana’s art industry today and how we, as the audience, can nurture and support the existing talent.
Join us for an evening of live music, where tradition and modernity will meet, creating an atmosphere of soothing tones and unforgettable melodies.
Ticket: 120 (standard) / P200 (VIP – complementary refreshments included) / P60 (students and children under 18).
Morongoa Basadi Mosetlhi, affectionately known as Moe, joined Maru-a-Pula School as Communications Co-Ordinator in January 2017. Her interest in the arts comes from her maternal grandmother, who was a radio presenter for RB1 in the 90s and made pottery as a hobby. From an early age, her first love was writing but, having parents who are bankers, she chose to study for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional qualification at the Botswana Accountancy College. During that time, she co-founded Art of the Soul Organization, a non-profit organization aimed at engaging youth through the arts. She also gained extensive experience as a Financial Accountant, Tax & Management Consultant.
Morongoa’s artistic career began in 2009 when she was cast for the local TV drama Re Bina Mmogo. It has grown extensively to include Aldo Brincat’s Passion Play, the Maitisong Festival, Gaborone Music and Culture Week (GIMC), and Maun International Arts Festival. Behind the stage, she has assisted in the management, planning and production of shows for various artists. She is a featured poet with Badisha Poetry X-Change and on South African Jazz musician Thuto Motsemme’s My Dream.
Through her work with MaP and Maitisong, Morongoa has enjoyed widespread and invaluable exposure to the other side of the arts. She believes in living a life that is an inspiration to others. She hopes to, one day, use the collective experience gained over the years to make a real contribution to the local arts industry. In addition, she would like to visit a Tibetan Monastery and live to see Africa become a united and stable community.
A Review by Rethabile Mpatane
There are a lot jazz shows and live musical performances that can be life changing and simply exciting but the question here is, did this show make the list? It Has to Be Jazz is the name of the band but it can also be seen as a movement. According to their website, “It Has to Be Jazz project is a gift of love from a father to a son. The project remained a concept for a while – waiting for the right opportunity to be explored and implemented.” This is the main reason why they performed this show.
On Saturday 10 March 2018, the Maitisong theatre doors were to open at 6:30pm for their show, which included a first time screening of their documentary “It has to be Jazz: A New Generation”, as well as a live performance of their band. The documentary was really enjoyable mainly because it wasn’t too hard to understand the style and sound of the music. Non jazz listeners and new listeners of It Has To Be Jazz could understand the content easily and they would find the music appealing. The documentary was self-explanatory and engaging. It included the purposes of the movement and it showed how involved they are with youth development, in terms of jazz. A wide variety of different people spoke on the movement and what it means to them. The speakers were a South African radio personality, a Bassist teacher, audio technicians, two local Batswana youth and even the director of Maitisong. It was a beautiful blend of old and young talent. The main theme was “Know your change” due to their desire to be musicians that makes a difference, that understand the music, and know why they play. This ‘New Generation’ is a testament to the past great fathers of jazz. It allows the band members to see the appreciation of jazz through young people.
The next, and most amazing, part of the show was the live band performance. The band consisted of a pianist, drummer, bassist and saxophonist and, of course, a singer. The second part of the show kicked off with a poetic, and musical tribute to Women’s International Day. The music was spectacular. It was the best way to show the content in the documentary. It was rhythmic, powerful, soulful and interactive. The music speaks for itself and every instrument tells you a story consisting of opulent highs and smooth lows while being accompanied by a singer with a beautiful voice. You just can’t help moving along to the music while in your seat.
Overall, It Has to Be Jazz: New Generation-Documentary Preview Screening was an amazing event and a worthwhile show to go to. The Documentary was a good watch and was put together well and the live music was excellent. I would give it a four, out of 5 stars.
Songstress Samantha Mogwe is a Motswana-Zambian who fuses the elements of Neo Soul and Rythm and Blues. She was exposed to music at an early age and encouraged to tell stories through music, writing and poetry. She is a multifaceted individual who places great value on education and re-invention. She holds a degree in Theology, from the Baptist Theological College in Randburg, and is currently studying music and singing with the Trinity College of London.
The starlet holds a number of accolades including being the only Motswana to make the Top 24 of African Idols, sharing the stage with international artists such The Soil, Lira, Hugh Masekela, Joe Thomas and Kenny Latimore, speaking at the 2017 Ted-X Gaborone Conference and winning a YAMA (Yarona FM Music Award) for Best Female Artist in 2014 and a BOMU (Botswana Music Award) for Best Packaged Album of 2015.
Written & Directed By: Lydia Ntsohi
Cast: Lehlohonolo Tumelo, Sonwabile Ngxito, Vusi Moyo, Olebogeng Ntshabele, Ipeleng Maifala, Jabulani Dabula, Mbali Hope Shanti
Languages: English & Setswana
Age Restriction: 10+
Running Time: 55 minutes
Company: Lydimelo Projects
Son of David is a musical that depicts the life of a Pastor, who has two sons of different sexual orientations. The story analyses the relationship between faith and social issues.
Music: Neo-Soul, Rhythm and Blues and Soul
Written By: Tebogo Gaetsewe
Directed By: Tebogo Gaetsewe
Musical Director: Lamech Nwako
Cast: Wynton Senwelo, Otlhomame Motlaleng, Cedric Ncube, Legako Sola, and Lamech Nwako
Age Restriction: All
Running Time: 90 minutes (1 hr 30 minutes)
Have you ever wondered how a music show becomes what is it? Well, here's a chance to
see what really goes on during preparations for a show…The concept, the money, the work,
and the magic. This is just a glimpse of all the blood, sweat and tears that artists go through
to give the audience their money's worth. The synergy of the no-nonsense music director;
the spunky drummer; the shy bassist; the popular guitarist; and the young, sweet backing
vocalist is fused together by the bubbly lead vocalist. All of these uniquely talented
personalities are woven harmoniously as Debbie with a T presents It's All In The Rehearsal.
Ticket Prices: P150 (P75 for U12; Free for U5)
Facebook: Tebbie Gaetsewe / Debbie with a T
Twitter: Debbie with a T
Instagram: Debbie with a T