There are some folks who are talented but lack a sense of longevity. Some of them are fortunate enough to realize it and attempt to equip themselves with adequate skills to ensure a long lasting progression of self. Some are able to humble themselves or become conscious of their shortcomings. For instance, someone may be able to sing, they have a great voice with a stupendous range but have no composition skills, are tone deaf or posses a skill of improvisation, colloquially known as “free-styling”. Hence, artists such as Zahara, Alicia Keys, Asa or Kay-Zee are respected in their art more than others. Artists that can play musical instruments, compose their own songs or write their own lyrics are true musicians. It is because they have a core comprehension of music, thus owning their art.
I am always in awe of those that I see such as Kago, who occasionally drum for the Stampore Trio or Alfredo Mos’ drummer singing (while drumming); and it is natural all to them. Similarly, artists that make it their mission to conquer three different types of guitars, keyboards and their trick buttons, the hip hop and rock drum kit, musical notation and post-production as in engineering. People such as my former musical director Gavin of the Metrophones project. Gavin, Abdullah Ibrahim, house master and partner for Oskido, Bruce Sebitlo, my favourtie music teacher Alport Mhlanga, Zwai Bala (the Zee in TKZEE), my first marimba teacher Michael Sibanda, Don Laka, Joe Tanyala, Ras Judah, Banjo Mosele – need I go on or has my point come across?
Talent is defined in most dictionaries as the following:
- A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
- Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.
This article is motivated by a number of contributory factors i.e. pushed over songs because you could not pay the producer with the six pack archiving of songs and failure to allocate and utilize the necessary avenues; aspiring, naïve artists, and those with sheer raw talent and the relativity of it all. “Talent is a raw asset, you need to develop it, work hard. Even Beyonce o na le di-korns, she has regular bowel movements every morning but at the end of the day she needs a vocal coach to help her learn. You know to use her talent,” said my sister, during a debate about the theme of the article. Thabile, a friend based in Canada, and a multimedia designer born, raised and global citizen is of the opinion that talent is relative and contextual.
The other aspect that is open to debate is why we do not export ourselves, dumb down and believe that we are restricted. There are two million Batswana, so should we blame our education system? Does it not cater for our raw talent effectively? I remember in high school I got majority as in art, music and drama classes but when applying for sponsorship, I would not be credited accordingly. Question: what are we to do about this debate?
Who is to blame?
Who is to remain sane?
Who is to say?
Who is to call our slavery names?
Who but you? Used… ensue