Mmegi Online :: Jazz legend Malombo laid to rest
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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Jazz legend Malombo laid to rest

Legendary jazzman Malombo Mmereki, who died recently, was laid to rest at the Phomolong Memorial Park in Phakalane on Saturday.
By Staff Writer Mon 19 Nov 2018, 08:06 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Jazz legend Malombo laid to rest








Several speakers praised Mmereki  who founded the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) dance groups.  At the time of his death, Mmereki had already retired from BDF.

Norway-based Banjo Mosele spoke about his long time relationship with Mmereki who used to play for some of the country's pioneering groups.  Mosele and Mmereki worked on a number of projects together.  Mmereki also featured on Mosele's hit track, Ntsa E Jele Ntsanyana.  He also features on Mosele's latest album, Across Equator. 

Describing Mmereki as a straight forward person, Mosele told mourners that he regarded him as a brother and close friend.  Mosele said last year they were invited to perform in Japan where they accompanied President Ian Khama during his official visit to Tokyo.  He spoke of how Mmereki would do the groundwork for him in Norway.  If they were organising anything, it was Mmereki who would do the running around, he said. 

Mosele added that since the promoters here pay artists late, Mmereki would collect the money for him and wire his share to Norway.  To Mosele, Mmereki's death is a great loss.  He said they were planning to work together on Mmereki's second album at the time of his death.

David Phale, who was one Mmereki's band members at BDF, recalled their days in the army band.

And Mmereki's boyhood friend, Sebopeng City Pheto,

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spoke about their early days when they were growing up in Gaborone.   Pheto said he could have gone into music himself, but his parents would not have it because of their Christian faith.  But this did not deter him from supporting Mmereki in his music shows.  Pheto recalled that they were always together when Mmereki was organising shows.

He said Mmereki joined Originals from Scarers.  He said during that time, Originals vocalist Steve Kuhlmann could not sing because he had lost his voice.  It was then that the unknown Mmereki got his chance.  Mmereki sang so brilliantly that the band decided to keep him.  That's how he became a member of the Originals.

Pheto said Mmereki always wanted to do a good job whenever he was performing. 

"During the break, he would always ask me: 'How is the show?'"

Pheto said that during the old days, the artists would camp over night when they were supposed to have a show the following day.  To him, this shows that old musicians were committed to their craft.

He said Mmereki was always promoting his shows.  If scheduled to stage a show in Gaborone, he would even go as far as Francistown to promote it.

Other speakers included representatives of the Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) and the Botswana Defence Force Retired Officers Association.

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