He has the following of a famous football club, or is it religion? Whenever he plays, Dan Tshanda and Splash attract droves of fans from all over the country. They even nickname him the prophet, and his concert, a church service.
Dan Tshanda is gathering the multitudes again on Saturday at the National Stadium in a rare celebratory event, his 50th birthday celebrations. He might be a Venda from South Africa, but Tshanda and Splash, and all his musical friends from South Africa, have chosen Gaborone as the place where they want to hostthe celebrations for such a memorable occasion.
That Dan Tshanda is big in South Africa is without question. His latest album Delele, has just reached gold status in two weeks, and majority of the buyers are in South Africa, according to Tshanda.
His strong attachment to Botswana cannot be denied either. He has a house here and recently built a recording studio in Gaborone from where he also recorded his latest hit, Delele.
As he celebrates his 50th birthday, Dan Tshanda and Splash fans are will invade Gaborone, this time not just from all over Botswana. The fan clubs in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa have booked buses to travel to Botswana for the occasion. Even a local transport company AT & T Monnakgotla has come on board to transport fans from South Africa.
The Saturday music festival, starting from 8am looks interesting, even to a non-Splash fan. Twelve of some of the best musicians (and Tshanda’s friends) from the 80’s will be performing their classics in Gaborone, they include the jazzy Ray Phiri of Whisper
“ They are my friends, the people I grew up with. They are coming to support a fellow friend and brother,” says Tshanda.
Being able to bring together this team of musical giants from the 80’s has inspired Dan Tshanda to organise a similar annual event like this to bring the faces of the 80’s disco closer to their fans. Tshanda also sees this event as his contribution to stimulating economic activities in Gaborone.
“ It is my small contribution. The sound system is from Botswana, we are hiring 200 security guards for the event; we also hope services such as catering, lodges, and the vendor who sells drinks, food and snacks, will also cash-in on this big event, ”explains Dan.
As the Splash frontman celebrates 50, it is a reminder of not just how far the Splash has come, but also brings to mind the thought thta their loyal fans have also matured- they may be in their 50s as well, or even older.
Dan Tshanda and Splash have released 28 albums since the first release, Peacock. He is one of the few stars from the 80’s who is still relevent and is adored by hordes of fans.