Celebrating Botswana's amazing one-hit wonders

Staff Writer
They gave us amazing songs, songs of the year and brought our hearts happiness, in one album! Most of them, thank God, are not lost to music. They keep on working hard to find that elusive magic that once put them on top of their game. Here we celebrate Botswana's one hit wonders, starting with;

1: Phempeheretlhe (Lekunutu Le Morena)

 It is the album that first proved that indeed local music can sell, when Phempheretlhe, who at the time was completing a diploma course in auto mechanics released what would later prove to be Botswana's first ever successful music album, as it went on to sell over 30 000 copies, according to the singer himself. 

 With songs such as the journey, Lekunutu le Morena, Phempheretlhe became an instant hit with the masses, penetrating even the Mafikeng, South Africa, region. His Gospel music was a hit even in shebeens.

More than six albums had since been released after this one, and all have struggled to stand out as Lekunutu did. Phemphi is still looking for that magic, ten years since his debut.

2: Shumba Ratshega (Makhirikhiri):  When he tried again in his second album and made it with Makhirikhiri, Shumba Ratshega was no doubt the darling of many. Four albums have since followed, with nothing coming close. Shumba estimates his hit album sold over 50,000 copies of CDs only.

3: Momo (Oule): The Comoros Island born artist confesses that he included the song, Oule, originally performed by a Comoros group, Cassav, as a mere filler in his debut album.

In fact, Momo had to wait until the second year of the album's release before he could see the amazing reaction from the local public.

 Oule would then rule the local scene for two years, even penetrating the South African market, prompting one of the leading record labels there to sign him for the next album, which nevertheless failed to match Oule.

Momo visited the then President Festus Mogae, who would then confess how he loved Momo's music, as he received a copy of the Oule album.

4: Socca Moruakgomo (Lefatshe): The seasoned jazz maestro released one killer of an album in 2003, with songs such as Wena, Lefatshe, a beautifully crafted song about various disasters affecting the earth. Thanks to this album Socca, aka 'Mr Rain' was a nominee for the annual SAMA awards in South Africa in 2004. And went on to perform at the annual Harare International Festival of the Arts in 2005, and at the San Fernando Jazz Festive in Trinidad and Tobago. It was Soca's third album, and one hell of a hit. He has since released another

album, Your Smile, with a South African label.

5: Banjo Mosele (Ntsa e jele Ntsanyana): Banjo Mosele's song was top of the local charts for two years (09-10) as the guitarist, for the very first time in his career spanning over 15 years, shook the local scene.  Music critics felt Ntsa e Jele Ntsanyana was the only song worth dancing to on the album.

6: Kgotla (Matshediso):  He may not have bagged any award but the cute looking lad's debut album with the track Matshidiso was one of the most celebrated and beautifully crafted soulful afro-pop songs the country has ever had and it established Kgotla as a force to reckon with last year.  Kgotla went on to release a follow up album this year, but many are still waiting for him to match the Matshediso status.

7: Thuli (Maphutha Dichaba): Thanks to a collaboration with afro-pop singer, Mr Tagg, Thuli's solo alum, Maphutha Dichaba established her as Botswana's first afro-pop  singer of repute. However after bagging awards - thanks to that album - Thuli has been struggling to hit the right chord.

8:Street Gang (Sukunyetsa):  The four G-West boys came from nowhere and soon ruled the scene with their house kwasa hit, Sukunyetsa, and soon disappeared from the scene.

9: Coloza (Mogoditshane Route 7):  With a hell of energetic vocals rivalling Mandoza, this hardcore Gaborone Kwaito sensation left everyone stunned with his hit track, Mogoditshane Route 7. Wicked instrumentation, accompanied by deep 'tsotsi-taal', and unique vocals, Coloza was promising to rule the dance floors.

10: Chris Manto7 (Zwaka Presa): The youngster from Maun came with his characteristic afro hair and took the kwasa-kwasa crazy fans by storm, but it was to be the budding star's first and only memorable hit as Chris Manto7 went on to release several albums, all failing to stamp any authority.

11: Exodus (Masupatsela): They ruled the dance scene with their Masupatsela album that made them a household name. They have never made headlines since.

12: V.S (O Icheke): The rapper with a unique flow in Setswana had everyone raving with his signature song, 'O Icheke' in 2008.

The song's popularity even earned him deals with local cell phone network, as well as seeing him booked for performances as he attracted the urban fans. He has since disappeared.




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