The legendary KTM Choir celebrated their 25th anniversary at the GICC with a concert that took many choral lovers down memory lane of the glory years of Diphalana.
The sold out black-tie gala dinner was billed to be graced by President Mokgweetsi Masisi and First Lady Neo Masisi but they cancelled due “other government engagements”.
The long hour wait and disappointment of the first family not pitching were quickly forgotten when KTM Choir, conducted by Luka Disho went into a song.
In the first part of the show before the speech fillers and dinner, the choir started with three songs, Thapa Diatla, Re Dibini and Botswana.
The singers included some of the surviving original members of the choir who donned black dresses (women) while the gorgeous youthful contemporary members in long flowing gowns moved beautifully to Re Dibini.
After dinner and speeches, KTM Choir also known as Diphalana returned on stage and belted out 1990s’ songs that brought them fame.
Songs like Tsatsi Ke Lele, Gake Bate Go Nyala Kwa Ga Ngwaketse, Lerotse and Nylon elicited so much nostalgia inside the venue as most old timers relieved the years when KTM Choir was a globetrotter and powerhouse under the late conductor, composer and co-cofounder Gomolemo Motswaledi.
One of the products of KTM Choir who says his music career was birthed and nurtured by the choir, Lizibo Simon paid his
Clad in his black and white floral ‘lucky jacket’, the pint-sized singer performed his famous hits Like Malome and Malebeswa with the choir. Lizibo said KTM’s Gurunjiba was the song that inspired him to make songs in his mother language of Ikalanga. Lizibo also gave other KTM’s leading conductors to show the journey of the choir, like Gaone Seitshiro who did a beautiful rendition of Mma Ntshware.
Later in the night, the choir returned for some Marabi section with women wearing traditional blue Mateise skirts and white KTM t-shirts emblazoned ‘Diphalana 93’.
After they finally did Tsibirobi, with that sharp hair-raising soprano, some old-timers who had been eagerly awaiting it, finally stood up, proclaiming their satisfaction and then called it a night.
At the end, KTM Choir brought out all the closet choristers as they joined the audience in a mass of songs including Mahipihipi and Mpoledisa.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Thuso Ramodimoosi gave the keynote speech from President Masisi.
In the speech, Masisi paid tribute to KTM Choir founder Gomolemo Motswaledi. He also applauded the choir’s contribution in the country’s growth of the creative arts.