Seuz vows to take South Africans head on

Botswana rapper Seuz is upbeat about taking on his South African counterparts in their own backyard.

Seuz was born Game Goabaone Bantsi at Serowe and is in the country not only to study, but also to exploit what he calls loopholes in the hip-hop fraternity. "South Africa is full of opportunities, but most people don't see them," he says. "Many live in a box, and want to meet certain standards. Township mentality distracts them from achieving their goals.

They are probably embarrassed to be what they want to be, because communities may think that they are fake." The emphasis that flows with his voice convinces that he knows what he is talking about. "I don't have to be like you in order to relate to you. However, we have the same themes in life, we all know love, hate and sadness." He says he is better off because he is armed with education, willpower and has a global perspective of issues. Relating to South African audience would not be a hindrance. "My music is life in general. I can relate to South Africans. Our lifestyle is the same. We are only divided by a border that was created by colonialists."

Seuz's album - Corner Clubs and Churches - should have been released in February, but uncertainties in the music industry has confined it to shelves until further notice. "The delay boils down to lack of control over my material. Sony were supposed to do the distribution and marketing, but they said they did not have enough money to embark on new projects", he laments. "It will be important to have ownership over my material and exercise my freedom. This industry can turn people into slaves." Whatever is holding the album back, Seuz's rapping prowess was measured by the success of his single, Imaginations, last year. The offering was voted song of the year (2006) at YaRona FM. As if that was not enough for a new talent, the track also enjoyed a number one spot on Top 20 best songs of the year on RB 2. He also lent his exotic voice to Hip Hop Pantsula's We Built This City track in the YBA 2 NW album. Shout out to Seuz's old time friends Favi and Charlie whose contribution was also immense.   Ironically, Imagination is an extract from the much-delayed Corner Clubs and Churches album. Seuz points a finger at his recording label, Forensic Record, for the delay. The recording label is owned by Skizo, who made a hit-and-run kwaito album in 1998, leaving his fans bewildered. Remember a track called Tshasa, which features Thebe from Kalawa Jazzmee Records? "My contract with the recording company ends this month, and I'm not going to renew it. I should have released my album in Botswana then South Africa, and not the other way round. I swear it would have sold like hot cakes", he says.  Forensic Records still owns the unreleased material.

Seuz says that the music in the album is a bit of everything, hence he describes it as a cross-over.  "I'm the last born in my family. My mother religiously loves gospel, my father is a fan of country music, my two brothers love hip-hop and dancehall respectively and my sister digs R&B. So, all sorts of music I was exposed to when growing up influenced the album."

He describes the album as a story of his life. "Corner Clubs and Churches, is balanced in terms of life. It reveals positive and negative aspects of my life. I'm a human being, too, I have a bad side and am righteous at the same time. Just like a ying-yang."

Surprisingly, musicians that Seuz aspire to work with are not doing hip-hop. "My dream is to work with Simphiwe Dana." Dana recently scooped four of the most sought after South African Music Awards. "She is real and symbolises honesty, she's just a mother." His love for Vusi Mahlasela's voice is overwhelming. He believes Mahlasela is a traditionalist and a last of the dying breed. "His music embodies a concept of African music artistry."

Machisa adds to the list. "This group is just taking it back to where it started - to the roots, and Johny Kobedi is also my favourite."

It could be difficult to juggle music and studies, but the 21-year-old does not have a problem with that, it's all about time management.  "I take my studies seriously because they add to my music. People who are making it big in this industry are those on the business side. Essentially it's about dividing my time, during the week I concentrate on my studies. But over the weekend or whenever opportunity arises I do my music, it is as simple as all that." Seuz is a second year business and commerce student at Monach University in Johannesburg. He hopes to major in marketing and management and contemplates to add economics and do business law as a sub major.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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