In the heady days of early 2000s, traditional music ruled the roost as one of the country’s fashionable music genres.
So popular was the genre, it got exported abroad with likes of Shumba Ratshega, Ditiro Leero, Gong Master, Culture Spears and Matsieng to name a few getting international bookings, in the process becoming global household names.
During that era, CDs sold like fat cakes, with the music dominating local airplays. However, something happened and the popularity of the genre waned.
In the recent times, there has never been a traditional music song that brought the country to a standstill. Until just last month, hearing a conversation over a newly-released traditional song was unusual.
However, that was before Kabelo ‘Kulenyane’ Mogwe and Magdeline ‘Charma Gal’ Lesolebe, former lead singers of a once powerful traditional group, Culture Spears collaborated to release a hit called Sibi.
The two as well as former member, Thembeni had stopped releasing albums under the Culture Spears brand but were enjoying solo careers.
The song is in an album released by Kulenyane as a solo artist, and he features Charma Gal. Sibi is a typical Culture Spears type of hit and it brings back memories of the past before the group broke up.
It is at the level of past hits such as Kulenyane, Khudu, Kueletsana and Jeremane and others that got the nation talking.
Since its release, many people have taken to social media expressing their excitement and calling for the group to re-unite and release an album. It showed that traditional music enthusiasts have missed the ex-couple’s combination.
Explaining the song to Arts & Culture, Mogwe said the offering has the message storyline just like some of their past hit songs released under the Culture Spears stable.
“This song talks about people who make a living out of
He said despite being released at a time when the market is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the album is doing well and Sibi seems to be at the centre of the album’s success.
Mogwe said contrary to popular belief that Charma gal and Thembeni had left Culture Spears that was not the case. He explained that the two remained part of the group even though they were releasing solo music.
“That’s why I also released solo under Kulenyane. Culture Spears has not released since the Kokomchane album. We can only release when all members are present. For now I can’t say when the next Culture Spears album will be released but we are working on something. I admit that it wouldn’t be nice releasing an album without the voices of Thembeni and Charma Gal under Culture Spears name,” he added.
He also said the fact that he was able to work together with other members of Culture Spears on his music shows that they remained an unbreakable force. Charma Gal and Mogwe’s voices have complemented each other producing some of the best traditional songs.
As a solo artist under the Kulenyane brand, Mogwe has released three albums, which are Dibeisane, Lebante and the freshl- dropped Didimala Moratiwa, which has Sibi.
Kabelo said Batswana would still hear more of their beautiful voices together, as he promised the return of the once most powerful traditional troupe.