Have you ever imagined what the recently gone festive season would have been like had the COVID-19 pandemic not hit the world last year? Well, that is a question I asked myself when I listened to Han C and Charma Gal’s banger called Itsatsaula.
The song was released during the festive season but the visual done by the hot videographer at the moment Cyc Jouzy were only released a week ago. Obviously when one brings together the best vocalists in Botswana in Han C and Charma Gal something ought to give. Raptured Roots produced the song and they did wonders to come up with that vibey feel.
But it is only when you get to see the Itsatsaula music video when you will get to appreciate how talented these combinations of creatives are and how the pandemic robbed them of what could have potentially been the song of the festive season.
Some people possibly have never heard the song nor seen the video and maybe understandingly so since South African dance queen Makhadzi was driving music lovers crazy with the Kokohva album during the festive season.
Now back to what could have been a festive hit, Itsatsaula is a song that celebrates returning home for the holidays and memorable road trips. Since people had not been able to visit their home villages because of lockdowns it was only relevant that the singers came up with a song like that. “Tsela e budule ke gopotse gae,” is part of the song lyrics but ironically people were not encouraged to travel so the traditional trips of returning home for the holidays were not as ideal not as it should have been, people left Gaborone in a rush.
“Ke phuthile mesobane, ke boela gae gongwe pelo yame e tla wela (I have packed my bags and I am returning home maybe my heart will settle)” says part of the song lyrics. With the curfews in place during the holiday season the pandemic continued to make life
This was no normal festive season, the mood was somber, there were challenges at every turn, it was clear that the holidays were not in full swing so Charma Gal and Han C managed to remind people that very soon they will get to enjoy those long drive road trips back to their home villages. Even Cyc Jouz’s drone shots showing Han C and dancers dancing on the road side reminds one of the old days before the new normal.
Cyc Jouzy also managed to capture those road stops at the Tropic of Capricorn along the road. Perhaps when the duo of Han C and Charma Ga wrote the song they thought restrictions would ease around the country as the prospect of travel beckoned.
Unlike songwriters, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert who in late 1970 wrote the classic country hit ‘Take me home, country roads’ as they were driving to a family reunion, Han C and Charma Gal were solely relying on past holidays memories in coming up with the lyrics.
Mind you the words Itsatsaula can broadly mean a lot of things among others joyful dancing and generally unrestricted fun or euphoria. “Tsela e ke e tsamayang e tletse mesetlho,” sings Han C as he suggests that now that the pandemic is here, the road has more challenges and obstacles.
Of course many Batswana managed to drive through winding roads to their home villages but Itsatsaula will always remind us of what could have been and hopeful with 11 months until December one can hope that this could never repeat and perhaps people could finally ‘Itsatsaula’ as they traditionally do.