Franco won’t rush into marriage

Franco' Lesokwane
Franco' Lesokwane

Following the death of his wife in 2010, kwasakwasa star Frank ‘Franco’ Lesokwane says he is not in a hurry to get married again.

While he acknowledges dating, Franco tells Showbiz that marriage is not currently on his mind and that he will take his time before committing again.

“I am a man and obviously there is someone but no marriage plans as yet,” he says.

When his wife died, just three years after the two tied the knot, Franco was left shattered with a son he had to single-handedly raise.

“It was difficult for me. Everything seemed to stop right there and then I remembered that I had a little boy that I had to raise and that gave me the strength to bounce back. My boy is now doing Standard One at Gaborone International School.  I am at peace now and my spirit is fine,” he says.

Before getting married his fans had questioned his bachelor status, which led to the release of the track Franco O Nyala Leng.  The old question has popped up again, but Franco is adamant that it will happen only when the time is right.

“Marriage is not in my mind now, but obviously in future I will get married.  It is only that right now I am focusing on building a business empire as well as ensuring that my music career remains on course,” he says.

Musically, Franco has remained relevant even 14 years after he released the album Ke Lela Le Lona. While he is currently not the boom artist he was in the early 2000s, he remains a dominant force in the local kwasakwasa front.

His 14th album Zeng Zeng Ke Eng is due for release at the end of this month.   If early indications are anything to go by, it too is bound to re-affirm him as the king of kwasakwasa. His performance in some of the songs left many excited in Palapye recently.

Explaining the title track, the musician who likes singing in riddles, said that the song was composed after someone heard people make some ‘zeng zeng’ sounds at night near a football field in Mogoditshane.

With 13 albums under his belt Franco has not only earned the respect of music lovers, he has earned wealth too. 

His prosperity has helped him sustain his career even during these hard times where some of his colleagues have closed shop because of piracy.

Franco’s recent albums have not excited fans as his earlier releases such as Ke Lela Le Lona, Khutsanyana and Baa Ntatola have. But the musician denies that he has lost his creativity.

“I have sampled the new album at my recent shows and the response reflects that I still have my creativity.  But I have to correct the perception that my music is no longer appealing.  It is not true because I would have long gone like others. It is a fact that piracy is a world phenomenon, which has effectively killed CD sales, but under the circumstances I would said my last album did well,” he says, without revealing the figures.

By his own admission, he has not reached a stage to be called an international star.  Franco is just happy to have made an impression in neighbouring South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Ironically the former Africa Sounds vocalist says he earns more royalties from Namibia than in Botswana.

“My royalties have ranged between P14,000 and P18,000 over the last three years. In Botswana surprisingly I got only P4,000 in the last distribution (February) and that was a big drop from the P12,000 I got the last time,” he says.

Franco makes hay while the sun is still shinning by investing in other ventures like farming and hospitality.

He acquired several plots including a commercial one in the tourist town of Kasane where he plans to build a lodge.

He is currently developing multi-residential units in another plot in Gabane.

“Having other ways of earning money has helped me sustain myself as a musician because I am not desperate for money from the sales.  But it has been a blessing that I still make good money from live shows, which has helped me keep a permanent band,” he tells Showbiz.

Despite challenges such as piracy Franco says it has never crossed his mind to quit because music has done a lot for him.

“I was a soldier and achieved nothing apart from the fact that the army provided a foundation for me.  Every little thing I have was through music,” he says.

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