Kalahari-the rising Afro-pop sensation


Four years ago, Katlego Tau from Morokolane in Borolong, arrived in Gaborone with nothing but a dream to record an album.

He had read about producers Bullet Ketshabile and Robert Dargie in newspapers and saw them being credited on several album sleeves. He had a strong belief that in order for him to make it as a musician he would have to work with one.

Unfortunately, he had no idea where to find either of the two popular producers but was lucky to get Afro-pop ace Astley Gops’ number who then led him to Ketshabile. His dream of becoming a musician took shape a few months later when he released an Mpaxanga album as Professor Lion, a name derived from his surname.

Excited that the album was finally out, the youngster rushed to copy many CDs with the belief that they would sell like hot cakes. He was, however, in for a big disappointment. Only a few copies were bought.

“I still have loads of those CDs,” he told Showbiz.

In 2013, he told his producer with a lot of conviction that he was destined to change both his trading style and genre of music. The result was “the birth of a new artist” called Kalahari in 2013. Kalahari’s first album was called Botswana and was released in August last year. Within months of its release, the album had done enough to earn him more fans, who were impressed by the artist’s abundant talent.  It was later nominated in the best R&B album category at the Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards later in December.

“That was my first time to enter and to top that, I got some royalties from Cosbots a few months after the release. My gut always told me that I should do Afro-pop and it is paying handsomely. I could have started that way but Bullet persuaded me to do Mpaxanga when I started,” he said.

Kalahari’s love song Shaliana has been received with a lot of excitement by local fans and looks destined to conquer the airwaves. The song is about a relationship that has matured into a marriage between to two longtime lovebirds.

Most rising musicians would have jumped at opportunities to play during the festive shows as a way of marketing but not for Kalahari. “I have decided to focus on corporate shows because I want to brand myself in a particular way.

One other reason why I am not that interested in being part of the shows at clubs and so forth is that they often do little to advance one’s career. Different musicians holding shows at various venues in a small locality and means the fans are divided and each of us are only exposed to a few eyes,” he said.

He feels strongly that local musicians should learn to work together and engage professional promoters for their shows.

The musician says he has been attending shows in South Africa to observe how they operate, and was impressed with their level of professionalism.

“Promoters organise shows, not musicians as is the case here. Imaging organising a show and running into huge costs only to have a few people attend.  Live shows are very expensive but they could be more effective if we did things in a similar way to South Africa, where promoters take care of everything,” he said.

Editor's Comment
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