A number of local artists, media and friends thronged the Sedibeng Lodge in Gaborone on Tuesday night to support their fellow brother in the local music industry, Obakeng Sengwaketse.
For the very first time, Sengwaketse who goes by the stage name Obakeng treated his family, friends and colleagues with beautiful melodies from his new album Ho Tseba Modimo, leaving the audience mesmerised.
The album has 13 tracks in which the 34-year-old singer from Kanye collaborated with other artists. The young artist decided to divert from the gospel music norm to being a more joyous and celebrated album that could attract a fan base from people who prefer different music genres. The beat, sound and vocals in all the songs, together with the collaborations, compliment the young man’s voice. His immense talent and composition of songs has brought a new touch in local gospel music.
The album has songs like Ho Tseba Modimo (title track), Seteng Sediba, Ke A Leboga and Nkarabe (featuring Vusi), At the listening session, Obakeng in collaboration with other artists, featured in some of his songs, left the audience intrigued.
He is signed under Rhuu’s Music Company owned by Reuben Lekoetje who is also his producer and manager. Having being raised in a Christian family, the young artist said his religion inspired him a lot to spread the gospel through music. He said he aimed to change the face of the local gospel music as he had realised that a lot of people were not giving local gospel music the attention it deserved.
“I went through storms and storms but I have learnt a lot from them. I believe that I can fill Molapo Stanbic Piazza. I believe my launch will be successful. I intend to bring change to the gospel music and unlike some gospel artists, I want to practice what I preach. I have realised that many gospel singers don’t practice what they preach. I have made a vow before God to abide by his rules,” he said.
He further thanked Vee Mampeezy for being his main sponsor after assisting him with more than P60,000. Other local artist who lent their support and made the album a success includes Ashley Gops and others.
Botswana Musician Union (BOMU) president Pagson Ntsie commended Obakeng for igniting a spark on the local gospel music genre. He pointed out that he had been concerned about the local gospel music genre’s lack of growth. “We have social illnesses that need gospel artists to minister and address such as drug abuse and unprotected sex. We hope that you will contribute to the fight against those social ills,” he said. He further pointed out that he was proud of Obakeng for his determination, aspiration and hard work to face the hardships he encountered in life that he eventually overcame.
Obakeng’s elder brother, Peter Sengwaketse said his brothers’ love for music started at a tender age. He said even though his brother in the past failed to release some albums that did not demoralise him. However, he pointed out that Ho Tseba Modimo was a great album saying that he was confident it would sell.