Uncle Shima: Gabz Fm Jazz Maestro Bows Out

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After serving and steering the Jazz Sunday show at Gabz Fm dubbed ‘The Joy of Jazz Fusion’ for 18 years, legendary presenter, Shima Monageng, popularly known as Uncle Shima finally bowed out of the radio station.

Monageng doubles as a politician and the owner of Millenium Jazz Restaurant; a sole live host of jazz music bands and/or performers.

Yesterday marked the legend’s last show on air; the departure also marking 25th years of radio presenting, seven years of which was served at RB2 and the remaining 18 years at Gabz Fm.

“Everything has a beginning and an end. It has been a pleasant and fulfilling road. The station is undergoing a restructuring phase and we mutually agreed to part ways,” he said.

Uncle Shima intimated to Showtime that his love for jazz music evolved from the Soweto rising era when South African citizens sought refuge in Botswana.

He said the refugees who back then went to the same school as him, Kgari Sechele Senior Secondary School, brought and introduced the music genre that was uncommon amongst the locals back in the days.

“South African students were different, they played music we didn’t know and they were considered and instantly became a hit with the ladies,” he narrated.

“I befriended the South African legion and my perspective on music changed forever. I still cherish those years at Kgari Schele Secondary where I first heard of legends like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and others.” he said.

Monageng noted that his primary involvement on radio was to teach, entertain and promote music of local jazz artistes by interviewing and playing their music.

He describes jazz as “a serious stuff, a kind of genre listened to by people who look beyond their noses and sometimes sophisticated. Even the greatest of the music take it seriously to the extent that they studied at universities up to PhD level”.

Monageng strongly feels that a jazz show on radio has to be presented by an experienced person with unparalleled knowledge of the genre since it’s a cultural art form.

He gave example of Brenda Sesane at Khaya FM and Nothemba Madumo who is currently with Metro FM while locally he remembers Bapasi Mphusu, Lesole Obonye and the late Soares Katumbela.

“In my 25 years on the airwaves, there have been ups and downs, but I would rather focus on career highlights.

One of my proudest achievements is that I have interviewed almost all local jazz artistes and has played a meaningful role in launching and promoting their music careers. I met and contributed immaculately to the likes of Kearoma, Lister Boleseng, Punah, just to mention a few,” said Uncle Shima.

He also said he has interviewed international jazz stars like Sadao Watanabe, George Benson, Kirk Whalum and many other renowned South African artistes.

He said one of his biggest moments for him was when together with Bro ED, who hosted a jazz show for Radio BOP in South Africa, broadcast live from Gaborone Club.

When asked about future endeavours, Uncle Shima said he shall sit back, reminisce and listen to various jazz shows locally and abroad on Sundays and relax with his family.

“I will re-live, enjoy and celebrate the achievemens attained during the last 25 years on radio, and listen to jazz radio shows that I formerly could not listen to as they clashed with my show. I will continue to be involved in jazz activities especially on Sunday afternoons,” said Uncle Shima, who brought the South African Jazz legend Johny Mokhali to Millenium Jazz Restaurant yesterday.

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