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Jazzing up the food

Thabang’s exciting new venture hits the high notes

Hit hard by Covid-19, Jazz artist, Thabang Garogwe has shifted from the recording studio to the kitchen, temporarily swapping the mic for the apron in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.

Thabang has joined countless Batswana who have found use in open spaces around the capital city and opened a restaurant called, Matlhakung ‘Re Dijo’.

The joint specialises in traditional Setswana cuisine, with the restaurant resembling an old farm kitchen made of dry tree branches.

Since its official opening on 5 February, the business has been booming, with Thabang already having to employ five people to help in serving his customers.

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Speaking to Voice Entertainment, the Jazz legend explained the threat of poverty forced him to think outside the box.

“When the music industry was closed and with nothing to feed my family I had to think very fast because poverty was knocking on my door. I was relying on handouts from well-wishers, family, and friends and had to reinvent myself and there was no better way than Setswana cuisine,” said the ‘Ke a gana’ hit-maker.

Jazzing up the food

SETSWANA CUISINE: Thabang Garogwe

Popular dishes include, “Koko ya Setswana, bogobe jwa lerobe, dikgobe, ditloo, matlebekwane, Phane, Morogo wa dinawa, Morogo wa thebe, Morogo wa dinawa, mosutlhwane le tse dingwe.”

Growing up in Digawana, Thabang said the structure he used (matlhaku) played an important role in his family’s household, as did his mother, who taught him how to cook.

“This experience came very handy because I know how to cook Setswana foods the same way she taught me in Digawana.”

The man with four albums – ‘Ke A Gana’, ‘Moratiwa Nkamogele’, ‘Le Romile Mang’ and ‘Sesame Ke Le Nosi’ – to his name revealed he is open for catering at events such as birthday celebrations, Patlo and Magadi.

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He further noted that even when the industry opens up again, he will not close his kitchen.

“I am also not going to be lost to music, I will do both,” he promised with a smile before rushing to serve more hungry customers.

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