13 years ago, a 13-year-old Thato Modukanele announced himself on the local entertainment scene, starring as part of the Amanandos dance group that thrilled the nation at My Star. By 2010, now calling himself Chef Gustos, the teen sensation launched his solo music career, cooking up hit after hit.
Ten years later, and the 26-year-old entertainer is still going strong.
How did Chef Gustos keep busy during the various lockdowns?
I spent most of the time in the studio.
I was working on my EP called ‘The Food is Ready’.
I also released a single called ‘My Love’ featuring Dato Saiko early this year.
There was really not much to do and hence I spent most of my time in the studio.
The entertainment industry has been locked down ever since Covid-19 reared its ugly head. Do you think the restrictions in place are fair?
Look it’s been almost a year.
Let that sink in, a year!
We have reached a very emotional space and we can’t take it anymore.
And I say ‘we’ because I speak for others in the same space as I am.
Everything is falling apart.
We don’t have any income; we haven’t been given the relief fund that the government promised us.
It’s really draining and depressing [raises voice].
I am with those who believe that the industry should be opened with immediate effect.
So, keeping in mind lives have been lost, how would you advise the government to address the issue?
Other sectors have been opened and all we are asking for is for the government to allow us to use 50 percent of the venue, with all Covid-19 protocols observed.
How can you allow full capacity in public transport and deny us to use only 50 percent of the venue?
It’s not fair! We see people crowded in shopping malls every day, why not allow us to work?
We are broke and depressed, the government has to save the industry.
Can we expect any imminent new music from you?
Truth is I am always working on something new.
I am always up in the studio working.
I’ve been working on ‘The Food is Ready’ EP and hope to drop another single from it soon – as well as the visuals.
Let’s get personnel, who is your celebrity crush Chef Gustos?
Ahh! Why do you want to know? Well, it is Khumo Kgwaadira aka MissGeeKays.
In your view, who is the hottest entertainer in Botswana right now?
Me. Obviously (laughing).
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
It is the one thing I never fail to do when I open my eyes.
I thank God for a new day and ask for a blessed and productive day ahead.
When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday, when I thought of how broke I am yet I still have responsibilities to meet. God bless our industry.
Five things people don’t know about you?
1. I am a huge believer, I love God
2. I am a very humble and loving guy
3. I love food; food is life!
4. Most people don’t know that I am a little brother to JDe Superstar (Amanandos)
5. I am Kalanga