Internationally acclaimed traditional music songster, Shumba Ratshega hung up his mic three years ago and focused on his ‘spiritual’ journey, so it was a surprise to bump into the man at this year’s installment of Traditional Music Expo (TME).
Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM) sponsors the TME, which is in its 17th year.
Although the expo was postponed because of the strict COVID-19 protocols, this week BIFM surprised TME with a P 10 000 cheque donation to each of the 10 participating artists.
Catching Voice Entertainment’s eye was Ratshega who now goes by the name, Prophet Shumba Ratshega.
Snuggled in the corner as the other musicians exchanged greetings, the songster reluctantly spared a minute to speak to Voice Entertainment after the proceedings.
The musician famous for his explicit Setswana lyrics in his rendition of the then hit song ‘ Loso la Monnamogolo’ confirmed that he was back in the studio- but with much cleaner lyrics.
In an exclusive interview, the songster who now heads the congregation of Umbrella for God is Grace Church (UGCC) says as a born again Christian, he will never perform his old songs again.
“I was going to be the surprise act at this year’s event but unfortunately the event could not happen. I was only going to perform gospel songs. I would never express myself the way I did in the past,” said the Makhirikhiri hitmaker.
Asked to clarify he said, “There is a spirit behind those explicit lyrics. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that type of music, but one can’t serve God and entertain the world at the same time. I won’t let my physical talent to overshadow my spiritual calling.”
Ratshega, who last released an album in 2015, says changing lanes from worldly music to gospel resulted in a financial struggle but he had to forge ahead with his calling.
“I struggled to feed my children but God had a plan for me. People are always calling me, presidents and other members of parliament but No; I will not go back there. I will never perform my old songs again,” he said.
The traditional music heavyweight will soon release his Gospel album.
“I have recorded most of the songs but I am yet to record the title track. I can’t release it at my own time, God has to tell me when, but soon I will release a Gospel album, which will have messages of healing and salvation in the lyrics,” Ratshega said.
Other artists who walked away with P 10 000 from BIFM are Charma Gal, Mafitlhakgosi, Culture Spears, Dikakapa, Solo B, Dr. Vom, Ramozara, Moroka Moreri, and the event MC Big Fish Comfort Ramatebele.