Veterans, Ngoni and Mkhuhlani to exhibit in the Ghetto
In 2018 Keoagile ‘Spokes’Bonang had a dream of putting together a detailed book about Francistown and the city’s surrounding.
Unfortunately for the larger-than-life Mmegi photographer, no one bought into his dream.
“No one was willing to sponsor the project, so I had to suspend it,” he told Voice Entertainment in an exclusive interview this week.
The temporary setback, however, could not derail Bonang’s vision.
At the start of the year, he conceptualised the Francistown Arts Meeting, an exhibition that would shine a spotlight on visual artists in the second city and around Botswana.
“I knocked on many doors to sell this idea and eventually Mascom Wireless gave us a positive response with a P76, 000, sponsorship for the three-day exhibition,” explained the experienced cameraman, adding the sponsorship was unveiled at the inaugural MascomBatanani walk last month.
Bonang had initially wanted to go it alone, but realised collaboratingwith a colleague could bear richer fruits.
Thus he decided to rope in Mpho Hakim,a Francistown-based photographer from Sunday Standard.
Bonang is quick to statehe was inspired by fellow photojournalists, PakoLesejane and Thalefang Charles, who recently held exhibitions of their own.
“Their exhibitions lit a spark and I immediately knew what I had to do!”
Scheduled for 28 – 30 November, The Francistown Arts Meeting will feature at least 35 visual artists.
“For two days it will be indoor at the Civic Centre and on the third day the exhibition will move to the Kenneth Nkhwa Interchange,” revealed Bonang, disclosing that five categories, namely: painting, photography, sculpting, drawing and string art will be represented.
“Currently we have registered 25 exhibitors and hopefully more will come. We’ll also have three guests exhibitors in the renowned Wilson Ngoni, Obed Mkhuhlani and Loretta Mekgwe,” he said, adding that they also have two spots for student artists.
“We believe if these youngsters rub shoulders with the likes of Ngoni, it’ll go a long way in shaping their artistic excellence. Ngoni is currently exhibiting in Germany and he’ll be here to share his wealth of knowledge with Francistown people,” continued the bubbly Bonang.
He said the exhibition, which he plans to grow into an annual event, was designed to give visual artists a rare platform to come together and show the world what they are capable of.
“Unlike performing arts, visual artists seem to be marginalised. That is why registration is free and mounting boards are given freely. We may include other forms of arts like fashion as the event grows,” he said.
Looking to the future, Bonang plans to grow the initiative beyond the borders of Botswana.
“Neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe have similar events. We hope that as time progresses some of our exhibitors will be given an opportunity to take their art to recognisable exhibitions in countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
With just 27 days left before the inaugural exhibition,Bonang said they are still in negotiations with the Francistown City Council on a mural they intend to design for the city as a thank you.
“We are planning a 8mx5m mural featuring Kenneth Nkhwa, ObedChilume, Phillip Matante and John Selolwane who we feel is also a Francistown native and deserve recognition for the role he has played in growing the arts.
“It is an idea we hope our authorities will consider. However, if they don’t the exhibition will go on and we call on Botswana to come in large numbers to appreciate local art,” concluded the lens-man, flashing a smile as bright as the colourful pictures he is famous for.
More-fire for Mao-fit
More Fire and the Unique Stars, a Kwasa-Kwasa band that slowly crept up the ladder of the industry has released a new single titled ‘Maofit’, in reference to the notorious Honda Fit hatchback.
The new single will definitely enhance the artist and his band’s growing reputation in the popular genre. Born Lungisani Marudu in Tutume, More Fire wrote the song to pay tribute to a car that made news headlines in Botswana and the neighbouring countries. Released on 2nd February, on his birthday, ‘Maofit’ was recorded at Noble Sound Studio in Gaborone.
“Maofit as many call it is a legend in this country. The car has made a name for itself and is definitely dominating the market. It holds the record for over speeding, overloading, reckless overtaking and any other thing you can think of. I just love the car that is why I recorded this song,” he said.
The Tutume native and his band Unique Stars have been in the music industry for 13 years, recording their first album “Ndo ku tshamba” in 2007. They recorded four more albums ‘Obone koo’ (2010), ‘Theka la tshwene’ (2015), ‘Ke boela gae’ (2016) and ‘Talente’ in 2019.
“My wish is to be successful so I’ll be able to donate to the needy. It is something I’ve been doing for a while, and with more success in my music career I’d be able to continue helping the less privileged,” he said.
Gorilla in the Zoe
You’d think not carrying a loaded gun at an airport checkpoint would be a no-brainer, but it’s a lesson rapper Gorilla Zoe has learned the hard way, at least according to cops.
A spokesperson for Miami-Dade jail said cops responded to a checkpoint at Miami International Airport around 11 PM Monday night where a TSA supervisor told them the rapper tried entering a checkpoint with a loaded.
380 caliber pistol in his carry-on.
It was reported that it didn’t take long for cops to secure the firearm and arrest Zoe for carrying a concealed weapon.
Now, he does have a concealed carry permit, but cops say it’s suspended.
He was booked at Miami-Dade jail, and released around 5 AM after posting a US$500 (P5, 000) bond.
Young Author Pens Kofi Annan tribute
Freelance journalist and acclaimed local author, 26-year-old Khumoetsile Magonare has published a book titled ‘Kofi Annan, An African Dream’.
The book is a fitting tribute to the former United Nations Secretary General and tells the story of his life, leadership and quotes that inspired the world.
The Ghanaian diplomat, a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, passed away at the age of 80 back in August 2018.
Devastated by his death, the young author managed to find productivity in her pain.
“I was mourning as the rest of the world but developed an inspiration which became a dream during the grieving period. I took my diary and wrote down the idea and that is how this book came up,” explained the Pitsane native in a brief interview with Voice Entertainment.
Khumoetsile, as the wordsmith is widely known, described Kofi Annan’s quotes as a living testimony to the life he lead.
“He was an example to all and his quotes emphasise his faith in the youth. He believed in the minds and existence of young people to make a change.”
One of the quotes chronicled in the book reads, “Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.”
Another quote that stands out is, ‘We are not only responsible for each others security. We are also in some measure responsible for each others welfare.’
“This is a book anyone can pick up in the morning and flip open on any page while taking a cup of coffee. It’s a must have for motivation,” stressed Khumoetsile whose previous work includes ‘A Pillar of Hope’ as well as co-authoring ‘The Reality Check’ with Nlingi Simon.
“Apart from writing books I am the founder and host of ‘The Truth With Khumo’ which is found online or on Facebook,” continued the creative, whose prowess with the pen is matched by her mastery of the spoken word.
Retailing for P200, ‘Kofi Annan, An African Dream’ is set to hit local bookshops by the end of the month.