Kabomo Mongweotsile, Mokgweetsi Kabomo and Batladira Radipitse are the winners of the 2016 edition of the Traditional Instruments in the just-ended ninth edition of the President’s Day Celebration competition.
The trio was competing in the categories of Segaba, Setinkane, and Katara. Mongweotsile, Kabomo and Radipitse were crowned winners in the categories of Segaba, Setinkane and Katara respectively. They were battling for the top spots with 21 other performers from across the country. The finals were held at Mantlwaneng Theatre on Thursday evening. A darling to watch and listen to, Kabomo who was representing the Gaborone region, was in his best element, holding his prized possession like it is the last thing on earth that he owned. Performing a song that spoke about witchcraft and how the people of the dark were using him as a donkey to traverse the country, everything about him was just right.
Even though the guitar category went to Radipitse, Sebotso came prepared for war. There is something in the way that Sebotso plays his guitar. Whether he is using the Electric or Acoustic, he still maintains the extraordinary way of strumming the guitar. He played with the experience of someone who has been doing this thing for a long time. Speaking during an interview, Joseph Dikgomo of Botswana Folklore Association said that they were greatly impressed by the level of talent that was displayed.
They had noticed that most of the artists who made it into the finals had polished their acts and were ready to compete. An improvement worth celebrating, is that most of the performers were now going the route of composing their own songs. Others such as Kabomo were taking their performance to a different level. In the past Kabomo used only one hand to serenade the audience, but this time around he used both hands.
He said that others such as Godfrey Moeng and Katane Lucas from the Setinkane category were taking their craft to another level and showed immense growth. “What we have observed is that taking part in the finals exposes them to so many things”. Being in the finals also means that the artists need to really show why they have been given that chance especially for those who were returning to the big platform.“Performers such as Mothoosele Xlalekego, who in his first appearance in the finals was lacking in some departments, has matured and is now a totally different artist,” he said. “He now understands what a Setswana song is all about, and the many components that make it”. Meanwhile he said they used platforms such as the constituency competitions to workshop their members. The recent visits by artists from Japan and Israel also gave their members an opportunity to learn more.