The Arts and Culture community and the nation at large the mourning the passing of the legendary pioneer of the arts and music promoter, Soares DJ Katumbela.
The face behind Streethorn, Katumbela was one of the most recognised and reputable forces of local jazz and his footprints cannot be easily forgotten.
A memorial service for the man affectionately known as SK was slated to take place yesterday (Thursday) at Botswana Craft. A hard worker, and gentle soul, SK always spared time to anyone who wished to talk about the arts and its development locally. At the time of his passing, he was slated to receive a Presidential award during the Independence celebrations.
A genius behind the Re Batswana Music Ensemble concept, he sought to take the local arts to the international scene. And he worked tirelessly on the project that saw the outfit thrilling revellers at venues in China, Switzerland and Sweden. The music and cultural exchange tour programme dates back to 2011, when producer, Katumbela recognised the need and value in promoting local artists abroad. The genesis of the project can be traced to various music trips to Europe that were coordinated by Streethorn.
The trips first started in 2011, when Shanti Lo and John Selolwane performed at the Stockholm Pride Festival in Stockholm, Sweden. The following year, a cultural exchange between Botswana and Swedish musicians followed. Shanti Lo and Selolwane collaborated with Swedish artists at several venues in Stockholm, and facilitated music workshops at Kulturama Arts School and SMI (Stockholm Musikpedagodiska Institute).
It was funded by the Swedish government and supported by Hellsten Hotel. It was extended to Ireland where the duo performed with Irish artists. And through the events, there was a demand for Botswana music.
It was then that Streethorn realised that future trips to Europe ought to involve a larger entourage of local artists.