Preserving Stampore talent

Across the world, there are different ways in which fans want to remember their departed icons and legends.And they go to extremes in order to purchase – as memorabilia - items that belonged to such legends. This is not simply to preserve an item belonging to a legend, this also gives them bragging rights.

Various items that usually go on sale at private auctions on websites such as EBay range from anything such as letters, glove sand clothes that they wore to certain shows and anything personal.It is usually during the passing of such a celebrity or icon that these followers get that rare opportunity to buy artists memorabilia that once belonged to someone who they worshipped.

History has it in record that in December last year, Lady Gaga purchased fifty-five items that belonged to the late king of pop, Michael Jackson. Other items that were sold during the auction included the jacket that he wore on the cover of his Bad album and his famous crystal-encrusted gloves. The jacket sold for $250,000 and the gloves hit $100,000 a piece.

In 2009, the famous banned butcher cover of the Beatles became the most expensive memorabilia ever. It carried a prize tag of $11 million dollars.Locally, the passing of the legendary Stampore aka Malefo Mokha has left his fans and the public pondering about what will happen to his most treasured possessions, namely his instruments. BG Style has established that at the time of his passing he left behind a Yamaha and Takamine guitars.

Both guitars are four strings and he is regarded as the only artist to play both guitars the way that he did, in his own special way.If one might be allowed to dream: if an icon such as Stampore came from a landscape where people of his calibre were given the distinction, fame and recognition that they deserve, at the time of his passing he would have been significantly wealthy.

His music would have been in great demand with everyone wanting to own something that belonged to him. But it is business as usual despite the death of a legendary folk musician. One can only hope that in the next coming years, the landscape of the arts and culture would change. If something as remarkable as this were to happen, these two items might be sold for hundreds of thousands and even millions of Pula to interested parties.

Solomon Monyame of Small House Records revealed information about the two guitars. He said that Stampore’s first guitar, the Takamine was purchased by Banjo Mosele. This guitar was the one that he mostly used at shows. His second guitar, the Yamaha was purchased by Small House Records for recording.

“We wanted to record his music with a special guitar and needed something with superior quality. This guitar was used predominately in studio and it belonged to him,” he explained. He also said that being aware that both guitars were a piece of history and should be preserved, they had sat down with Stampore’s wife and discussed the issue.

“We know that there is a possibility that in the coming years, these guitars have a potential as valuable collectors items. They will be kept in studio for safe-keeping. And we are not intending to sell them as Small House Records,” he said. “In the event that anyone develops an interest to buy them, the family particularly his wife, has the right to do that,” he revealed adding that it might take decades before the price of the guitars reached a staggering amount.

He further said that the family has agreed to let them keep both guitars. He also said that in the event that he passed away, they will be returned to the family. “They are not my property and in the event that I pass away they will not appear on the list of my property. And I cannot dispose of them. I am just their custodian,” he said.

He also said that due to the unusual way that Stampore played his guitar, if it ever happened that he bought the guitars, it would be for his collection. This he said was because he plays a six-string guitar as compared to Stampore’s four strings guitars.

However, the National Museum had no arrangement to keep such items in their possession for future generations, Steve Mogotsi said this week.He admitted such an arrangement could come in handy. He also said that it would assist since people would know where they could find them. He also said that in the unlikely event of the late Ratsie Setlhako there was once an issue about the whereabouts of his Segaba. It was eventually located.

“It would also be useful for documenting and people will know that this item belonged to so and so,” he said. Legendary guitarist, John Selolwane also reiterated that such an arrangement was necessary. He also said that there was a need to preserve the items for future generations.

“The way that he played the guitar was very different. He was one of the rare breeds who played it the way that he did. And such information should be documented so that the younger generation will get to learn about his works,” he explained. The Chairperson of the Botswana Folklore Association (BOFA), Joseph Dikgomo believes that there is a need for BOFA to set up committees that will address archiving and welfare of artists.

“Though he was not a member of the association, we need to set up something like this,” he said. Dikgomo also noted that since they were still in their infancy, it was something that they will consider in the future.

He also explained currently they were archiving traditional instruments that they were collecting as they moved around the country and which faced the possibility of diminishing from the scene.
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Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:32

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