Batswana muso embarks on 2,000km walk

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Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone – Botswana’s hip-hop motswako artist, Kast, who rose to fame with his ‘Tlatsa Lebala’ (fill-up-the-stadium) show last year, is embarking on a 2,000km walk to push for the establishment of an arts council.   

Last year, Kast became the first local artist to fill up the National Stadium in Gaborone, with a local-only line-up. He had walked 1,000km from Maun to Gaborone in order to advertise his show.

However, subsequent ‘Tlatsa Lebala’ shows in the second city of Francistown and Maun were more subdued.

Last week, Kast announced he was embarking on a 2,000km round-the-country journey in order to advocate for the formation of a Botswana Arts Council as well as stage another local only, fill-up-the-stadium show later this year.

His shows have not been without controversy, with some artists saying he had failed to honour financial obligations and instead pocketed all proceeds from the hugely successful Gaborone show.

The latest efforts to walk 2,000km, dubbed ‘Tlatsa Lebala Again ­‑ a 2,000km relay ‑ started in Gaborone on Sunday and is expected to last two months after a round trip, which will take Kast and his walkers to Lobatse, Jwaneng, Ghantsi, Maun, Francistown, Mahalapye, Palapye and back to the capital.

The journey ends on May 22.

“This time, I will not be walking alone. We have engaged Botswana artists and will form teams to hand over to another from town to                                                             town.

“We want to lobby traditional leadership to pass our message to the House of Chiefs as well as members of parliament to expedite the passing of the Arts Council Act in Parliament,” Kast said.

He said the formation of an arts council would drastically transform the arts sector in Botswana.

“Let’s come together and lobby for the betterment of our industry. No one but only us can push for the formation of the much-needed arts council that will see a drastic turnaround in our welfare and the fire of our industry,” he said.

The Arts Council Bill has been tabled in Parliament but rejected in the past and Kast says the rejection has been due to “lack of proper information relayed to (Parliament) for my worthy cause to adopt”.

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