Hampton Jazz Fest . . . Classic music fans brace for Keita, Ocean show

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Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone – The mature and well-to-do show-goers will be taken down memory lane as yesteryear R & B star, Billy Ocean headlines the Hampton Jazz Festival in Gaborone on Saturday.   

Ocean, one of the most recognisable music faces in the 1970s and 1980s, will lead a powerful line-up which also has other international acts, Afro-pop singer Salif Keita from Mali and South Africa’s Amanda Black, Bhudaza, Nathi and Zahara.

Fresh from the disappointment of failing to see English singer, Seal perform locally after a botched contract, Billy Ocean is expected to provide the soothing moment at the Duma FM grounds.

The cheapest ticket costs P400, and is sold out while the most expensive seat costs P3,500.

The organisers had to overcome a permit hitch after the local authority, the Gaborone City Council, revoked a licence allowing the show to go beyond midnight.

Instead of going on until Sunday morning, the organisers would be forced to close the show around 02h00 owing to Botswana’s entertainment laws. Shows cannot go beyond 02h00 unless a special permit is granted.

Fans will also be able to see home-grown talent, as there is a long line-up of local acts, which includes jazz maestro Soccer Maruakgomo, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Shati Lo, Thabang Garogwe and veteran Ika-jazz

artist, Ndingo Johwa.

Although it is a show targeting the mature revellers, the organisers did not want to leave out Botswana’s man of the moment, ATI, who is in the line-up.

The “Khiring Khorong” hitmaker has been in every worthy line-up since releasing the chartbuster in July last year.

Despite the long list of local and international acts, all eyes will be on 68-year-old Billy Ocean, who is expected to play his popular hits, including the smash hit, “Caribbean Queen”.

Billy Ocean was born in Trinidad but moved to London at an early age. The headliner, however, will face stiff competition from Salif Keita, who is known worldwide for hits such as “Africa”. 

Bhudaza was a regular and popular feature in the mid-2000s after he released the runaway success, “Bo Mapefane”, and the Mosotho still has the energy to pack a punch.

Zahara needs no introduction to Botswana fans, as her debut album, “Loliwe” became an overnight success, while Nathi and Amanda Black, have a battle on their hands.

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