By Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone - A year ago, he was the toast of the Botswana music industry after completing an incredible 1,000km walk, to drum up for support for local artists.
But today, and 2,000km later, Kast has not received similar support with a largely underwhelming walk, this time meant to rally for the formation of a national arts council.
Last year, Kast said he was walking for the local music industry and organised a hugely successful show at the National Stadium, which drew around 20,000 fans.
However, he was often criticised for chasing a personal agenda under the guise of fighting for the rights of local musicians.
Other artists, who performed at his ‘Tlatsa Lebala” (Fill up the stadium) show, were reportedly unpaid, which drew angry responses.
This year, when he announced that he was doubling the distance he walked last year, there was little enthusiasm.
He completed his almost around the country trip a fortnight ago, but a few people bothered to welcome him at the end of his long journey.
He had promised to announce the line-up for Tlatsa Lebala II but that has not happened after the walk failed to generate enough hype. In fact, some people took to social media to criticise Kast for his walks, instead, urging him to produce, and earn a living through music.
“People in the construction industry don’t collect donations to enrich themselves. If you are in the entertainment (industry), make music and make money, don’t ask for handouts,” one critic wrote on Facebook.
But Kast refuted the allegations that he was using what are becoming yearly walks to generate money.
“Our campaigns have nothing to do with soliciting funds or contributions from the public.
In fact, we spend thousands (of pulas) on logistics. While we are walking, those sympathetic to our cause donate, unsolicited, but that’s not why we are on the road. As much as we appreciate such heartfelt support, it’s not even enough to be the exclusive reason for the walk.
“The walk is to demonstrate our dedication and the length we are willing to go to see reform and change in the arts sector.”
There was no immediate response from the musician, known for his hit ‘Sejabana’, released over a decade ago, if this year’s Tlatsa Lebala music show will proceed.
“It is a slow process but quitting will not speed it up,” he posted on his official Tlatsa Lebala page this week.
After a successful debut ‘Fill up the stadium’ show, the hip- hop artist might discover that there is no easy walk to success.