Ringo eases into Tuku’s boots …pulls a bumper crowd in Botswana

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Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone
- While his eyes are firmly set on a seat in South Africa's parliament, Ringo Madlingozi proved he is still a force to reckon with on the musical stage after pulling a bumper crowd in his recent visit to Botswana last week Friday.
Ringo has been earmarked by South Africa's opposition, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), to take up a seat in parliament, but that has not slowed down his music vibrancy.
He made his latest trip to Gaborone last week Friday, for the year's Mascom Live Sessions opener and showed that besides one eye on politics, he still has the dazzling stage presence.
The Live Sessions were left crying out for a headliner following the death of Zimbabwean legend, Oliver Mtukudzi early this year.
Mtukudzi has been the Live Session's draw card, but with his demise, a new hero had to emerge.
After the first of a series of sessions, Ringo has certainly raised his hand as the international act to fill Tuku’s big boots.
While he might not reach the Zimbabwean’s dizzy heights, Ringo, who once collaborated with Tuku in the hit single, ‘Into Yam', did show that he will be a worthy replacement.
A crowd of nearly 3,000, turned up at the compact Botswana Craft venue to see Ringo belt out hit-after-hit, with the support of local crooner, Lizibo.
Ringo played all his famous tunes including ‘Nakum'’, ‘Ndiyagodola’, ‘Into Yami’, ‘Ngqo ngqo’ and was later joined on stage by the curtain raiser, Lizibo to sing 'Sondela'. 
‘Sondela’ is Ringo's signature tune, which propelled him to stardom in 1997. 
Later, Ringo hinted at working with local artists for future projects.
“We need to work with artist that are from Botswana and I would like to use a studio here so that every time that I come to perform, I bring along my producer. I would like to work with young artists from here. I love Lizibo’s voice and we have something in the pipeline,’ Ringo told the media after the show.
Meanwhile, South African ‘has-beens’ continue to flock to Gaborone, after Boom Shaka's visit last month.
Called the ‘Legends in concert’ the next Gaborone show brings forgotten South African pop group, Malaika and ‘king of kwaito’ Arthur Mafokate on April 29.
Malaika emerged during the early 2000s, with a distinct sound, which was however, similar to that of Mafikizolo, who had entered the stage earlier.
Malaika matched Mafikizolo in popularity, but soon disappeared, and will re-group for the Gaborone show after years in the wilderness.
Mafokate is still active, with his recent hit coming through collaboration with Kelly Khumalo in ‘Nguye Lo’ in 2015.

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