Somizi to headline Gabs music, culture week

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Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone - Celebrated South African choreographer and radio personality, Somizi 'Somgaga' Mhlongo will be among headline acts at the Gaborone International Music and Culture (GIMC) week starting on September 1.

The GIMC celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, with the organizers vowing to leave no stone unturned to ensure a successful event.

Last year's edition was marred by the death of a 21-year-old University of Botswana student during a stampede at the National Stadium, where a music festival was being held.

But the organisers have said they will ensure a seamless event, which will, as has become the norm, culminate in an all-star music festival at the 22,500-seater National Stadium.

Other than Mhlongo, recognisable faces in the long line up include, South African pop star, Lady Zamar, Prince Kaybee, Nasty C and Master KG.

On the local front, rapper, Dramaboi, Han C, Vee, La Timmy are among an impressive line-up, which is likely to attract a capacity crowd.

Local star, ATI, who has not missed a single, reputable music festival since releasing the smash hit, ‘Kiring Korong’ last year, will be absent as he checked into a rehabilitation facility in South Africa last month.

GIMC founder, Fish Pabalinga said security will be a priority.

"We have forged stronger ties and support from the police who will be visible in high numbers at all venues," Pabalinga said.

He believes they have put together, arguably their best line-up since their first festival in 2014.

"We have put together the strongest line up since inception and can't wait to host the festival. The mood in the GIMC family is upbeat, everyone is pulling together to put together the best experience the entire week," Pabalinga said.

He has been to South Africa to promote his show, which is expected to attract visitors from across the border.

"We have been able to grow into new niche markets, attracted non-traditional sponsors. GIMC has also grown to become not just a big event in Botswana but throughout the region. It's humbling to see how many top local and international artists value performing on the GIMC stages."

The week-long festivities include choral music show, poetry, comedy, culture night, jazz festival, artists workshop, international music show, fashion and a champagne picnic.

The show has attracted international acts in the past, who include, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Zahara, Judith Sephuma, Black Coffee, DJ Fresh, Skizo, Cassper Nyovest, Mafikizolo, Jay Prayzah (Zimbabwe) , Mr Ibu (Nigeria), Salvador (Uganda) and Gareth Cliff (SA).

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