By Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone – They mesmerised pantsula fans in the late 1990s with their incisive township beat and trendy, colourful fashion.
But there were fears that the Trompies quartet of Eugene Mthethwa, Jairus ‘Jakarumba’ Nkwe, Mandla ‘Spikiri’ Mofokeng and Zain ‘Mahoota’ Sibika had lost its ‘Midas Touch’ when it arrived in Gaborone for a show last Friday night.
Some of the group members like Mthethwa, who is now a lawyer, have pursued new career paths away from music.
Although there were the undisputed kings of their genre during their time, there were doubts about the group dishing the same energetic performance, which made them household names nearly two decades ago.
Despite being away from the spotlight for some time, Trompies gave a sizzling, defiant performance at the Botswana Craft.
They pleased the crowd, which packed the popular venue, when they took their fans down memory lane with hits such as ‘Sweety Lavo’ and ‘Madibuseng’.
The mature music fans came out in their numbers, clad in their kwaito gear, reminiscent of the 1990s when the beat caused a street frenzy in many Southern African townships.
The group members have remained surprisingly athletic, and although they did not boss the stage as much as they did during their early days, they, nevertheless, left a mark.
Locals defied the steep P300 ticket fee, and the show was sold out with an estimated 2,000 fans cramming the venue.
The show, dubbed Waar Was Jy (Where were you) started with local kwaito kwasa, Wizards of the Desert, warming the stage.
They were well received as they played their trademark tune, ‘Phokoje’ and other popular yesteryear hits, ‘Mokento’ and ‘Koko’. Wizards of the Desert were mourning the passing on of their dancer, Tabona Kabila who was buried at the weekend.
By the time the local group left the stage, it was already warm enough to receive the thumping dancing shoes of the South African group.
Apart from the known hits, Jakarumba sampled some of his new tracks from his solo project.
Trompies acknowledged that the more than two-hour set had taken its toll, but were happy with their energy.
“We have never [performed] for such long hours, but we did it for the love of our Botswana fans. We are grateful for the support we received,” Mthethwa said after the show.
Show promoter, Lecco Kenosi was satisfied with how the evening had proceeded.
“We must commend the Wizards for coming after such a difficult time. We hope the fans were satisfied with the Trompies, who have promised to come back in future,” Kenosi said.