By Bakang Mhaladi
GABORONE – Botswana rapper, Kast confounded critics when he managed to attract over 20,000 fans for his local only line-up show dubbed ‘Tlatsa Lebala’ which was held at the National Stadium on Saturday.
This was despite last minute withdrawals from some crowd pulling artists, who contended that some contractual obligations had not been met.
Kast had been dismissed as an increasingly fading and irrelevant musician, when he announced plans to hold the show featuring local artists only.
The heavily bearded artist had not released any meaningful song since his smash ‘Sejabana’ track which hit the shelves a decade ago.
But on Friday, he proved his pulling power and despite the evening winter temperatures, +poured into the 25,000-seater facility, as early as 7pm.
By 9pm, the stadium was starting to fill-up, although fans occupied the pitch and the two grand stands.
“We are almost sold out,” Kast posted on Facebook just before 9pm, as more fans packed the stadium.
The show had been hit by a number of last minute withdrawals from some popular musicians including traditional music singer, Ditiro and rapper, ATI, who cited ill-health.
Skepticism grew but it appeared the spirits were not dampened as music fans had already put on their dancing shoes.
By midweek, Kast had announced that the show’s organisers had sold more than 10,000 tickets.
After the show, Kast thanked ‘Batlatsi’ (fans who filled the stadium), for believing in local talent, although South African artist, Khuli Chana made a surprise appearance.
Chana was in the country to perform alongside Botswana’s celebrated kwaito kwasa star, Vee, where they launched a single on Friday. The South African was invited to join Vee on the ‘Tlatsa Lebala’ stage on Saturday, becoming the only foreign act in a line-up that included more than 40artists, including disc jockeys.
“Thank you very much Batlatsi! We did it! Thank you for the support, for coming out in such huge numbers, for proving your confidence in local art, and above all for the great conduct. Le kamoso (let’s do it again in future). We have proven that Botswana music is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s continue building and supporting Botswana music,” Kast said.
The show drew artists from across genres and revelers were not left disappointed as the sound system was on point, as they danced the night away. Dumisani Ncube, a local showbiz reporter, said the only bloop according to him, was that DJs played international music.
“This was a local music only show, so I would say the DJs disappointed in that regard. Again, Vee bringing in Khuli Chana was not spots on, for a show meant to promote local talent.
But overall it was a brilliant show,” Ncube said.
Despite the huge crowd, police recorded few incidents of crime.