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Rhumba Star, Franco celebrates 50 years

Lepako, Stango, Molamu, Chakala as he is passionately known by his fans, Frank “Franco” Lesokwane is turning Fifty (50) years of age today. The artist goes by many names as it is the norm in Congolese Rhumba (Soukous) which he is an artist of.

Franco is a Gabane native born in 1971. The Rhumba star’s love for music was discovered in his early years, and since then he was pushed by passion to be what he currently is.

Before going solo, Lepako played with some local Groups like Lonaka band, Nata Capricorn, and Alfredo Mos & Les Africa Sounds.

In 2001, the ex-soldier released his first album after founding Franco and Afro Musica along with Tanzanian born lead guitarist, Shabani Mwanasande Yohana. The band’s first album titled called ‘Ke lela le lona”, which loosely translates to “I am crying with you” took the country by storm and set the much needed foundation for the band.

After “Ke lela le lona” the band has produced albums annually. The band released their most popular single Tshutshumakgala (a tswana name for a train), which won them their first Botswana Music Union (BOMU) Award.

Franco is well known for his melodious voice, his songs usually are message based. He uses his songs to talk about real life situations which affect an ordinary Motswana. Coupled with his euphonious beats, the Kwasa Kwasa star has enjoyed great following, winning a number of BOMU awards.

Lesokwanne has performed in different countries like South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Oliver Mtukudzi, Brenda Fassie, Alic Macheso, Bhudaza, and Hugh Masekela are some of the internationally renowned artists which Franco and Afro Musica has shared a stage with.

As he celebrates his 50th birthday, Franco currently has Seventeen (17) albums. He recently released a single titled “Motho yo ke ofe”. This comes after Lepako was set to fill up the national stadium, an event which was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic before materializing.

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