Setswana Poetry custodian, Moroka Moreri is preparing the launch of his Setswana poetry project . Moreri’s poetry debut album, Nkokowe will see him tour the country; and perform in Namibia, Sweden and the USA.
The pre lauch will be held at Mantlwaneng Hall, Westwood International School and the audience is advised to except nothing less than sheer entertainment as not only will they be treated to poetry – there will be a live band on stage, led by the legendary Lister Boleseng. Mmereki Marakakgoro, who the poet has worked with before on the hit, ‘Mary’ will also perform on the night as well as Phempheretlhe Pheto, Nchunga Nchuga and Motlhaolosa Poetry Ensemble.
“Thapelo Otlogetswe will present a very strong critique of the whole album, while Prof Matjila will speak on the importance of Setswana as a commodity as well as my CD. A group of youth, Share Me Studio will also present an animated poem. This can be a gateway to growing animation locally,” said Moreri.
Charles Matlou will be MC for the night. He said this will serve as a way of strengthening relations between Botswana and South Africa. “People will also get a chance to see some of the students I have taught poetry in South Africa perform their pieces,” he added.
“After the Gaborone pre launch, we will head to Phikwe the following day on July 2 at the Letlhafula festival. We will also perform at the Francistown Jazz Festival later this year, and we are also in touch with a team in Orapa who have yet to give us finalised dates for our performance there,” Moreri said.
The poet, who last year organised the first ever Setswana poetry awards in Botswana, said that the CD, was meant to help him achieve his vision of honouring Setswana poets who have since passed on by getting them tombstones. He said that he intends to start with the legendary Ratlou Sebetlela of Molepolole and proceed with others who have also passed on.
The ultimate launch of the album is scheduled for April next year in Gaborone, he said, and preparations are ongoing where Awilo Longomba is expected to be present. Longomba is a Congolese artist and son of the legendary Victor Longomba, founding member of T.P OK Jazz. The internationally renowned artist who started off as a drummer has toured, through his music, Europe, Canada and the US amongst others. Proceeds from the launch, Moreri said would go towards a Lesotla Trust Fund for the Bakwena chief, Kgosi Kgari Sechele.
“Back in the day, the morafe would plough for the chief in a public field, but that is not happening any longer. This fund will be a way of me giving back to my community,” he said. He is also hopeful that he will be able to raise funds to convert some of his poetry to Braille, as he has always wanted to do. So far, he has already received a proposed invitation from Ohio State University to teach in September and is awaiting funds availability. Another invitation for 30 September also arrived from Washington CD.
Still this year in October, a poetry workshop will be held with the folk from Karavella in Sweden, from there, a poetry festival will ensue and poets from both Botswana and Sweden will perform. The O a ntena hit maker however highlighted that sponsorship and funding remain a problem where poetry is concerned. “It is high time the private sector invest in poetry for diversification purposes.