Gomolemo Motswaledi’s credentials as a politician are not and have never been in doubt. What some may not be aware of is that he was a musician of acclaim. As the political fraternity mourns Motswaledi, the choir he founded in 1993 and led to prominence and dominance in choral circles KTM is also in mourning.
“I met Gomolemo at two forums; the church and during a music competition when he was still doing his Tirelo Sechaba (National service) in Serowe and I a teacher. We immediately became good friends. In 1992, during the second semester of his final year at the University of Botswana, we met in front of a small tree at UB, myself, Abel Bogatsu and others and GM spoke to us about the foundations of a choir. Following that conversation, in January 1993, Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete Choir started and initially it consisted of young people from different churches. We did a lot of songs such as ABC, A sedi ja lona, Botswana Botswana and many others and even got a chance to travel and perform in as far as Monatana, Rio festival, Atlanta Georgia.”
“Even though, some of us were older than him, when it came to music, Gomolemo was very strict. No one spoke unless they were supposed to speak and you couldn’t just walk in and out as you pleased during practice.He could compose a song right from scratch and I remember his compositions always being about nationhood. He could compose a song right from scratch and I remember his compositions always being about nationhood. Although tall and lean, he was a wizard on his feet, I remember the way he used to dance as he conducted and songs such as Ga re thethe re tsetswe jalo, one of those he loved dearly. He was a great conductor, singer, composer and director. He was an all round great man.”
Dumi Mmualefhe (co founder of the KTM choir)
“I have had the privilege of working closely with Rre Motswaledi for close to 15years. I met him in 1998 and at the time he was the artistic director of the choir. The one thing that stands out about him is the way he emphasized discipline in the choir, in and off the stage. He did not compromise on time and even though he was very strict, he was nice to work with. Another thing that I loved about him is that, he was very humble. He didn’t want a situation where people lied to their parents saying they were at choir practice when they weren’t, so the choir was more than just music; we were a tight knit family. In the choir he introduced quite a number of things and I know a lot of choirs copied from us. KTM choir set standards. Although a self taught musician, GM was a genius, he was able to nurture raw talent and bring out the best in people. And above all, he taught you how to deal with people, his management style was brilliant. Lekanyane, Ga ke bate go nyala ko ga Ngwaketse are some of the songs I remember him by.”
Tlotlo Bogatsu former member of KTM Choir
“Unfortunately, I was not there during Rre Motswaledi’s time as a director, composer, conductor and arranger. However, I got a chance to personally know him personally about 5 to 6 years back. After I got appointed chairperson of the choir, we used to meet for coffee and he would share many stories of how they started KTM. I know he was a strategist, also a great teacher, something which he probably got from his father who was also one. He loved the Tswana language and it always used to amaze me on how he could speak it so fluently and the next minute switch to English and also do the same. To this day, we still uphold most of the lessons he imparted; discipline with time and with one’s voice.”
Hope Maumakwa- KTM choir chairperson
Gomolemo Motswaledi managed and directed KTM Choir for a period of 10 years. He will always be remembered for his role in KTM Choir and involvement in the arts industry. He was a regular feature at art exhibitions. He also mentored artists who are now doing well in the music industry, among them Punah Gabasiane, Nnunu Bolemo, Luka Disho and Puso Phetwe.