HHP made Tswana fashionable

  • His footprint on the game will forever be there – Zeus
  • He formed Tswana into a legitimate style of expression -Stoan


Batswana joined the multitudes of global fans who mourned the death of hip hop star Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known as HHP who passed way in Johannesburg last week. The 38 year old, award winning artist inspired many artists and made rapping in Setswana fashionable during an era when most contemporary musicians were looking to the west for influence.

According to rapper Game Zeus Bantsi,  “Jabba” as he was affectionately known,  played an important role in Botswana’s hip-hop scene from its infancy in the early 2000s all the way to the present. He says what made him a visionary and a unifier was the fact that he saw that the music was much bigger than just a genre, but as an extension of our cultural identity as Batswana. Even leading up to his decision to walk to Kenya in a journey the late artist dubbed “The Daraja Walk”, Zeus explained that HHP was always a Pan- Africanist at heart.

Zeus revealed that it was very easy to see his influence and the opportunities he gave to Botswana artists.  “I was just speaking the other day about how he got me features for on song, We built this City. Jabba having come to Botswana and connecting with Skizo heard some of our demo work and was very eager to get us into that album and it was a 2006 release. It really did wonders for expanding the Motswako community beyond Mafikeng,” he said,  adding that  they have since grown alliances with the likes of Towdee Mac, Khuli Chana, DJ Lemonka stretching all the way to artists in Lesotho.

In terms of his actual stage presence,  Zeus says Jabba’s frequent performances in his adopted home of Botswana helped groom the performance culture of hip-hop and Motswako while his live band set the bar for what hip-hop can and should be musically.  “After the Tsotsi film won the best foreign film at the Oscars he was so excited and said it was a moment not just for the South African film industry but for Setswana as a language. So it is that vision of Setswana universalism that we should carry forth,” he concluded.

For his part, South African rapper and TV personality, Stoan Seate who was in the country this past weekend to promote the North West Tourism said HHP found him in the game and yet formed Motswako into a legitimate style of expression.
“Some of our DJ’s have been playing some Hip Hop Pantsula songs and we have got Tuks and Mo’ Molemi, his brothers in arms from the time we were building Motswako. For me it is our duty that we send him off well and continue to maintain his legacy,” Stoan said as they paid tribute to the fallen hero during their mall activations.

Motswako rapper, Tuks Senganga added that HHP has had a huge influence across the world and they were just acknowledging him during their performances. “We are in grief, he has been an anchor, our mouth piece and he was always trying to bridge gaps between countries,” he  said.                           

According to a Tsambo family press release,  the late Hip Hop Pantsula  was found dead at his home in Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg last week Wednesday. He will be buried this Saturday at his hometown of Mafikeng and  the time and venue of the service will be confirmed in upcoming days. Meanwhile, a memorial service will be held at the Newtown Music Factory (former Baseline) on Tuesday between 12 p.m. And 5 p.m. In Gaborone the memorial service will be held the the U.B. Amphitheater on Wednesday 31st  October at 5 p.m.