Dr Tumi, Tshepo Lesole, Vusi and We Must Praise to bless the first show
Leap Frog owner and promoter Fish Pabalinga says the lack of Gospel music concerts in Botswana has encouraged him to organize a concert billed for 27th April at the Stanbic Piazza in Gaborone.
“I have hosted a number of shows and I’ve had people ask me when I’d be hosting a gospel show. They had initially asked that I add it to the annual GIMC but the festival is already jam-packed, so, I decided to have a standalone annual gospel festival,” he told Time Out.
Pabalinga says he also wants to help to commercialize Gospel so that it has festivals on a larger scale. Over the years, new Gospel artists have emerged only to vanish- as they have no platform to showcase their craft. The few who survive are established heavyweights like Tshepo Lesole and Vusi Mtokufa who are incidentally featured in the April Gospel festival.
While Lesole is currently receiving rave reviews for his new15-track album ‘Grateful’ released last October, fans say he has not performed any of the songs live. Vusi who rose to stardom as a 13-year-old prodigy with the hit Sefofu Sa Jericho recently restored his reputation with the hit Busetsa Tsotlhe Mo Mannong, following years of controversy in his personal life.
Botswana’s first gospel ensemble, We Must Praise (WMP) which will also perform at the Gospel fest’ was launched in 2015 but has made its own mark in the Gospel industry in its short time of existence.
Gospel lovers are also looking for the performance of Tumisang Makweya a.k.a Dr Tumi who took the Gospel industry by storm with his album, Love and Grace, which was followed his sophomore album The Gathering of Worshiper. The gospel artist well-known for his tracks Nothing Without You and You Are Here made history when his Ticketpro Dome concert sold out last August.
Pabalinga says the line-up of the Gospel gig was influenced by researched he carried out which indicated that all the selected artists were the best in the game. “I listened to what people wanted. This festival also features all gospel artists who are good at what they do, it did not matter which country they came from, you just had to be the best to qualify,” he said.
A VIP package costing P500 which includes food and a soft drink was added for the event.