- The selection panel reviewed over 20 applications and shortlisted five outstanding candidates before ultimately selecting Yorokee
Inter-disciplinary collective, Banana Club, recently announced the incredible progress of their artist fund recipient, Yorokee, who is currently recording his very first EP with the support of seasoned producer Flex the Ninja.
Banana Club will share the artist’s journey with audiences through an upcoming short documentary that will give a glimpse into the inspiration that fuels Yorokee’s artistic vision.
“Everything seemed to have happened so fast before I could process what I was getting into, and it forced me to step out of my shell and be bold with my craft to find comfort with using my voice as an instrument to put my mind to pen and paper to let the world in on my poorly wired mind,” said the artist in a statement.
“I feel blessed to have found a team that worked relentlessly to help me make my wildest dream a reality. At first it felt overwhelming and my inferiority complex got the better of me. But to know that there are people who are willing to walk with me an extra mile to help see this through has been nothing short of incredible.”
Established in 2022, The Banana Club Artist Fund (BCAF) is a three-month-long residency designed to support LGBTQIA+ artists and creative entrepreneurs as they produce and present artistic projects. BCAF’s mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for artists to explore and express their creative visions.
Zambian-born and Botswana-raised Moonga Kapambwe, popularly known as Moonga K, is this year’s Artist Fund 2023 Mentor. He has earned recognition as Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight and OkayAfrica’s “15 Best South African Albums So Far” in 2018. His mentorship will undoubtedly be invaluable to Yorokee.
This year, BCAF had the honour of hosting an esteemed jury led by Creative Arts Economist, Strategist, and Public Private Partnerships Facilitator, Lerato Motswarakgole of Ora Loapi; esteemed Motswana Painter, Thebe Phetogo; Founding Manager and Gallerist of The Space Botswana, Atang Arnold; and Cultural Producer and Strategist, Thabo Makgolo.
Talent and diamonds
The selection panel reviewed over 20 applications and shortlisted five outstanding candidates before ultimately selecting Yorokee.
Reflecting on the selection process, 2023 Juror Makgolo remarked: “It has been an eye-opening and rewarding experience as I finally got a glimpse at the vast amount of talent and diamonds that Botswana has to offer. My only criticism is we could not award them all a residency.
Banana Club Founder and Creative Director, Tanlume Enyatseng, concluded: “We are excited to witness Yorokee’s journey and look forward to sharing the fruits of his artistic labour with the world.”