Botswana Misses Out on CollaboNation

  • There were 89 CollaboNation applications from Botswana out of 366 received
  • House on Fire of MTN Bushfire Festival fame is the brains behind CollaboNation


Following a month-long CollaboNation call to artists to collaborate, Botswana artists have missed out on the opportunities that have gone to Thobile Makhoyane of Eswatini, The Hood Brodz of Mozambique and Mokoomba of Zimbabwe, and X Morena Leraba of Lesotho who were recently announced as this year’s CollaboNation artists.

The first edition of the CollaboNation project – which is a concept by House On Fire that hosts the annual MTN Bushfire Festival – invited artists from Eswatini, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to collaborate by recording original and inspirational songs.

Exceptional quality

“There were 89 CollaboNation applications from Botswana out of the 366 that we received,” said Communications Officer of MTN Bushfire, Simon Dawson, in an interview. “The quality of talent was quite exceptional and it was tough to make a decision.

“Selections were based on a variety of considerations, not all of which were related to talent and ability but also practical concerns, not least the fact we could only support two CollaboNations this year. I have no doubt Botswana will be represented in future annual CollaboNations.”

CollaboNation concept

Creative Director of House On Fire and MTN Bushfire, Jiggs Thorne, said CollaboNation was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic as an answer to the question: In this time of restrictions on travel and physical interactions, how can we support artists’ brands and arts mobility while actively stimulating dynamic new work?

“House On Fire decided to support collaborations because they have proven to drive success for African artists by cross-pollinating fan bases from different countries and genres, attracting media attention, thereby exposing not only the immediate artists but their national contemporaries to new markets and sub-markets in the region, and potentially the world,” said Thorne.

“Additionally, collaborations can break down cultural barriers, provide regional economic opportunities and help to drive sustainable careers and creative businesses.”

Selected Artists:

Thobile Makhoyane fuses her vocals and traditional musical instruments with Western musical instruments to create a style of her own that will perfectly complement The Hood Brodz, a DJ and producer duo hailing from Maputo, Mozambique and whose passions lie with Afro deep house and Afro-tech.

Makoomba is a multi-ethnic band from the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe whose sound blends genres as diverse as sungura, reggae, dancehall, urban and Afro jazz with traditional rhythms and contemporary Zimrock.

Morena Leraba blends traditional Famo-inspired vocals with a multitude of genres ranging from Electronic Dance to Hip-Hop.

Journey to live performances 

CollaboNation fans will get to follow the creative journey of the selected artists as they record a song replete with intimate in-studio snippets and short documentaries.

The journey will culminate in live performances by the artists on the internationally celebrated stages of the MTN Bushfire International Festival of the Arts in Eswatini from 26 to 28 May 2023. Subsequently, music videos of the collaborations will be released.