Culture Spears is Still Iconic 

  • Lead vocalist Mogwe says Batswana only celebrate talent at its peak while South Africans respect them as a national treasure in Botswana


While it is rare to see legendary traditional music group Culture Spears making local lineups, the musical ensemble continues to make a mark in foreign lands.

Just last week, a video of Culture Spears performing for multitudes in South Africa on the occasion of the country’s Economic Freedom Fighter’s 10th Anniversary went viral, proving that the group is still a force to reckon with.

“We have the biggest support in South Africa in terms of bookings and recognition,” the group’s lead vocalist, Kabelo Mogwe, said in an interview.

Superstar treatment in foreign lands 

“I guess it works for us because we are happy to tap into other markets while giving other artists a chance here at home. In these foreign lands, not just in South Africa, we are given real superstar treatment.”

When the group was founded in 2005,  fans were won across both Botswana and in South Africa, but South Africans continue to show their undying love for the iconic music ensemble.

Perhaps, the group’s controversial story of breaking up is to blame for its reduced support in its native land. “As Batswana, we have a culture of delaying to support a talent or only supporting talents at their peak,” Mogwe said.

Dominating lineups

“The minute there are minor inconveniences or controversies along the way, the support ceases. When most of the Culture Spears’ original members left the group to venture into solo careers, most people thought it was the end of us.”

He asserted that they are capable of keeping the brand alive and are currently dominating lineups in foreign countries.

Mogwe said their music is celebrated more in South Africa where people consider the group as a national treasure in Botswana.

Paid workshops in SA

Apart from performances, Culture Spears has also been booked in South Africa to host paid workshops where they impart knowledge about the music industry and traditional music.

Said Mogwe: “With the introduction of the National Arts Council, I am hoping to see a lot of changes in our industry. Botswana could learn a lot from South Africa that continues to honour their music legends, the likes of Rebecca Malope and Winnie Mashaba.”

Holding the fort

Culture Spears have had a good run in the music industry before things got rocky along the way but Mogwe continued to hold the fort. Asked how he managed to keep the brand alive, Mogwe again pointed to their South African fan base.

“They kept showing us love, growing support and requesting new music,” he said. “This kept us motivated to keep going and it is paying off.

“As a traditional music group, we are doing our part in ensuring that we own our tradition. I would like to challenge traditional music artists to do the same by creating traditional music events so the genre doesn’t die.”