- Gong Master, a pioneer of traditional music in Botswana has gone to the other side of eternity at the age of 50
Mponang “Gong Master” Ketshabile, aka Tau Ya Koma or Lion of Song, suffered a stroke and passed away on Thursday last week. He was 50 years old.
The renowned traditional dance musician and vocalist launched his solo career after being a member of Dikakapa traditional troupe for several years.
Dikakapa appeared on the music scene in 2006 with their debut album “Selempu – Re ya Kae Batswana” which earned them instant fame.
Throughout his career, Gong Master displayed a rare gift for storytelling through music, weaving together themes of culture and triumph in a way that resonated deeply with audiences of all ages.
Eminent exponent of Traditional music
His unique blend of traditional rhythms and modern instrumentation captivated listeners and earned him their respect as one Botswana’s eminent exponents of traditional music.
He will be remembered for songs like Mosasankegi, Sankoma, Ntlogelang and Rangangapane, among others.
“He was well known for his rich comprehension of the Setswana Language,” said Chandapiwa Baputaki of the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture in a statement.
“Ketshabile used his knowledge and skills to groom and empower fellow artists into harnessing their talent for the betterment of their livelihoods.”
Gong Master was also a long serving radio presenter at Duma FM where his dedication to safeguarding Setswana culture was evident in his show, “Sesigo sa Setso sa Setswana,” that aired on Mondays and Wednesdays.
This artist, whose name will forever be synonymous with the rich cultural heritage of this great nation, has left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of his fans and the creative industry as a whole.
Rest in peace, “Di Gong.” Your music will live on forever.