Booming on the social media scene as a drunken master, it is quite evident that the Hey Nyenaaa icon by Theo Lwenzick Bome has taken the entertainment space by storm. TikTok videos of him drinking and praising alcohol kept Batswana entertained throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns and the bug carried on to the “ back to normal“ phase, upgrading him into the the brand of renown that he is now, MC and Influencer. Join JOEY BADUBI Jr. to learn more about Hey Nyenaaa who takes centre stage in this interview edition of Influencer Spot.
Q1. Welcome to the Influencer Spot, Thank you so much for creating time from your busy schedule to join us on this one.
A1. No sweat. Thank you so much for having me and The Botswana Gazette for offering me the opportunity.
Q2. First things first: Let us take it back to where it all began with you. What are your Omang names and where do you come from?
A2. I was born Theo Bome. Most people get to confuse my Setswana name with English, and pronounce it as Thio instead of Theo. But yaaaa, my name is Theo. I am connected to Serowe, Moshupa and Kanye since I grew up in all those villages, and I would really like to say that I am from all of them combined. I just don’t want to single out one and leave the others out.
Q3. So o “MoNgwaketse” and the country’s President’s home boy?
A3. Hahaha! Yes I am (giggles).
Q4. So how did you grow up, Theo? How was your upbringing like?
A4. To be honest, I grew up as a very naughty kid. All my entire life I was a naughty child at home and throughout school. That is why I failed much at school. I grew up mostly with my grandmother and she was always very kind, gentle and accommodating towards me.
Q5. Wait, you say you failed in school? At which grade did you stop your schooling?
A5. I long failed Form 5 Bra yaaka. Hahahahaha!
Q6. Which subject were you mostly bad at?
A6. Maths and the sciences always showed me the dust Bra yaaka. Through and Through hahaha!
Q7. So what did you do after school? After failing your Form 5?
A7. I did a whole lot of gap in jobs. I am a very handy person. My grandmother taught me to always use my hands, no matter what. She has always been big against laziness.
Q8. What kind of handy jobs?
A8. A whole lot of things. I can do a whole lot of handy jobs, including bricklaying. But notably I used to be a car mechanic. I was very good at that but I am no longer doing that job. Hahaha!
Q9. I understand that you have always been into arts as well. Is it so?
A9. Yes. At school I was into drama and I was always a good actor. I dance too. I have always been a good dancer. At school I would dance during popular “V shows” in front of the whole crowd. I went on to become a dancer for a number of household names on the Botswana music scene, including Team Distant, Chrispin The Drummer and so forth.
Q8. That sounds like a couple of years back. What happened to you afterwards?
A9. From there I found jobs that limited most of my time. So I was very much involved working to fend for myself and my daughter and to be able to give something back to my grandmother.
Q10. You mention your grandmother a lot. Even in your craft, you have created an iconic slogan of “Ke apere jase ya ga Mmmaa (I’m wearing my grandmother’s overcoat).” One may wonder why it is that you hardly ever talk about your mother instead?
A10. Well, my mother passed away a couple of years ago. Even still, I grew up pretty much with my paternal grandmother and her son, who is my Dad.
Q11. I am so sorry about your mother.
A12. It’s okay Bra yaaka
Q13. So how is your relationship with your grandmother like?
A13. We are very close. She is my person. That is why I love her so much. Our close relationship and friendship dates back to when I was still staying with her and my father, Felix. We address him by his name because he is way too strict. No one addresses him as Dad at home. Hahaha! And since I was a naughty child, my grandmother always protected me from his strict rules. She could even give me P50 in the morning to fix a hangover with one or two beers after a heavy drinking spree at night. Hehehe! So we are very close like that. Very, very close.
Q14. So how is it like growing up without your mother? Don’t you wish she was still here so that she witnesses the kind of progress you have made with your life and share the rewards?
A14. To be honest, I have made peace with her absence. But obviously there are times where I wish she was still here so she gets to see my daughter grow and obviously gets to benefit from me and just to be proud of me. I try not to let it lay me down though.
Q15. Well, you mentioned your daughter. What is her name and how old is she?
A15. Her name is Yamasa and she is 4 years old.
Q16. Where is her mother? Are you guys together?
A16. Wa cutter Joey. Wa cutter, hahahaha! But on a serious note, we are not together any more but we have a decent co-parenting relationship. I value her as the mother of my child.
Q17. No baby mama and baby daddy drama yet?
A17. No sir. We had always discussed it that no matter what happens to us, we should make sure to maintain a co-parenting relationship for our daughter.
Q18. Let us talk about the core ingredient of your current and popular craft, alcohol. When did you start drinking alcohol?
A18. Here is the funny and most unbelievable fact: I only started drinking alcohol just a year ago, in 2020, under lockdown. I had never tasted alcohol before but at that time I had lost my job and my girlfriend. She had dumped me, hahahaha! So I was just caged home all stressed and miserable, lonely and broke and I decided to taste alcohol. Tasting led to constant drinking it, making me a regular dipsomaniac.
Q19. That sounds very unbelievable, as you said. But moving on, what motivated you to film yourself and base your TikTok videos on alcohol?
A20. But it is the honest truth. Hahahaha! Well, like I said, I had just lost my job. I was very much lonely and miserable and had just discovered TikTok. I just wanted to pass time with TikTok content. I tried it first with alcohol and the response was massive and very much positive. That motivated me to shoot more and more content of the type.
Q21. It also motivated you to drink a lot, right? Hahaha….
A21. Obviously. Hahahaha!
Q22. And I guess the rest is pretty much history.
A22. Yes, the rest is pretty much history. And I would like to thank Batswana for supporting me and exalting me into the brand I am today. If it wasn’t for them, I would not be where I am today. I am where I am because of Batswana.
Q23. So how is it like being famous now?
A23. Well, it is obviously amazing. If feels good. It is always nice being appreciated by people everywhere you go, you know. But just like everything else, being famous has its own advantages and disadvantages. You always have to appreciate and smile to ‘bahiri’ who are your fans, no matter what. They made me who I am and the slightest way of giving back to them is making them happy at all times no matter how I may be feeling at that particular time. But it is something I am learning to live with every day. I appreciate them very much.
Q24. So how much do you charge for a gig?
A24. Wa cutter Joey. Wa cutter. Hehehehehe!
Q24. Hahaha! Okay. In closing now, what is the future for the Hey Nyenaaa brand?
A24. A lot. Like I mentioned earlier, I am a very good actor. I just recently finished shooting a drama series as an actor. It will be out soon. So I will expand more into acting and dancing. But for now I will stick more to influencing since it is currently what everyone loves and wants to see.
Q24. Thank you so much for doing this interview for our readers. Keep shining, man. All the best, going forward.
A25. Thank you so much for having me. It is my pleasure. Bye Nyenaaaaa.