“The future is a blur but we will take advantage of the digital platform and grow with Batswana in this digital age,” says the muso who intends to release a hit a month throughout 2021
For the first time in Botswana’s music history, celebrated kwaito-kwasa star Odirile Vee Mampeezy Sento had to hang his microphone over the festive season after live entertainment concerts were cancelled and a curfew imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Under normal circumstances, the “Dumalana” hitmaker would be fully booked throughout the country and busy as a beaver to meet contractual obligations. But lo and behold, an invisible but deadly virus that had been ravaging the country since early in the year would prove the ultimate blighter on Vee and other artists, denying them their means of earning a living.
“But inspite of these challenges, quitting the music industry is not an option,” Vee said in an interview this week “I came into this industry when it had nothing to offer and I stayed the course. Music is my passion and a part of who I am. My talent is God-given and so I cannot quit.”
With the industry taking perhaps the heaviest hit from the pandemic, some experts believe it will be quite a while before concerts and other stage performances return to something resembling normalcy. For an artist like Vee, the pain is immediate because COVID-19 and the uncertainty it brought about came when the industry was still trying to find its footing.
“It was really difficult to adjust to the new normal during the festive season,” he said. “I remember how I sat at home and tried to strategise for my next step to survive in the music business. I am currently working on a business that I will launch soon.”
It was also during the first few days into the new year that Vee released a music video titled “Makoti Pitori” that features South African dance queen Makhadzi and DJ Call Me, which is now reaching great milestones across social media platforms. Botswana Mophato Dance Theatre also features in the video that shot in Botswana.
Said Vee: “This song is doing so well but Makhadzi could not even be here for the video shoot. I was inspired to create this song when I was in Pretoria and observed how differently newlywed brides or makoti behaved differently from those in rural areas. They dance and want all the attention. I must add that Mophato did a sterling job on that video.”
Commenting on plans for his music career, Vee said he had already arranged to release a new song every month until December 2021. As he says, this is so he stays relevant and to be able to upload new content online in order to generate an income.
“This will be a pricy exercise, but the life span of songs is short and hopefully my new venture will sustain this plan,” he said.
“The future is a blur but for now we will take advantage of the digital platform and grow with Batswana in this digital age.”