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Home / Music knows no borders… Khoisan mer§ging traditional and modern sounds

Music knows no borders… Khoisan mer§ging traditional and modern sounds

2023-10-06  Paheja Siririka

Music knows no borders… Khoisan mer§ging traditional and modern sounds

As they walk into the eatery where we are meeting, I could tell from a distance that these are indeed Khoisan, a talented music duo comprising Oratile Kofa and Thabang Rasefako, accompanied by their manager and other assistants.

Hailing from neighbouring Botswana, the duo’s energy, passion and love for music clearly embodied an epitome of excellence, respect for culture, and the merging of traditional and modern sounds, further portraying a synergy that indeed music knows no borders.

“It has been a dream for both of us. I classify myself as a multi- talented individual because I have done quite lot of things, but my strongest point was always music and growing seeing my favourite artists - I wanted to be like that,” reminisced Rasefako.

The entrepreneur said the union was meant to be, as he met Kofa in school through his sister, who was then in primary school.

They finished school, times aligned, and they came across a post by the label they are under looking for artists. They auditioned, and the rest is history.

“Music evolves with time, and because of that, we fuse indigenous sound to create euphoria and ambience, but still give back to our culture, and every other culture in Africa”

“With the name Khoisan, we were highly inspired and influenced by the Khoisan people. The way of living, how they express themselves musically and fun fact, the same people came from Namibia, and you know, then having to be in Namibia right now experiencing this culture. This rich culture and tradition first-hand is very beautiful for us,” expressed Kofa. 

She added: “The Khoisan people have been quite dominant in our lives, and my mom is from a family which comes from a San, and my grandmother was from a southern village in Botswana.” Kofa said they fuse different African sounds, and these are reverberations that they indigenously find in Africa. Hence the highly-inspired influence by the Khoisan people, and how they do their music.

“Music, it’s about healing. It’s about love. It’s about expression. You know, it’s cultural. We do fuse it with what is relevant to our lives. Most of the stories are influenced by the things that we go through, or maybe things that people go through in general,” said the cheerful Kofa.

She said music is a universal language and they want to touch people’s lives through that. One doesn’t need to understand what that person is saying for them to comprehend anything.


Cultural exchange

The Moleko hitmakers came for a few days’ travel to Namibia. But within that period, they managed to get in touch with local duo Ethnix (Etjo Kangumine and Paige-Julius Hamwele). The duo say they have been checking out Ethnix for a while now, and decided to link up and work on something.

“I think their backstory correlates with our own. The more we checked them out, the more we realised we can do a cultural exchange as far as music is concerned,” said the afro-fusion duo.

Producer and owner of Roc Lefatshe, Tsaonga Kasaro aka Suffocate, said it is crucial for Botswana’s artists to collaborate with other musicians on the continent, especially Namibia, because the struggle in the entertainment industry is the same, and creatives can relate. 

“The goals are literally almost the same. The population is almost the same, only differences are a few numbers. So, it’s easier to empower a Namibian artist. Getting a collaboration with Ethnix was not a struggle, but it would be a hassle elsewhere”.

He stated that the most important thing about this collaboration is for a cultural exchange because the cultures in both countries are similar, with slight differences, if any.

“In Zambia, there are Lozis who are also present in Botswana and Namibia. Cultural exchange is the most important thing that we are really targeting, and the easiest people to work with now will be people with whom we share a lot of cultural similarities,” he shared.

He noted that although he can’t forecast the impact of such collaborations, there is no doubt the Ovaherero, Aawambo and Damara/Nama people would have a listen to the ballad and further future collaborations.


Corporate Social Investment

Khoisan has teamed up with Masiela Trust Fund, an organisation which handles issues around orphans. Their aim is to assist orphans get a sense of identity through the linking of officials to issue documentation, amongst other ideas or projects.

Statelessness continues to disorient and engulf Africans, and the duo has tasked themselves to ensure young Batswana get to have a place called home.

The energetic pair have been busy engaging in several activities aimed at uplifting the morale of their supporters through music, and being part of charity events.

2023-10-06  Paheja Siririka

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