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Broke Stiger Sola joins priesthood

Publishing Date : 02 February, 2015

Author : JOSEPH KGAMANYANE

Stiger Sola blames some of his producers for his poverty  


It is almost close to three decades that legendary folklore musician, Monaga Molefi, has been in the industry. But sadly, the passionate Molefi only has a guitar and local fame to his name. He blames his destitution to some producers who he says used him to enrich themselves at his expense.


Molefi explains that producers robbed him of millions he made through his music. He claims that if it weren’t for the two producers, one locally-based and the other a South African, he would today be ranked among the richest musicians in Botswana.

In an interview with WeekendLife, Stiger Sola – as Molefi is affectionately known to his followers - narrated the road he has walked in his music career. He talks about it in a way a fallen hero would, painting a sad picture of unscrupulous producers he met along the way.

Born 55 years ago in Maun, Molefi’s love for music was bred by her late mother who he regards was a great singer. He says he got the passion and loyalty for music from her.


According to Molefi her mother was known in Maun for her vocals, so she always had gigs to perform at and she would always take young Molefi along to witness her mother on stage. This is where his love for music grew. He believes the spirits, through his mother, called him to music and feels that music is in his blood as part of him.

Molefi realized that he could not only sing but could also compose songs. In 1973, Molefi started to play a home-made, four-string guitar as he sang his folklore music. He continued to play and sing using his home-made guitar until 1980, when he finally managed to buy his first acoustic guitar.


It was at this stage that he realized and believed that his life-long dream of becoming a great singer was gradually becoming true.

The name of Stiger Sola started to grow big and circulate at a faster pace in Botswana. Even abroad, Molefi attracted big international music dealers who wanted to work with him.


His increasing popularity tickled and encouraged him to always surpass himself with each new song he wrote and performed.


Molefi says all he saw was success in his future and was not aware of the lurking predators among the smiling and willing producers who promised to take his career further.

In 1997, he was called in by prominent South African music producer who owned recording studios in Johannesburg, who produced his first ever album titled Khubama. In 1998 he released another album titled Mamelodi under the same studio.

Molefi says it is these two albums that have fuelled both his international fame and further demand of his music. He recalls that in South Africa he was labeled among the best folklore musicians. He found himself at various gigs sharing the stage with big international music legends, in the likes of the late Mahlatini, Lucky Dube, Brenda Fassie and today’s master guitarist, Ray Phiri.

It is through these two albums that Molefi broke new ground by becoming the first ever Motswana to scoop the South African Music Award (SAMA) in 1998. He succeeded against well-established music legends who were nominees for the award (Johnny Mokhali, Steve Kekana and Brenda Fassie). The same year he also won the first Botswana Music Award of 1998.

Molefi decries that even though the demand and selling of his albums were very high, all the money being made went to his producers’ accounts. He explains that he only got more and more fame while the money went to producers.
He regrets his lack of legal knowledge and his ignorance of how the music industry works, saying this cost him greatly.

“I remember when I arrived in South Africa; a renowned SA producer gave me some papers to sign.  But I never asked what they were for, so he also did not bother to tell me,” says Molefi. “So when I always tried to complain about him cheating me, he would produce these papers claiming to be proof that we agreed to share the money.”

Molefi claims that the two albums alone were reported to have made over 2 million Rand in a short period of time. But he says out of these millions, the Recording Studios only paid him 20 thousand Rand.

After realizing that his producer was robbing him of his money, Molefi broke ties with the Recording Studios in 2001. He came back home to Botswana with little money in his account.


In Botswana, he met another local music producer, a gospel singer, who owned a recording studio. The same year he released an album titled Galalela, followed by another two albums of Bana ba dikole and Sethukuthuku.

But Molefi says the local producer was no different from the South African producer, claiming that the local producer also robbed him of his earnings, leading to breaking up of their business ties.

“When it was time to get my earnings from him, he would tell me stories that the company sales representatives are stealing the money. So due to that, he would always give me peanuts out my own money. This was an everyday excuse when it was time to get my money,” he said.

In 2006 the South African producer again promised to work things out with Molefi. He called him back to the studio in South Africa.


In the same year, they released their third album together titled Khoi Khoi. But, according to Molefi, the producer was still the same untrustworthy business partner. He claimed that the producer continued to take much of his money into his personal accounts.


Molefi told Weekend Life that it was then that he said his final bye byes to the South African recording studio.

The legend came back home to Botswana with only a guitar in his possession. He reveals that his pockets were totally empty and feared the poverty looming to strike his household.  


These financial circumstances, stalled and affected his music career, he says, since he did not have any money to carry on with his music career and, for lengthy periods, was unable to perform at any gigs.

Fortunately, Molefi met Emcee Keal of Keal Entertainment, a Maun-based producer.


Molefi says the producer sympathized with him and agreed to help resurrect his music career.

Under Keal Entertainment, he released an album titled Ko Morakeng in 2006.  But now that the album was being released by a local studio, it did not perform well on the market as compared to the past ones. He explains that, because he was struggling with money, he failed to market the album nationwide and was only known to a few locals in Maun.

A dejected Molefi says even to today, he is finding it hard to survive in the music industry, adding that his music career continues to drown.
Molefi sees himself as a fallen legend whose efforts can only be seen in Presidential Competitions and other local events surrounding Maun.

Though he labels himself as a man of God who eyes to be a pastor in the near future, Molefi laments that he will never forget nor forgive what Gospel Singer Mpho Nakedi and Richard Siluma did to his life.

“It is a pain that I will die with in my heart, it’s something that is hard to be forgotten and forgiven,” he says.

He explains to Weekend Life that what hurts him most is that even to the present day his past albums are reported to be still selling lots of copies and millions are getting into their accounts. He says that there are no royalties that he benefits from.
Molefi explained that he recently tried to find legal assistance so that he can also claim his music royalties. But, unfortunately, he has been told that the case needs money, which he does not have.

Molefi has found solace in his new producer. He says he trusts in him and that he is totally different from the past two producers he met before.
He is currently working on a new album which is expected to be released in April this year.

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