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TLATSA LEBALA stripped down

Publishing Date : 11 June, 2019

Author : BOIPELO TAPOLOGO

The controversial Tlatsa Lebala concept has attracted mixed views in the last three years. WeekendLife dialogued with Tshepiso Molapisi known widely as Kast and of recent “Mr. Tlatsa Lebala” in relation to the concept and desirable achievements of the entire drive which from the beginning faced scrutiny and skeptical enthusiasm.


Been in the music industry for over fifteen years, Molapisi is a typical story whereby he grew up in a musical family as his mother is a vocalist, alternative jazz musician and even plays acoustic guitar, it is only filling for him to be what we can title an ambassador of the creative sector through his project TLATSA LEBALA, translated fill up the stadium. “The biggest objective behind the Tlatsa Lebala concept was to spark dialogue around the music industry and creative sector as a whole by speaking on the core issues around the industry which resonates in selling our products beyond borders, growing the creatives and basically making money off this sector” speaks Molapisi.


The aspiration “go Tlatsa lebala” was used to create a talking point, as the first conversation was, is it possible for Batswana musicians such as Kast to fill up the stadium and the music sector as whole to do something so huge even beyond music rather as a whole creative industry speaking to misconceptions of the limitations of the local creatives. Molapisi shares that “when you think of pulling a crowd, you think of a South African or an international act but never a local act, so I was basically trying to change that mindset as the first event was a mindset diversification to show people that as creatives in Botswana we have the same skill level as everyone across the world, the only handicap we have is money.”


Tlatsa Lebala is a collective campaign and at the same time has an individualistic element in the sense that “I’m trying to grow my individual brand and I recognize the fact that the industry itself has to grow and evolve for me to benefit as an individual, and for me to benefit as an individual, I need to look at the long term from a larger scale whereby everyone has to benefit” correcting the misconception with Tlatsa Lebala that “are we doing this to feed Kast and his family? Which is true… by extension you are doing it to grow the whole sector by buying merchandise, tickets  and Tlatsa Lebala is then able to keep the office lights on and hire more talent.”


On sharing with WeekendLife on money, Molapisi speaks up on “why are we so immune to seeing people make money, why don’t we want to be agents of individuals and collectives succeeding financially, do we need to learn financial literacy as young people or as a nation? Why is it okay for any other person in a different sector to buy a car or build a house and such a taboo when it’s around the creative sector…why is it so hard to have aspirations of being rich and why is it the word when its being use for musicians “gore o leka go ikhumisa” (trying to get rich) come with negative connotations and a bad thing? We tend to confuse wealth creation and corruption, these are two different things, I’m all about wealth creation!”


The second installment of Tlatsa Lebala was a necessary education for Molapisi as unpleasant as some of the aspects were, he mentions that he learned so much about where we are as sector and as a nation. “Whenever people talk about TLATSA LEBALA whether it is in good light or bashing, the fact that we can fill up a stadium is not even a conversation, but initially was the conversation, some people were saying it is utterly impossible as some were enthusiastically supporting it, still wondering if it’s possible, that’s done and dusted with! The dialogue is out there and we have achieved filling a high capacity venue even though the second installment did not work out, we now know it’s possible” closes Molapisi.

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