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The return of the hilarious ‘Makau’

Publishing Date : 12 August, 2019

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

In the recent years, right into early 2016, Makau is one of those Afro-pop groups that took the music industry by storm. They rose to fame following their hilarious yet elegant apparel that is more like vintage, with a touch of elegance and stylishness in it. You could tell from a distance that; indeed, this trio mean business.


Not only that, Makau, translated classic men, have this component of silliness adjudicating from their hysterical music videos, in particular, their all-time hit Sebintjolo, that took their fans for a ride. However, the group has been on a breakdown for quite a long stretch, leaving its admirers speculating if they will ever make a great turn back into the ever problematical and contentious music industry, that is clouded by mediocre, pigeonholes and manipulation. Indeed, Makau is back, this time around by popular demand. Many wished for Makau to return, set aside their differences and produce good music like they used to, and indeed their wishes have been heard. The group is back with a bang! WeekendLife reporter TLHABO KGOSIEMANG caught up with one of the group’s members Bakang Mphele in an exclusive interview this week in Gaborone, to get to appreciate the group, where they have been and their way forward, what they essentially have to bid their supporters after vanishing for a while.


Makau comprises of three young lads, namely Bakang Mphele, Tiro Thebe and Resego Magetse, who played the character of Sebintjolo. Bakang revealed that he and Tiro were colleagues, and upon realizing that they share to some degree a certain thing in common, which in this case is having a funny character, they had to start something to complement their creepy charm. ‘’We used to dance a lot at school during talent shows, lunch breaks and even after school. We would share yarns, tease each other and giggle about it. It was such a great thing to do as it brought contentment and helped advance that connection amongst us. We became the best friends ever, and I then familiarized him to my favorite cousin, Resego who is affectionately known as Sebintjolo. That is when we gave birth to Makau, we nurtured it up to today.’’


As passionate as they were with music, the trio started off as Kwaito artists, but were not fortunate enough as the genre did not bear any fruits. Subsequently, the group decided on changing their type of music, they thought of something exclusive, or probably something that never existed in the country, and they thrived in that regard. Makau as a group was born from how they chose to dress. Throughout the years, the music industry has been an eye opener. Bakang said as an individual, and together as a group they learnt few things he feels applies to any other artist. ‘’Fame is something we leant can happen to you even if you were not hoping for it, and if you not prepared for it, it will somehow affect how you do things. Fame can make or break you. I would say we were still young the time we blew; we did not know what was up-to-the-minute. Taking one step at go reliefs a lot, because if you don’t, you won’t last for a long time in the industry. We lived to witness that. Lot of great artist failed at the first try, not that they were not good at it, but because they lost focus, and lacked guidance.’’


Their first album that featured the hit song Sebintjolo took the country by storm, topping radio charts and getting all the credits across all radio stations, from one show to another. The young and the old were equally impressed with the masterpiece, and the funny video added cherry on top. In that regard, the group rose to fame, benefitting from bookings, week in week out. ‘’I remember we would be booked every time, we were super excited for that an opportunity, compliments kept coming in and great artists recognizing us, corporates had us under their belts, showering us with bookings and it was amazing. I must say life was good, because we didn’t expect to blow the way we did’’ Bakang said. One may wonder how Makau managed to remain relevant as many groups do not last for a long time, not only in Botswana, but the entire universe. Bakang noted that being disciplined has always been their strength. ‘’For us to be in the game for the longest time, we realized that we needed to be disciplined. Respecting one another had to be a priority and we capitalized on that. Working as a group is not easy but it is when there is respect. We have different opinions and the way we see things, but at the end of the day we have to settle for one thing, one goal’’
He indicated that they had to stay loyal to their style of dress as it was their identity. ‘’It’s actually what makes people love us.

We have that unique dress sense that kept people glued to us and for us to earn and retain their trust, we have to keep it flowing like that. If you not consistent, your followers would not take you serious, and they will definitely find someone to follow. The way we dress had more people following us, and we ought to keep that, he added. However, Makau has been trying to get back on track, hoping to see where they lost the map. They were not fornuate enough, as songs they composed did not do well in the market. They did not give up nonetheless. The trio made a great come back with their new hit ‘’Boferefere’’ where they featured the biggest and most paid artist in the country Vee. It is produced by Dr Tawanda, and basically spreads a message about child abuse. Not only that Makau’s songs are about stupidity and funny characters, they convey important messages to the public.

‘’This song was inspired by First Lady’s commitment to the girl child. She is keen in spreading a word about the protection of a girl child from any form of abuse. We jumped in to say let’s stop sexual abuse, emotional abuse of children and together we should join forces in supporting them. We must commit to every individual realizing and enjoying their rights and choices’’ Currently, Makau is working on an album dubbed ‘’Classic Jive’’ anticipated to be launched very soon, sometime this month. They are currently shooting a video and will soon be gracing our screens. We hope this a killer one, and will definitely have the group top charts again. Bakang stressed that they also have festivals lined up prior to Independence holidays. It is what it is, we wish them well. This game is a dirty one, we need to see them drastically increasing in the demand for their live performances and gracing some of the high profile events.
 

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