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Patience pays for kwaito artiste

Sepalami live

Sepalami live in the studio

MASERU - When Ts’epo Ananias Mohapi’s life seemed to turn against him he never gave up hope.  The 23 year-old kwaito artiste, who goes by the name Sepalami, has gone through the trials and tribulations in his quest for a better chance in life and by the looks of it he seems to have made it through the release of his first album aptly entitled Impilo (Bophelo).

From the title track one can immediately sense what the artiste sings about. While kwaito becomes his chosen genre, he presents the South African music brand with a local touch – something that he is so proud of and there is every reason for him to speak so confidently about himself.

“I have chosen to take up kwaito music that I know derives from South Africa but I have not seen many local artistes attempting to play it and this is the reason I have decided to come up with this project.

“The other reason,” he says “ is that kwaito music has always been associated with dance and the youth but here I’m trying to show that that this genre can be listened to by adults as well and be used to pass on some serious messages of love, hope and even religion.

Had it not been for his maker’s great mercies, the kwaito artiste would have long given up on his career. His faith in God as well as his strong Christian beliefs have helped him overcome the adversities of life that he has gone through.

When one goes through the tracks of the album, they are surely going to learn a thing or two about life and its complexities as well as its achievements. The album was released last month with some of the tracks having been composed as far back as 2009 when he was still a high school student.

Track No.1 is the intro, which is cleverly done through instrumentals that he, with the help of other producers, managed to compile. Then comes Track No.2 Nodezeni that resonates the kwaito pulse that becomes the album’s signature. 

“Nodenzeni is about a person who is being treated unfairly by others whereas he did nothing wrong to them. I was inspired to write this song after seeing that no matter how much you put in, some people will always look down upon you, especially in this field of the arts,” he said.

Track 3 is Angaze, which literally means “I don’t know” talks about hopelessness and desperation that people have to go through in life yet at the end they get rewarded for their efforts, and then comes track 4, Ik’hecha that Sepalami talks about  so passionately.

“Ik'hecha is about where I come from and the culture and behavior in that hood. The song tells us that people shouldn't ask me about where I come from after listening to it. Sondela (track 6) is a love song that tells about the mood I get when I am around my beloved one. The song features well known artiste Spido who helped me with the arrangement,” he said.

In order to come out with a mixed variety, Sepalami also incorporates some English tracks in the songs, Come With Me (track 5), City Life (track 7) and Budget (track 8) that are all self-explanatory, depending from angle the listener is taking them.  Apart from these, there is also Lala Ngoxolo (track 9) and Ngeyabonga (track 10) that have a deeper meaning to life.  With these two songs Sepalami attempts to talk about the reality of life and mishaps that may come within.

The 10-track album, being the first for the Broadcasting and Journalism student at Limkokwing University, is a worthwhile effort. His only downside could perhaps, be that the genre has been overtaken by many other new music forms on the market and he would have to do a really good to sell his music.

“However,” he says, “kwaito still rules,” and he has every reason to believe that – so it seems.

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