Tuesday, 22 September 2015


by Gaamangwe Joy Mogami
November 3, 2014

Onalethuso ‘Mambo’ Ntema is one of the most passionate poet of our time. With a poetry anthology “Soul Seeds” under his name, he is a force to reckon with. He talks to me about how he inter-weaved African social thought into his Reality and Mental Inspiration poetry anthology.

Gaamangwe: So Mambo, you are a very passionate poet. How did your love for writing happen?
Mambo: Thank you for this reasoning session. I was inspired during inter-school Debates, Literature and Traditional dance competitions since the age of 10.
What inspired you? And what still continues to inspires you now?
I developed a reading culture, especially African Social Thought, Literature of Liberation, Anthropology and History. As a Sociologist, I disseminate on social class (politics, poverty, minorities) and gender issues, emotions, nature and culture. I am inspired by circumstances of life and reality, my daughter’s (Deczybelle) and cultured mother (Ndaruka Ntema). My themes are love, dark poetry (pain, grief, death), motivation and inspiration, nature and wildlife, cultural transformation and vulnerable groups’ voice.
That’s amazing. You are inspired by some of the most important ideals in  the African human life. You have an amazing poetry anthology  “Soul Seeds”! Tell me about it.
Yes. SOUL SEEDS is a Reality and Mental inspirational poetry collection that seeks to explore emotions, thought and reality. It reflects scattered but gathered circumstances through a psycho-philosophical tone and imagery. It promotes nature and conservation, pan African-ism and renaissance, gender issues, spiritual freedom and love and motivation.
Wonderful. Why was it important for you to explore the aforementioned topics? And what do you hope the reader will get from reading the anthology?
Thanks for the question. I seek to inspire and comfort troubled souls for a better day tomorrow, and elevate African Social theorizing and a globalized culture of unity and collected-ness. I seek to raise awareness on relationship building and bonding, self worth, love and forgiveness, history and cultural transformation, spiritual freedom, social class and child neglect, hope and perseverance. The reader will hopefully become inspired, nurtured and surrounded by positive behavior on them and others too. I hope to seed such seeds on souls and beings through relative imagery and metaphors, in particular, the self.
That’s wonderful. How was your creative process writing the anthology? And how did your profession, Sociology influence the book?
It was based on imagination, personal life experience, and past work experience as an Advocate for minority groups (BaSarwa, women, youth, orphans/vulnerable children, disabled), and Social research. As well, peer discussions and networking on various aspects of life and reality. I got motivated and co-wrote some pieces through online dialogue with friends and creative thinkers. I was strengthened by writers and poets such as Pearl Sanelisiwe Ndlovu, Thabo Prince Katlholo, Charlotte Oageng, Nobert Mathumo, Lucky Bulayani, Maya Roze, Mpho Leteng, Juby Peacock, Moemedi Tebogo, Nametso Phonchi, Ponatshegelo Katlholo, Priscah Katlholo to name a few.
That’s interesting. We can only find inspiration from our experiences. How has the reader responded to your work, especially with regards to the poems about minority groups?
The response can’t be expressed; the poems heal the inner self and sense of existence. The reader is empowered, inspired and thoughtful. The anthology is available in 15000+ book retailers world wide including Amazon, eBay, Kalahari. It enjoys a warm reception.
That’s amazing. Congratulations. How was your experience publishing the anthology?
It was a learning curve of many miles of patience and understanding the business processes of self-publishing, marketing and sales/distribution. Published in the UK by XLIBRIS PUBLISHING LLC, printed in the USA. It’s self-publishing via XLIBRIS.
Okay. That’s very interesting. how does that work?
The author pays for publication, marketing and distribution, and owns copyright. I also edited the manuscript.
Wonderful.  Mambo , it was amazing having this conversation with you. Any last words?
Thank you oneBlood. Mafoko tota Gaamangwe and you are such a joy. I’d urge Batswana and the world to support Creative artworks as ‘Soul Seeds’ to delight their eyes and minds to find joy and elevation. We sow seeds for a green tomorrow, today and the day before. Peace, Love and Harmony. oneBlood...

SOUL SEEDS Poetry Book Review by Thabo Katlholo

SOUL SEEDS Poetry Book Review 
by Thabo Katlholo 
The Black Apostle
March 11, 2015
I've been a fiction writer since age 15. And terrified of poetry (just kiddin'). Today I decided to review a Poetry Anthology I've read recently written by Onalethuso Buyile Petruss Ntema. I say I've read this, but obviously I haven't read it all. This is an amazing anthology, and it's huge, and I may spend my entire life working through it. The range of poems in it is amazing, and I'm looking forward to studying some of it in more depth so much.

The butterflies look so colorful in their own color
The Blue sky looks beautiful when rain clouds gather
Around and soon rain come fall over
The land I walk to let the birds sing joy,
As butterflies fly over in their colourful color
Between the grains of their colourful seeds, as they gather
Be grateful to the gift of life like the butterflies in their seasons and colour
~Onalethuso B.P. Ntema~

This book is huge. Both in content and knowledge. So I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. I just flipped through, reading a poem here, another one there. The collection strikes a nice balance between traditional, culture-heavy poetry which wouldn't turn any heads and some pretty outlandish and outstanding surreal and vanguardy selections. Thematically, it tends towards the grim, which can't be surprising since Africa has been a wealth of post-colonial fuckups and shenanigans since the 1960s, thus a lot of the poems reflect corruption, pollution, sociology, poverty, roots, beauty, love and so on. Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty that aren't, so, don't be deterred. Excellent editing with some brief motivation at the end of each poem.

Anyway, this book is chock full of poems. It could keep a poetry lover happy for many years. Onalethuso Petrus Ntema is an excellent and perceptive scholar-poet, the versatile dub-Poet and writer "interconnected nature with reasoning through spoken word" in his own words.

Soul Seeds is a rich resource, an absolutely tremendous collection of pan-Africanism poetry. One of the greatest assets of this collection is that it contains several lengthy poems in their entirety, among them Rise to the Occasion (written by Onalethuso Ntema and Charlotte Oageng), The Roots and Journey to The Hills (both of which are among my personal favorites). Although it seems to gloss over a few major topics  this collection remains the best single volume of English poetry I've ever seen.

It is one of the most important poetry books be released, in this country. This stirring verses deal with one of the great historical travesties, social injustices and its result, the impoverishment of an entire nation, through a sociologist's eyes.To read this book is to hear an intimate glimpse of a nation and its people, so perfectly embodied in the spiritual aspects of this collection. A hundred years from now, this book will be an essential historical document.

FOR ORDERS CONTACT: Onalethuso Ntema: Facebook

Here's to summer nights that feel good enough to call anything jazz.

Monday, 14 September 2015

My Musical Life Journey: a Reflection

Last week when I was in Maun for an urgent social commitment, I had to squeeze my schedule to quench my lyrical thirst and voiced a shiYeyi inspired Folk-Reggae tune "NDi MUTSHARA" that seeks to leverage on intangible cultural heritage, nature and wildlife, and socio-economic lifestyles. 
I must say, life is just a journey. As I reflect on my "Musical Journey" from early days as a Traditional/ Cultural Dancer from Mathiba Primary School (1993) until 2002 when I got intensively mesmerize by the Reggae vibe at Sedie CJSS. I was inspired by a certain Tina Sundano, whose 4-string Acoustic guitar oozed melodies that elevated me to write my first song "Sweet Day" which I then performed everywhere I went, and people appreciated my raw-yet-pure lion's voice and urged me to not look back, never. I was an authentic Tenor vocalist in School choirs and at Revelation Blessed Peace Church; my mother's fellowship. And I would also accompany my sister to the Healing Church, my brother to the Holy Heart Christian Church and my lead voice mattered.

In 2003, whilst at Maun Secondary School, I met Dikoranta (aka Rasta Weed), and Yuteman OT. We formed the school band - The BARKING GECKO, managed by the late Anthony John Berry (UK) who was a Teacher at MSSS at the time. The English man was a legendary Guitarist and we'd share a musical vibe each time I visited his house at the Teachers quarters. He then decided to 'unearth' our rare talent and the school band released a 10-track Reggae CD "AFRICAN CHILD" produced by a Zambian music maestro NJOLO and EQue Maeba of TUFF ENUFF studio in Maun.

The ensemble disbanded after Form 5 as we had to embark on life's uncertainties. I then met two Zimbos (Norrycea and Daizzy Dee) whilst with one of my young minds Kabo Pro-vocative aka Skinny and started raw recordings at Unangoni Osg Samakata's crib, I recorded "AFRICA" with NorryC & Skinny in Maun.

In 2005,teamed up with a longtime friend Bajah Rankswhilst studying at the University of Botswana and released a 14-track Dancehall CD "WANTED" in 2008, produced by Eemcee Keal of Keal Entertainment, Norrycea 'Subzero' Chisadza of Ravel Tribe (Zimbabwe) and Nio Kb Molapisi of NiO-Geniq Records. WANTED featured HT Tautona, KiDD andAnkle Bryce, received a lot of support and was a regular at Yarona fm's RAGGA ATTACK VIRUS Show on Sundays (hosted by Junior Psy) and the duo performed at most of the shows at UB and around the country. It was a promising rocket, and featured on the All Kasi "For Makasi" mixtape in 2008.

However, I must say, life is just a journey. In 2009, the duo went solo and I have recorded more than 50 songs still to be released ever since, and continues to. I have voiced jingles for RB1, Yarona fm (T-Izzy's), and MaxxY Pin/ Charles (Kenya), DJ PainKiller(Zimbabwe), DJ Keamz (Zimbabwe), Selektar King Rebel (Kenya), DJ Priscy/Priscilla (Ireland), DJDubplate and more.
I have also featured on various international Reggae-Dancehall rhythms by various diverse producers Bereket Tafari/Riddim Yut (South Africa), Zimi (Paris Reunion), Bionic Records (Switzerland), Stefano Andriolo/Augusta Massive (Italy), Major Lazer (Jamaica), Artikal Ranks (Zimbabwe), Tommy Waddington (UK), Dj-Oats (BW), BK Proctor (BW), Dominiq Madindo (Zimbabwe), TakuJay (BW), Prnc Hyah (BW) and more.

I have worked with local artists Kelebogile Ht-Tautona Mabua, Ankle Bryce, KiDD, -D-funk Charles, Dancehall Queens, The Roots: Hambukushu ensemble, Baby Game, Chillyman, Twingih Twangah and more.

I hope to release a solo masterpiece "The JOURNEY" one of the good moments.


Friday, 11 September 2015

I am, But a Child of Poetry

I am but a Child of Poetry
I am but a child of poetry—that wields the sword of creativity…
To unearth the hidden truths in our society.
I am but a child of poetry…
That shields every word in poetic kind, a culprit of distorted rhymes and rhythms.
I am but a child in the Asylum of the Insane. For insanity arouses me.
It seduces me. Or the child in the Arms of Curiosity;
That wonders between the cross roads and Secrets of the Metropolis. I am but a child of history.
A child of Africa’s songs of a widow. As knowledge our victory;
From mental enslavement. A child in Chinua Achebe’s Ikemefuna of the Igbo. A complex tragedy;
Of the River Between in the voice of the Great Ngũgi wa Thiongo. And conquering;
The mind of a Black child, a sacred child, a child of Africa’s dream but treachery…
Had confused my innocent kind. I’m that captive;
In Wame Molefhe’s Go Tell the Sun short story…
And a Grain of Wheat in abundant fields but Petals of Blood. A mockery;
As worlds collide beneath hearts of clouded faces. And I still strive for my destiny.
I am but that African child in the heart of Africa’s ancestry.
I seek revenge through spoken word; a vessel of bravery.
What if I was born in the centuries? Would it be kind to enslave me?
Do you trust me? Would you harm me? Or decide to arm me? Would you betray me?
Would you forget that dreams tell in their own? Would you blame me?
Would you? Would you detain me for not being gold or constrain me?
Would you forsake me? What if I was born in the eighties?
Would you accuse me for being human, or glad to hate me?
Would you accuse me for not being human, or dread to trace me?
I am but a child in Soul Seeds, and do not provoke me,
Instead promote this spoken kind, the written kind to support this;
Creative course for our tongues to our ears we’d talk and listen, suppose it.
And I wish life could transgress for us to endure its practice;
Before the eyes of men. I wish time could stop this nonsensical stampede,
As mankind behold their weakness hunted.  
I am but a child in Soul Seeds,
For my seeds need grow into trees to their leaves green.
I am but a melanin kind. A writer, a rural kind. A poetic matrix
In metaphors but tearful eyes to a victim.
I am not but a poet, an asylum to the reader. A mystic.
A mystery. A mirror but desire. A satire. The seeker.
And my voice shall speak in the Voice of a Shadow: Life, Reality and Mental inspiration poetry
For I am, but a child of poetry.

Onalethuso Petruss Buyile ‘Mambo’ NTEMA

Nobert J. Mathumo (Botswana) – The Arms of Curiosity
Lucky M. Bulayani (Botswana) – Asylum of the Insane
Wame Molefhe (Botswana) – Go Tell the Sun
Chinua Achebe (Nigeria) – Things Fall Apart
Ngũgi wa Thiongo (Kenya) – The River Between, Petals of Blood, Grain of Wheat


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Art is Life: Insights on Creative Cultural Tourism in Chobe and Okavango, Botswana

By SOULSEEDSNTEMA Blog Correspondent

"Art is a therapeutic yet abstract language. It tells more to the eye's adventurous need" said MamboNTEMA, a 30 year old Matsaudi native (born in Maun, Ngamiland, Botswana), Self-employed Creative artist during a reflection and analysis of the Chobe's Creative Cultural Tourism packages at the Chobe Alliance for Arts Organizations (CAAO) meeting on 'Exploring Chobe tourism through Social Business models.' He is the Public Relations (and Marketing) Manager at CAAO.

In his detail, Onalethuso Petruss Buyile Ntema, known as MamboNTEMA, also a self-Published Writer & Author and Musician, explored that he has come to realize that 'life is a risk on its own. We risk to exist as free beings. And so we express our concerns and obsessions on such circumstances through creativity. And such creativity is an asset, an intellectual asset that which if unexplored may render us vulnerable and poor; but if expressed, one can survive, hence artists should strive for artistic excellence through creative means..."

He furthered that "it was an uneasy decision-making journey, when I left my formal employment in 2013, as a University Graduate and a Professional, it was a joke to my colleagues and family but I had decided to embark on my creative adventure as a self-employed citizen because I did not want to depend on any monthly wage anymore. I wanted to create my own. I wanted to unfold the hidden artist in me. I had analyzed the corporate world and had researched extensively on creative and social business models and their viability in the general but Botswana context. I wanted to expand on that opportunity and have a dozen more ideas on the subject. My mother (Ndaruka Ntema) stood by my side. She urged me a mile further. She reminded me that I was a stubborn but creative child that won awards in Traditional Song and Dance Inter-School competitions and Youth Rallies in the North West region..." In his Sociological theorems, MamboNTEMA has somewhat conceptualized his creative products and ideas as 'life, reality and mental inspiration' furthered on 'Creative Cultural Tourism social enterprising'. 

He mentioned, "I somehow share(d) with friends and artists in my circle including some government and corporate entities (Ministry of Youth Sport & Culture, Botswana Tourism Organization, Department of Tourism, Department of Forestry & Range Resources, Department of Wildlife & National Parks, Museums, CIPA/COSBOTS, National Union for Botswana Artists, Ngwao-Loshalaba, BAOTA, Craft Council of Botswana etc), reputable art activists and business persons in Kasane, Maun, Gaborone and abroad such as World Youth Alliance, Volkerkunde Museum in Germany, bench marking through Literature search and review etc..." 

In Botswana, Creative tourism is visibly gaining momentum but not as explicitly as packaged as in other countries that have laws and policies specifically on such. For instance, Makgadikgadi Epic, Khawa Dune Challenge, President's Day (Arts) Competitions, Kuru Dance Festival, Maun International Arts Festival, (Orange) Letlhafula Festival, Maun Horse Race, Desert Race, Gaborone International Music & Culture Week, Consumer and Trade Fairs, Zambezi Cultural festival, District Agric shows etc. 

These and others not mentioned, are potential economic contributors that need a legal framework with requisite structures and amenities to operate on, of course we need to leverage on such initiatives as economically sustainable, in cognizance with Poverty Eradication strategies, Local Economic Development initiatives, Economic Diversification Drive, Remote Area Dwellers Programme, Vision 2016 pillars and the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the UNESCO (Intangible Cultural Heritage). 

But in Chobe, none! Except until recently, but still not as artistically and culturally creative and packaged as one would expect - especially the tourist is often 'left out' in such activities. However, it shows the extent to which domestic tourism is relatively an economic asset to Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) or social businesses and Cooperatives. 

There is need for a National Arts Council to push this agenda. In Botswana, the Botswana Society for the Arts for instance does not have an explicit policy or program on Creative Cultural Tourism, neither does the Craft Council of Botswana because it should somehow be a national agenda requiring government intervention, presumably. But one way or the other, a paradigm shift is imperative, much as the country has banned hunting in around 2011 and adopted a non-consumptive tourism rhetoric, such alternative packages would benefit the rural or creative beings that benefited through Community Based Natural Resources Management Policy and Programme whilst boosting the Botswana tourism product and branding. 

In other countries, National Arts Councils serve best as contributors to artistic excellence and livelihood improvement, of course arts entities remain autonomous but coordinated; the South African Arts and Development Association (http://saada.org.za), Development Grants by NedBank Arts Affinity (RSA - http://www.act.org.za/development-grants.html) to support development of a reliable, sustainable and vibrant arts and culture sector in South Africa. The program provides support to activities that increase job opportunities for and develop South African arts and cultural organizations, associations, cooperatives, networks, individual artists and practitioners with various grants. For our country to reach-out to Creative industries especially on Creative Tourism, one would opt for the National Arts Council.

In the context of Chobe (unlike in Ngamiland/Okavango and other parts of the country where art and culture is relatively celebrated but minimal benefit to the host and adjacent communities), arts and cultural entities are uncoordinated and scattered, without a sustainable socio-economic model yet the locality presents a prime spot for Creative Cultural Tourism as the gateway to Okavango, Moremi and Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The cultural richness and diversity has been abused by opportunistic promoters masquerading as arts custodians yet the artist remains poor and dis-empowered. 

Therefore, there was and is need to advocate for the artistic empowerment and welfare to add-value to the non-consumptive Tourism products and services engineered by the industry. As observed elsewhere, especially in neighbouring countries, Namibia's Bukalo, Chimanimani, Kasika and Impalila communities, Mambova and Mansa in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe have profiled their cultural heritage incorporated in the tourism packages and tourists would prefer to stay longer (there) than a 2 night stay at current in Botswana, probably due to lack of and or limited alternative tourism activities. Hence CAAO.

Mr. Ntema's multi-contentedness leaves a lot than meets the eye, and at one of his sector businesses, he said 'African Art and Crafts is an open market curio stall that sells artworks and crafts. We get our products from curators in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and DRC. We sell wooden, stone, wire, batik, palm leaves and jewelry products. As well, we have African attire, handmade shoes and sandals,, post cards and nature photographs, depicting the cultural heritage concept of the KAZA region...' 

Visit this Link for Photographs of some of our products at the African Art market: 

 CARACAL UNTAMED event, Kasane. July 2014. Photo credit: Lyn Francey
 Rre Mwezi moving his fingers to the vibrations of the Djembe drum at the  CARACAL UNTAMED event, Kasane, July 2014. Photo credit: Lyn Francey


And at CAAO, our #CreativeTourism Products & Services:
- Crafts
- Traditional Song & Dance
- Folk & Contemporary Poetry
- Traditional Instrument 
- Storytelling 
- Art and Cultural Festivals; an array of cultural showcase on crafts, cultural regalia, cuisine, traditional games and song/dance
- Contemporary Art and Fashion, Modelling
- Cultural Tours
- Seboba Nature & Recreational Park Tour
- Snake Park Tour (Centre for African Resources: Animals, Communities and Land use - CARACAL)

On another tempo, MamboNTEMA has been invited by Museum für Völkerkunde to attend the annual Markt der Völker in Hamburg Germany slated for November 11-15, 2015 and is currently fundraising to heed as invited. And before then, he would perform at the Maun International Arts Festival 2015 on October 24-30, 2015 in Maun, Botswana, at the invitation of POETAVANGO Spoken Word Collective. Also, invitations continue to be received from South Africa, England, Australia, France and Zimbabwe.

Mr Ntema is a Self-Published Writer & Author (SOUL SEEDS, 2014 published in the United Kingdom), Folk & Contemporary Poet, Folk-Reggae Musician, Creative Writing Mentor, Interim Secretary General & Public Relations Manager (CAAO), Managing Director & Owner of OPN Group of Companies (Pty) LTD which was incorporated by the Registrar of Companies in 2012. The company is component based and trading as African Art & Crafts, Mambo Cleaning Services, Mambo-a-Tjaratjamba Bush Camp, Mambo Music & Poetry. 

Member of:

- World Youth Alliance
- Austin Poets International (Texas)
- Author Learning Centre (Xlibris Corporation/Author Solutions - UK)
- DYSISgraphy
- Chobe Alliance for Arts Organizations (CAAO)

Supporting Act:
- Craft Council of Botswana
- Angelous Society (Gaborone)
- POETAVANGO Spoken Word Poetry collective (Maun)
- DYSiSgraphy (Gaborone).

Related links:
- ILANGA TOURS & SAFARIS: http://www.ilangatours.com/
+267 73739942 - bookings@ilangatours.com
+267 72480435 - matsosangwao@gmail.com