Saturday night in Kazungula Botswana waiting for the 1River1people concert to start

Multiple bands, great local talent all advertised to start at 7:00 pm at Trekkers Bar in Kazungula, just outside of Kesane.

We arrived tonight on time and a little worried it would be busy and hard to find a spot to sit. Well the bar hasn’t even opened!

We did convince the bar owner to get us some drinks fortunately but now it’s 8:23 and there are a grand total of 8 people here and of course we’re the only white faces in the “crowd”.

Earlier back at our hotel we asked a couple of local guys what time the show started and they told us 10:00 pm. The advertisement signs around town said 7:00 pm and a lady at hotel reception thought probably 5:00 pm so we settled on arriving at 7:00.

Well there ain’t nothing happening yet except a loop of recorded music. Fingers crossed something starts soon.

10:30 comes around and still nothing so I get agitated and mention this to one of the dudes with a gold chain who looks like a roadie. We’re here to hear music I say and we’ve been here for hours and we want our money back. Just wait he says and off he goes to the stage to chat with the Manager/DJ. Well the next thing you know “Mambo” the lead entertainment for the night stops by our table, apologizes and proceeds to hit the stage for a duo rap session backed up by canned music.

When they finish their mini two song set he comes back to our table and we have a very good chat. He is well-educated and explains the challenges musicians face in Botswana due to government regulations. He is a very nice man, very intelligent and passionate but it is now close to 11:00 pm so off we go very appreciative of him singing a couple of tunes but still disappointed that we didn’t hear any more of the local talent.

As we exited through the doors to the parking lot we encountered quite a large congregation of parked cars, music playing from their open trunks, beer flowing freely and bonfires blazing. Why aren’t they inside getting set to hear the concert we wonder?Because they can’t afford the 50 Pula entrance fee and they will party outside the walls of the concert area and listen to the music (when or if it eventually starts) and have a great old time and then drive drunk back to town. Here were two white folks genuinely interested in hearing some good local music and we left feeling very dissapointed in the whole situation. It seems to be almost impossible to find and hear local talent.  Lots of Drake and Bieber and western rap, but seriously lacking in local, true down to earth roots music that we were really looking forward to hear. Bummer.


2 thoughts on “Saturday night in Kazungula Botswana waiting for the 1River1people concert to start

  1. great getting these instalments on your trip..when i don’t see anything for a few days i get a feeling like I’m not able to get to the next chapter of a good book I’m trying to read..from what i read and see in your photos i must say the only way this adventure could be better is if this were me out there instead of you…enjoy , my friends..enjoy

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