* "African music was never ageist until now" - King Tux * "We must celebrate Setswana" - Zenzo Ngqobe * "We must include women and non-binary motswakolistas." - Donald Molosi

Zenzo Ngqobe who is the founder of his eponymous foundation says that he sees motswako as a "celebration" of the Setswana language. He was speaking at the recent Motswako Mixxa. " Motswako keeps our mother tongue of Setswana alive." Although a native of Mafikeng, Ngqobe is ethnically Tswana.

Like many motswako enthusiasts, he acknowledges that the hip-hop sub-genre defies the border between Botswana and South Africa.

Last month the No. 1 Ladies' Cofeehouse hosted the inaugural Motswako Mixxa. The event is a relaxed networking evening for rappers who create in Setswana. It is an initiative of the Upright African Movement.


This year the special guest was Zenzo Ngqobe, a South African actor and motswako artist. Local rappers also supported the event and we caught up with one of them, King Tux. "The colonial borders must necessarily be defied in order for our arts to thrive," King Tux remarked at the recent event.

King Tux is a local Gaborone-based motswakolista and according to him, "networking is essential for motswakolistas in Botswana and the ones in South Africa."

If there is one regret that King Tux has about the current motswako scene is its ageism. He believes that we can do better together, "A lot has changed because the internet has changed the game. Personally and locally, I think we need more shows that mash up old school music and new school music."

The hitmaker elaborated,"African music was never ageist. The new school motswako has to consult the old school so that together they go to epic heights." Motswako is a hip-hop sub-genre that originated in Botswana and became popular in South Africa. Local motswako icons include Dramaboi, Scar, Zeus and many others. The second edition of Motswako Mixxa is slated for later this year.

"The Upright African Movement is looking to include more women and more non-binary artists at the next Motswako Mixxa," says Donald Molosi, spokesperson for the UAM.