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‘I was bewitched with talent’

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'I was bewitched with talent'
TALENTED: The gifted Sneimez

Local poet thanks God for his ability

31-year-old Raphael Mokgechane has a natural flair for poetry.

It is perhaps not surprising, as the local wordsmith describes his talent as ‘God-Given’, proudly telling Voice Entertainment that he was born a traditional poet.

The Lobatse-native honed his craft from an early age and, as a ten-year-old schoolboy at Segoditshane Primary School, was already performing professionally.

Mokgechane, who is commonly known as ‘Sneimez’, does not write down his poems; instead he recites from memory.

“It’s more like I was bewitched with the talent – it just flows naturally and I like expressing myself through poems,” he explains proudly, adding that he performs in animal skins, ‘to symbolise that I am a man of tradition’.

Mokgechane, who is frequently hired to recite at weddings, is a big fan of the country’s leader and recently crafted a poem, titled ‘Motshetshe wa rokgwe jwa ga Seretse’ as a special tribute to President Ian Khama.

“I wanted to put a message across that the President likes and cares for Batswana, just like his late father, Sir Seretse Khama.”

His other notable poem, ‘Kgaratlha jaana, rotlhe re ikgaratlhetse jaana’ was created to encourage the nation’s youth to be less reliant on the government and become more independent.

Mokgechane, whose talent is matched by his huge energy levels, is often called to perform at government events and mesmerised audiences two weeks ago at Lobatse’s 120 birthday celebrations.

“I am also a dancer, singer, actor and DJ. But currently I am concentrating on being a poet,” he adds, with a good-natured sparkle in his eye.

He concluded be telling Voice Entertainment he finds courage and inspiration in visiting different heritage sites and seeks guidance from elderly people.

“I also read a lot – my dream is to write down all these poems in future,” he said.