Reggae star plans beautiful follow-up

Francinah Baaitse Mmana
MAMBO TIME: The artist's award-winning debut album

Following the huge impact of his first-ever album, ‘Stranger’, which won best Reggae-Dancehall at this year’s Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) Awards, Mambo Ntema is certainly not a stranger anymore.

Looking to build on the success of his breakthrough LP, the 37-year-old is once again hard at work in the studio, putting the finishing touches on his follow-up album ‘Mpambo’.

Confident the eight-track offering will be ready for release before Christmas, the dreadlocked star tells Voice Entertainment the album is a slight shift from ‘Stranger’ and edges towards an Afro beat.

“It is the softly melodious side of Mambo Ntema since ‘Stranger’ was mixed hardcore Dancehall and Reggae,” notes the muso.

Staying true to his up-beat vibe, the Maun-based artist says themes such as love, unity, joy and happiness, feature heavily on the new album.

“Mpambo is a Subiya name, usually given to beautiful girls,” explains Ntema.

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“It is a name you cannot give someone who is not so much of a looker. So in this song I am saying to that girl to come closer so that I can tell her how much I adore her beauty,” he continued.

Produced by the versatile TayBoz of HashTag Music, ‘Mpambo’ is sure to get the tourist town rocking this festive.

Although his rise to mainstream prominence was relatively recent, Ntema’s background in music in fact dates back to 2003 and his high school days.

As a student at Maun Senior Secondary School, Ntema and fellow pupils formed Barking Gecko, eventually releasing ‘African Child’ – a 10-track CD that proved very popular amongst the youth.

After leaving school, he joined forces with Bajah-Ekzyl, whose high point was the album ‘Wanted’ in 2008.

Ntema has since been honing his musical talents, exploring story-telling, native drumming and folk jazz acoustics among others.

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It was not until the release of ‘Stranger’ earlier this year that the singer was truly propelled into the public limelight.

“Winning the BOMU award means a lot to me and the artist I have become. It narrates my journey in the musical art circles. The ‘Stranger’ album is my debut as a solo artist and the award confirms that we worked so hard on the album compilation and production.”

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