Her sultry voice has catapulted her to the summit of local musicians. Nnunu Ramogotsi will not just have you tapping your feet to her melody but draw you into a full jive. KEITEBE KGOSIKEBATHO is her convert.
This Afro Jazz sensation from Ramotswa started her music career in the mid-90s with the KTM choir as a chorister under the tutelage of the late Gomolemo Motswaledi. Her impeccable performance in the KTM choir would later open up doors for her. The late Duncan Senyatso came knocking at her door, seeking her services as a backing vocalist.
After recording Senyatso’s album in 1998, Ramogotsi got even more invitations from other big names in music. Today she has backed almost all the best jazz artists Botswana has to offer; from Ndingo Johwa to Lister Baleseng and from Soccer Moruakgomo to Banjo Mosele.
True to the notion that to empower a woman is to empower the whole nation, Nnunu explains that as she progressed in the music industry she later joined up with two other women (Punah Gabasiane and Kearoma Rantao) who also specialised in Jazz to form a group called ‘Ladies of Jazz’ with the motive of giving back to the community. Through this initiative Ramogotsi says they helped several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), including the Cancer Association of Botswana and Childline.
This noble idea fared well and paid off as the trio started getting offers to perform at corporate events and the rest as the say is history.
However Nnunu, on the other side, managed to grow her brand and establish herself as a jazz songstress of note. In 2012 after being a backing vocalist for more than 10 years Nnunu went solo and released her debut album Mmasonoko. The handwork and perseverance she has put up with throughout the years finally paid off as the album got four nominations in the 2012 BOMU Music Awards, ending up winning two - the best album of the year and best female artist of the year.
In the same year she was invited to Germany along with other Botswana artists to do collaboration with artists from Germany in a musical outfit called the Kalahari Roses. She would later be invited to perform in Sweden in the same year again.
In 2013, the Mmasonoko hit-maker was invited to the SABC 2 Breakfast show for an interview and a performance thereafter. This to Nnunu was a big break in her music career as she believed it gave her the chance to showcase her art to the South African market an opportunity she had so wanted.
Just recently she was invited to perform at The Orbit Jazz Club & Bistro in Johannesburg at the request of Mam’ Dorothy Masuku, who had spotted her perform and liked her songs. Currently she is working on her performance with the Re Batswana Music Ensemble. The group, which comprises leading local musicians, will tour Europe soon.
But the talented muso takes all her success didn’t come easy. She insists she is a product of hard work and being focused as an artist. She is currently working on the music videos of two hits from her debut album; Mmasonoko and Lerole la tsie, which she promises will be fireworks. Her second album, she says, is also brewing.
Her word to other female artists and others who are still aspiring is that self-respect and boldness is a winner in the male dominated music industry. One has to be original and conduct herself professionally to do well, she advises.