A musical legend by all accounts, yet Socca Moruakgomo’s humbleness is a badge he wears with pride. At home he is a husband and a father, but when he steps out of the house he is a celebrated musician, a karateka and a business man. Moruakgomo fell in love with music in his early years. He listened to music as much as he could, and made sure that he stayed away from things that could distract him. It has always been about his music and his fitness. “Karate and music for me complement each other very well,” he said. Being a prayerful person kept him grounded. He said the mistake that other artists do who end up not making it is because they prioritise money over everything else. He said young upcoming musicians think that it takes them one song to be artists, and that is what derails them off course.
His parents inspired his music path when he was growing up; they even wanted him to go to a music school but did not know how. This explains why he would later enrol for Botswana Defence Force (BDF) music band. “I started my music studies in the army as a soldier. I went there first of all for that,” he said. When he was there he realised that he needed something more, and hence he welcomed an opportunity to go to a music school abroad where he made friends who encouraged him to stick to his voice as an African and do music with the native beat. Allen English from London is the one who helped him to go to music school in the UK after he met him at the showground when they were performing as the BDF band.
But it was when he went to New York that his dreams were realised as he started meeting stars of the world and asking questions. His meeting with Hugh Masekela helped him so much as he offered him extra lessons on the trumpet. One of his first three recorded songs was featured on BBC and it is the one that made Hugh Masekela recommend him for the Sarafina tour and met its producer Bongeni Ngema in 1988 where he got to meet Bongeni Ngema. “That was what got me to the world, and the rest is history because I met world stars,” he said. They toured for four years and that shaped his career because he met different people from politicians to artists where he gauged himself as an artist.
Socca and martial arts
Just like he does music every day, he exercises every day. With the money he was making in music he was able le to go to countries like Japan and the United States to make sure that he trained with the best in karate. He is not a person who hangs out too much. There are people that he clicks with who come from different backgrounds. Even though he does not judge people he makes sure that the people around him are focused in their lives. He described his style as very simple. He has invested so much on himself that he does not have any identity crisis. He said in going up the ladder he lost friends because some people do not want to work hard. “People don’t have time to work hard, they want the simplest ways or they either steal,” he said. To him, success shouldn’t be about cheating anybody but because of hard work.
His farm, the trumpet, Destiny
When he is not doing music, he spends time at his farm where he refreshes his mind by even reading a book. This to him is a breather since he likes the view of beautiful animals. The mix of his playing trumpet in the midst of his animals is a revitalising experience he relishes the most. When he says he is working on his businesses he means the music business, the martial arts business and the farm business. He has been working hard on his album titled Destiny which is expected to be released in less than a month.
He is just about to embark on a countrywide tour scouting for the youth that he can bring together in a song and dance that involves the languages that are spoken in Botswana. He wants to groom them and present them to the world stage. He said he always wants to encourage young artists, and that is why he does not have a problem featuring them in his songs or being featured by them, like it has been with the likes of ATI and Berry Heart. He finds his inspiration from people, and most of the songs that he has written are true stories. “I get the energy from what people do and what they go through,” he said. Whenever he writes a song he considers the global space to ensure it has a wider appeal. He is a man who likes his space, where he plays music, reads or swims without anyone there. Moruakgomo revealed that being able to say no is important. He does things when his heart tells him to, and does not everything that comes his way.
Taking after the father
He does not have any regrets in his life. His children are also deep into music; even though he did not force them to do it. One is a pianist, the other a drummer while Tshepo – a professional musician – is based in Holland. “I didn’t push them to do that. All that I did was to tell them to study, but they got inspiration from my life,” he said. He could not recall his most embarrassing moment, but he remembers that Air Botswana once wrote in his ticket that he was going to Jersey Land when he was going to New Jersey. Upon arrival in the United States he was asked whether he was going to Jersey Land because that only required a concord (jet) then to go there. So he then had to land in Boston and asked his friend to come pick him up, not knowing again that Boston was too far away from New Jersey.
Dream show – his four friends
If he was to have a dream show, it will be with his four friends who were Godly talented because they also worked hard. Getting emotional, he said whenever he plays their records all that he could say is “why did they go?” These men are Tsino Baitsile, Malombo Mmereki and White Kgopo who are all late. The fourth one is South African Nana Coyett Motijwane, the former singer for Stimela. “These are the guys that if had my way, I would sing a last song with because they were amazing. Those are the people I wish I can wake up,” he said.