He is a music giant not only in his home country South Africa but even in Botswana, the birthplace of his wife. This is Dan Tshanda; the music legend behind the renowned Splash band. Splash will from this month embark on a Botswana tour to appreciate Batswana in their jubilee year for all the love that they have given him over the years. Money raised from all the shows will be donated towards charity organisations in Botswana. He says he has decided to celebrate the 50 years celebrations with Botswana because the country is everything to him. As a school dropout he used to roam the streets but has now become the man he is because of the contributions and the support he has gotten from Botswana and the rest of the world.
How Splash was born
With a career spanning 30 years, he could not be more grateful because now he is business man and has been able to build so many lives through his craft. He worked with the legendary Ray Phiri before he advised him to start his own band due to his immense talent. That is how one of Africa’s music powerhouses – Splash – was birthed. The band’s music appeals to almost everyone and here in Botswana the group has become a household name.
The group’s first album was titled Peacock and it set them for success in 1986. Their music has penetrated the borders of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Nigeria, North America, England and France among others. He has had under his leadership groups including Patricia Majalisa, Matshikos, Dalom Kids, Peacock and Botswana’s late Donald Botshelo who all had and still have successful music careers.
He appreciates Botswana because it is not only a shining example to the continent of Africa but to the rest of the world because not many countries around the world have the peace and the respect that the people here get to enjoy. “I will be embarking on this tour with full stable and local artists as a way of saying to Batswana - Thank you for your loyalty and for being part of my development, encouraging me and supporting my team all the time,” he said. The tour will be a celebration of the music that Batswana grew up listening to. It commences in Lobatse on July 22nd, proceeding to Mahalapye on July 23rd, Maun on July 29th, Gantsi on July 30th, Jwaneng (August 5th), and Tsabong (August 6th) and ultimately Gaborone for the grand finale. The Splash lovers will also have the opportunity to receive free CDs when they buy tickets, something that Dan Tshanda has never done before. To address security concerns that always glare up in the group’s shows, Tshanda says they have scaled up security. “We have also identified places which are secure to host the shows and with that I urge all Batswana from all walks of life to come and be part of this history in the making and kick start the independence celebrations with us,” he says, insisting that this is one the biggest tours that they have ever embarked on in this country and for this country.
Vee, Tshanda combo
With Botswana being his home, he is now focused in developing talent locally. He will be releasing an album with Botswana’s legend Odirile ‘Vee’ Sento and he will also tour Japan with him. He says he is also grooming many young people still in Botswana in order to convey his knowledge to them. Vee hails Tshanda for his great wisdom, saying his is learning a lot from him. “He has been in the industry for 30 years and he is still alive and doing music. Only a few can have such a successful career like him and it is something that I want to learn from him. I will never leave him and I will make sure that I get as much as I need in order to understand how to stay relevant for a very long time,” he says. Vee says his partnership with Tshanda has reawakened him with his performance approvals soaring to the times when he produced his top hit song – Taku Taku; a song that launched him as a superstar. He urges Dan Tshanda to host a workshop for Batswana artists to learn from him.