Some call her Maxy, some Mma Gauta, Queen of Sands, Music Goddess, Golden Queen or even the Brenda Fassie of Botswana because of a voice like no other that Maxy Olebile Sedumedi has. She got into the local industry as a young lady and captured the hearts of Batswana. She is currently based outside Botswana, having penned down a lucrative contract with one of the famous record labels, a deal that she did not want to talk about since the terms of her contract withholds her from divulging more about it until her album is ready. The mother of one and the only child to her mother comes from Otse village. Maxy exploded unto the local scene 16 years ago. She was a hit immediately and has dominated the local music scene for years. She has nine traditional albums, four afro pop albums, one house album and one gospel album. She is one of the first people to make what is deemed as contemporary traditional music to look cool and one of the first local females to own their own record label and do her music. This led to her winning the Thari ya Sechaba award and being nominated for Kora awards before. Among the accolades bestowed upon her include being named the Icon of the Year and the most charitable artist. She is a well-travelled artist, having been to places like Japan, China, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, United Kingdom and almost all SADC countries. Her golden voice has won her recognition and big contracts, including signing up with South Africa’s EMI records and this expanded the reach of her brand. She has had to in the process move from one controversy to another in some cases this being brought about by bad contracts she entered into.
From the beginning her brand has always been about corporate gigs and launches, where she is called and paid to come and perform. “I have decided to do that because it keeps the brand fresh especially that Botswana is small, when you are always out there every time people end up getting used to you,” she says. She dismisses claims by some people that she is expensive, but rather the right value of her talent that some people appreciate because she puts so much work onto the craft. She refers to herself as a very spiritual, loving and God fearing woman. She also respects her ancestors. She says though she has had an incredible journey she has also had the bad, but she appreciates it all without regrets. “We always want to be popular but we are never aware of the prize that we have to pay, because after all everyone ends up knowing everything about us and wanting to have an opinion about our lives, expecting us to live a certain way,” she says.
Brenda Fassie saga
She recalls the 2005 saga when her voice was used in Brenda Fassie’s songs as one of the difficult situations that she had to deal with. She felt like returning home to just hide from her sojourn in South Africa. She never thought the media would be buzzing about it to the extent of even having cartoons in reference to the situation. What she got from the saga though was recognition. People started recognising her even more and the talent that she has.
Music changes her life
According to Maxy, she has never done anything else for the past 16 years but music. “Music changed my life, and now I and my family are living well out of music. I am a provider out of something I love,” she says. According to her, singing gospel is not only about singing songs that talks about God, but rather singing about goodness. Maxy has never been ashamed of her family and background, ensuring that they shared in her limelight. She says having to live their lives in front of cameras and people is something she has gotten accustomed to. People knew when she got pregnant and even wanted to know who the father was. She creates time to listen to Maxy’s music as well, which builds her. She says people should not expect musicians to be perfect, but should rather always pick what is best from them and use that to impact their lives positively.
She is humbled by the successful 16 years musical journey and thanks her supporters especially Batswana at home for the wonderful support that they have given her. She says she is in a different market now and a lot of things have changed because she is signed internationally. “Big things are coming and even the sound is changed. So it’s going to be Maxy but elevated Maxy and I am always there for Batswana and would love to take this journey ahead with them,” she says. She encourages other artists to sing many genres, because that will show how versatile they are with their voices which makes people to appreciate their talents from diverse markets. This experiment opened doors for her.