One of the leading veteran singers of traditional jazz is still going strong – far from considering retirement. Born in Maun in 1953, Monaga Stiga Sola Molefe is still active in music and recently received a legendary award from the Botswana Musicians Workers Union (BOMU). Stiga said it was an honour to have been awarded a legendary award by BOMU and this shows that he has contributed a lot in the Botswana music industry. Stiga said he is one of the first musicians to start traditional music in 1997. He recalled that other Tswana traditional musicians that joined him were Duncan Senyatso followed by Kgobola and Machesa group. Those were the first time to start playing Tswana traditional music, he said, adding that by that time they were playing with a South African influenced rhythm – Mpaxanga. Listed along veterans for this bit include Johnny Mokhali.
Speaking on his achievements Stiga said songs such as Macapentara, Katshire and Mamelodi made platinum selling and earned him the BOMU award in 2006 and South African Music Award (SAMA) in 1998. The legendary folk star said he received the award together with the late musician Brenda Fassie and others from South Africa. I am the first Motswana to receive the award, he recalled. He is currently working on a new album which is expected to be released next year. The name of the album is Tjitjino, which is a Seyei name commonly used in Ngamiland to depict the chicken’s tail which was a primarily a delicacy reserved for the elders in traditional society. He said the album is a love song which is expected to be a hit. His last album was Ko Morakeng, which was released in 2011. According to him, the album is a success as it enjoys the airplays in local radio stations.
He also noted that he stopped taking part in the Presidential Day competition because they negatively affected his music. He also indicated that he is still grooming someone before he can retire and focus on his family. He also decried that the current generation does not enjoy the old rhythm of music as everyone is interested in Kwasakwasa or kwaito Kwasa. He raised concern about some promoters who undermine local artists. He said promoters have a tendency of paying local artists peanuts while paying international artists huge sums of money.