She is not only an astonishing performer but a loving mother and a shrewd business woman. The smile on Samantha Mogwe tells it all – she is at a place in her life where she is the happiest. This is a culmination of a dream from the young age when her mother insisted on her singing for visitors. She was always singing, with her older siblings always telling her to keep quiet. Eventually though she stopped. “I think maybe it was puberty where you get in a stage that makes you think that some things are not cool anymore,” she recalls. Recognising the talent that she had, her friend forced her to join My African Dream and from there she met someone who volunteered to help her with vocal lessons. She had to ask for money from her mother to fund that. She continued joining competitions in music and poetry. From poetry sessions she learnt how to write and worked with the now renowned poet TJ Dema. “I started learning from how other people wrote poems. I had these different platforms like singing in church too which helped me to showcase what I do,” she says, adding that it is important for the up and coming artists to know that it is not about a record deal but rather about building a great foundation.
For her it was not all about music; she had to focus on school as well. But when she got to the university one of her friends encouraged her to audition for Idols Africa. Though she initialled refused she finally auditioned and made it to the top 24, being the only Motswana. This was the moment that elevated her passion for music to a high level. Though she didn’t have money she decided to put up a show and relied on her network of friends to deliver it. She used social media and willing friends. When Botswana Craft offered her space, her mission was almost accomplished. “They opened doors for me and I was able to get bookings even before I had a single playing on radio. So it is about putting yourself out there and hustling, and not being afraid to ask for help from the people you know especially family and friends who believe in you,” she says. Her crew from then managed to package her well and sell her to others. She believes in perfection and processes and is particular with her budget and putting money in what she does because she has to pay many people. Born of a Zambian mother and Motswana father, she is working on highlighting her roots in her new music projects. “Of late I have been trying to get in touch with my roots by even engaging with artists whose music is centred around where they come from like jazz songstress Nnunu Ramogotsi on how she sells her country but not losing who she is” she says. In everything she does, she makes sure that she doesn’t lose herself, because she wants to sell a product that is authentic.
She says she is switching things up and portrays it in hair, clothes and makeup. She loves print and bold colours especially black, and being the busy person that she is she has a stylist to help her. She has recently been appointed the brand ambassador for Jack’s Gym due to her dedication to fitness. She says artists should conduct themselves well and know that music is their job. “It is important to set an example for artists who are coming up so that they can learn and respect the arts. We should stop arguing and gossiping and focus on the industry,” she insists. Mogwe is excited about the young female artists that are coming up. She encourages young people to know that beauty is fleeting but should rather chase after their dreams with their whole heart. So far Mogwe has only one album titled Transition and is busy planning the next one. “It will reflect a happier side of me,” she says. Mogwe is a multifaceted individual who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and has studied music with Trinity College of London. She was born in Serowe in 1988 to a father from Kanye and a mother from Zambia. She, however, grew up in Mochudi. She is overjoyed by motherhood. Her bundle of joy is Kaela Logan Kitlanang but they just call him Baby K. She spent the first festive holidays as a mother with the greater family. “We spent Christmas in Serowe because that is where my husband is from. We had a family Christmas lunch and spent time with the cousins; we only see them at that time of the year,” she says.