Benjamin Raletsatsi is a 43 years old social worker by training and an Entrepreneur by practice. I am married with three children (two girls and a boy). I am from Mahalapye. I was born in Maun and grew up completely in the Ghetto (Francistown). I have lived in Kasane and adore the place very much. DJ Lexy J: I’d like to know your relationship with music, when did the love begin? How far back can you remember? BENJAMIN: My relationship with music is easy to define. My father was a big collector of music (a lover of Mpaxanga Music) when we were growing up and my mother was a 4B Club coordinator and therefore I was introduced to music early. My father took me to a Mahotella Queens concert when I was three because there was nobody to stay with me at home. For me the introduction to music was also mixed with my love for dance. I was a traditional music dancer (borankana) in my early days starting in my days at Ghanzi Primary School, then Satellite Primary School (Francistown), junior school Setlalekgosi Secondary where at one time I was recognised as one of the best traditional dancers from the north of Botswana. Once at junior school I then discovered hip hop music, funk and breakdance music and ditched my traditional dance career for break dance and other dances and a new love for hip hop and other genres of music was born. During the same time I was living in a community that was listening to a lot of rock and roll music, Francistown-Satellite “ko Coloured” as it was called but also around the same time I had a bit of a taste for reggae music. My love for music has mostly been associated with the time and what I was going through at the time. I remember when I was a first year student at the University and we felt the revolutionary spirit then the big music was Mbongeni Ngema’s Sarafina music and Peter Tosh revolutionary music. I also remember my travel around Africa that gave rise to my African music feel with me listening to the likes of Sam Mangwana, Salif Keita, Fela Kuti, NWA, Wutan Clan and Tupac. The other relationship with music came as a result of my friendship with Mike Proctor in the late 90s. He was a DJ and I was his speaker carry boy. He introduced different genres of music and styles of playing music. I still remember Mike as the only DJ to play with three turn tables and doing the scratching, I also remember the days of break dance ko Ghetto, Clubs like The New Yorker, Meriting, The Cave, Rizma and Leseding. I also remember being a UB student being introduced to places like Air-spot, Club Cameo and a couple of places in Gaborone and traveling the world and the only memory I can remember of Harare, Nairobi, Barcelona, Addis Ababa (where I met Hugh Masekela and Salif Keita in person).
DJ Lexy J: What kind of music do you love and how often do you indulge yourself?
Benjamin: As stated above I listen to all music, it depends on the mood and feeling at the time so I cannot define my music through one genre, I listen to music across all genres.
DJ Lexy J: How has music influenced your life over the years?
BENJAMIN: Music is a key influencer in my life at all times. When I am happy I play music, when I am sad I play music, when my creative spirits are high I play music, when my revolutionary spirit is on I use music to inspire me and lately I have started a running hobby and when energies are down and I feel like I am losing it I use music to inspire me! Music for me is a great influencer and the most important woman in my life currently, my wife was charmed into my life through music - the choice of song remains one of the most iconic songs in my life (P-Square, My African Queen). On our wedding day I dedicated a traditional song which to this day my mother still holds me to it, Matsieng, Setswana Sa Borre, Joko.
DJ Lexy J: Does the music you listen to now differ from what you listened to when growing up?
BENJAMIN: The Music range has just increased. I now listen to a variety of music differently, for example Onketsang by Rex Rabanyana. I listen to that song differently back in the early 90’s as to how and what I listen to now. I have continued to appreciate different music. Currently I listen to Dramaboi and Abdula Ebrahim, Soccer Moruakgomo, Amantle Brown and Groove Cartel.
DJ Lexy J: Can you think of any particular music/song that you associate a memory, mood, or place?
BENJAMIN: I have described above the songs that introduced me to the most beautiful woman in my life. However there are songs like those we danced to with some of my friends such as Itwenjani by Mawilies which gives me creeps and reminds me of the days in Maun. Mandla Sepikiri is still my favourite producer – singer as well as Ski/Skizo and Tribal Monks during the Amasamove Black Label Tour that we followed around Botswana as much as I could. To this day I take pride in the fact that I still do not take in any alcohol.
DJ Lexy J: What is your all-time favourite song(s)?
BENJAMIN: This is for me the most difficult question as you can see my music choice is very broad and across cultures. This is My African women – P Square (simply because of my wife).
DJ Lexy J: Who is your all-time favourite Artist, and why?
BENJAMIN: This I cannot say because it changes with the mood. Having said that though, there is one particular artist I would love to watch perform live on stage. That is none other than Phil Collins.
DJ Lexy J: What’s on your playlist and how do you choose the music that goes onto it?
BENJAMIN: Sereetsi and the Natives (whom I support and follow religiously), Amantle Brown (My family enjoy her album) and in the last week Kanda Bongo Man, NWA straight out of Campton and Naughty by Nature (Poverty is Paradise). All the above are a mood thing and they are not static in my play list.