I am Gomolemo Zimona aged 43 and married. I am from Maun and currently working for Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) as the Public and Corporate Affairs Manager.
DJ LEXY J: I’d like to know your relationship with music, when did the love begin? How far back can you remember?
ZIMONA: Just imagine how life would be without music? My love for music started way back in the 80s, growing up in a ghetto like and fun loving hood of Maun and in particular Boyei and Shorobe wards, which were equally surrounded and notoriously characterised by Shebeens (Dispoto) and bars. The music that oozed from those places was clearly unbridled loud music which penetrated every household in the neighbourhood by force, even to those who cared not to listen from afar. It was not a question of choice, and you had to receive the music by design or default everyday of your tender loving life 24/7. It was a music continuum and who am I to be spared in such a situation? I remember vividly the picnics of riverside, festivals of old Maun Stadium, the night life of Paradise and the Big Tree, and the likes of Mathomola Disco 86 which drove some of us crazy for lack of proper attributes. That is where those of us that wanted to be associated with the elite of Maun hung out at a tender age; it was super cool. Then there was the Duck Inn, opposite Maun Airport, again where those of us whose love for music was unparalleled, chose to go to. This place was haven for the white folk and it gave us the opportunity not to only listen to westernised ear soothing music from highly decorated artists and groups such as Dobbie Gray, Dolly Paton and Abba, but also to ask for money and eat crumbs and other left overs from the white folks and tourists alike. At a fundamental level, there was this thing called Rock Music. This was live madness influenced by the white community that often saluted us in style and paraded the life blood of Rock music through the Annual Maun Carnival, and the Power Station where Rock n Roll resided. It was indeed the order of the day. This is where we got influenced by groups such as U2, ACDC, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Black Sabbath, and Thin Lizzy to mention but a few. Not only did the white rockers mesmerise us with their rock n roll outfit, Harley Davison Motorbikes and live artistic skills, but also rocked craziness out of us all night long. At one point I was confused between rock and disco and I chose to love them both equally. I must say that back then the music industry was not controlled, noise levels not managed, dominated by rumba and disco, and undoubtedly propelled by Radio Botswana through presenters like the late Mokgankgara (the late Phillip Moshotle). In the rumba category, the likes of Leonard Dembo and the Barura Express, Devera Ngwenya and many others ruled the industry. In the disco category, I was more inspired by Splash music and the Dalom kids. I do not remember consciously missing any of their festivals which were held in Maun from the mid-80s to the late 90s. I had every album and knew every song. Although I never had money most of the time, I always found myself in the midst of those who had to part ways with their hard earned cash to experience the live performances. For those days I was not fortunate enough to sneak in, instead, I simply derived pleasure and comfort from peeping through any window or opening at my disposal and listened from outside. And those were the days of our music lives.
DJ LEXY J: What kind of music do you love and how often do you indulge yourself?
ZIMONA: I love all sorts of music, but I think I loved Disco more. Nowadays I am more inclined towards house and RnB music. The African DJs have given us a wider choice of music. They have improved some songs and spoilt us more.
DJ LEXY J: How has music influenced your life over the years?
ZIMONA: In music there is peace, love and happiness. Music transcend boundaries, brings people together and a good song can be sung in any language and it would still be a good song. Music makes me feel young again and whenever I am stressed, I listen to music. I find solace in music and I think I am addicted to good music. Live performances actually drive me crazy.
DJ LEXY J: Does the music you listen to now differ from what you listened to growing up?
ZIMONA: Today’s music is different from what I used to listen to in a big way. But I am seminal; I change with the changing times. I am able to accommodate new good music regardless of genre. I am always in search of new songs and I can confidently say that I am up to date with what is happening in the music industry, both locally and internationally.
DJ LEXY J: Can you think of any particular music/song that you associate a memory, mood, or place with?
ZIMONA: There are those that I associate with love and happiness. For instance, this song Nisixoshelani by Mafikizolo reminds me of the time I proposed marriage to my wife. Somehow this song kept playing everywhere and every time I was with her. I guess it was the hit of the time.
DJ LEXY J: What is your all-time favourite song(s)?
ZIMONA: Beautiful Day by U2; Emthlabeni by Splash; and Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.
DJ LEXY J: Who is your all-time favourite artist, and why?
ZIMONA: Splash and Dalom Music because they perform live all the time.
DJ LEXY J: What’s on your playlist and how do you choose the music that goes onto it?
ZIMONA: My Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, The Centre of Africa, I Love You Africa, but I Love Uganda more.
DJ LEXY J: So long, have yourself a super duper day!