Itumeleng Thato Teseletso, popularly known as Tummie is a seasoned PR Practitioner, a professional and highly motivated Communication Expert. She is currently working for Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC). God is central in her life hence, she is God-fearing. She prides herself to be a God given daughter, amazing sister, great friend, proud mother, a beautiful wife and a law abiding patriotic citizen of the beautiful Republic of Botswana. Ramotswa is her birth place and home village……born 40 years ago. She says, “Ke Molete wa Popota”.
DJ LEXY J: I’d like to know your relationship with music, when did the love begin? How far back can you remember?
TESELETSO: I was introduced to music very early in my life. Being born into a Catholic family in Ramotswa has always exposed me to music. I had the privilege to be serenaded all the time, particularly as a baby when my mother used to take me and my sisters to Church with her. I then grew up to join Catechism School at St. Conrad's Mission Church in Ramotswa for my Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation lessons. We used to sing all the time. I honestly was attracted more to it by the hymns and dance. At home, music was played all the time. I vividly remember my late Uncle Modise, used to come by, and would have us nieces and nephews put up against each other in a Dance-Off Challenge. I used to win money from this competition all the time, precisely because I had a great ear for music. I had a great rhythm and was very creative in my dance moves. Growing up in the main Kgotla in Ramotswa, Ko-Kgosing, I used to be drawn to the music that came from the Kgotla when traditional functions were held. As young as I was, I always attended the traditional events that took place at the Kgotla with my late granny. Being the first born grandchild, I would always be by my granny’s side at all the traditional functions. She was literally schooling me and preparing me for womanhood in a traditional set-up. All these events we attended were very much characterised by music and dance. Even when the ladies and gentlemen came back home to the Kgotla for their graduation from the Traditional Initiation School (Bogwera le Bojale), my cousins and I would follow them to the Kgotla, singing along with them. The day would culminate into traditional festivities and a cultural spectacle. There would be great music and dance. I’m proud that I was raised in such an environment. The traditional whistle/pipe songs, traditionally known in Ramotswa as "Ditlhaka" is still my favourite at these traditional events. At Primary School, I was in the Traditional Dance Group. I was the best. I used to be the lead singer and dancer. At Senior School, I was mostly fascinated by the music and creativity that was involved in the Drama club, in the form of dance and theatrical performance. I became part of that too! So music has really been a part of me all my life.
DJ LEXY J: What kind of music do you love and how often do you indulge yourself?
TESELETSO: I love all sorts of music genres. It’s actually more about what appeals to me when I’m listening to a piece of music. I love certain songs across all genres of music. I can listen to anything and everything, Rap, R&B, Jazz, Choral, Gospel, Traditional Folklore etc. I listen to music every day, my day is definitely not complete without music.
DJ LEXY J: How has music influenced your life over the years?
TESELETSO: Music is a rhythm to my soul. I love music that moves me physically and emotionally. Music takes me to places I have never been to. When words fail, music speaks. Music has been my comforter at the time of pain and in need. It has been my honest emotion at a time of celebration. I play different music for different reasons and the type of music I play is an indication of where I am emotionally or where I want to take myself to. I have to admit, I have used music to suppress my pain and take myself to a much happier place at times too. So it’s safe to say, music has been my refuge.
DJ LEXY J: Does the music you listen to now differ from what you listened to growing up?
TESELETSO: It hasn't really changed but rather broadened my scope. I am now exposed to more genres. I appreciate music much more now as it comes as a tapestry; it comes in all shades and colours. It brings emotions, paints and imprint lifelong memories. I have always been able to associate music with a place or an event and that’s the effect of music on me. It’s not so much of what music, it’s rather where and when the music was playing. It could be a throwback song and it would bring that sense of completeness and serenity.
DJ LEXY J: Can you think of any particular music/song that you associate a memory, mood, or place with?
TESELETSO: The R Kelly rendition of the Whitney Houston’s "I Look To You" song became a great memory of her passing for me. She left too soon. This song touches the cords of my heart every time I hear it play.
DJ LEXY J: What is your all-time favourite song(s)?
TESELETSO: Lionel Richie - Endless Love (duet with Diana Ross); Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You; Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry.
DJ LEXY J: Who is your all-time favourite artist, and why?
TESELETSO: My all-time favourite musician is Whitney Houston because her songs are timeless…..never go out of fashion. They are very relatable in terms of messaging. The songs also have a very great ring to them and are danceable too! Some remarkable songs such as; Greatest Love Of All, Count On Me, My Love Is Your Love….beautiful songs which will be played for decades.
DJ LEXY J: What’s on your playlist and how do you choose the music that goes onto it?
TESELETSO: Right now, on my playlist I have the latest Mafikizolo Album because I got it as a gift from my husband. I also have a memory card at the click of a button too, with all sorts of music. It has everything from Mpharanyane, Lionel Richie, Julio Iglesias, Brenda Fassie, Third Mind, Hugh Masekela, Dolly Parton, R. Kelly, Gaona Rantlhoiwa, Sean Paul, Beyonce, Scar, Han-C, Rebecca Malope, Judy Boucher, 2Pac, Jay Z, Ntando, Charma Gal, Rihanna, MaCecilia, Bob Marley, Celine Dion, the Niger Boys to Vee Mampeezy. It’s loaded and I just switch to it whenever I need a dose of great music.
DJ LEXY J: So long, have yourself a super duper day!!
TESELETSO: Thank you for taking me down memory lane DJ Lexy J.