She needs no introduction, at least to most locals. Singing sensation Kearoma Rantao is a successful woman in her own right, a mother and a daughter shaped by the Christian environment around her. She is currently working on an album which has collaboration tracks with artists from as far as the US, Norway, Sweden, and South Africa.
Born in Ramotswa, her family originates from South Africa but fled Apartheid to settle in Botswana. She grew up in Lobatse where she attended her school. It was in school where she realised her dream, and then she carried herself and lived it as a lifestyle. She regards herself as a student who was very active from primary to secondary mainly in extracurricular activities like the school choir, traditional dance and even in sports.
Academically she was a straight A student. She is a qualified Hotelier. She got more involved fully in music from the ExCutEdge times in 1998, some 17 years ago. In 2008 she became part of the women of jazz Botswana ensemble and also recorded an album with Vee Mampeezy. When she chose to go on her own she released her debut album ‘When the music plays’. She is an amazing character with shy inclination; something that she says helps her to stay respectful to both young and old people around her.
“So truly my passion is constantly balanced with a conservative philosophy that has developed me into the woman of substance that I am today.” she says. Music for her is not just for fun but a business that puts bread on her table. From ExCutEdge sojourn she realised that she needed to work in a safe but appreciating space. That is why she then turned to Afro jazz that gave her the corporate, relaxed and mature style. “Yes, being a God fearing child too you tend to stay away from things like drugs, alcohol and peer pressure at an early age so that really works wonders for you as a starter, so basically I have been okay,” she says.
She faces a challenge of recording her own music as well as marketing it. She manages herself and she is not even signed to any record label. She believes there is need for skilled personnel in arts in Botswana for record labels to offer good management skills, qualified agents, music promoters and managers with not only passion but a plan for the artists. “I am still looking for that one person who will tell me that Kearoma, you don't belong here; you belong to the world, let’s go take it on,” she says.
Her solo album released 2012 scooped three BOMU awards out of four nominations. Last year she became one of the first Batswana to be nominated for best female Southern Africa in the first ever AFRIMMA awards. One of the highlights of her career was travelling and touring Europe with the Kalahari ensemble and Botswana Afro jazz trio last year. Her music already plays in several countries abroad, which makes her proud and keeps her going.
Her future plans are to record more music for the international audience. She believes she can be the next Miriam Makeba and with her talent there is no doubt. In the 17 years she has been in the industry she has never had to go through bad publicity which she says it shows she is behaving well. That alone encourages her to avoid negative and funny things in her life because being in the public eye on its own is a challenge. She would like to perform with Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya. She eagerly awaits the day she will be on stage with Ringo Madlingozi. Music, she says, makes her feel whole.
When she is not busy doing music she hangs around with her closest friends most of the times, or take a drive out of town and even travels outside the country. Her family relaxes her too but she also lives on the net (internet) and believes she is an addict. On whether there are times that she feels lonely, the songstress reveals that she is always occupied with work or family engagements. She says loneliness is unhealthy for anyone and that it should be avoided at all times. As a young girl she grew up with insecurities but she has always been that brave young girl. Her mom is the most important person in her life. She always imitated her mom's singing as a young girl before her other mentors Mma Mothibi and Mma Monosi introduced her to choral music at a young age and believed in her. The church, fellow musicians, her band and her family all bring the best out of her.