Renowned folk artist Tapane “Anjo” Lukase’s life was changed for the better last weekend when local company UNIGEM gave her a three bedroom house in her home village of Malatswae.
The composer of Culture Spears hit song “Matebele” was a beneficiary of a programme by the company to help disadvantaged artist lead a dignified life.
Through her active participation in most of the music competitions in the country, including the President’s Competitions and Constituency Arts Competitions where she always came tops, she became an obvious choice for UNIGEM.
The company which was formed in 2009 but only became operational in May 2010 has the mandate to help civil servants acquire accommodation and cars.
UNIGEM Board Chairman Samuel Molaodi said they saw it fit to donate a house to the less privileged setinkane (thumb piano) player because despite her visible poverty, she has never stopped trying to better her life.
“We have set our social responsibility to target artist living in poverty in an effort to preserve performing arts.
This house was donated to show our recognition to indigenous instrument players who have found it hard to break through in to the mainstream industry,” said Molaodi.
For his part, Malatswae Councilor Lebopo hailed UNIGEM for the visionary programme which he said will go a long way in instilling some sense of worth in many disadvantaged local artists.
“This is the first time we are experiencing this in our small village. We are witnessing a miracle in reality from a company that we did not even know existed. I’m over the moon with excitement because I grew up listening to Anjo’s music and what UNIGEM has done is in line with the Vision 2016 Pillar of a Caring and Compassionate nation,” he said.
Giving a keynote address Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Shaw Kgathi described Lukase as an artist on a level of her own.
“If we were to compare, she is on a level of the likes of Dipsy Selolwane and Amantle Montsho,” said Kgathi.
The humble and shy Lukase’ mastery of the thumb piano has seen her representing the country at the 1995 SADC Cultural Festival and the 2008 China Dance Festival. She is also a winner of the President Competition in which she pocketed P10 000.
“She is indeed a true role model to young people who would also want to use their God given talents to better their lives,” Kgathi said.
Kabelo Mogwe of Culture Spears whose wife Charmagal did a duet of the popular song Matebele with the excited Lukase said he wished the veteran artist would record her songs again with better sound quality.
Culture Spears donated P2500 to Lukase who was advised to consider setting up a music academy by Minister Kgathi.