At only 37 years of age Dithuso “DT” Selepeng is already considered a veteran in music.
It is not however shocking for a young man who at the age of 24 had already been there done that and even walked down the aisle, and stayed married for 13 years.
He recently made another shock move by making his political affiliation public.
In this interview with Voice Reporter Kabelo Dipholo, Selepeng opens up about his music career and his relationship with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, his new political home.
Congratulations on your new found fame as a politician
Q. Please introduce yourself?
DT is an artist, husband and father. I hail from Serowe and I’m the last born in a family of four.
Q. DT by now you must have received countless calls from your followers asking you about your affiliation to the Botswana Democratic Party. How did that happen?
Yah, I knew it was bound to shock a lot of people but this is something I have worked on for a very long time.
Q. How do you mean?
I mean I have always been a BDP admirer and follower and have worked hard to prepare myself to be actively involved with party.
I’m a very patient person and will never go into something unless I have the right information.
It is important to acquire knowledge first in order to make informed decisions and that is what I have been doing over the years.
I have interacted with young people at different forums across the country and this was still part of the preparation for the inevitable.
Q. What attracted you to the BDP?
I have always been a BDP sympathiser like I have already said; but there are a number of things I like about the party.
And please let me state that joining the party as a Life time member was not the beginning of political interests but a continuation of my political aspirations.
I have worked with young people for so long and came to the conclusion that the time was now right to let other young people know that there is only one party that can help them realize their dreams.
It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m from Serowe; rather a timely decision.
Your launch, together with other notable artists by the Youth League received a lot of media coverage. It was the first of its kind, why do you think the Youth League went to such great lengths?
I was so humbled and touched by the League’s gesture and it has energized me to work really hard for my party.
A e jeke Domkrag! (Laughs). In my view the launch was not to welcome me into the party because like I have said before I was a member since birth.
The launch was meant for me to now go all out and mobilize young people like me and teach them the policies and values of the BDP.
Q. And what is it in for you? I have heard rumours of money exchanging hands before…
I’m not for sale. For as long as I can remember I have always tried to make my own money. It was never enough but I have always made my own money and survived all the hardships.
My kids are all grown and I’m not complaining.
Q. Does this mean you will be vying for political office in 2014?
I’m interested in doing anything that shows growth; it might not be soon but maybe later.
What is important to me right now is that people now know my political affiliation. I’m currently enjoying it because I have worked very hard to be here.
I also need to put it on record that nobody pursued me; I made that decision on my own.
Q. As an artist you have the freedom of expressing yourself in anyway and coming from the Dancehall/Reggae genre which is popular for speaking out against the establishment and speaking on behalf of the poor, don’t you think your affiliation to the ruling party will somehow constrict that freedom?
That’s a good question. I understand where you are coming from, but I also have to remind you that expressing oneself as a musician is not limited to sorrow, grievances, hunger or oppression.
I can express my happiness, love or appreciation as an artist. Besides that there are no wars or atrocities that one can sing about. The tranquil that we live in under the BDP government is what should influence our lyrics as local musicians.
Q. You are known more as a musician than a politician; kindly take us through you music journey.
Music for me is an inborn thing. I first fell in love with music after I received a tape recorder on my fourth birthday I believe.
I started learning how to play a guitar when I was at standard five. I used to rehearse with a band called Makgadikgadi which was very big in Francistown.
By the time I went to junior school I was a complete performer. I used to play during morning assembly and played the guitar for French class. I
featured a lot in talent shows, and I remember battles between GSS and FSS, I really started young.
Q. When did you go commercial with your music?
We started off as a group called Flavour Unit under the management and production of Mike Proctor.
But Mike relocated to Orapa where he formed another group called Ghetto Flava and the guys left in Francistown formed Lordz of the Ghetto under the management of Soares Katumbela.
We later moved to Gaborone and worked with Mike Klink and later we were managed by Willie Mokgatlhe. It was under Mokgatlhe’s guardianship that we broke into the international market.
We toured Singapore, Malaysia and we were all over South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Q. Why did break up after such success?
I would not call it break up or even suggest that we were successful.
We were not really making much so we decided to suspend the project and pursue other avenues that could help us secure a future if music fails to take off, and that is education.
I also managed to release my solo project called Rich in soul and hope to have another project completed soon.
Q. How do you make money?
Well my first love is music; I perform and play a guitar for private sessions. I’m also a qualified aquatic specialist.
Actually I’m one of the few qualified aquatic specialist from Botswana, a qualification I recently got from Durban so if you didn’t know there is a little bit of money to be made from water.
I have been working as a life guard for UB. Lastly I run a medical supplies business specializing in laboratory chemicals. The business has been in operation since 2003.
FULL NAMES: Dithuso Selepeng
DATE OF BIRTH: January 06 1976
PALCE OF BIRTH: Francistown
MARITUAL STATUS: Married to Lorato Selepeng and have two kids Rakim (12) and Amira (9)
HOLIDAY DESTINATION: I would really love to go to Israel
POLITICAL AMBITION: Legislator, I can be the president, all one need to have is an ID and be the right age
PASSTIME: I swim, read and play guitar