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Kwaito star Mapetla exits

04 Mar 2024

Mapetla is no more.

Such was the rude awakening that music lovers and indeed the nation had in the wee hours of March 4.

The talented vibrant kwaito star Thabo Ntirang, affectionately known as Mapetla, met his untimely demise in the early morning of March 4, following a tragic car accident. 

The news of the 41-year-old’s  passing came as a shock to family members as social media was ahead in breaking them before police could notify the family.

“We are disappointed at social media users for their reckless reports without confirming first with family. It was insensitive of them. 

Ga se setho,” said Mapetla’s uncle Botho Ntirang in an interview as he confirmed the passing of his beloved nephew.

Ntirang said despite Mapetla being a public figure, it was distasteful for social media to have reported his death before they could contact the family for confirmation. 

He said they were not certain yet as to what caused the accident, but were waiting for the ppolice to notify the family upon conclusion of investigations.

The hoarse voiced Tonota native rose to fame in 2000 and it was his hit single Ahh that somehow cemented his game in the industry. 

Known for his swag style, about which he would often say ‘nna kana ke dese’, Mapetla worked with various artistes such as Charma Gal, T.H.A.B.O, his own sister Dato Seiko, Kenny Mackenzo and many other kwaito stars during his time. 

He was also a businessman having founded Petla’s Tarven Records.

He was versatile and had the ability to diverse his craft despite his strong kwaito signature. 

Mapetla has offered his fans such songs as Jorotane, a gospel feel song, slow jammed Pelo in which he was featured by his sister Dato Seiko. 

He also collaborated with Charma Gal on their smash banger Communication, an electrifying dance offering by two of Botswana’s favourites of two different genres.

After a long absence from the music scene, Mapetla burst back into the landscape in 2020 with a smash afro pop hit Thaba Tshweu, an offering that became a favourite, especially for wedding ceremonies. 

Despite it being a fusion of kwaito and Afro pop, it was a hit.

“As a musician you need to grow with your market, and the transition comes with growth over the years,” he explained at the time.

When most Botswana artistes’ lyrics were in English during their rise to fame in the mid-2000s, with a few just trying with Setswana lyrics, Mapetla stamped with his tsotsitaal lyrics; which perhaps was inspired by his childhood roots in Lobatse.

His command of kwaito tsotsitaal in his songs earned him a legion of fans not only from his peers, but from ‘grootmaans’ as most could relate to the lingo he used in his songs.

May his soul rest while his music lives on. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Ketshepile More

Location : Gaborone

Event : Interview

Date : 04 Mar 2024