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Harambee ropes in South African producer

Staff Reporter

MUSIC stable Harambee Harambee Global Records, has engaged South African producer Dumelang Wilfred Tšepo, popularly known as Bondo, to work on some projects with local artistes.

Bondo is popularly known for producing and backing famous South African artistes like John Paka, Thembile Thembile, Nonkosi Sokoyi and several others from the Free State province.

Bondo said Lesotho was his “home away from home” given the uniformity of language and culture.

His trip to Lesotho will be a major boost for Harambee, which is on the verge of commissioning a state-of-the art music recording studio, visual studio and artistes’ management centre. The music centre is located in Maseru’s Sea Point area and will be accessible to most artistes who are interested in promoting their craft to international levels.

“I have already started working with some artistes who are putting final touches to their music such as Morena Sway whom I have found to be very talented,” Bondo said.

“I like the Harambee environment because of the passion they have for promoting music and local artistes. I’m a hard worker and I enjoy working with like-minded people.”

The multi-talented Bondo is a singer and also plays the keyboard and drums. He is also skilled in video production.

Bondo said he sees huge potential for locally produced music to enter other markets like South Africa and even beyond.

Born on 24 October 1996 in Ficksburg, learnt to play keyboard when he was seven, thanks to his father William Tšepo, who is a retired gospel musician. By the time he finished primary school in 2008, he had mastered drums and other instruments.

Although he holds a diploma in Information technology (IT) from ATTI Training Centre, the music bug kept biting and he decided to take up music production seriously in 2018.

In 2020, he was also involved in creating scores for the musical Crossings which involved theatre, dance, music and other art forms in Bloemfontein. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the bulk of the production was staged virtually and his IT skills came in handy.

“I grew up listening to jazz, gospel and old school music because of my father. Later I would sing gospel, RnB and Afro-soul but I like all kinds of music from any cultural background. I also host other artistes on the Tuesday Tributes on my Facebook page (@Bondo_za) which has gained popularity across South Africa.

“In 2009 I released my own gospel album. However, I am planning to do a lot of Afro-soul music and rap because I am a soulful person from the heart. I sing in Sesotho, English, Zulu, Xhosa and other languages,” he continues to elaborate.

When he is not in the studio, he plays keyboards fronting the band On Point Music which features his brother Platjie Tšepo on bass and Lebogang Sekhutleleng on drums. The trio is known for playing at different joints within the Free State.

Bondo’s music was inspired PJ Morton, an RnB pianist from the US and the South African RnB and neo soul musician and producer, Afrotraction.

“I like the way PJ Morton and Afrotraction arrange their music and the blending of the piano with other instruments. This is the kind of musical influence I want young Basotho to have but I will be open to their musical preferences,” Bondo said.

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