Home » Art & Culture » Rhumba star praises President Day competitions

Being established in 2008 in a quest to serve as a platform to unearth and expose local talent, as well as to reward excelling artistes in the country, the President Day’s competitions have now developed into one of Botswana’s top arts brands, producing big names in the country’s music circles.

One product of this initiative is Onkagetse Phetlhu, known as Ded-Cor in the music industry who has become a household name and most cherished artiste in the hearts of Rhumba lovers.

The 32 year old Rhumba Kwasa star did not shy away from praising the competitions for making who he is today. Ded-Cor is the 2013 Presidents Day’s competitions back-track winner and 2015 live band champion.

In interview with BOPA, Ded-Cor said President Day’s competitions have empowered artistes as a demonstration that the arts could become a source of livelihood. He revealed that together with his Desert Musica band, they will no longer take part in these annual events as they feel that the President Day competitions have helped them to graduate into to a fully-fledged musical band to be reckoned with.

Furthermore, he commended President Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama for being a champion in changing the form and meaning of the President Day celebrations. He said the President has come in good stead to expose and promote arts and culture as it was becoming evident that there was serious erosion of arts and culture, mostly emanating from social elements such as modernisation and urbanization.

He added that the competition has helped him a lot to grow personal talent and a vast accumulation of music knowledge hence exposing his talent across various musical spectrums. Nonetheless, Ded-Cor has called for cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in these competitions.  

He said working with people from other countries in order to collaborate creatively is of utmost importance in today’s entertainment fraternity. Ded-Cor added that this development will give them an opportunity to strengthen international and intercultural understanding through the arts.

“Arts contribute in many ways, especially internationally where arts are used to strengthen intercultural dialogue between countries where normal methods of diplomacy are limited.” He added that in this collaborative fashion, a lot of Batswana arts can go past political boundaries and can penetrate cultures in a non-intrusive or aggressive way, thus having the power to break down boundaries and strengthen intercultural understanding.

Ded-Cor said that there’s no doubt that the confluence of diverse cultures can create opportunities for innovation, hence promoting Botswana culture in other countries. “When working with a stranger from a different culture on a task that rewards creative collaboration, high cultural metacognition in one of the two individuals gives the pair the potential for affective trust and creativity,” Ded-Cor says.  

“That, in turn, can lead to enhanced affective trust that makes cross-cultural creative collaboration more effective, whether the goal is to sell your music overseas or establish your artistic credentials in other countries. ENDS

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