The Maitengwe native living in Germany, Pamela Bhulu, otherwise known by her stage name ‘Nomina’, has been releasing songs to rave reviews from around the world. “It all started when I was young and still based in Botswana. At the time I was in the school choir and I performed at school variety shows. I was forever singing, but did not have any plans of taking the professional route until I went to Germany,” Nomina said.
She noted that her trip to Germany was supposed to be a brief stay in the early 2000s, but she fell in love with the country. She said a friend informed her about a theatrical musical play that was in need of musicians.
“I went for auditions and the producers were impressed. I did not even have to go for the second auditions. They gave me a number of solo performances in the musicals. This boosted my confidence and made me realise that I have what it takes to be a musician,” she said. After working on a number of musicals for a full year, Nomina decided to complete her studies first before venturing into the music industry. She gives credit to the training she received during her engagement in the theatre industry, stating that it taught her to be patient and not rush to anything before completing others. After completing her studies , she heard of a football initiative that needed African songs, and ended up doing a cover of Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s Mamaland that received a lot of reviews on YouTube from both Batswana and German followers. “The reviews were overwhelming and put me under pressure to record more musical content. I saw myself walking into the studio recording a song, which led to more recording sessions,”
she said. Such songs include Don’t Cry Africa, Babe Love and a recent single, How Could You Lie, which is currently being promoted in Botswana. Her music has a fusion of African beats and urban sounds. Back in Germany, she works closely with her producer, Orchidan Waworka and locally with Angelyrist and Lewisky. “As an African artist based in Europe I come across challenges such as language differences because my music is mostly in Tswana, Ndebele and English, but the audience still loves the music despite them not understanding (the words)”. She stated that there is a market for African artists in Europe, especially if their content has that African feel and touch.
“They want to experience that African feel.If you imitate their music they will be less impressed.” She urged Batswana artists to take advantage of the authentic Botswana music sounds to break into the international scene.
A number of African artists from different African countries such as Zimbabwe, Ghana and South Africa have found a market in the German music industry. Making another comparison between local and international music, she stated that Batswana musicians are talented and have good musical material but they have to improve on marketing and distributing their content by engaging professionals on the business side of music. “I am keen on working with local artists, I am always streaming their music. Currently, I am listening to ATI and Amantle Brown who I think is doing well as a young female artist. I am also looking forward to having a performance locally so I get to engage with the audience who are always listening to my music online,” she said.
Nomina joins Batswana musicians such as Lorraine Lionheart and Trinity Mpho who are hoisting high Botswana’s sky-blue/black/white flag overseas.
Link to article: http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=73908&dir=2018/january/12