Born Lebo Tatedi-Genheimer 26 years ago, Elte was a promising talent in Botswana’s R&B circles. Her 2014 singles used to be on high rotation in local radio stations and this was not by luck, because Elte is sheer talent. Having lived in South Africa and Germany one would have thought the ambition and influences from these two countries, which are way above the local music prowess will catapult her budding music career post 2014 but that was not to be.
Her aura and bubbly character also influenced the then Yarona FM Programs Manager, Bonnie Dintwa to rope her into the youthful radio station albeit it was short-lived as the songbird resigned. Prior to her resignation, Elte is probably the only artist in Botswana to have shared her marriage vows live on radio when she got hitched. She recently poured her emotions to #Botswanaunplugged ahead of her return to the musical stage after being MIA (missing in action) for over 2 years…
Good to see you back in the musical landscape with your first gig being the Battle of the Divas. Should we expect new music?
Yes, this means new music. Elté is back and is bringing an even better package. I am now working with TCM and German Dollar of Pace Entertainment and have been in the studio since February. So my fans should be on the lookout soon.
You got hitched and also started a family. Tell us more…
My journey has been crazy. I started dating in April 2014, got engaged in August 2014 and on October 2014 I got a gig at Yarona FM with the morning show team. In December 2014 I got married and found out I was pregnant by April 2015. How crazy is that? In one full year, I launched my music and my personal life just picked up speed. I was living on the high way, I couldn’t keep up with my own life and emotions. But it all hit me when I got married. My life started crumbling. I was so confused and sad. I fell pregnant, my world shattered and I went into panic mode.
Why? I thought getting married should be fun
I was hit by a serious depression because of life’s situation coupled with hormones. The pregnancy was the cherry on top of the already disaster. Everything started going wrong in my marriage, in my life. I was watching it all crumble. My marriage started to affect my whole life. It even affected my radio job at Yarona FM and ultimately I resigned. I made all the excuses and cover up stories but it was my marriage that was damaging everything. That is not how it is supposed to be. I was mad at everything and everyone. Depression is real.
I didn’t want to be in the limelight while deep down I was dying and crying out for help. I truly hit rock bottom and as much as I needed music to escape, I was also trying to hide the pregnancy because that meant more attention. I needed to hide away, hide all my problems. Oh, the battle was real. I never thought I would make it. I didn’t want to make it and I still have all the horrific memories and thoughts of what if and I should have done this and not done that. I just didn’t want to ever wake up.
When I thought it couldn’t get worse, it kept getting worse. It was absurd. In November 2015, I gave birth to my daughter and for about 4 months I was still struggling with what life was. But being a mother gave me strength every day to fight the odds and obstacles that I was in; God saved me with my daughter, Lariah-Rose. I started to collect the pieces of the strong, independent, no nonsense girl I am, the one who doesn’t get beaten down by no other, the one who gets things together no matter what, the one who always finds strength even in weakness. Then TCM (Pace Entertainment) also reached out randomly one day and said “Elté, you’re ready for studio?” And that was even more of the motivation I needed.
That’s a mouthful. Glad to have you back on your feet…
Getting back to working on my music has helped me mend all the broken pieces of myself. When everyone was envious of me; I was envious of the girl next door. I am back, I will keep sharing my story, I will be real and honest because someone, a woman out there, needs to know, “it will get rough, painful, brutal, horrific, name it all. But it will be ok”. My music will tackle all the issues I have been through because music is therapeutic.
Any plans to return to radio?
I would love to get back on radio. I fell in love with radio plus I have more to say now. I may only be 26 but wow, I have grown up and experienced a lot in life. I have so much to say and I stand my ground more firm than before.
Back to the Battle of Divas, what can the people expect?
A vocal marathon of note! As Aldo Brincat puts it “Delivering a complex musical marathon celebrating the power of the female voice”. It’s going to be an exquisite show of local talent just as good as international talent. Vivien Dakpo, Debbie-with-a-T and myself accompanied by Keys, Drums & Bass, #BattlingTheDivas and dressed by the lovely Mothusi Lesolle of iZaura, Lame Chilume of Switch Couture as well as Gaone Moremong of House of Kay. Come and experience the power of the female voice.