In a country with an estimated population of 2.25 million (2016), one of Africa’s most popular and exclusive safari destinations, Botswana is truly a fascinating world, home to well-known novelties such as the Okavango Delta, the Kalahari Desert, the Chobe National Park and ATI. In a world that is often brazenly intolerant and expects to be entertained with sheer perfection, ATI, officially known as Atlasaone Molemogi to his legion of fans truly offers a breadth of fresh air to the Botswana musicscape.
Born 28 years ago in the Bamangwato capital of Serowe in the Central District, the versatile and incalculable Botswana performer is plausibly in a league of his own, making his nemesis and cronies alike play a game of unceasing catch-up.
The nifty rapper recently cemented his influential distinction when he bagged six awards at this year’s Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) Music Awards – Best Hip Hop/Motswako Artist, Best Single, and Best Collaboration featuring Young Amazing and Legacy DG in the popular song “Khiring Khiring Khorong”, Best Song of the Year, Best Single Track and Best Male Artist.
Even more gratifying positive vibes for ATI is his current deal with the Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL) as the brand ambassador for a period of 12 months, which sees his hit single and trending household anthem “Khiring Khiring Khorong” becoming the face of the local telecommunications and Internet service provider’s summer campaign – #SummerkaMonate #SummerkaBathoBame.
We’ve seen the artistic rapper’s career grow from the era of ‘My African Dream’ to releasing his 20-track banging album, Envelope fully powered by BTC, which was premiered to an intimate audience at Maitisong in Maru-a-Pula last week Thursday including the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng.
Despite his present glory days where he’s dominating the airwaves, local and international shows, ATI’s past was not without its own drama and controversy. Synonymous with his American idols, ATI has had a brush with the law over allegations of kidnapping while others allegedly accused him of harbouring satanic bents. Well, all that seem to be water under the bridge courtesy of his immaculate performances and skills.
He’s an epitome of ‘You Can Be Anything’ – if you put your heart, mind and soul to it. Saved from his own skin, by both his devoted manager, Lloyd Totego and enthusiastic mentor, Kesego Kebelaele-Okie, ATI is riding on the crest of a wave with the acclaimed success of his latest album, Envelope.
Last week Thursday, the talented rapper gave an intimate Maitisong crowd a taste of the entire album leaving everyone stunned courtesy of his musically-fuelled passion. The young and gifted ATI always packs a powerful yet surprising punch each time he takes to the musical stage. While everyone at Maitisong waited patiently to see what the young man had up his sleeves this time around, ATI descended into the colourful stage dangling from a cable above the auditorium, which was no surprise judging from his other past performances.
The Botswana rapper has now become famous for his eccentric performances which include mimicking the rising dead by appearing on stage in a closed casket, to dropping from the sky on a crane at the recent St. Louis Fresh festival held at Duma FM Grounds and just recently building a mock-up house on stage in Maun (Fresh Fest) in sync with his “Koko-Koko Re Bulele” stanza.
The boy truly outdid himself sharing the stage with some of the featured artists in his album among them, the racy rap queen, Sasa Klaas, Spiza, Young Amazing and Legacy DG among others. It was truly a colourful night of dazzling rap music with ATI shutting down the show with an impressive drizzling act, which had everyone mesmerized!