There are many Batswana out there who are often unknown and not accorded the respect they deserve, and Bofelo Kgaodi-Segotso is one of them. Aged 37, Bofelo is a local showbiz museum for lack of better word – in a typical ‘seen it all, heard it all and probably done it all’ manner.
To date, Bofelo still holds the longest record of being the host of the most successful Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini popular intervarsity night vigil – a popular shindig which served as an eclectic platform for cultural exchanges between all the three countries. As if that was not enough and during the times when the late South African Motswako star HHP frequently visited Botswana, his business associate, Seabelo Modibe had to humbly ask him to join him and HHP in setting up an enterprise, which he did.
Fedi, as he’s affectionately know was born and raised in his home village of Sefhare, Tswapong in the Central District where he grew up heading goats and playing street soccer. He started
and completed both his primary and junior secondary education in his native village before heading to a boarding school at Lotsane Senior Secondary School, Palapye where he completed his BGSCE.
Fedi says at the age of 9 he was casted to portray a character of Jesus in a school play from a Bible scripture, something he developed a strong passion for. He carried his passion with him
to high school, where he emerged best drama student at both junior and senior levels and he has never stopped since then.
He’s then founder of MAKOYA company, a Gaborone-based creative powerhouse encompassing a broad range of services from music production, recording & publishing, TV & Film production, marketing, events production management and talent management.
His love for art and theatre did reach greater heights, as in 2001 he joined a Gaborone based Youth Health Organisation(YOHO) on voluntary basis, an organisation that worked with Botswana Government, US Government, UN and other reputable organisations to promote youth health through music and theatre.
His main responsibility at YOHO, he says included organising and coordinating outdoor sessions, writing, and performing educational plays as well as training other youth. “YOHO was a big platform for most Botswana artists who emerged around that time, by then there were very few promotion companies and festivals and the few that happened featured mostly foreign artists, something that delayed the growth of our local talent. But YOHO through its campaigns and festivals gave local artists a platform that
changed the local music industry.”
Bofelo played a major role in establishing YOHO’s Bosele Arts Festival which later amalgamated with Dzalobana Arts Festival to become Dzalobana-Bosele Arts Festival. A festival he did not only organize, but also featured on as an actor, poet and an MC.
While at YOHO, Fedi met Angus ‘GUS’ McNeal of Unity Band who recruited him into joining Unity Band, which was then Botswana’s leading technical production company and corporate band. At the same time he met Seabelo Modibe and Hip Hop Pantsula who also recruited him to join them.
In 2003 Bofelo decided to quit YOHO, joined Unity Band on fulltime basis and received an in-house sound engineering training to become the band’s junior sound engineer and interacted with big names such Hugh Masekela and also worked with the likes of Punah Gabasiane, the late Malombo Mmereki and Shanty Lo who were singing for Unity Band at the time. On the other hand, he pushed a side hustle with Seabelo Modibe and HHP, organising Fresher’s Balls at UB and several club gigs in Gaborone.
At the age of 21, Bofelo got another big break from Maitisong Festival when the then Festival director, David Slater appointed him the 2004 edition assist coordinator.
“2005 became a year of growth and independence for me. Makoya Company was born and my acting being my first love got gigs. Same year I casted for Thokolosi TV Drama commissioned by Botswana
Television followed by another casting for an international project with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Movie (MmaRamotswe) in 2007.”
Still in 2006 he signed and released the kwaito duo, of Twiz & Ice under Makoya Company and started dominating varsity entertainment scenes, organised Fresher’s Balls, Beauty Pageants and BOLESWA Intervarsity Games. In the midst of all this, his relationship with Modibe and HHP of Lekoko Entertainment remained intact, Lekoko Entertainment continued to trust
him with major projects by giving him major roles in projects such Mascom Boosta Bash, Mascom Re Daa Road Shows to name but a few.
Between 2009 and 2010, through Makoya Company he sealed a management deal with Mapetla, Eugene Jackson and Kgotla Kgaodi, and his artist management profile extends to managing Francistown’s celebrated DJ Collastrow.
In 2012, the Sefhare-born multi-talented creative collaborated with his friends, David Fiftytwo Letshwiti, Double and Vilgee to established Colourful People Entertainment that he later resigned from before he took a two year break from showbiz in 2013.
“Upon my comeback in 2015, I collaborated with my long time business associate, Seabelo Modibe and played a very instrumental role in the establishment of the Botswana International Music Conference (BIMC) paving a way to
speak at the internationally acclaimed The Imbizo Music 2016 in Durban.”
Still under his stewardship, today Makoya Company has collaborated again with Mapetla to manage and co-release his upcoming sixth studio album with a single and music video already out dominating the airwaves.
Not only did he excel in the creative space, Fedi has donated blood religiously for 20 years without fail, quantified to have saved 207 lives. Next month, he will be donating his 70th where he is expected to share his story behind the unrelentless keen blood donation campaign.