In Botswana, fame and fortune for heavy metal rock bands grow online during pandemic
COSTS AND INTERNET CONNECTION
Despite the benefits of going online during the pandemic, Marok members lamented that more than half of Batswana lack internet access and many foreigners have no idea about the country’s situation.
“There’s a talent for metal here, but a lot of people don’t even know where Botswana is,” said Nikki Mokalake, 38, a metal fan from a village an hour from Gaborone.
Most of the instruments they use are not available in Botswana, Mosaka said. He said it can take band members three to four years to save enough money to import them.
Last year’s lockdown was a particularly difficult time, Beats said.
“It was tough, but the online videos lifted our spirits,” he said, adding that one of his group’s videos reached almost half a million people and their subscribers on Facebook had gone from 700 to nearly 6,000.
Mosaka stopped by a metal shop in Gaborone where another rocker named King Taker works, welding under a large skull he erected above his shop to let other metal fans know that They are welcome.
“The lockdown was brutal,” he said, adjusting his black mask bearing a white skull and crossbones.
“But bands like Overthrust have fought their way out. Rural metalheads and fans around the world tuned in. The internet has put us on the map where we belong,” he said.
Thomson Reuters Foundation