Our Man from the Swamp

Seteka Sola - traditional musician

In the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty nine, a boy was born in the village of Shrobe to the East of Maun. The boy grew well and with a singing mother, music featured in the boys life from a very early age, in fact by the time he was 8 years old he was playing a home made guitar, much to the amusement of friend and family all of whom said he was crazy.

After some years with that home made guitar our boy from the swamp became ‘our man from the swamp’ non other than ‘Seteka Sola’ a household name in Southern Africa whenever traditional music is mentioned. To date Seteka has recorded 8 albums and travels far to obtain the quality recordings he insists on. Seteka’s music career has not gone without recognition and many awards have been bestowed him both locally and international, including Botswana’s ‘best music award’ for his incredible album ‘Mmamelodi’.

Our man from the swamps is certainly at his best when performing live, a one-man-band, hitting the base, rhythm, percussion and lead with remarkable natural skill, he has recently returned from a gig in Germany where he was playing to celebrate the opening of Botswana’s new embassy. ‘I like German red wine because my Black Lable wasn’t there! A self confessed lover of music and all things related he is currently working on his next masterpiece, following his passion and the influences of modern-day Africa, not ever forgetting is mothers melodies.

Stuart James Arnold

Legodile Seganabeng - Poet

Son of Soil

Photographed here in an intimate one on one recital of his poem 'Son of Soil' Dredd X gave me a real goose-bump performance, a moment not to be forgotten in a lifetime.

A Maun Senior Secondary School teacher of Art and Design, Legodile Seganabeng (also known as Dredd X) is a Fine Art graduate of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

His artistic expression spans several disciplines including performance and literary arts. An award-winning author and celebrated performance poet, Dredd X is a founder of Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry. And to me is, The Poet of Maun.

Stuart James Arnold

Klaas W Boll

Klaas W Boll – Restaurateur

A man with a certain 'lust for life'. Klaas. W. Boll has been bouncing around Botswana's restaurant trade since 1978 and finally settled at his present establishment Bon Arrivée, in 2005. With certain style the doors opened on his birthday January 22nd and in which year was Mr Boll born? well any guess is good as he's been actively lying about his age most of his life, and in the most conservative fashion to boot.

Flying 3 flags from 3 continents, Holland, The USA and Botswana, a man with a passion for good food, a hearty laugh and an active lover of 'wine, woman & song' (not necessarily in that order) Klaas is an original character of our dusty town.

Christiane Stolhofer

Christiane Stolhofer's portrait, in Amongst the Woodpile.

Austrian born Christiane first came to Africa in 1979. After a career in nursing she began to sculpt stone in 1983. During 1987, when travelling through Central and West Africa, Christiane started sculpting wood. That was the beginning of a deeply involved relationship with the African hardwoods.

Now Maun based Christiane says of her work: "These heavy old woods are, in their character, messengers of a raw untouched nature that has largely disappeared. As I observe and engage with these wonderful materials my own history unfolds and I can see myself as an old spirit reborn into the world of organic form.... What I hope for is that the personal expression of the work carries a universal message that can touch other people"

Christiane uses wood from fallen limbs and old roots. She has exhibited internationally as well as locally: Harare, Maputo, Gaborone, Johannesburg, Paris, Munich, New York., Cape Town and Pretoria.

Stuart James Arnold