Traditional artist rooted to his culture

A Re Jeng Tlhako recently took part as one of the local traditional dance performers at the opening of the Marula Festival held at a boutique hotel on Friday 18 January 2019.

The Setswana dance group was co-founded in 2009 by among other founders, Ineeleng ‘Captain Dee’ Disang, who is still part of the group.

Captain Dee, as known by his fans, is no stranger to traditional dance music.

Before co-founding A Re Jeng Tlhako, he was part of the Mayibuye dance group that performed in Lephalale and neighbouring areas. He was also part of the Limpopo Multicultural Dance group that saw him travel to Mozambique, France and Czech Republic to exhibit their skills and introduce Setswana cultural music to the outside world in 2005.

“For me, doing Setswana music is not a job but an exercise that helps me embrace my culture. I believe that my music carries a positive message, which can easily reach our people.

“The main reason behind the formation of A Re Jeng Tlhako was to transfer cultural dance skills to the younger generation.

“I use the skills I have to develop youngsters, some of them come from disadvantaged families and the little we make from our gigs is able to contribute positively at their respective homes,” he said.

In 2008 he got the best traditional dance artist accolade from the Provincial Department of Arts.

When founded a decade ago, A Re Jeng Tlhako initially consisted of nine members before increasing to 20 with a balanced representation of both genders.

The group usually performs at provincial gigs, municipal events, parties and weddings. They also use their Facebook Page to communicate with fans and those who want to feature them.

The group has also produced a CD with a title track Le Ya Kae, meaning “Where are you going?”

In 2015 Captain Dee partnered with Seleka based traditional dance artist King Okame where they formed Kings of Lephalale, featuring some great hits like Lephalale Ke Teropo, loosely translated “Lephalale is a City”.

His long-term goal is to get worldwide recognition as a traditional dance specialist.

“I also wish to see African cultures continue to be embraced. A nation that doesn’t follow its customs will likely go astray and it is on this principle that I strive to nurture youth to embrace their culture with pride.

“It also makes me happy to see some of my group members excel academically as a result of the help we give them through our performances,” he said.

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