Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seven Videos Of Botswana Music Group "Culture Spears"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases seven videos of the music & dance group "Culture Spears" from Botswana, South Africa. Information about this group is also provided in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purpose.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

From "Culture Spears now includes a live band" by Lekipanye Mooketsi,
Correspondent, 09 October 2012 | Issue: Vol.29 No.149
"Culture Spears is one of Botswana's most successful music groups and was formed in Kasane but moved to Gaborone in 2006 following the release of their debut album. They made a significant impact on the local music scene in 2005 following the release of their album, Korone which featured the hit track Selonyane and Mmadikokwana. They became an instant hit with music lovers when they made their maiden appearance on Btv's Mokaragana show. After the release of their first album, the group relocated to Gaborone.

In 2006, they released Kulenyane, another chart busting album which took the music world by storm; Kulenyane is believed to be the highest selling local album. The album was even selling beyond Botswana's borders in countries like South Africa.

Culture spears released their third album, Khudu, in 2008 while last year they came up with Kuweletsana. But none of these albums' sales could surpass Kulenyane. During their peak, Culture Spears has also performed in European countries like France."


Example #1: Botswana - Culture Spears – Mmadikokwana

molamu13, Uploaded on Jul 8, 2011

Example #2: Culture Spears-kulenyane

yogerta, Uploaded on Oct 12, 2007
the vid quality is not that great,still working on it, in the min time
enjoy that.....
setlhakonyana se sa mpelaetsa waitse!
Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread explaining the song's meaning:

"This is about a man (the lead singer) who suspects that his wife is cheating on him with some guy called Kulenyane, a soldier with military boots that always leave a mark on the ground to and from his home , but his wife says that the suspect guy is her cousin but her parents don't know him! He says that he eats all his food and his children are left with nothing that's why they are so skinny! He goes on to say that if he ever catches him, he will clobber him to pulp! A gem of a song!"

Example #3: Culture Spears - Borikiriki

yogerta, Uploaded on Dec 12, 2007
e nkgopotsa nako tsele..early 90's.nako tsa bo blackmampatile..
Here are two comments from this video's viewer comment thread:

reshkeip2000, 2008
respect! now i see why these guys are the most successfull Artistes in Bots. Respect and the songs s really nice and original..... I love it.... keep em coming Yorgeta
'Borikiriki' could mean 'shenanigans' or 'crap' In the song the girl is protesting that she does not want to be touched in any way funny but it's ok to play! 'I don't want crap, i don't want shenanigans! Don't touch me like that!' she says! A beautiful song this!

Example #4: Botswana Culture Spears - Nchandinyana

Emmanuel John, Uploaded on May 17, 2010

Culture Spears - Nchandinyana Botswana Borankana Traditional Dance


jasondlane, Published on Sep 16, 2011

No description available
A commenter from this video's viewer comment thread, Agatha Muzira, 2012, wrote that the name of this song is "Mmapula".

Example #6: Culutre Spears_Kuweletsana - 05 Shadimme.flv

Madubuze Murombo, Uploaded on Feb 10, 2012

From Kuweletsana Album, The Culture Spear's return.
Here's an explanation about this song from this video's viewer comment thread:
hluuvnn, 2012: "it is talking about a young gal who is causing me troubles, so her mother is complaining about it. as every one around is talkng abt her."

Example #7: Culutre Spears_Kuweletsana - 06 Hosanna Magodimo.flv

Madubuze Murombo, Uploaded on Feb 10, 2012

From Kuweletsana Album, The Culture Spear's return.

My thanks to the Culture Spears musicians, vocalists, and dancers. Thanks to those who produced these videos, those who provided information & comments about this group and their songs. Also, thanks to those who uploaded these sound files.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.


  1. I'd love to know more about the songs that are sung in these videos.

    I'm also interested in the play activities that were shown in the Borikiriki video. My guess is that the first game shown (in which the children & others go under an arch made by two players' upraised arms) is the English game "London Bridge" (or a similar game). But I'm most curious about the game toward the end where the players are seated one after another and one person who isn't seated chooses one of those seated. Is this game tradition to Botswana and what is the person doing with the one who is chosen?

    Also, I'm interested in knowing if the movements at the end of that video in which partners twirled each other around something that is part of traditional Botswana play or is this imported from Europe or elsewhere?

  2. While watching these videos, it occurs to me that the outfits worn by the Culture Spears female dancers remind me of the flared skirts worn by some African American stomp & shake cheerleaders.

    The dance movements that the Botswana Culture Spear female dancers perform don't necessarily remind me of the movements of stomp & shake cheerleading. But I think it would be very interesting -and rather easily done- for some stomp & shake cheerleading groups to add some of the Culture Spears females' choreographed dance moves to their stomp & shake routines.

    For instance, here's a link to a stomp & shake high school squad:

    SASSY - We Shake The Best

    I'm interested in what seems to me to be a greater acceptance of fuller figured females in stomp & shake cheerleading than in mainstream cheerleading. Of the three female dancers in the Culture Spears group, probably only one of them would fit the mainstream American ideal of the body build for cheerleaders. It's certainly likely that the attractive woman with the bald head would be considered too "overweight" for mainstream cheerleading cheer squads - but not for stomp & shake cheerleading squads.

    Here’s a link to a pancocojams blog post that I published on that subject:

    Also, here's a link to a page on my cultural blog that includes information about as well as text & videos of university level stomp & shake cheerleading:

  3. Also, for what it's worth, I'd like to point out the similarities between the movements of the male dancers holding a stick in Culture Spears' Kuweletsana video (given above as Example #6) and the cane holding/twirling movements of the traditionally Black Greek lettered fraternities Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. and Phi Beta Sigma, inc.

    The male dancers in that Culture Spears video don't twirl their stick, but do dance with one long stick, sometimes hitting it on the ground, sometimes holding it horizontially, and sometimes hitting it against the ground.

    I think the similarity between the stick holding movements of the Culture Spears male dancers in that video and the movements of Black Greek lettered fraternities who step with canes is particularly close at the end of that above mentioned Culture Spears video.

    Furthermore, I also note that throughout that same Kuweletsana video female dancers hold two small wooden stick- like objects (tools?), sometimes hitting those two sticks together. Hitting two small wooden sticks together is also a feature of some step teams from the traditionally Black Greek lettered sorority Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. However, members of that sorority also perform at step shows with each person holding one very long stick which is rhythmically hit on the floor.

    I'm not saying that the Botswana dancers (or any other African traditional dancing) are the source or the inspiration for the inclusion of sticks/canes in Black Greek lettered fraternities/sororities, although that is possible. I'm just pointing out the similariites for folkloric & aesthetic purposes, and also to share information about that steppin' for those who may be unfamilar with that performance art.

    Click to find a pancocojams post on Cane Performances In Black Fraternities & Sororities.

  4. Would someone please give a name for the game and explanation [in English] for the game that the youth & young adults do in Example #3. The video shows the youth seated close behind each other on the ground rocking back and forth while they sing or chant a song/rhyme. Then some male runs around the circle & chooses a girl from that line. The two stand close together & the girl lets the male tug her ear, squeeze her nose, & examine her mouth.

    This looks like it's a game in which the person running around that line arbitrarily chooses a "mate" and then examines that person to see if she is suitable to be his wife. Is this what those actions mean and are the males only ones who run around and pick someone or could a female also be the person who does this, picking and then examining a male? Or is this not done because in that culture the male is the one who selects his mate and not the female?

    This game is seen beginning at 2:20 and other times in this video.

    I like the song and dance for themselves, but I'm also interested in children & youth songs and games from Botswana.

    Sorry, I only speak and read English.