- Charma Gal band members celebrated

A memorial service for the five deceased members of Charma Gal`s group was held this week in Gaborone, organised by the Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU.)

Joining BOMU and the families of the deceased were MP's, general public and representatives of the entertainment industry. 

The deceased included band members’ Kgakgamatso “Mmasentonkana” Konti, Phemelo “Kazuzu” Jakobisi, Mercy Mafoko, Onalenna ThebeeTsile and Caprio Dikoko. Caprio Dikoko is a foreign national from Democratic Republic of Congo who has been in Botswana for a long time and is also a crowd favourite. 

BOMU secretary General Pagson Ntsie shared that all eight chapters of BOMU were doing a memorial service in their region to honour the deceased. “All eight chapters of BOMU from Maun, Mahalapye and Francistown etc are having a similar event as we speak.” 

Speaking during the eulogy Apostle Joel Ketumile saying: “Our brothers are now resting for they have done their part in this world. We honour and celebrate them because their works have inspired most people in the creative industry, may their souls rest in peace.” 

BOMU President Michael Mmusi expressed his condolences on the sudden loss of lives. “A tragedy of this nature is the first of its kind to be experienced by entertainment industry. We usually receive news of accidents involving one or two members of our industry. They were young people with a lot of passion and dedication. Rest in peace our fellow artists,” said Mmusi. 

The BOMU President said there are plans to establish a funeral scheme that will ease the cost of funerals on the artists families.  

“We want to establish a fund to help in situations like this,” he said.

“Deaths resulting from road accidents in Botswana are rising at an alarming rate,” said Tshenolo Mabeo, the Minister of Transport and Communications. 

Mabeo revealed that his ministry has been working hard to reduce the number of accidents but with no success. 

New and innovative methods have to be developed to help reduce the rising death toll. “I am going to lobby for a bill in parliament that will prohibit anyone from driving with alcohol in their system regardless of the quantity. The entertainment industry is very important to the economy and we cannot afford to lose people like this,” said Mabeo. 

Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng said, “We are saddened by the loss because they are youth and performing artists which fall under my Ministry.”The Minister urged the nation not to lose hope. 

 Olepeng said, “There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. Drivers must remember not exert themselves and always take time to rest when travelling to shows that are far away.” 

Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington South, Ndaba Gaolathe said he too had lost a sister to a traffic accident. He explained how uneasy it was to give any words of encouragement, as the pain was not an easy thing to forget. 

“Their lives tell the story that is an embodiment of five dancers, young girls who dared to dream and pursue their dreams,” said MP Gaolathe.

He said, “The dancers have given us so much and we are grateful for what they did, may their souls rest in peace.” 

Members from the respective families of the deceased took turns to reflect on the lives of the deceased. Some shared how wonderful their relatives were, while others described how their siblings had the desire to provide and take good care of their families. 

A Representative of the Caprio Dikoko`s family shared some heart-warming news that his family had decided to let their son be laid to rest in Botswana. The family had seen how much Dikoko had been accepted and loved by Batswana. 

Dates for four of the deceased are set for Sunday at Hukuntsi, Molepolole and Mmankgodi. These are the homes of the deceased family members have chosen.  

However Caprio Dikoko`s funeral is yet to be organised as a lot of paper work has to be approved by the embassy and Government channels for him to be laid to rest in Botswana. 

BNSC offered to pay for the journey to the various venues of the various funerals, while My Star also lent BOMU a bus. 


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