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Mochudi Artist Hits All The Right Notes In Inspirational Local Short Film

The passion, inherent creativity and indomitable spirit of Batswana have been brought to life in an inspirational short film featuring Luckymore (Lucky) Kwapa, a young man from Mochudi whose dreams were bigger than the challenges that stood between him and his efforts to realise them. 

The film is titled Lucky – a reference to his nickname, a fortuitous encounter with a community of supportive people, and the chance discovery of a hidden ability. It is part of a series of films shot across the continent by Barclays Africa that celebrates Africans’ ability to achieve their aspirations and prosper when enabled by partners that are dedicated to making this happen.

This idea of tangible social upliftment and support for sustainable, long-term prosperity is reflected in Barclays Africa’s purpose. And it is the creative expression of this purpose, as harnessed in a single, powerful word – Prosper – that forms the basis of these 23 inspirational short films, which now include the heartening story of Botswana’s own Luckymore Kwapa. 

“Government alone cannot achieve holistic empowerment of our young people without the private sector and other players. Empowerment of young people requires us to work together, if we want to achieve milestones,” said Thapelo Olopeng, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development.

He said, “I remember Kwape from the Barclays Shared Growth Strategy Launch in Kanye late last year. Kwape and his troupe performed exceptionally well at that event and as the leadership, we are pleased to see young people displaying such talent. It also gladdens our hearts when Corporates like Barclays use their resources to empower these young people and provide them with maximum exposure to pursue their dreams.

At just 20 years old, Lucky had set his sights on becoming a portrait artist. The only snag being that his parents preferred that he follow in his father’s footsteps and become a panel beater instead. Although they did not approve of his aspirations, and his decision to follow his dreams was considered an affront to the family, Lucky was never short of support.

Lucky never stopped drawing, and one day a friend suggested he take his drawings along to Stepping Stones International (SSI) to hone his skills. SSI is a Mochudi-based NGO that aims to unlock the potential of vulnerable youth aged 12-25 through holistic development, the strengthening of families and by activating sustainable opportunities to become self-sufficient. Barclays Bank of Botswana has been an active partner of SSI since 2008, working with staff and students through various programmes, including its financial literacy programme, to make a positive difference in this community.

It was while visiting SSI that Lucky was invited to attend the NGO’s life skills camp, along with a team of peer educators and SSI staff. An impromptu campfire talent show one night revealed a side of Lucky nobody had seen before. It was a side even he never knew existed; a hidden ability he had never had the opportunity to explore and that had previously remained hidden from the world. It was an exceptional natural talent for opera singing. 

It wasn’t long before those gathered around the fire realised his artistic talents extended beyond just his hands and included his voice too. This would prove to be a pivotal point in Lucky’s life, dramatically altering its course and setting him up for a future he could never dream possible.

Lucky’s colleagues encouraged him to audition for the My African Dream talent search. Six months later, votes from people across the country placed him in the competition final, where he was announced as the winner of the 2012 Judges’ Choice Award. This was a momentous occasion; it wasn’t just the tipping point that changed Lucky’s life, but also the memorable moment of the first time his parents had heard him sing. They too were in awe of their son’s incredible talent, and from that day forward wholeheartedly supported his burgeoning singing career. 

Never forgetting his roots and his own journey that was made possible by the personal investments of so many people around him, Lucky has decided to pay it forward. Today he mentors talent in his local community, like Kamogelo, the young praise poet, as well as a dance group with which he regularly performs.

Not only are Kamogelo and the dance group benefactors of Lucky’s big heart, but they also receive financial support from him. This reiterates the powerful sense of community that prevails among the Batswana, and around which Barclays Bank of Botswana has built those offerings and partnerships that ultimately help transform ordinary lives into extraordinary ones.

This is fitting, given that Barclays Bank of Botswana has forged a close relationship with Lucky over the years beyond merely supporting him through the various SSI programmes.

Barclays Bank Botswana Managing Director, Reinette van der Merwe, has personally spearheaded efforts to find remunerated opportunities for Lucky to sing, and as a result he has performed at several events arranged or support by the bank.

For the Prosper Film project, we have been working with Barclays Africa and our partners, T&W Film. And the story concerning a young man, Luckymore Tshepang Kwape and Stepping Stones International was selected by the Group to profile. Luckymore is here with us tonight and it is our pleasure to be able to share his story. We honour you Luckymore tonight. And we thank you for being part of our Shared Growth journey,” said Reinette van der Merwe.

She said, “In actual fact this film project collaboration with Stepping Stones International is even more special to us here at Barclays Bank of Botswana, as this year marks our 10th year of partnership. Together, we have introduced and supported a variety of skills development programmes that aim to empower Batswana to pursue their dreams and become productive citizens in our economy.”

Lucky is immensely grateful for this support, saying the mentorship has changed his life and allowed him to grow his inherent talents, while the income he has earned from performing has enabled him to support himself and his family.

At 25 years old, Lucky is now pursuing a thriving singing and dance career. To thank him for sharing his inspirational story so that it may touch the lives of so many others just like him, Barclays Africa has identified Lucky’s dream to be mentored and nurture his newfound operatic ability. As such, the bank is providing him with a platform to help him prosper even further – that of personal mentoring and voice coaching at the Cape Town Opera Theatre in South Africa.

Lucky’s story is just one of the many ways Barclays Bank of Botswana is helping the people of Botswana to Prosper. His film Lucky joins Barclays Africa’s portfolio of films that serve as authentic visual proof points of Barclays Africa’s Prosper brand promise to all it serves. 

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