Hope for Botswana Bands' Online Fortunes During Covid-19

Despite low rates of internet access and high data costs across the continent, many African musicians, comedians and artists have boosted their online presence during Covid-19 to forge links with fans and potential backers overseas. Overthrust, a small heavy metal band in Botswana was forced to also go digital - a move which helped them find new audiences abroad and unexpected financial support as donations started pouring in - from cash to guitar strings.

Another group known as the Humanitarians - sing and post online about human rights issues such as homelessness and albinism. Batswana rockers - or Marok as they are known are quite well-known in the country, largely for their leather attire, their decorative chains, animal bones and studs used to mark their heavy metal admiration.

While these musicians say the Covid-19 lockdown was brutal, bands like Overthrust fought to make it through by connecting to their fans in rural areas and fans across the world via the internet which put them on the map - where they say they belong.

InFocus

Musicians from Humanitarian heavy metal band pose for a photo in Lobatse village outside Gaborone, Botswana (L to R Hank Tawana, Humano and Martin Beats). November 23, 2021.

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