November 19th, 2008

Guitar Bots

I asked a while back if there were any generous erstwhile shredders out there, hoping to score a guitar for a friend’s studio in Botswana. I received enthusiastic responses from several people, a few of whom offered to send other things or, when shipping proved insanely cost prohibitive, carry an instrument to the continent (if they were traveling, say, to Ghana). One nice guy in Brooklyn even gave me a wicked pink strat (which, dude, you can either totally have back or can rest assured that Nico will be shredding in style before too long). And I was able to recoup my ol’ p-bass from a friend who’d had it on permanent loan.

But I couldn’t find a reasonable way to send these things to my bredda in Bots.

I first “met” Moemedi / Red Pepper a few years ago. He emailed me after finding my FruityLoops tutorials and teaching himself how to make beats and build riddims. He was grateful and gracious and did me the favor of pointing me in all kinds of interesting directions in kwaito and southern African music. He’s kept me up-to-date with his latest productions, and I’ve been following along for the last couple years as Moemedi’s been saving and applying for grants and working to build the studio of his dreams back home in Palapye.

Now, after years of planning, investment, and sweat, his ambitious, gorgeous, state-of-the-art studio is nearly complete. And he’s still hoping to score some gear to get it outfitted. A guitar would be great, allowing them to add the kind of kwasa-kwasa lines that could put a local mark on the crunky reggae they’ve been making. An electric bass too. Oddly/wrongly, it would cost me much more to send them second-hand from here than for Moemedi to buy new ones over there.

So, partly encouraged by the generous response my initial inquiry received and partly inspired by my friend Marco’s suggestion that Obama donors give as much as they did to his campaign this year to other worthy causes next year, I suggested to Moemedi that he might set up a PayPal button for people who’d like to help out. Far as I know, this isn’t any sort of tax-deductible thing; more like a turbo tip jar. If you’d like to support what he’s doing, you can do so here —

Buy a chunk of guitar! Support (trans)local music! More kwasa-kwasa crunky reggae!


  • 1. Birdseed  |  November 20th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Awesome, I’ve donated a small sum.

    I think the potential style-meeting is a pretty cool one, stuff like this works well I think.

  • 2. Birdseed  |  November 20th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Or actually, rather, I haven’t donated a small sum, because PayPal says:

    “Currently PayPal accounts in Botswana are only able to send payments. This recipient is not eligible to receive funds.”


  • 3. wayneandwax  |  November 22nd, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Jeez. That’s really discouraging. I mean, what does that leave outside of WesternUnion? I/Moemedi need to explore some other options. Thanks for trying!

  • 4. » H&hellip  |  January 14th, 2009 at 10:01 am

    […] still haven’t been able to send him those guitars, but Red Pepper has the Ruff Riddims studio up and running (and blogging!) — and it’s […]

  • 5. » B&hellip  |  September 23rd, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    […] leave you with an apropos photo c/o Botswana brethren, Ruff Riddims. Seeking to push their sound out, they’ve been building their own speaker […]


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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