The Botswana music industry is still in shock following news that renowned music promoter Soares Katumbela died this Thursday night in what is alleged to be suicide. This comes shortly after music promoters and artists were slapped with the ban on music festivals by the Office of the President on Thursday morning. A jazz fanatic of note, Katumbela was the owner of the famous StreetHorn Promotions and his untimely death has sent shockwaves across the music loving public as many continue to wonder and speculate on what could have triggered his decision to take his own life.
Details of circumstances of his death are expected to emerge as this Friday morning wears on, but preliminary details are that he was found dead in his car that was burnt to ashes somewhere in the bushes of Tlokweng. Through his StreetHorn Promotions, he was to host the Francistown Jazz Festival this weekend in what was to be a part of the city’s 120th anniversary activities. It is yet to be established if the show will continue as only sketchy information has emerged this morning.
Already, people are speculating that his death might just be connected to the ban on music festivals, with commentators on social media suggesting he might not have taken the news well. “Everything has been going well for Katumbela. The news of his suicide do not make sense at all. The last time I saw him this week he was as jolly as ever. Unless he could not stomach the ban on festivals by government,” a facebook user speculated this morning, supported in the line of thinking by several others who reacted to the tragic news.
Katumbela was recently recognised by President Khama for promoting and growing the jazz genre in Botswana and was due to receive a presidential honour of merit on Independence Day. Born in Francistown on October 12, 1961, he has since 2008 been the voice of jazz on a Sunday programme at local radio station Duma FM. Almost all his life he has been organizing and running jazz music concerts and other related industry events. It still remains a matter of speculation what could have made him die the way he did.
Soares Katumbela was to receive a presidential honour on Independence Day