Forward-thinking drives Seokane

15 January 2019 - 15:01
By Patience Bambalele
Villa de Sankomota Grill House Restaurant & Bar in Jericho near Brits in North West.
Image: Supplied Villa de Sankomota Grill House Restaurant & Bar in Jericho near Brits in North West.

Jazz trumpeter and businessman Moses Seokane has expanded his horizons beyond recording albums and performing in live shows.

Seokane, who is a member of international jazz group Sankomota, has opened a hospitality establishment in his hometown of Jericho, North West.

His biggest wish is to help turn Jericho, near Brits, into a tourism hub.

Seokane's restaurant, Villa de Sankomota, already is a breath of fresh air in his area, dishing out good food and jazz.

The restaurant includes a cigar lounge and performance stage.

"When I built this place I was looking at a place that will preserve the Sankomota legacy and keep art as well as music alive," Seokane said about his business plan.

Moreover, he's excited about the job opportunities his eight-month-old establishment has created.

"Apart from work, the place also gives young people a platform to perform."

Seokane now employs 16 young people at the restaurant and he is looking to employ more when his chisa nyama opens to mark Villa's first anniversary.

Seokane has big plans; he also plans to open a five star lodge with a spa by the end of the year.

Moses Seokane
Image: Supplied Moses Seokane

His multi-faceted project aims to respond to the unemployment challenges in his rural settlement and surrounding villages by implementing innovative economic and cultural solutions

"When I travel I always get asked about Soweto. I want to see Jericho getting the same attention as Soweto and attracting tourists to the area. So far we are off the toddler stage, we are now running."

Born in 1975, Seokane studied music at the former Federated Union of Black Artists (Fuba). He was introduced to Sankomota by the late Nana Coyote.

He was fortunate to have been taught and mentored by the likes of Hugh Masekela and Khaya Mahlangu at Fuba.

After joining the group, the Lesotho-based Sankomota was banned by apartheid government from coming to SA.

The banning order made it difficult for the group to travel for recording its albums.

Though Seokane studied music, he knew that his heart was in business.

He used music to make business connections and learn more about it.

Seokane joined the corporate world consulting for a high profile company and later started his own entity, Bopa Moso Investments.

The company focuses on minerals and energy, property development and hospitality as well as facilitating deals in purchasing petroleum products between buyers and sellers across the SADC region.

Bopa Moso is also big on youth and rural development. Seokane is also the leader of Jericho Water and Sanitation Forum, pressing for reliable water supply to the area.

The businessman still loves playing his trumpet which, he says, was a gift from the late Masekela.

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