Zeus: “Die and be a hero. Or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”

When people are first encountered with the name “Zeus,” people usually first think of the Greek god, but according to the one of the webpage, “young Africans will imagine the African rapper Game Goabaone Bantsi who is commonly known as Zeus.” Zeus is one of the most significant Botswanan rapper, who was born and raised in Botswana. 

In 2013, Zeus released his third album “African Time,” and through this album, he expresses his disappointment and resentment toward his country and to the African continent, which could not experience very positive developments despite the country being full of resources:

 “It has always been something that has been cultivated in me over the years, from a time when I became more and more aware of the context existing in today’s world, especially in Africa. You get to see a lot that is wrong with the state of affairs of our people with the mindset, our general lack of ownership and control. How many opportunities seem to miss us even though we are in the most resource blessed continent yet still poor?”

In his album, he raps about his love toward Africa and his country, but also at the same time, he also raps about the feelings of disappointment toward African leaders. In his song, Dark Knight, there are many other speeches from political leaders that are also introduced, but also at the same time, he raps about many realistic stories that could occur in society.

As the title of his song is the “dark knight,” his main refrain of the song is “Dark knight feeling. Die being a hero. Or live long enough to see yourself become a villain,” and he raps about the tragedy of hero that a hero with goodwill gets fallen into corruption as time goes by. Zeus refers this to many African leaders like Robert Mugabe, a former prime minister of Zimbabwe, who got into power in the name of justice and freedom, but eventually, those leaders have fallen and corrupted as they become dictators.

Moreover, he raps to show the bitter part of African corruption and tragedies that are happening in every part of African society, and illustrate that these problems are not specific to the African leadership, but to all parts of the society, and highlight the need of Africa being united to solve the common problem.            

Zeus, in addition to this album, launched another song in 2019 called “A Re Chencheng” with Nomadic, another Botswanan rapper. The meaning of A re Chencheng in Twanan means “let’s change,” and this seems to be a significant African movement calling for change before. Even though the song was rapped Twana, many listeners in the media said that this song’s critic toward the African government and its portrait of African corruption were right and sharp. And, I believe this is also another good song to know about some of the most recent measures that Botswanan rapper’s critique toward its politics.

You can listen more songs of Zeus from his youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0HJZyGL0B7JIpVUGtJs46A

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