Botswana’s heavy metal scene has been covered before on photography blogs (mostly posts on the work of South African photographer Frank Marshall) and there’s a few music videos (like this one) floating around on Youtube. But there’s little actual video reports/profiles of the scene, until now. (I stand corrected, of course.) Now Dutch TV channel VPRO made this video report (for its weekly program Metropolis, whose local correspondents report from around the world) on some of the characters in that scene. The report mostly profiles 35 year-old metalhead Gunsmoke, whose mix of bravado, posing and sense of humor might still make him a star. We see the, by now, famous styles and influences associated with that scene: Mad Max, lots of leather, WWE, and cowboy films. But we also learn that Gunsmoke for all his mean mugging, lives with his parents and wants to farm with rabbits.
Some locals are confused by all this; accusing the metal fans of being Satanists. Others are just practical: “Here in Africa it is extremely hot, you can’t wear that kinds of clothes. It goes to 39 degrees, 37, so you when you wear leather … the heat.” About 8 minutes in we also get to meet the best heavy metal band in Botswana.
Watch it here.