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Modibe set to grace Midem 2017 in France

Seabelo Modibe’s quest to change the local entertainment scene is gaining pace; just next month in June, he will attend the prestigious Midem music market in Cannes, France. He was unknowingly recommended by four African countries as an ‘interesting person.’


Sbizo, as he is popularly known in the local entertainment industry has been making great strides of late-from organising the first annual Botswana International Music Conference in Gaborone (BIMC) to penning an essential publishing deal with South Africa’s Sheer Publishing Company. A strong proponent for music streaming, Modibe he is hoping that; at the conference, where he is likely to rub shoulders with international publishers, he will be able to pick some brains to help shape and drive digital streaming locally.


This year’s conference will take place from June 6-9 with an overriding theme, “A new golden age for the music industry? Get ready to embrace it.” The annual conference is an international music event for key players from the music ecosystem to forge business connections and explore current music trends. This year, the conference will explore the impact of music streaming on the music industry. Emerging as the digital sector’s main driver of growth, music streaming generates revenue on a global scale and heralds a golden age for the music industry for worldwide business development.


The conference provides inspiration for one’s business with a unique music conference programme led by respected thought leaders. It helps discover where the industry is heading in terms of music and digital trends, and get insightful tips and case studies to help one expand their business. Further, the conference provides an opportunity to make significant business connections; learn how to promote music internationally, to source talent and get inspired by upcoming trends in music.


In an interview, Modibe revealed that he was recommended by countries he had worked with before. He said this year the main focus will be the digital economy of the music industry particularly online streaming because it is a booming business and has the ability to pay more royalties since it is now taking centre stage. He highlighted that the conference can help the country promote digital awareness in Botswana where the industry is crowded yet there are only 5 radio stations. He said people can start streaming online where the future of radio lies and can play and purchase music online.    


When speaking to WeekendLife Modibe who had just arrived from Namibia where he attended music conferences said the idea is to look at the entertainment industry as a key player in addressing issues of unemployment in Botswana. He said if given a chance to participate in the panel discussions, he looked forward to advising governments as key stakeholders who are very influential not to view the industry as a social industry.


He also said one critical area of focus, for him, would be to create an international artist who can represent the country outside. He gave an example of South Africa where there is Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Bra Hugh Masekela as well Zimbabwe which has the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi who are all known globally. Since he was notified on short notice, Modibe said the event organisers have agreed to meet him half way on the trip costs and he is currently working around the clock to get a Visa.


Modibe recently signed with Sheer Publishing, one of Africa’s largest independent Publishing houses and is currently looking to expand its client base within the African diaspora. Sheer Publishing’s mission is to provide a comprehensive range of copyright services to clients, both domestic, Continental and international.


He hosted the second instalment of the successful BIMC where the music industry experts gather together to network, share ideas and talk music business. It is a platform to also share expertise and knowledge.

The event which is in its second year running is expected to grow over the years; attracting local and international organizations and speakers according to him. Legendary hip-hop musician, producer, and composer Wyclef Jean will give an exclusive live performance during Midem by Night on the extraordinary Beach of the Majestic Palace.


According to their website worldwide superstar, Wyclef Jean, has sold over 100 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide. The recipient of three Grammy Awards, Jean formed legendary Hip Hop group the Fugees in the 90's, ranked among the top 10 greatest Hip Hop groups of all time by MTV. Since his early beginnings with the Fugees, Wyclef amassed an impressive catalogue of hits such as "Gone Till November", "911" and "Sweetest Girl" and produced award winning hits for artists such as Shakira, Carlos Santana and Whitney Houston, among countless more.


Another speaker is Steve Bartels, CEO of Def Jam Recordings, he is the driving force behind some of the biggest artists and records of the last thirty years, including Kanye West, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Outkast, Big Sean, Janet Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Alessia Cara, and many more. He has been part of over 35 separate Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles campaigns during his career.


LA Reid is another speaker who will take stage at the conference. He is the Chairman and CEO of Epic Records as well as an acclaimed musician, songwriter, producer, and now a New York Times Bestselling author for his memoir, "Sing to Me". LA Reid is a rare breed among record producers—not only one of the most accomplished and innovative people working behind the scenes in the music industry, but a celebrity presence in his own right. Reid has been shaping the music scene for more than 25 years. He is the man behind the success of some of today’s biggest stars, including Usher, Pink, Justin Bieber, and Meghan Trainor, to name a few, and was instrumental in Mariah Carey’s 10x-platinum “The Emancipation of Mimi” comeback. Reid has helped change music forever.

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WeekendLife

The art of mastering instrumentals

12th April 2021
Kagiso "Fella" Kenosi

You will know a tree by its fruits, the same way you will know a music producer by their works.

Top music producers in the country have set themselves apart through the quality music they produce and reap the results of international recognition from as far as the United States of America.

These producers are behind every star performer, listening and analyzing each and every note. When artists perform a vocal swell, rising to an octave that sounds like it’s going to shatter voice box, it’s easy to forget that someone was on the other side of the glass asking questions like, “Can you hit that note every night, or will it hurt too badly? Maybe we should lower the octave to save your voice?”

Producers make hundreds of decisions in each song, not to mention the push and pull relationships they have with talented performers.These relationships can make or break careers. Some of your favorite bands and artists wouldn’t be so memorable without a great producer helping to guide their distinct voices.

Kagiso Kenosi, or better known as Fella in the entertainment industry, is only 31-years old but he has already left his imprint in the music industry. The young chap, originally from Palapye, is not in the industry to add numbers, but to do his magic working behind the scenes producing hit song after hit song.

When most producers went to school to produce the hits that we hear today, Fella’s foundation and passion for producing came from being active in church.

“I grew up in a catholic orientated family where music is the essence of our religion. The love for music in its entirety emerged from enjoying singing at church and blossomed over the years as I grew up, being exposed to the internet and software’s such as fruity loops.”

Fella says he then learnt how to make beats and proceeded with vocal processing so besides the love for music, he had an amazing group of people who helped him reach his life dream; being the best in music production. The sky was the limit for Fella.

Unfortunately for so many music producers locally, this kind of hustle is basically about being famous. Some of them bite off more than they can chew just for a quick buck that doesn’t even go a long away for them. At the end of it all, these fly by night prima-donnas end up cutting corners and producing subpar records which eventually leads to a premature death for their careers.

Fella’s advice is that fellow colleagues should be patient and continue learning the craft, even if it means taking online tutorials. “Even though I’m still learning too, for I believe music is a fast infinite universe where no one can never say they know it all, I think believing in what one does, the level of creativity and being able to stand alone can do magic.

We living in an era where people go through a lot, so it is imperative for a music producer to be able to relate to those kind of situations. This takes only the right instrumentals, which will compliment emotions of an artist.”

The most asked question outside the music industry is; who chooses the instruments for a song, is it the artist or the producer? Fella gave his take;

“I make instrumentals and keep them until an artist comes to work on a song. That’s when I advise on whether I think the concept they chose goes hand in hand with the instrumentals. We will then look for a more appropriate song.

In some cases, artists can come and we record vocals without an instrumental and then get to make a beat on top of the recorded vocal which in that case guides me to make a relevant instrumental,” he said in an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday.

Digging more into finding the difference between a producer and an engineer, Fella clarified that there is not much difference. There is actually a thin line between the two even though an engineer does more than a producer when dishing out a song.

“We use the word production to credit people who only make beats. Engineers are people who record vocals, clean them, do the mixing and master the song preparing the record for radio. I must say an engineer, does the critical components of a song.”

As young as he is, Fella has been through thick and thin with young artists. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, because, frankly some of these fledging artists are way too complicated to work with. Fella admits that he too has flaws but c’est la vie, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

“It’s always a blessing and quite exciting because these different people of different energies and mind-sets and creativity will humble you. It’s a chastening experience and also accords me with experience to manoeuvre and adjust to people with different characters.

So truly, it has helped me grow as a person, and a producer.”

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WeekendLife

BOMU spruce up dirty laundry

30th March 2021
BOMU awards

Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is known for its bad reputation that has been getting worse over the years. There has been a lot of chinwag, squabbles and the organization literally lost touch. It has gotten so bad that stakeholders pulled out, and members were left with no choice but to face the music alone.

Just when you’d think the waters are calm, the new Executive Committee awarded a fledgling company, Total Music Group, to handle the 2021 music awards. This move was seen as a biased decision that got BOMU members bent out of shape.

However, BOMU Secretary General, Rasina Rasina told Weekendlife that the Executive Committee that it has many irons in the fire. He indeed admitted without reluctance that, BOMU has been clouded by hubbub.

“We pledged when the new administration took over that it would begin with cleaning our own house. We have built structures as we had promised and we are glad that they are fully functional. One of those is the disciplinary committee.”

“BOMU has for a long time appeared to be lacking discipline and proper laid down procedures. This has led to the organization losing out big in its endeavour to serve its members and the entire music fraternity. The National Executive Committee, chapter committees and sub-committees have committed to ensuring that non proper governance and accountability shall take centre stage and this is all that is happening,” Rasina told Weekendlife on Tuesday.

Rebuilding and rebranding a disintegrated intuition such as BOMU is not just a walk in the park, it needs concerted efforts and team work to actually reach that goal. A stitch in time saves nine, but as for BOMU, the entire union failed to address its dares a long time ago, but the union says everything is on track in recuperating public trust and fixing the mess created then.

BOMU Research and Policy Committee is hard finalizing a new code of conduct which will contribute significantly to how members and leadership conduct themselves and relate with each other for the furtherance of BOMU’s mandate, Weekendlife has been reliably informed.

“We are doing everything according to our constitution, logic and reason. We advise our members that they should point out where the constitution has been breached and that they are at liberty to follow due process and report any misconduct to the disciplinary committee,” said Rasina.

This is following the suspension of some executive committee members and BOMU subscribed members for questioning the integrity in awarding the music awards tender. Some members, told Weekendlife that they will seek legal advice on the matter.

“We do have members who have already appeared before the disciplinary committee on various charges and decisions are yet to be taken. We also have members who are yet to appear before the committee for various complaints levelled against them. Current suspensions are related to various complaints and offences.”

With regard to appointing Total Music Group, BOMU National Executive Committee says it used Article 9.3.19 of its constitution. The article says; “The National Executive Committee of BOMU shall have the authority to enter into legally binding contracts on behalf of the Union.’’

Rasina says the leadership needed a company to manage, host and sell the BOMU awards for five years consecutively so as to attain stability and refurbish the brand image of both the music awards and the organization. “Without any money at our disposal, we debated on the best model and agreed that we should engage a company that also has the capacity to mobilize resources. We used our discretion and decided on a direct appointment model which is perfectly legal and constitutional.”

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WeekendLife

SENEO PERRY: Beauty with a purpose

24th March 2021
Seneo Perry

To a stranger, Seneo Perry would describe herself as a young darling zealous about wildlife conservation, international travel and tourism enthusiast.

She is also a staunch believer in empowering young children through educational programs that could expose them to live improved livelihoods.

Perry is a former beauty queen (Miss Earth Botswana 2020). For her, a beauty queen should get down and put in some work, get dirt and make an impact. Of course a picture paints a thousand words, and judging from her successful projects, she lives the talk.

During her reign, Perry adopted the SOS Children’s Village. This is a home for 92 orphaned and less privileged children. She introduced few projects to aid the running of the children village, at the same time sourcing sponsors. She named one of her projects ‘Restoring the Prime Colors of the Earth.’

Restoring The Prime Colors of the Earth was founded on the basis of teaching children about the importance of conservation and environmental protection through tree planting and vegetable gardens.

The project, she told Weekendlife this week, gained local and international recognition, particularly from tourism magazines.

COVID-19 came over and messed up her strategies for the year. Perry however did not cry over spilt milk instead she was smart enough to divert into other streams of raising funds to execute her obligations.

Perry did not put all of her eggs in one basket by doing something that could make her get infected, but rather sold t-shirts that would double as a promotion strategy dubbed #PeopleWildlifeEnvironment. To this date, she raised over P7000.

“I love being out in the wild and promoting sustainable tourism. I would then pick the best 10 children that worked very hard at the project I have with them and introduce them to the wild with the money I raised,” she said in an exclusive interview.

“The idea is to stick to making the trip for the children educational especially on the aspect of conservation because realistically speaking tourism is the backbone of conservation.

I want them to have first-hand experience with the African elephant and visit the Elephant Havens Wildlife Foundation in Maun. Unfortunately due to floods in Moremi Game Reserve, the plan of a game drive has been aborted.”

Initially, Perry says she wanted the children to have been those from the SOS Children’s Village. She had to put them on ice due to insufficient funds to transport them to Maun. This however did not dishearten Perry, instead she located Bana Ba Letsatsi (in Maun) to embark on this journey.

She told Weekendlife that the trip will be undertaken today (Saturday 20th March 2021).“Tourism has always been the backbone of conservation and it needs to be protected. Therefore, it is imperative to introduce children to wild spaces so they get to appreciate the ecosystem in the wild.

These young children will be leaders and decision makers in the near future. Decisions made will either cause a catastrophe to the wild or help it recover to a point wherein both humans and animals co-exist.

Seneo Perry is an environmentalist equipped with a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University and Miss Earth Botswana 2019 finalist. She was crowned Queen in 2020.

She is also a member of Kalahari Conservation Society, a conservation society which is instrumental in environmental initiatives and activities that concern the environment.

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