â€¨â€¨Behind the #TLATSALEBALA organizing is a brutal war of egos between promoter’s artist’s managers and creative industry entrepreneurs. Whilst the public has given all the goodwill to the #TLATSALEBALA concept and the public has not withheld any grain of good will, behind the scenes its an ugly scenario.
The #TLATSALEBALA management has a choice of explaining themselves to artist who are expected to be a part and bold font of the concept. It is not raining but pouring as the question of whether this is a charity or business event refuses to depart from the lips of musicians, their managers and promoters alike. Behind the scenes, it is ugly from toe to hair.
#TLATSALEBALA management says the line up of 06th May 2017 at the National stadium now stands at 62 artists. This is on the backdrop of some artists demanding commercial contracts. #TLATSALEBALA management team is unable to furnish those required to perform at the vent with contract because they have ruled out the idea of paying artists.
Before Kast went out for a 1000km walk in raising awareness for the event, almost all the artists were prepared to do it for free. What made matters worse is that the understanding was that he is walking to raise the BWP 200, 000.00 needed for the venue and appropriate logistics.
This scenario literally turned upside down when the chairman of Botswana National Sports Council, Solly Reikeletseng, announced on his Facebook page that the BNSC has resolved to sponsor #TLATSALEBALA to a tune of BWP 200,000.00 to cover he venue and associated venue logistics. Though this was meant to show the commitment of the Honourable Thapelo Olopeng’s ministry in supporting and growing local arts, it has come back to be a painful offer already accepted.
Some artists are now questioning why they should perform for free. Artists are positing that Kast wants to pursue slavery in making them work hard for free. It appears, somehow along the line, the #TLATSALEBALA management team, in accepting the many gifts, money and offers in support of the event during the 1000km walk, they then began to pursue the event as a charity exercise. This is the confusion that that the sponsors, well wishers, donors and ticket buyers do not know about.
It has come out blazingly clear that when Batswana reacted to Casper Nyovest’ connotation that he does not know Kast and asking who Kast was, Batswana went in to defend and uphold the status of national patriotism. The artists also wanted and possibly, still want to prove themselves that they can fill the stadium. But with an environment of creative arts that is naturally so, by form and format filled with competition of who is best on stage, in good will and in making money, the #TLATSALEBALA concept has become a monopoly of bruising egos.
#TLATSALEBALA management team is behind all the fracas. From the conversations, it appears Kast is not even aware why there is animosity by artists towards his initiative. The artists expected to take part are asking why they should perform for free, pledge their support, their names, and their backing crews for a show that will only benefit the #TLATSALEBALA management team. It is being argued behind the scenes that Kast will not necessarily make money out this initiative.
The only trophy that he will be taking home is that of being bold, courageous, walked 1000km and filled up the stadium and the cash will remain with those behind the scenes, the #TLATSALEBALA management team. Names of those cashing on the initiatives have been passed to this publication and Kast’s name does not appear on the list.
Reached for comment on this matter, Resego Matenge, well known as Leshman who is also the owner and Manger of Leshman Holdings and a manager and partner to Charma Gal, he rubbished the #TLATSALEBALA concept as having lost meaning. He insists that” the whole thing has become opportunistic”. Matenge, is of a strong view that they are not taking part on the #TLATSALEBALA as they haven’t received an invite “from the initial failed event where we were not on the line up and the current one which is presented as a charity event though grossly commercial”.
Matenge lamented that when the whole concept began, Charma Gal was on hype through the ‘sekuta’ album yet was never approached to fill the stadium. That Charma Gal is currently dominating the airwaves and public spaces through ‘mmokolodi’ and is still not invited goes on to show that, only artists who are willing to perform for free due to their hunger of stage presence are targeted. Matenge persist that “the issue of performing for free is not ours, we have a business to take care of and we are fully booked on top of having our own schedule and if they want us for our show they must in monetary terms give us a reason for abandoning our plans”.
When quizzed by this publication as to why they can’t just do it for free if approached to be a part of the line, Charma Gal’s manager and live in boyfriend fired that, “we have 12 employees doing backing vocals and backline, they don’t know if they can perform for free, we have transport that has to be monetarily catered for and our rehearsal venues that are not charitable especially for a profitable event”.
What is taking centre stage is the backstage fracas is that the original concept from Casper Nyovest to fill up the ‘dome’ was not charitable. It was of a reputable and crowd pulling line up. The assertion at backstage is that the #TLATSALEBALA concept of Botswana is rather about only benefiting a few individuals and hence different from Casper Nyovest who never asked for free shows.
What is coming across is that the artists are willing to support each other without cost only if it is an album launch and nothing more. It is also becoming increasingly clear that a lot of artists feel that they are being asked to be a part of an event they don’t understand as questions they ask range from not knowing why Kast walked 100km and they posit that to this day he never explained to them why they or he should walk 1000km to fill up the stadium.
MASSIE HULE COMMENTS ON #TLATSA LEBALA
“I am part of the crew that deals with artists and as far as I know there is no artist who has refused to perform at #Tlatsa Lebala. Everyone here was pledging, no one is paid a penny. We implored a first come first serve strategy and we gave prominence to the first line- up before the event was postponed,” said Hule.
While commenting on Charma Gal and Drama Boi not being part of the line- up, Hule said they had communicated their engagements with the organising team. However he revealed that Charma Gal had earlier served them a quotation, something that showed that she wanted to be paid for her services. “She should understand that this is not about individuality, this is a national project,” he said.
Currently they have a line- up of about 62 artists and more are calling to render their services but according to Hule, considering the 16 hours time frame they have, they can’t include everyone. He said that the last time he checked into tickets sales was two weeks back and they stood at eight thousand, he however added that they are optimistic that they will fill up the stadium.
After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.
On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.
The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.
Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.
The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.
At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.
“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”
The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.
The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.
The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.
However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.
Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.
Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.
“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.
“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”
Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.
Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.
The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.
Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.
Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)
Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.
“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”
For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”
“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.
Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.
“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.
When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.