Thank you Windrush PRâ€¨But Above All, Many Thanks to Liberty Life
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim! I walked into Molapo Stanbic Piazza last weekend, having been given two complementary tickets that I had also given away to two friends who desperately wanted to attend the Vusi Live show. That meant I had to part with a monetary gift I had received from a friend to purchase tickets for my entry, together with that of a friend into the show. Upon entry, it immediately became very clear that I had spent my money for a purposeful intent.
The show not only was characterised by a fantastically dressed audience, decency but the set up was also of great immaculacy. With the VIP section clearly visible as thus, right in front of the stage, and barricaded neatly.
One could tell that it was not a night of the rag tags. Rag tags usually have a tendency to after imbibing their ones and twos gain the unwanted strength to intrude the space they have not paid for. None of such incident occurred. Possibly because the security was fit for the day, but also because the environment was set up in a manner that showed and reminded everyone of their rightful space at the table.
The sound was crispy clear, and eye entertaining. You could tell that upon setting the sound, the idea was not just the volume but more importantly the quality. We still have a problem with shows that are characterised by poor sound yet this very ‘item’ of the night; sound, is very primary to the event. Rave Heart, Windrush PR and Liberty had set their sound from Friday morning yet the show was only Saturday evening. This planning in time ensures that the hosts ae able to check the sound, set and reset it, get all the needed accessories, test them, buy, rent where possible and be fully satisfied that they will not embarrass themselves on the night of the show.
Lightning was also set up from Friday morning, tested Friday night and used Saturday night. It correlated with the sound, Vusi’s wardrobe, mood of the songs and the decency of the audience. It was not disco lightning set up for a Gospel show as I have seen in other Gospel shows where one could tell that the lightning technician was not briefed that ‘’….rara….we are setting up for a Gospel show…”….! This is another area that I am hopeful that creative industry players, particularly promoters have learnt as they attended the show.
I had the advantage of having a chat with Mr. Hans Rooseboom of Eventpro Technical Service, a South African based company that was brought in to share the expertise on the part of lighting, sound and stage setting. A humble gentlemen who was above all mesmerised by the decency of Batswana. Though my conversation with him was about how he sees the Botswana Creative Industry, he was clearly over whelmed by the reception, love and embrace he got from Batswana on a two day visit he had been around.
He parted with me still expressing that it was astonishing that Batswana still greeted everyone they meet even strangers with such love and affection as if they know each other from somewhere. Knowing me, I then took him through the important elements of Botswana culture that make us a different from the rest of the clowns!…well….he understood me…I hope the reader also understands whom I was referring to…!…gape kene keipankanyetsa gore hakele kakwa, arotloetse bo morwa rragwe gore bantshware ka matsetseleko wabona…!…
On stage Vusi did not only present the new him, he had with him his new music, refreshing, soothing and Godly than ever before. Brave Heart and Windrush PR had ensured that Vusi’s wardrobe represented the show, the audience and the music. This is that part of the creative industry that managers and administrators of the creative industry often leave to the artists to sort out. And it usually ends up terribly bad as we often see gospel artists dressed for a rock concert. One could tell that for this show, Vusi ensured the right clothes, right colours and right fit. He did not look like he was putting on clothes owned as a result of a grandfather passing away as it is regularly the case with our local gospel guys. I guess this made the job of his make-up artist very easy. And for that I will say, less money for the make-up artist and more money for the wardrobe coordinator…hahahahahaha!
I must also not forget to mention that the choice of venue also ensured that not only ample parking space but surety of security was awesome. Quite often we attend shows were despite the promoters aware that they will sell more than enough tickets, continue to greedily chose venues where one has to walk a kilometre or more after parking their car to gain entrance into the show. This walking is mostly on heavy dust, upon entering the show, one’s shoes will not be visible due to dust covering them all over; a sore sight if you ask me. But alas, we have been made to be used to this that we seldom complain except from jokingly talking about it in the morning, largely on social sites.
Those who imbibe more than their memories can permit get a huge surprise in the morning when they see their shoes in dust. That’s when they begin to retrace their last night’s journey of entertainment. Yes, we do have friends who never plan to end up at any show but simply find themselves there, or worse enough, hear that they have been there. It is some form of magic never to be understood by the young ones. Surely this is not what Brave Heart, Windrush PR and Liberty Life had wanted anyone to go through when they chose the venue. A beautiful lesson that must be learnt from the Vusi Live show by our local promoters is that; those willing to spend their money prefer some form of decency. And their money must be acquired through providing them with the same decency they envisage.
And by the way, before I forget, the many Creative Industry faces that I saw and met that night said it all; that it was a show we have all been waiting for. It was of great interest to me that our local promoters amongst the audience were witnessing and experiencing that a show ought to be thoroughly planned for.
These Ladies and Gentlemen of the Industry have already been thanked in many other platforms but let me also express my gratitude to them as appropriate; Shabba Kgotlaetsho, Seabelo Modibe, Massie Hule, Moxx Gaolape, Johnson Otlaadisa, Bofelo Segotso and many others whom I have not mentioned due to my memory lapse and well, because this space could be filled up with only names, and also possibly because, lenna kene katsena modieemong! Once more, thank you Braveheart, Windrush and Liberty Life. Allahur Akbar!
Once again, Hanceford Magapatona emerged the biggest winner with ease at the 7th Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs) this past weekend. Famously known as Han C in the music industry, the 27-year old self-taught singer and songwriter snatched the titles of YAMAs People’s Choice Artist of the Year and Best Male single for his all-time hit ‘Padi padi’.
Han C did not go home empty-handed as there were good monies for each category, courtesy of First National Bank Botswana, Mascom and Now TV. The two prestigious awards earned him P60 000 and P25 000 each, making him the biggest winner of the night. After being announced as the winner under the Best Male Single, Han C took to social media to express his serenity about the achievements. He said, “words cannot explain how I feel right now, but all I can say is thank you much to the people who have been showing us love and support.
Special shout out to Yarona FM for giving us this platform to showcase our talents and creativity. I also would love to give a special shout out to all the sponsors for making this happen. We appreciate all of you.” When getting his People’s Choice Artist of the Year award, Han C showed deference to artists nominated with him under this category. Even though they could not go home with the prize, Mahalapye-born acknowledged that they are equally artistic. “Getting a nomination for this award is quite an achievement on its own, mainly because you are nominated alongside brilliant, amazing good artists—a special shout out to my team. We put in the work; I think we should continue doing so.
PREVIOUS AWARDS NOMINATIONS
Han C’s hard work and dedication have garnered him recognition in the local scenes. And it would look suspicious if he didn’t get an accolade or two. In 2018, he was nominated YAMAs Artist of the Year, Best Male Artist, and Song of the Year (Mafurafura), Best Collabo (Mafurafura) and Best Dance Single (Mafurafura). In 2016, he was nominated for Song of the Year (SediLaaka) and Best Collaboration (SediLaaka). He won Best New Artist in 2016, Artist of the Year (2018) and Best Dance Single 2018.
MOTSETSEREPA LOSES ALL NOMINATIONS
Local comedian-turned musician Bofelo William Molebatsi, known as William KRM Last saw dust at the recently held 7th YAMAs. After being the most nominated artist, William Last did not go home with any of his nominated awards. He was nominated under: People’s Choice Award of the Year category, won by Han C, Song of the Year taken home by La Tonde and Names, Best Male Single (Han C), Best Hip-hop (snatched by Ozi F Teddy) as well as Best Social Media (Mjamaica).
He, however, took to social media to share the devastating news, which came as a slapping blow right on his face. “Wow! Whenever I think of the huge success of my Amara Willian album, I always cry happy tears. I celebrate and thank God for where he has brought me to with all this big brand success. This is especially through the greatest love from my supporters/fans all over. They are a million followers of my brand and the views that I always get on my daily posts all over my social media platforms. These big numbers scream love and appreciation to me so loud. I appreciate the love and support; God bless.”
OTHER YAMAS 2021 WINNERS
Peoples’ Choice Song of the year was awarded La Tonde and Names for their song ‘Dibulele’. YAMAs 2021 Inductee to the Yarona FM Hall Of Fame was the late Sasa Klaas. Sasa Klaas died in a helicopter crash on March 5th 2021, near Sojwe. She was an all-around musician mostly known for her hip-hop culture.
Producer of the year was snatched by MB on the Beat, while Boipelo Seleke scooped the YAMAs 2021 Icon award. Seleke went home with P25 000 while MB on the Beat only earned himself P10 000. The new Mokaragana hostess Girly left the YAMAs as the new awardee of Best Female Single for her song ‘BMW’. Best Amapiano went to Deejay Bino’s ‘Touch’ featuring the late Sasa Klaas, Rasun and Da QuTness.
Further, Lloyd BW and Priscilla K’s ‘Have You Ever’ won Best Dance Single, while Best Collaboration was won by FlyBoi Que featuring Jordan MoOzy and FME Luther October on their hit ‘Ndeya’. Ozi F Teddy also made a debut appearance of the YAMAs nominations and snatched Best Hip Hop for his song ‘Negotiate’, where he features Murda.
Almost every year, Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) attracts hullabaloo over its annual music awards. This time around, it was not only that. There has been much noise around compliance, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development involvement in the affairs of this organisation, as well as the contentious sponsorship from the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS).
Following a four-year hiatus, BOMU awards found themselves being the talk of the town due to unfair practices some artists claim clouded the non-complying organisation. These are serious accusations that BOMU has since rubbished as deliberate actions intended to tarnish its reputation.
Some disgruntled artists recently took to the streets to protest against these practices. However, these are not subscribing members of BOMU. Before being cut short by the Police, these artists demanded that the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Tumiso Rakgare step down immediately. They claim that Rakgare has failed his mandate.
On the other hand, they demanded that the Youth Ministry reverse the P500 000 it has splashed on the BOMU awards, and the money be split among artists. A lead protester in these activities, Rhumba artist General Tuco, told Weekendlife that BOMU management should halt the awards and instead clean the organisation’s dirty laundry.
He further indicated that they would be dropping a petition at the DBS offices, urging the group to revoke the P1.5 million sponsorship it has awarded BOMU. Because these discontented artists claim that BOMU is non-compliant, they will also be marching to the Registrar of Societies to express their grievances.
In an interview this week, General Tuco said they are still engaging their attorney to formalise their protest and give them a way forward. The Police deny them a permit to hold their rally. According to information gathered last week, the artists were arrested and released the same day and asked to apply for a protest permit.
BOMU PRESIDENT SPEAKS
BOMU President Phemelo Lesokwane told a media member on Wednesday that “We have seen people on social media dragging our name on the mud as BOMU. They say we are non-compliant, corrupt and unfair. When we get to see who these people are, they are not our members. They call themselves artists, but as legalised agents of artists in Botswana, we do not know them, neither do we know what they are talking about. We condemn these acts.”
Lesokwane rubbished allegations that BOMU is not compliant. “We see journalists giving these guys who masquerade as artists more prime time for them to tarnish our name. But they do not have the evidence. BOMU is compliant, and we have all the documents. We also have verified documents from the Registrar of Societies, who are our key stakeholders.”
Talking about being backbitten, Lesokwane claims that government officials from the Registrar of Societies are promoting what unregistered artists are making noise about in the corridors. Some of these officers fed the Youth Minister Rakgare wrong information about BOMU. BOMU has much work to do in-house.
Further, Lesokwane revealed that when they took over the office, BOMU was mugged some of its finances. Investigations are ongoing to retrieve such monies, he said. As if that is not enough cleaning, Lesokwane has a headache dealing with another faction dubbed BW Artists, which represents artists in the Northside of the country.
“If you could look into the management of this organisation, you would question their interests. Two of them are politicians. Once they fail primary elections, they come back into the music industry and cause chaos. I always say I am going to fight with everything I have together with my team to make sure that we protect artists in Botswana.”
JOURNALISTS FINGERED IN THE BOMU MESS
BOMU President Lesokwane has accused journalists of being biased and unfair to his organisation. He stressed that BOMU depends on members of the press to help rebuild the dying Botswana music industry. “Most articles about our artists speak negatively about them. Foreign artists are always given priority instead of our local artists, but we value journalists as our equally significant stakeholders. We can grow this industry together.”
These media reports, Lesokwane said, have forced stakeholders to withdraw their sponsorships towards the BOMU awards, slated for October 2021. At times they are required to answer for hearsays that are not accurate. He reiterated that BOMU has nothing to hide as it is compliant.
BOMU MUSIC AWARDS CONSULTANT SPEAKS
BOMU Music Awards Consultant Seabelo Modibe has been topping the charts for a long good time. His appointment as a consultant was notorious as critics felt his company was relatively premature at the time of appointment.
He joined the BOMU get-together at the time the awards were still distressed by the hubbub. Many asked if he would manage the heat, but clearly, Modibe is having a hard time. He, however, stressed that BOMU is open to criticism.
“Lot of people say BOMU has been given money to waste. That is not precise. It has sold its product, its broadcasting rights. They were sold for P1.5 million to the DBS. Our contract is for a year, and we will be going back to them in December. MYSC has acquired what we call commercial rights. These are rights that someone buys to promote their mandate. MYSC seeks to promote local music using BOMU awards.”
Mpho Donald was undoubtedly the IT girl of the then tedious beauty industry. She loved looking pretty and smelling good. Of course, this is every girl’s dream, but making a living out of it doesn’t flash into many of these girls’ dreams.
Besides, it used to be a lot more common for the majority of entrepreneurs to be male in the past. However, in recent years the number of female entrepreneurs in the world has been on the rise. She is from a family of business-minded people. Both parents were entrepreneurs, but that is not why Donald is a powerful woman in this entrepreneurial space. At one point, life threw lemons at her, and she made lemonade.
At the age of 38, Donald has been to South Africa more than once. These frequent hazardous trips at the time were to acquire secret elements into being a real hustler. She would get robbed, risk being raped or hijacked, but she survived.
“At one point, life got too difficult to an extent where I found myself doing piece jobs for other people just so I earn something to buy toiletry, food and clothes even. I did laundry, and in the entire process, I got tired. I had to think about business, and it was easy because I come from a line of people who believe in trading. Somehow I got motivated, but I never wanted to work for anyone in life.”
Before embarking on shadowing missions in South Africa, Donald would go around the capital city, hunting for customers. Kgale Mews, Commerce Park are urban offices for various companies, but this did not restrict her from knocking, selling makeup, jewellery and accessories.
She was known for this particular hustle in all the offices. Some people will get exhausted because of her irritating products, but that did not stop her from acquiring a tiny spot in Main Mall. She pitched her gazibo, and her next items on display were plus size women’s outfits. These women are often overlooked, especially on beauty pageantry. The controversial Miss Plus Size Botswana pageant never saw the light of the day ever again.
“I guess that was after I saw the pains of plus-sized women when it came to shopping for something to wear. Being a plus-size woman made it easy for me to penetrate this space. I modelled all my clothes and advertised them on social media.”
Social media opened many doors for so many entrepreneurs. Donald can attest to that. She told Weekendlife that “People started coming in to buy both makeup and the clothes. Then, later on, I started selling second-hand clothes and while at it, I moved to my first shop. I think for me taking risks has never really been any scary because I convinced myself that in any case, I fall, I will rise again.”
“So I went boldly into everything that I could do at the time. I would travel to South Africa to places I never knew. I got my stock there, and even when I got robbed, I knew I would eventually reach my destination. It surely wasn’t an easy walk in a park, but I persevered,” she said.
From her mini boutique, Donald went full force into buying and supplying second-hand clothes. “As the COVID-19 lockdowns hit us, I was busy at work pushing the idea on mini bails and second-hand clothes. So it came down to my mind that I have to know what to sell in which season. It was a trial and error kind of hustle, but once you get a grip of it, you begin to sail smoothly.”
Donald currently supplies small businesses across the country. She gets to enjoy a good relationship with her customers, who are in other countries even. “It took me much effort, commitment and loyalty to be where I am today. I guess I could now boldly say that hard work is beginning to pay off. I have started knocking on bigger doors for partnerships, and I believe that if I can get them, beauty plus size clothing will be elevated to the next level.”
Mpho Donald is originally from Serowe. She studied her O and A-levels in Zimbabwe at the Specis College. Still, in Zimbabwe, she enrolled and qualified as a Travel and Tourism expert. She said in an interview that she will be venturing into other hustles too but couldn’t reveal which ones now. Donald is optimistic that everything will be ready and served in 2022.