Connect with us

Get Up, Stand Up. For Music

My thoughts lately on collective management organisations as the future of making a living from the creative arts, with reference to struggling developing nations, have been tested by many who see only misrepresentation and premature developments by organisations like COSBOTS, that advocate for economic empowerment of the creative industry as a viable tool for making a living from the arts as a business.

Questions like: How much does each artist make from COSBOTS? (Personal emoluments!) Which artist has been paid the highest royalty? What do artist do with the money they get from COSBOTS? (COSBOTS cannot prescribe what you do with personal income.) COSBOTS is killing the music industry? (Usually from irate promoters unhappy about paying royalties).

Why the ignorance and resistance? For a world phenomenon, not only for music but the economic empowerment of the creative industry. As for the royalties which are income for artists who receive compensation for their works, the collective management of their works is simply to assist in the collection and distribution of what could be termed profit/s for the artists in their business and that has to remain the private concerns of right-holders.

Well, last week my colleague and I took a journey to the Goo Tawana capital in Maun, where we met one of the popular and well-known folk music legend, Stiga Sola who made a name for himself with his 3 string guitar a decade ago. His music depicts ordinary life amongst his community. In his first album to fame he dominated the radio waves with songs like ‘Galalela” and went on to win a music award in South Africa making him one of the few to get recognition beyond our borders at the time.

Stiga was one of the artists in Maun and surrounding areas including Chris Manto 7, Disaitsaneng Cultural Group, Skrippa Tee, Robinyo Mandwel, Townboi, Raba wa Nkuku and Black British who supported commemorations of the World Intellectual Property Day, focusing on music with the theme ‘Get Up, Stand Up. For Music’. The purpose was celebrating the evolution of music in the ever changing digital economy and how artists have for years worked to create new content for different markets.

After the interactions and shared views on the developments of artists welfare with Maun based artists, I have come to the conclusion that only artists will be the change and progress that is needed in developments to our creative industry with copyright and intellectual property issues. It was evident that the wrong messenger was sent to sensitize and deliver awareness on intellectual property.

Only the artists will dictate the future of the industry from the repertoire of original works  to technological developments whether access to music by downloading or streaming, purchase or subscriptions, direct sales from creators  to consumers- it’s all for artist to take the lead.

Legendary Folk singer Stiga Sola made it very clear that he lives for music, so that his children could have a future from his craft even when he is no more.  From a spectator point of view, one might have assumed Stiga was contracted to advocate for copyright issues during World Intellectual Property Day, only to find he was a man looking at the value of his 7 albums which will for the next decades be celebrated and enjoyed by many. If these are not guarded from misuse and infringements he will forever be known as an artist from Maun who came and left.

Another known musician and Patron for Botswana Musician Association, BOMU, Hon. Keletso Rakhudu, made a clear challenge to artists to take the lead in the welfare of their works in his speech at the World IP Day, furthermore challenging artists  to take a closer look on this year’s World IP Day theme – ‘Get up, Stand up. For Music’. 

He noted that the theme resonates with our national anthem. The anthem challenges men to awake from slumber (the theme says Get up) and our women are called on to stand up (Stand up) and we join efforts to serve our country (the theme calls us to do that For Music – which, is part of our culture.

What a visionary, what a composer, what a lyricist, Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete. Five decades later, his message remains solid and insightful to various aspects of our lives as a nation. He was a powerful musician, no wonder we have today a music choir called after his name and popularised as KTM Choir. What more do we need to be taught about the importance of standing up for music?

This calls for artists to stand for their rights and protect their works by not only disseminating their creative works but taking an active role on copyright issues to ensure that future economic benefits can be achieved from their craft.

The future of the creative industry cannot only be left to organisations like COSBOTS, we still have a long way to go as artists to be on the forefront and stand up for our rights now and in the future.
For more information contact:
Tlotlo R. Kgakatsi  
Corporate Communications Manager
Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS)

Continue Reading



6th December 2023

Even though Botswana has over the years been performing extremely poorly at the Miss World competition, the country has confirmed that it will be hosting the beauty festival in 2026. Initially, the country was to host Miss World next year, something it failed to confirm before deadline. Director at Miss Botswana, Benjamin Raletsatsi, says Botswana will be ready then to host all participants. Miss Botswana Top 25 finalists left the boot camp yesterday. Quite shocking though, Miss Botswana team is still failing basics as responding to media inquiries on time yet it is dangerously hoping to host an event of high status

Continue Reading


DJ Sway ‘saved’ the YAMAs

22nd November 2023

DJ Sway, the daring and ambitious on-air presenter of Yarona FM, played a crucial role in saving the radio station’s music awards, known as the YAMAs. The event was initially dry and disorganized, but DJ Sway, who co-hosted with Pearl Thusi, injected life into the show. However, things took a turn for the worse when Pearl Thusi abruptly left the stage, leaving DJ Sway to carry on alone. Despite the unexpected setback, DJ Sway rose to the occasion and captivated the audience, effectively putting an end to the drama caused by Pearl Thusi.

In an exclusive interview after the YAMAs, DJ Sway revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos that unfolded during the event. He acknowledged the script editors, Phalana and Hope, who worked tirelessly to reedit the script and adapt it to a one-host format. Despite the last-minute changes, DJ Sway remained composed and focused, thanks to the support of his colleagues, such as Owen Rampha, Katlego Rakola, Tshepang Motsisi (DJ Easy), and LB.

When asked about his initial reaction to the unexpected turn of events, DJ Sway admitted to feeling saddened by how things ended. However, he credited Pearl Thusi for giving him a much-needed confidence boost during his moment of doubt. She reminded him that he was destined for greatness and that he didn’t need big stars to succeed. With her words of encouragement, DJ Sway regained his composure and approached the rest of the show with the same professionalism and charisma he displays on the radio.

To overcome the challenges he faced, DJ Sway relied on his radio skills and calm personality. He engaged with the audience as if he were speaking to a single person, pointing out individuals in the crowd to create a more intimate connection. He also expressed gratitude for his backstage team, who provided support and ensured the smooth running of the show.

DJ Sway expressed satisfaction in being seen as the saving grace of the YAMAs. He believed that he fulfilled his role as a host and brought joy to the Yarona FM board, his family, and his fans. Despite his success, DJ Sway’s journey has not been without hardships. He has experienced the loss of his mother and sister, which has left a lasting impact on him. While he continues to grieve, he seeks solace in therapy sessions and relies on his father for emotional support.

DJ Sway’s dedication to his craft and ability to overcome adversity make him a remarkable figure in the radio industry. His vibrant personality and deep knowledge of music have made him a perfect fit for Yarona FM. Despite the challenges he has faced, DJ Sway remains determined to make a positive impact and bring joy to his listeners. With his talent and resilience, there is no doubt that DJ Sway will continue to thrive in his career and leave a lasting legacy in the world of radio.


Continue Reading


Chef Gustos walk of shame

22nd November 2023

Chef Gustos, the renowned hitmaker, recently experienced what can only be described as a walk of shame at the 8th edition of the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs). Despite being nominated a whopping seven times, he failed to secure a single win. Ouch!

The night was filled with surprises, drama, and controversy, but the biggest winner of the evening was Han C, who walked away with three awards, including Best Pop and Best Male Single for his hit song, “Sebinki.” Han C graciously announced that he would be donating P10,000 from his winnings to his fellow nominees, promoting a spirit of togetherness among artists. What a noble gesture!

Meanwhile, Chef Gustos found himself on the losing end of several categories, including People’s Choice Artist of the Year, which he had won in the past. He seemed unfazed by the loss, stating, “People know that ‘Away’ was big, but they won’t stop me.” It’s clear that Chef Gustos is determined to continue making music, regardless of the awards he receives.

However, he did express his frustration with the outcome, suggesting that the awards may be corrupt. He declined to comment further, citing the need to protect his brand and maintain good relationships with corporate clients. It’s understandable that he wants to avoid any potential damage to his future prospects.

In fact, Chef Gustos went so far as to request that Yarona FM not nominate him for future YAMAs. It seems he wants to distance himself from the disappointment and focus on his music without the pressure of awards. Perhaps this decision will allow him to create freely and without the burden of expectations.

While Chef Gustos may have experienced a walk of shame at the YAMAs, it’s important to remember that awards do not define an artist’s talent or success. His fans still appreciate his music, and he continues to have gigs with corporate clients. So, despite the disappointment, Chef Gustos remains optimistic about his future in the industry.

In the end, the YAMAs may have been a letdown for Chef Gustos, but he’s determined to keep moving forward. He won’t let a lack of awards dampen his spirits or hinder his creativity. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll come back stronger and prove that he’s deserving of recognition. After all, the true measure of an artist’s success lies in the hearts of their fans, not in shiny trophies.


Continue Reading