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Maikano Serenades at National Choir Festival

be-Mobile were the main sponsors of the Festival

The first be-MOBILE National Choir Festival took place at a packed Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) Auditorium on Saturday with renowned choral choirs battling it out in five sections. After a long day’s battle, Gaborone based Maikano Serenaders; Moeding Alumni Artists from Lobatse; as well as Ramotswa based Andante Chorus each took home three awards.

The competition began with both male and female categories belting out ‘I have a bonnet Trimmed With Blue’ composed by Herbert Hughes and ‘When De Stars Begin To Fall’ by Hugh S. Robbertson. All the choirs demonstrated a lot of maturity and did justice to both songs more especially Robbertson’s composition where they displayed antiphonal effects: dialogs, overlaps between groups of voices (one starts before the other stops; contrasting alternation between groups of voices). It must have been not an easy task for the board of adjudicators to determine the winner in these categories.

In another instalment (section C) all choirs were tasked with two pieces from Western and African. Here they showed a lot of maturity in voice couplings; pairings, two contrasting pairs, one voice contrasting with the others, faux bourdon, parallelism, chord-stream counterpoint. Mogoditshane UCCSA proved to be the best in Western piece while Palapye Voices went home with an award for best in African piece. They performed Our Father by Mike Modise and Thapelo ya Kagiso by Pilane Sebigi.

With three awards on the night, the Gaborone based group Maikano Serenaders were the best achievers of the night pocketing home monies amounting to P34, 000 after coming third in Section A – Western piece winning P10, 000; they also got first position in section A – African taking with them the trophy and a whooping P14, 000.

Maikano also took first position in the male category which earned them P10, 000. The group looked stunning with men putting on slim fit navy blue suits while the ladies rocked high waist colourful German prints skirts with white shirts.   

A panel of adjudicators comprising of the well-known composers of choral music here in Botswana and from neighbouring South Africa had an opportunity to remark on the performances. In their deliberations they encouraged choir conductors to refrain from disturbing the performances by dancing – they should focus on directing. They advised them to follow the dynamics and to pull their socks, however they said the future of choral in the country looks promising.  

They also advised them to be original in their compositions. The best way to become a better composer is to practice composition. “It's quite clear what it means for a pianist to practice, but what does it mean for a composer to practice? Quite simply put notes on page, have those notes performed and learn from the experience, and study scores and recordings to learn how other composers solved their compositional problems,” they were advised.

For choral music one of the most important things to learn is prosody, which is how you fit the words to rhythm and pitch. It's great to have words like common-tone-pivot-chord in your vocabulary when you want to discuss your work with others, but for yourself as a composer it's far more important to know what kind of chord that refers to.

Another important aspect of choral music is consonants; these are basically produced by vibrations of the vocal cords or the breath in the mouth and the stoppage of the lips, teeth, tongue or palate. The stoppage may be complete or only partial. There are five categories: vocal consonants with pitch, voiced explosives, pure (voiceless) explosives), sibilants and aspirate.

While addressing the audience Botswana Choral Music Association (BOCMA) president, Bushy Leremela Bogosing said Choral music genre in Botswana has grown in leaps and bounds. He said gone are days when it used to play fiddle to other music genres. He pointed out that each year the standards keep on getting better and choral music talent is given a chance to grow.

Sponsors of the National Choir Festival included beMOBILE as the main sponsors, Unigem, Department of Arts and Culture, Radio Botswana and Botlhe Medical aid. The festival gave local composers a platform to showcase their creativity.

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All roads lead to Francistown for ATI’s concert

18th May 2022

Organisers of the much anticipated As One Music Concert say preparation for the much awaited as one of the music concert are at the peak, with ticket and merchandise sales at a high just 13 days before the event.

In a statement Kesego Okie, Managing Director of Blue Skies PR Agency and event coordinator “The Concert is a celebration of ATI’s journey in music. It is also an incredible platform for all stakeholders, particularly businesses that operate in Francistown, to show their commitment to the resuscitation of the City’s economy following the impact of Covid.

We are grateful for the reception by the city leadership and look forward to cooperate Francistown heeding our call to support the arts, which would in turn, be supporting many livelihoods and small business in the area”.

She expressed gratitude to the public for their immense support evidenced by ticket sales and talk ability, saying this is testimony that indeed As One the nation can go fa in the true spirit of boipelego (self-reliance).

The concert is partnership between Batho Bame Investment and Blue Skies PR Agency. “A lot of work has gone in to prepare for the highlight, and I am thankful to everyone who believes in the dream and supports us. I promise nothing but the very best of me and would love to express my utmost gratitude to all creatives and businesses that are a part of this Journey” Atasaone ATI Molemogi.

The concert will be the first music show taking place within the main pitch of the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium, which was chosen to host because of its distinct state of art ambiance, coupling Francistown’s position as a gate way to many strategic places in Botswana.

Francistown is not only rich in history, but also an enabler for economic activity for unearthed tourist destination surrounding it. It is an honour to have been given the approval by the city leadership and the people of Francistown to host this Concert in their backyard’ ATI.

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AMVCAs To Host Hollywood Stars At 8th Edition

18th May 2022

As part of activities for the 8th edition of Africa’s most prestigious award ceremony, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs), Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice Nigeria will host celebrity movie stars and film directors from Hollywood ahead of the awards ceremony taking place on Saturday, 14 May in Lagos.

The visiting Hollywood stars will be led by Tasha Smith, actress, director and producer, known for her role in the acclaimed films, ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ and its sequel, ‘Why Did I Get Married, Too?’. She will be joined by Bayo Akinfemi, a cast member of the popular television series, ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ as well as Brandon Micheal Hall of the ‘God Friended Me’ series fame

Also expected are Sidra Smith, award-winning Producer and Head of Essence’s Film and TV Studio and Grant Housley, Hollywood Producer, Writer and Director currently at Paramount Pictures, where he has worked on some of the biggest films and most critically acclaimed television series in the world.

While in Nigeria, the stars will meet with the #AMVCA8 nominees and other industry stakeholders. This historic visit is in line with MultiChoice and Africa Magic’s efforts in sustaining the Africa film making and storytelling momentum, through deliberate global collaboration.

The eighth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards is brought to viewers by Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice and is proudly sponsored by Amstel Malta.
For more information, visit and follow all official handles of Africa Magic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #AMVCA8

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Of Musicians and No Shows

10th May 2022
Musicians and No Shows

There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.

Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.

The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.

Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.

In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…

Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation

“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.

He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event.
The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.

This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events.  Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.

The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized

Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.

He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.

In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud.
When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.

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