Like many social events, the Hamptons Jazz Festival was also the first to be hit by the devastating COVID-19 postponements in the event fraternity. Their standing, as the biggest show in Botswana can be attributed to the growing support and loyalty of local and international customers, the ‘Hamptonettes’.
The event’s postponement meant loyal revellers could not enjoy the bawling sound of live music, the euphoria that came with the buzz that oozed from the stage and the large crowds, while sipping on their chosen potions.
The founder of Hamptons Jazz Festival, Debbie Smith established with this publication that the social event lost P85 000 after taking time building up to an event which was later interrupted by the pandemic. Despite everything, they have managed to secure all bookings on international artists for the next event.
She further explained that they are not sure as to whether the event will host or not. ‘‘We are Hoping that the event does take place on October 24th as provisionally planned, we have a few surprises up our sleeve to implore our fans to keep on the lookout for updates on our Facebook page and other social media platforms. In the meantime, while waiting for government, we encourage everyone to continue adhering to Covid regulations,” she said
As the creative industry continues to take strain amid the pandemic, it means that the Hamptons was also tampered with and many things were put on hold as well as all the engaged stakeholders.
“It also meant sending many on the team home as there was nothing left for them to do- nothing left to pay them. 50 of our consultants found themselves without an income, while an additional 100+ tasked with sales, marketing, PR and media, administration, operations, setup and maintenance, etc., the show also lost out,” “Hamptons prides itself with its team, which comprises of 80% of youths between 18 and 35.
That, together with our commitment to always having a huge line- up comprising of local and international artists has been wrecked tragically. Local artists and band members, who stood to benefit even more from the higher rates attached to live performances have had to stay home with no lucrative income from their trade. They have lost out on an opportunity to network and form collaborations with international artists,” said Smith.
An event which is known for bringing the hottest line up, by engaging international artists said they are closely interested in the state of ‘all things COVID’ in the SADC region as their line-up has international artists from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. Hamptons remains relentless in providing what it is known for; a good mix of quality local and international live jazz music.
“As a promoter that appreciates the need for public health and safety, we realise that social distancing at large events will be a challenge. We do know and trust, however, that the public knows how to carry themselves amid such conditions. Despite the anxiety and fear around the effects of COVID, there is a lot that we can do as events promoters to ensure that precautions are taken when attending events,”
“We anxiously wait to hear from government on any recommendations as far as large gatherings are concerned and the opportunity to brainstorm and suggest around how we can take the necessary precautions. We have been patient; we have been co-operating; we are hungry; we need to fend for ourselves. We humbly plea to the government, through the Covid Task Team, to consider us, when making decisions. We live in hope,” she said.
Artists and promoters were promised an allowance by the government, and it seems like the payments are taking time to be credited which is putting more strain on artists as well as promoters.
“Promoters were promised a relief fund and BEPA (Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association) has tried several times to get updates from MYSC. However, finally the update is that promoters and artists will get a relief fund next week or the week after. As the Hamptons, we did not apply for any subsidence funds as we feel there are other companies who deserve them better than us. It’s a difficult time for everyone,” Smith concluded.
Set to debut on August 1st, Black Is King is an impending film and visual album directed, written and executively produced by American singer Beyoncé.
The film started off as a passion project and as a continuation to her Lion King movie but it later evolved into something huge. This after the mass protests across the globe; Black Lives Matter protests, a response to the death of George Floyd. There have been trailers of the film with clean shots and trailer echoing, “You, who were formed by the heat of the galaxy, what a thing to be, both unique and familiar. To be one and the same and still like any other.”
The American award winning singer stated that the events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey, she shared via Instagram.
“We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy,” she said.
M-Net, the MultiChoice Group’s flagship channel on DStv Premium, has acquired the rights from The Walt Disney Company to screen Black Is King across Africa. The film will be brought straight to the African continent within 24 hours of its debut on Disney+.
“Showcasing this landmark visual album and global television event to as many of our loyal viewers as possible, MultiChoice Group and M-Net yet again cement their reputation as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, “says Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO: Video Entertainment.
“We’re very excited to be part of this global event, but what makes Black Is King even more important for us, is that it shines the spotlight on the many phenomenal African creatives who were involved in the project – both on screen and behind the scenes.”
Starring featured artists from the film’s music soundtrack as well as guest appearances, Black Is King tells the story of a young King’s journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity. Guided by his ancestors, father and childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne.
Black Is King features an impressive list of diverse voices on its creative team, including Directors Emmanuel Adjei ( from the film Shahmaran), Blitz Bazawule (from the film The Burial of Kojo), Pierre Debusschere (Mine and Ghost videos for Beyoncé), Jenn Nkiru (Black to Techno film), Ibra Ake (creative director and producer on This is America video for Childish Gambino), Dikayl Rimmasch (Cachao, UNO MAS film), Jake Nava (Crazy in Love, Single Ladies, Partition videos for Beyoncé) and Co-Director and long-time collaborator of Beyoncé, Kwasi Fordjour.
The list of additional Co-Directors and second unit directors adds to the crew’s global representation, including Dafe Oboro, Julian Klincewicz, Derek Milton, Meji Alabi, Joshua Kissi, Alexandre Moors and Deon Van Zyl.
Filmed in various locations, the film’s cinematography captures beautiful people and landscapes across continents, starting in New York, then Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, London and Belgium. From all these places comes an extraordinary cast of actors and dancers that influenced the film’s rich tableau and vibrant choreography.
The new trailer provides a glimpse of some of the special guests in the film. They include models Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, author and Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, singer Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z, among others. Many artists featured on The Lion King: The Gift album also make appearances.
Among the well-known Mzansi stars featured in Black Is King are Connie Chiume (from the drama Gomora), Nandi Madida (from The Road), Nyaniso Dzedze (from Binnelanders) and Warren Masemola (from the drama The River).
Limkokwing University continuously plays a critical role in the knowledge based economy by being a conduit for developing and facilitating integration into the wider social and innovation system to the growth and development of the economy of Botswana.
In its continued efforts to providing quality education and positioning itself as the number one market leader in the creative and innovative driven industry within the tertiary education in Botswana, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology announced that for the 2020 September New Intake the University will be offering 50% Scholarships for 1st year self-sponsored students.
Speaking to the Echo Newspaper; Associate Director Registry; Ms. Beenzu Kapapa stated that Limkokwing is committed to increasing access to tertiary for the youth of this country and as a result the Founder President Tan Sri Limkokwing found it fitting to give out scholarships to selected groups of potential students who were unable to get government sponsorships.
Limkokwing University has in past given scholarships worth millions to people living with disabilities, the creative industry and the media fraternity. Limkokwing Finance manager, Ms. Lenah Kelepile added that the 50% scholarships as well as the flexible payment structure they have in place are the University’s efforts of encouraging Batswana and individual private sponsors to pay for the education of their children at tertiary level.
She further highlighted that while the 50% scholarship will be given to first year qualifying students were unable to get government sponsorship and 30% discount will be given to all self-sponsored students who pay for annual tuition fees or full studies fees upfront.
The university continues to offer innovative programmes that shape careers of the future and create the most unique environment that fulfils the creative needs of young people. An environment that is professionally equipped for the 21st century learning where government, industry and academia collaborate to focus and empower the next generation of creative thinkers through creativity and innovation.
Known for stunning audiences at the My Star talent show as a television presenter, Timothy Alpha was one of the young lads who had dreams of gaining fame and fortune all the while having fun in the entertainment industry.
Like many hopefuls, landing a breakthrough in the creative industry took a lot of hard work on his part. Today, Timothy Alpha has become a house hold name, with a substantial number of gigs under his belt. The 26 year old who hails from Francistown is leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of his dreams.
Other than being known for being a My Star presenter, he is also known for lining up most of the prominent shows in the country as an MC. The jack of all trades is also a voice over artist and he is currently running a mobile spa.
The renowned MC had always been in the spotlight from his academic days, he made an appearance on Ntwakgolo, and a drama series called Morwalela. He was also part of a debate show called Kgang TselengDebate.
“I started from the ground, without any connection and without anyone helping me to get into the industry. So it was rough, even for me to get gigs it was hard. I had to go knock on big doors on my own. Sometimes I had to ask people to slot me in their gigs for free.
After I gained recognition that is when people started respecting my craft. For me to be part of My Star as a presenter I had to audition and I had to wait in long queues,” he said.
The journey has been a rollercoaster for him. “Some days you are up and some day you are just down, the spotlight is amazing but tiring at the same because of people’s expectations of me.
I was once attacked by a lady for eating street fries and then cyber bullying on the other hand is just something else because everyone is opinionated and can just blast you over little things. It is just a rollercoaster of emotions. It looks great on the outside but behind the scenes there’s always some challenges.’’
He tells this publication that his most memorable moment was when his first international gig in South African for Nelson Mandela Day in Johannesburg. “I was happy to have been the only Motswana qualifying for Top 30 VJ Search in 2019.’’
On the other hand one of the most heart breaking moments in his career was when he was still fresh in the industry and got a booking in Maun and was left behind with other artists without pay by the event organizers. “We were taken out of the accommodation and had nowhere to go,” he said.
With the world being hit by the Corona pandemic, and the creative industry being shut, it meant he was also pausing for a while until things get back to normal.
“It stopped almost everything with events being paused and shoots paused meant the game had to stop, but I am one of luckiest to have been engaged by several companies to be part of their live stream events but other than that my spa happened,” he said.
“It has been two months since I have started Royal house of Alpha mobile spa, it is a mobile spa that takes its services to the people at their door step, we offer massages, facials, manicure and pedicure services and we rent out massage beds, we do it at your own house and do have call ins. I would also love to own an events and production company in the future.”
Today, he embraces all the bruises and challenges as they played an important role in his growth and to be where he is today. “With the challenges I have faced and every pain and agony I’ve been through, the blood, sweat, movers, shakers and tears I wouldn’t be doing any justice if I don’t look up to myself. I am the most loving and strongest person I’ve ever met in my entire life,” said.
The ever exquisite and incredible personality that is Timothy Alpha has evolved over time, and has become a force to reckon with, and although he cites he is single, he has found peace and fullness in being single as it allows him to be free and happy.