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Creatives take covid-19 strain…

Amantle Brown

With doubts surging as to whether or not things will return to normal after the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Botswana artists and promoters’ hopes are running dry as the entertainment industry takes strain.

The creative sector was to be aided by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture development (MYSC), this was confirmed by Tumiso Rakgare, however, the funds are reported to be taking forever to be credited which has pushed entertainers over the edge, more so that their sector is totally closed.

The argument from the entertainers is that it is unfair for the transport sector to be fully operational while they are completely closed off. “The creative sector should be opened to allow the creatives to earn a living without depending on the government. A whole lot of creatives are so depressed because of having to stay for money without a salary hence all the gigs were cancelled.

In all the industries which has been opened there are protocols and the same can apply to the entertainment industry. Look at the bus services or transportation. They have protocols to observe. We can be opened as well and be allowed to observe the same rules,” said Thabang Garogwe, Botswana Afro Jazz Musician.

It is without a doubt that a lot of artists were feeding off from the sector, and now their supply ceased and they are hanging from a thread without knowing what tomorrow holds for them, some artists however suggest that the government must strategize.

“I believe that we should gradually open up the entertainment industry soonest. We can do it in phases with limited audiences and times, increasing gradually till we are back in full swing. This total closure is killing us. We have public transporters who are allowed 100 percent passenger capacity. We are talking zero social distancing and some routes, say Gaborone-Kasane, mean that people are stuck together in a bus for more than 10 hours. Why can’t I have a 5 hour outdoor event? Does it sound unreasonable for us to ask for this?” Sereetsi and the Natives said.

“I have had bookings locally and internationally cancelled. That’s a loss of income and livelihood.” The ‘Sedidi’ hit-maker, Amantle Brown also found herself drowning in anxiety as she too is sceptic as to whether the industry that kept things together in her life will open soon or not. She however calls out to the entertainment organisations to come through for their sector.

“Covid-19 has really hit us so bad, it’s crazy because when it started the first month and the second month, we were hoping that things will get to normal but when we saw ourselves going to the forth then firth month and then July. It feels like we are going to go crazy and explode. Everything is stagnant. Things have paused and panic is setting in, anxiety is setting and I’m just wondering where I am going to get money from to buy necessities,” she said.

“It is just messed up and I feel we need these music bodies to stand up and rise for this issue and figure a way to help us so that we can sustain ourselves until things get back to normal. We need help as soon as possible. We waited for way too long and we are starting to panic, lose grip and even demotivated.

MYSC relief fund has not yet come in yet. I am calling onto COSBOTS to find a way to pay our royalties, VIB to pay for our caller tunes so that at least we can gather what we could gather until things are better.”

Kabelo Mogwe from Culture Spears also established with this publication that, this has been their hardest year yet as their international shows were cancelled when international trips were halted.

“We make a living by music, especially us Culture Spears because most of the time we cross borders. Last year if I remember well, every month we were booked to perform internationally. Every month we were crossing the border.

That is where we were mostly affected. There are no shows as well, CD’s were made in South Africa and the pandemic slowed us down. Night shows and corporate shows were really affected. Things have been stopped due to travel restrictions and social distancing,” he lamented,

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WeekendLife

Top Model Botswana 4th edition paused

4th August 2020

While some find it hard to survive in the entertainment sector, modelling is one of the few careers that has been taking shape in the creative sector in the country. Top Model Botswana is one of the set platforms that gives models a scarce opportunity and a chance to be uncovered and to take their talent to bigger runways.

Their aim is to see the models being scouted by international brands. However, like many other sectors which have been affected by the global pandemic (Covid-19), Top Model Botswana has paused as they are waiting for the situation to stabilize. While they are waiting to complete their 3rd edition, the idea of the 4th edition of the series had to be shelved for the time being. The event organisers have promised to communicate as and when auditions for the fourth edition will be opened.

“Well, honestly this year we didn’t do anything. Early this year we had to have the grand finale of Top Model Botswana 3rd edition which was a continuation of last‘s year edition. But due to this pandemic that the world is facing, we could not go head and finish the 3rd edition. We had decided to just pause this year and continue next year,” Simon Pierre shared with WeekendLife.

Organisers of the event annually rummage rural areas in search of models who are not adequately exposed to be identified as models. “For the 4th edition which was to be this year, my team and I had decided to bring a little twist to how we have been doing things in favour of the models. We decided to change our ways of carrying out Top Model competition.

Initially Top Model Botswana had auditions all over Botswana and we often sent agents to places we can’t reach. After auditions, each town will compete in their respective town, then they all meet when we are approaching final stages,” he said. “But this year our idea was that, we will only audition one town each year. So we will be rotating each year in different places. If this year is Palapye, then we will only focus on Palapye, but sadly we were not able to go ahead with our plan due to corona.”

Top Model Botswana is known for producing seasoned models year in and year out, with some modelling careers enhanced and taken to greater platforms. Kakanyetso Gabatsholwe is one of the models who was scouted by Top Model Botswana and today she is signed under Isis Model Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also the winner of Top Model 2017.

Top Model Botswana was adopted from the American reality television series in which a number of aspiring models competed for the title of “America’s Next Top Model” and a chance to begin their career in the modelling industry. The famous model show was the brain-child of American model, Tyra Banks.

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WeekendLife

Top Model Botswana 4th edition paused

4th August 2020

While some find it hard to survive in the entertainment sector, modelling is one of the few careers that has been taking shape in the creative sector in the country. Top Model Botswana is one of the set platforms that gives models a scarce opportunity and a chance to be uncovered and to take their talent to bigger runways.

Their aim is to see the models being scouted by international brands. However, like many other sectors which have been affected by the global pandemic (Covid-19), Top Model Botswana has paused as they are waiting for the situation to stabilize. While they are waiting to complete their 3rd edition, the idea of the 4th edition of the series had to be shelved for the time being.

The event organisers have promised to communicate as and when auditions for the fourth edition will be opened. “Well, honestly this year we didn’t do anything. Early this year we had to have the grand finale of Top Model Botswana 3rd edition which was a continuation of last‘s year edition. But due to this pandemic that the world is facing, we could not go head and finish the 3rd edition.

We had decided to just pause this year and continue next year,” Simon Pierre shared with WeekendLife. Organisers of the event annually rummage rural areas in search of models who are not adequately exposed to be identified as models.

“For the 4th edition which was to be this year, my team and I had decided to bring a little twist to how we have been doing things in favour of the models. We decided to change our ways of carrying out Top Model competition. Initially Top Model Botswana had auditions all over Botswana and we often sent agents to places we can’t reach.

After auditions, each town will compete in their respective town, then they all meet when we are approaching final stages,” he said. “But this year our idea was that, we will only audition one town each year. So we will be rotating each year in different places. If this year is Palapye, then we will only focus on Palapye, but sadly we were not able to go ahead with our plan due to corona.”

Top Model Botswana is known for producing seasoned models year in and year out, with some modelling careers enhanced and taken to greater platforms. Kakanyetso Gabatsholwe is one of the models who was scouted by Top Model Botswana and today she is signed under Isis Model Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also the winner of Top Model 2017.

Top Model Botswana was adopted from the American reality television series in which a number of aspiring models competed for the title of “America’s Next Top Model” and a chance to begin their career in the modelling industry. The famous model show was the brain-child of American model, Tyra Banks.

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WeekendLife

Major Moves Comedy back at it again

4th August 2020

Known for staging hilarious comedians both locally and internationally, Major Moves Comedy has made its returns this year after being absent due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The comedy show is back again with yet another rib cracking line-up for their up-coming monthly event, which will be on the 7th of August at Cresta President Hotel.

Before the scourge of the coronavirus, the comedy show which featured comedians from Botswana, Zambia and South Africa, was staged every Friday night. For the time being and because of the Covid-19 regulations, the current line-up will be filled by local talent only. The likes of; Boniface ‘Roy’ Phetolo, Queen of comedy Malebogo ‘Lebo English’ Lekgowa, funny-man Maatla Ephraim Basha, as well as Ndiye ‘Triccs’ Tampa. The familiar face of Onkgopotse ‘Mdala Ka Tjeludo’ Mugende will be the host for the night.

The event will also bring upcoming comedians to the fore and give them a chance to share the stage with established acts. “Since lockdown, comedians have been longing to showcase their talent on stage. With the new normal, most have used different social media platforms, however for stand-up comedians the stage is still the best place for them to showcase.

With these monthly events we also develop and nurture talent especially those who have been active on social media. This is in our quest to create a sustainable market and monetizing the talent,” said events coordinator for Major Moves Comedy, Gaolathe Kediemetse.

The event will follow the Covid-19 regulations as prescribed by the Presidential Covid-19 Task Force Team and thus patrons will among others be required to; put on masks, register to get into the event, sanitize, and practice social distancing. The show will be expected to last nothing more than two hours, this also as per Covid-19 regulations.

“We are excited to be hosting the event under the new normal and will be following the Covid-19 regulations. We have limited tickets available for the event which will also enable social distancing and we will have a dedicated Safety Officer to ensure the regulations are being followed.

We want to develop and contribute positively to the lives of the comedians while protecting the health of our patrons”, added Mr Kediemetse. The venue sponsor is Cresta President Hotel and tickets are available at Web tickets and Spar outlets. Prices range from P200 (single) and P300 (double). The show starts at 8pm.

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